A Simple Guide to Getting a New Mobile Phone

This article explains the types of smartphones available and how you can find the mobile phone to suit you at the best price available.

Mobile phone technology changes fast, and since most people don't go mobile shopping more than once every couple of years, the chances are that mobiles have changed a fair bit since the last time you bought one. If you're looking to get a great new mobile, today we're telling you exactly how to find one, from the specs that you need to look for to where to get the best smartphone deals. So before you shop, read our simple guide to getting a new mobile, and be sure that you're getting the best phone for you.

Getting the Best Smartphone Deals...

Nowadays you're going to find the best smartphone deals online. This makes many people uncomfortable, since they don't like the idea of spending a large amount of money on something that they haven't actually seen. If this is your problem, then just go to a high street store and check out the phone that you want before coming home to buy it online. The overheads of online retail are so much lower than those of physical retail that sellers can afford to offer good discounts as incentives to get people to buy online. It's also not a bad idea to do a little comparison shopping online too, to make sure that you're getting the best price. Just find a simple price comparison web site and enter the phone that you're looking for to get a list of retailers and prices.

Mobile Brands...

Mobile brands probably haven't changed that much since the last time that you shopped, but there are a few things to be on the lookout for. Huawei are the new big brand for budget phones, producing some decent touch screen phones for less than a hundred and fifty pounds. Samsung have become more well known for their top end, expensive Galaxy series than anything else. Nokia are now almost exclusively promoting their Windows phone range, the Lumia series. Blackberry have somewhat fallen out of fashion due to their small screens and full physical keyboards, but have made a comeback with their newly released, fully touch screened Z10 model. Other than that, look out for the HTC One series and Sony's Xperia series, both of which are great, mid-range phone ranges that come at decent prices.

All about Screens...

At this point, top end mobiles are getting pretty close to five inch screens. Even on a mid-range phone you're going to be looking for around a four and a half inch screen to comfortably type on the on screen keyboard and view emails and web pages without too much scrolling. When it comes to screen resolution you don't have much to worry about, most phones these days get great resolution and a clear, bright display. There are a couple of new screen materials, Super AMOLED+ and Retina displays that are the newest tech in screens and provide a beautiful display. You also might want to look out for smart screens, which use a phone's front facing camera to track your eye movement and stop the phone going into hibernation mode if you're looking at the screen.

Power and Memory...

Mobile processors are bigger and faster than ever before. With top end phones getting multi core processors that are coming close to the 2 GHz mark. For a decent average phone that's capable of running the newest software version and programmes you're going to want at least 1 GHz of processing power. When it comes to memory, there are a couple of things to look for. You're going to want at least around 1 GB of RAM to make sure that your phone is responsive and doesn't lag. Less than that and you run the risk of your phone crashing whenever you try to do more than one thing at a time. Internal memory is a different issue. You should be looking for at least 8 GB of internal storage to keep all your music, photos and data on. However, with more and more people using cloud storage such as Drop Box to store their files, and then just accessing them when needed via a phone's internet connection, big memory is less important than it used to be. Look out for phones with Micro SD card slots too, since these let you buy a cheap memory card to expand your phone's memory if necessary.

Operating Systems...

The operating system that you go for is really a matter of personal preference, though you're going to want to make sure that you have an up to date version. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are both now running the most recent version of Apple's iOS. And the Blackberry Z10 has the most recent version of Blackberry's RIM system. Windows is making a bit of a comeback due to the excellent Nokia Lumia Windows phones, and the fact that the new version, Windows 8, is faster and easier to use than ever before. Android is still the most popular phone operating system, and the most recent version is Android 4.2, but anything from Android 4.0 is going to be fine.

Cameras and Connectivity...

Obviously, cameras are standard equipment on phones now. The average standard camera on a decent phone is about 8 MP, though some phones are still getting 5 MP cameras. This is only for the rear facing camera. Phones that have both rear and front facing cameras will get much lower resolution on the front camera, usually only around 1.5 or 2 MP. This is because the front camera is generally used for video calling rather than picture taking. When it comes to connectivity, 4G is the latest big thing. 4G gives a much faster mobile internet connection than 3G does. However, you will need a specific 4G data plan in order to take advantage of it. Without this data plan, your phone will automatically connect to a 3G network by default. So check and see if your operator has a 4G data plan before committing to a 4G capable phone.

People asking him about smartphone deals was something Sam Jones was getting used to.  Luckily he was able to point them in the direction of sites such as uSwitch so they could get a great deal too.


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