With new phones from major manufacturers being released on a constant basis it can be extremely confusing for those who are looking for their first or a new model. In this simple guide we will advise you on some of the key features phones have and what you may need.
Do You Really Need a Smartphone?
There are still a large number of excellent mobile phones at cheap prices that offer many useful features. These devices cost a fraction of what a modern smartphone costs - and they come with "old-fashioned" buttons that are super easy to use. You can easily buy a mobile phone for £50 that comes with a rubber keypad, a very good colour display and an intuitive interface, but also allows you to connect to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or watch Netflix and HBO on small screen. Such phones will not have features such as cloud storage, office applications or be able to play popular games such as "Candy Crush Saga," "Angry Birds" or "Geometry Dash."
If you want to be able to do everything then maybe your thinking of acquiring your first smartphone, but do not know which one to choose? Perhaps you feel completely confused when sellers tell you this phone has things like iOS, Android, KitKat, iCloud and so on.
Here is a simple step-by-step guide to what's what in the smartphone world:
What can you choose from?
There are a number of smartphone manufacturers, but only three operating systems matter. Operating systems are commonly abbreviated to "OS". The three operating systems are Android, Windows and iOS. The latter is found only on Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad tablet. Android can be found on a variety of phones. The major manufacturers are Samsung, HTC and Sony. Windows Phone can be found mostly on phones from Nokia.
Which of these is the best?
Android (made by Google) and iOS (made by Apple) are considered the best. Windows Phone has got the wind in its sails in the last year and is on the rise, but still lacks behind the other 2. This doesn't mean that Windows Phone is not an "inferior" choice, though.
Which of these is the easiest to use and understand?
Let's put it this way: if you have a Mac at home an iPhone will feel like an extension of this. The interface is very similar to what you find on a Mac operating system and is intuitive and easy to understand. Similarly, Windows Phone is much the same as you find on a PC with the operating system Windows 8 or 10 installed. Android however, for newcomers seem a good choice. This is because Android is the only one of the three systems that lets you "customise" on how things on the screen look and behave.
Which one should I choose?
If you have an iPad, a Mac or have used any of these products before then an iPhone is a natural choice. The phones are built to the highest quality and work flawlessly most of the time. There is rarely any technical problems on an Apple product. You also get by far the largest selection of Apps (small applications such as games, office applications, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
If you are accustomed to a Windows 8/10 PC (we emphasize that it is about Windows 8 and 10 here and not older versions such as Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7), then on a Windows Phone, you also get an intuitive interface that is easy to understand and use. Build quality of the phones is also very good. The only negative we can say about a Windows Phone is the selection of apps (applications, games, etc.) are not as big here as on iOS or Android.
If you like a challenge and also like to fiddle with the settings on gadgets then Android is the natural choice. Unlike a Windows Phone or an iPhone Android operating system lets you do what you want with it. Different colours? A completely different look? Maybe a bright green keyboard with pink buttons? Android lets you do all this. Android is the choice for those who want full control over absolutely everything on your phone. The downside is that there are a number of different versions of the OS (the latest is called KitKat) and it is up to manufacturers themselves to add the latest system. You also get the unwanted so-called "bloatware", unwanted programs and applications installed from the manufacturer's which can be difficult to get rid of.
I want the best and the latest app on my phone
Then an iPhone is the best choice. The selection on Apple's App Store is huge. And it is on this phone that the latest apps comes first.
I want a simple smartphone
Once again, an iPhone is the best choice. But Windows Phone is also an excellent choice, especially if you are unfamiliar with Apple products.
I want a smart phone but can not afford the most expensive models
iPhone and Nokia's Windows phones are expensive. And in Apple's case you will not find a "cheap-model" of the iPhone. A Windows Phone can be considerably cheaper, but these models are often smaller and older.
When it comes to Android you can find a wide selection in all price ranges. The problem with most inexpensive models is that they run on an older version of the Android operating system and the phone can not be updating to the latest version. Thus, you'll be missing out on new features.
I'm still confused. If I purchase a smartphone now, will I have to buy a new one in a year or two?
No, all three systems get free updates periodically. In this way, a smartphone that is over two years old will still receive regular updates to keep it fresh. If you buy a top model that has good processing power, then it will be able to cope with most demanding task and last you considerably longer than a cheaper model.
Finally, I do not understand all the talk about "cloud storage"?
Just a few years back you had to connect your smartphone to your PC or Mac to back up your data. This could be everything from photos, addresses, phone numbers, programs and apps. Nowadays you can transfer all your important data online. Your data is safely stored on "the cloud" without you having to do anything. And if your phones should break all you have to do is connect to the same account (Apple, Windows, Google account etc.) and voila, you can download all your data to the new phone.