They let you talk, text and even have video conversations across national boundaries. They let you capture moments in life big and small and share them with friends and family. And they give you instant access to the collective knowledge of the entire planet, wherever you are. Smartphones are the computers of the modern age, a tool that changes how you interact with the world. You’ve probably already owned one, or even many, but if you haven’t, it’s time to make the jump.
Good Quality Music
Good music can set the mood for your day. MP3 players let you carry around thousands, if not tens of thousands of your favorite songs, but they’re limited to music you already own. Every modern smartphone has a built-in application that acts just like a dedicated MP3 player, so at the very least, you won’t have to carry an iPod around with your phone. But smartphones supplement their players with all sorts of music streaming services. You can listen to a near-infinite number of songs through apps like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio, often for free.
Capture the moment on Camera
The difference between cameras on old feature phones and those on new smartphones is staggering. Smartphone cameras are almost as powerful as dedicated point-and-shoot cameras, and some blow point-and-shoots away. If you take it for granted, shooting crystal-clear photos and on-the-spot video might not seem like much. But when you’re spending time with a loved one and you suddenly wish you could capture a memory for all time, that smartphone in your pocket becomes priceless.
There’s an App for Everything
All smartphones come with a series of pre-installed applications to get you started, but their real power and versatility come from downloadable third-party apps. Many are free, and others cost somewhere between $1 and $5, but all open up new uses you might never have thought of. Your smartphone can become a level to keep your pictures straight; an atlas of the world; a viewfinder into all the stars in the sky; or a cookbook with guides to your favorite recipes. If you can imagine it, chances are good that one of the hundreds of thousands of apps out there will let you do it with your smartphone.
Of course, picking the right device is no easy feat. There’s a wealth of options to choose from, and if you’re not a technology mastermind, some of the specifications can get overwhelming. Below, we outline what to look for as you’re reading our top 10 smartphone reviews, like the Apple iPhone 5s, the LG G2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Should you still have questions, check out the articles on smartphones we’ve put together – if you’re struggling to decide between Android and iOS, for example, we can help you out.
Smartphones: Which one to look for:
Deciding to buy a smartphone is the easy part; picking one can get tough. Consider each of the attributes below when you’re making your decision, and you’ll find the process a lot more straightforward:
Good design is all about how a phone feels in your hand, and how well it reflects what you want to do with it. A lot of that’s up to the individual – after all, if portability and ease of use are important to you, you’d choose a very different phone than if you wanted a multimedia powerhouse that can play movies on a big screen and give you great stereo sound. In general, though, the lighter a phone is, the easier it’ll be to carry around and the more natural it will feel when held against your ear.
For many people, the camera is the most important part of any smartphone. If that includes you, you’ll want to consider several factors. A phone’s megapixel count is important – the more megapixels, the bigger and more detailed the image – but it’s not the only spec you should consider. Look at each phone’s aperture size, too. Larger apertures have lower F-stop numbers and let in much more light, which will give you brighter, more vibrant images.
If you’re interested in taking videos with your new smartphone, look at the frame rates you’ll have access to. All of the best smartphones can shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second, but if you get a phone with a higher potential frame rate, you can shoot video and play it back in slow motion.
Battery Life :
Having a powerful new smartphone is only fun if it will work all day long, no matter what you do with it. Bigger smartphones often have bigger batteries that help them last much longer through the day. You’ll still want to get into the habit of charging your phone every night, but if you get a phone with a sizable battery, you’ll be able to browse the web longer, watch more videos and listen to more music between charges.
As apps get increasingly complex, having a phone with the speed to handle them can be important. When it comes to a phone’s internal components, bigger numbers are usually better, but look at our overall performance score for an at-a-glance idea of how speedy each phone is
If you think you’ll be taking lots of photos and videos and storing plenty of music on your phone, you’ll need internal storage to match. Some devices, such as the iPhone, don’t have expandable storage but come in versions with plenty of space built in. Other phones may have much less built-in storage, but you can buy micro SD cards and plug them in to expand your drive space.
Sometimes the technology features built into a smartphone can be as important as the apps you download. Some, such as support for Bluetooth, have become commonplace. Others, such as infrared blasters that turn your phone into a remote for your TV, are only available on a few devices.
Most modern phones have near field communication chips that let you tap the phone on a scanner to make a purchase or trade information with someone. Many also have gyroscopes, compasses and accelerometers that, in tandem, can help your phone know exactly where it is and how it’s oriented at any time. This can be useful for apps that track your fitness performance, help you stargaze, or otherwise respond to your movements.
Smartphones are fantastically powerful computers that travel with you wherever you go. Pretty much everyone needs a cell phone these days, even if it’s just to help them in emergencies. But with the added power of smartphones, that cellular device can turn into an iPod, a camera, a library and so much more, right when you need it.