Youve outgrown the basics of making calls and sending texts on your cell phone or maybe you just need a phone for business, which means its time to take it to the next level. A smartphone does so much more than a standard cell phone, essentially providing an all-in-one communications tool. But the decision to buy a smartphone is more complex than it is for a basic cell phone.
For starters, smartphones simply do more, combining the functions of a cell phone with a personal digital assistant (PDA). With a smartphone, you can send and receive e-mail from your corporate and personal accounts, view common documents formats (word processing files, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs), synchronize data with a PC, and run third-party applications of all kinds.
Unlike cell phones, which place a cap on how many phonebook entries you can have, smartphone address books are usually limited only by the available memory on the device. In general, memory is not in short supply on these phones and many devices include slots for memory expansion cards, so you can store additional contacts or other types of data. Smartphones also provide more robust Web surfing than traditional cell phones.
Though the basics are the same, things start to diverge once you get into individual products. When its time to make a buying decision, dont think I need a smartphone. Instead, consider what problem youre trying to solve. Figuring that out is half the battle. Next youll need to make a list of features that are important to you and then prioritize it in order of must haves and must be easy to use. Youll be amazed at how quickly your list is narrowed down to just a few choices.
Know What You Need
Picking the features you need and narrow down your smartphone choices.
Smartphone Operating Systems Overview
Although all the smartphone OSs perform the same basic functions, each has a different specialty.
Super fast access to multiple e-mail accounts and types.
Easy to use and a synching sensation.
These smartphones get personal.
Robust access to Microsoft office applications.
John Frederick Moore is a freelance technology journalist who has been reviewing smartphones professionally for over five years and the author of How to Do Everything With Your Camera Phone (McGraw-Hill/Osborne).