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Smartphone Features Guide.

Confused about smartphone specs? Don't worry!

Buying or upgrading a smartphone for the first time can be a pretty daunting experience thanks to the number of available handsets, add-ons, tariffs and apps out there. This is why we have created this Smartphone Features Guide page especially for you. By finding out what type of user you are, you can have a view on which features are important for the way you personally use your handset.

What do you mostly use your handset for?

Before we take a look at different user groups, there are some features of a handset which are important for everyone – whether you’re a gamer or using the handset purely for business. Below, you can see what these features are, and why they’re important – whatever your usage.IP87 Water Proof Handsets

  • Battery Life: Let’s face it; we’ve all been caught out by the ‘low battery’ experience. Life is much simpler when you don’t have to worry about where you’re next going to find a plug socket to charge your device.
  • Water & Dust Resistance: No-one plans on throwing their expensive flagship handset into a jug of water, or falling into a swimming pool whilst sending someone a text, but unfortunately, these things do happen. Having a water and dust resistant handset takes some of the fear out of using your phone in situations where these sorts of accidents might occur, as well as checking your messages whilst walking in the rain.
  • Durability: As with Water and Dust Resistance, the durability of a handset puts a user’s mind at ease. Individuals who do more travelling are more likely to look at a handset’s durability to ensure minimal wear and tear when it’s constantly being knocked around in travel bags, but when you’re taking out a 24-month contract, it’s always nice to know whether it’ll survive the inevitable accidental drop onto a pavement.

 

And now, all you have to do is pick-and-click on what type of user you believe you are to take you speedily to that portion of this guide. Alternatively, simply read through each one!

 


Business User - Gaming User - Media User - Social User

 

 

Business Users

Because they tend to be ‘on-the-go’ types, Business Users should look for features such as the following:Email on Mobile Phones

  • Internet & Call Connectivity: Being able to take an important call at any given time could mean the difference between sealing the deal and being left high and dry. Making sure a handset has great connectivity for both calls and internet is a primary must-have, both here in the UK, in Europe, and beyond.
  • Email: Attending meetings out of the office and away from a laptop shouldn’t mean having to forego checking for those important emails you’re expecting. It’s important to note that whilst the vast majority of smart phones have the option to sync mailboxes or ‘push’ your emails through to the handset so you can both check and answer them; this sort of functionality is not always there in non-smartphones.
  • Hands-Free: For business users who commute by car, a decent hands-free option is a must. Some smartphones now have integrated voice commands (“Answer,” and “Dial,” for example), for when you need to take a call with both hands on the wheel.

 

Gaming User

Using a smartphone for gaming generally means having to go for higher-spec models, rather than feature-filled handsets. Quite often, the ‘specifications’ page attached to a handset can be fairly confusing – what do all those numbers mean, anyway? Fear no more! Here’s a simple breakdown for you:

  • Processor: Playing games will eat up your phone’s processing power, especially if you choose high-end games such as first-person shooters and other action titles, instead of more static games such as Solitaire. Whilst there are a number of factors which contribute to a handset’s speed, a good place to start is with the Processor. Generally speaking the higher the Processor and maximum Clock Speed, the quicker your handset will be. (E.g. Dual Core tends to out-perform Single Core, and 1.4GHz tends to outperform 1.2GHz).
  • Screen Size: It would be a shame to try and use the latest apps on a tiny, dull screen. A regular mobile phone can have a touch-screen size up to 5”. After that, handsets generally start being referred to as ‘phablets’ (phone-tablets), because they start to become less comfortable when holding them to your ear for a phone call. Also, a bigger screen may mean more real-estate to play your game, but it doesn’t always translate to viewing clarity. Which brings us on to:
  • Screen Resolution: This basically boils down to how sharp and clear your graphics are. Usually, higher numbers next to a Screen Resolution spec mean sharper viewing. An AMOLED display is usually superior to LED screens for viewing moving content (as opposed to text), due to its much better contrast ratio.
  • Multitasking Features: The last thing you want is to get a text notification popping up during the best bits of your favourite show, or the important moment of a boss battle when you’re gaming – and completely obscuring the screen. A number of handsets have features that enable a ‘Multitasking’ option – simply enable, and rest assured that you won’t be interrupted! And if you do decide to check your emails half way through the latest episode of Game of Thrones, there’s no need to fully close the media app. Great for quick-checking.

 

Media Users

If you enjoy taking snaps, listening to the latest chart-toppers, or watching your favourite shows on your phone, you should take into account the following when purchasing your dream handset:Listen to music on your mobile phone

  • Camera: It’s easier to take great snaps with a high-end camera. Elements to look for include Megapixel Count (the higher the better), Flash (LED flash allows you to take better photographs in a multitude of light-levels), and Zoom (important when also paired with Megapixels – the higher the MP, the crisper the zoomed-in image will be).
  • Sound: The last thing you want is for your best music playlists to have a tinny quality when you’re listening to them either through your handset’s speakers, or a headset. It’s always a good idea to take a look whether it’s MP3 and MP4 compatible, and many handsets now come with a few manufacturer features (such as Nokia’s ‘BoomSound’ and Samsung’s ‘Virtual Surround Sound’).
  • Screen: If you’re a TV buff who watches the latest episode of ‘Orphan Black’ during your daily commute, you’re going to want a screen that lives up to the drama unfolding on it. The bigger the screen, the more real-estate you have for watching your favourite shows, although it’s also important to keep Screen Resolution (how sharp and clear the display is) in mind. Usually, higher numbers next to a Screen Resolution spec mean sharper viewing. An AMOLED display is usually superior to LED screens for viewing moving content (as opposed to text), due to its much better contrast ratio.
  • Processor: The last thing you need is lag when watching the final few minutes of your show. Whilst there are a number of factors which contribute to a handset’s speed, a good place to start is with the Processor. Generally speaking, the higher the Processor and maximum Clock Speed, the quicker your handset will be. (E.g. Dual Core tends to out-perform Single Core, and 1.4GHz tends to outperform 1.2GHz).

 

Social Users

Whether you prefer Tumblr to Snapchat, or Facebook to Twitter, or you use every social media platform ever created, there are a few things you should consider about your handset if you’re going to spend a lot of time updating your status and posting inspirational photographs of sunsets.

  • Apps: Thankfully, popular apps – and certainly social ones – tend to be available across most mobile platforms. (Whether that’s Apple’s ‘iOS’ or the ‘Google Store’, etc). If you have specific needs in terms of which Apps you’re looking to download, it’s always a good idea to double check that the Operating System supports them.
  • Internet: Connectivity and Speed is really important for social users. How else are you going to make sure your social media feeds are up to date, or upload your latest photographs and Vines? Most modern smartphones are now 4G capable, which means much better browsing speeds.
  • Camera: It’s easier to take great snaps with a high-end camera. Elements to look for include Megapixel Count (the higher the better), Flash (LED flash allows you to take better photographs in a multitude of light-levels), and Zoom (important when also paired with Megapixels – the higher the MP, the crisper the zoomed-in image will be).