iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, you've looked at the choices and the options can be as diverse as buying a car. Here is a checklist to help you choose your next mobile device.

Seven Things to Think About When Choosing a Smart Phone

iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, you've looked at the choices and the options can be as diverse as buying a car. Here is a checklist to help you choose your next mobile device.

1) Carrier

This will probably be your most important decision. Each carrier offers a variety of tariff plans and incentives, and each carrier has its pros and cons. Remember, you will live with your choice for up to two years. To determine if the operator you choose works for you, ask your friends and colleagues which operator they use and where they have the most connection problems.

Find someone who uses the carrier you are considering choosing and invite them to your home to see how well their phone connects to the carrier's network. Sure, this test isn't 100% accurate as some phones handle signals better than others, but it gives you an idea of​​the kind of performance you can expect.

2) Keep the same phone number

If you are not locked into a current contract and can switch to another provider, you must decide between transferring (moving) your existing number to another provider or getting a new phone number. This is really a personal preference and is a relatively easy todo. Carriers have made it quite easy to transfer phone numbers between them. Make sure you contact your existing carrier first and let them know that you want to enable your account for this process before purchasing your new phone.

3) Operating system

Do you want an iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile phone? There are already numerous articles on the differences between all of these. The only real way to know what works for you is to go to your carrier's store and try them out or borrow a friend's phone. If that doesn't give you enough time to make a decision, you can always buy the one you like best and return it if you don't like it. Most couriers have a 14 or 30-day return policy.

4) It is compatible with your email server

Contact your IT department or IT service provider to find out which of the four phone types above are supported by your organization's email system. This can sometimes be a problem. Blackberry phones, for example, can work with almost any email system. However, those with dedicated Blackberry software offer more features, such as the ability to sync your calendar and contacts with your phone, along with the ability to save emails to folders. So if this type of functionality is important to you, it's best to check it first.

5) Keyboard or no keyboard

After choosing a carrier and the type of phone you want, the next question is: can you live without a physical keyboard, or do you absolutely need one? This is a personal choice that must be seriously considered. Phones with sliding keypads are generally a little heavier and thicker than their "bar" or "candy bar"cousins. The iPhone is an example of a "bar" style phone without a keyboard, and the Motorola Droid is an example of a phone with a sliding keyboard.

If you want a case for your phone, be aware that slider phones use a two-piece case, while"bar" style phones have one-piece cases.

6) App support

One of the main reasons for buying a smartphone is the ability to do so which will make your life easier. Today'ssmartphones are like minicomputers and can run all kinds of cool apps or just apps. If you think you want a phone that can use apps, look at what types and how many apps are available for the phone you want. As of this writing, there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for iPhone and Android platforms. These two offer maximum flexibility to increase the functionality of your smartphone.

7) Battery life and accessories

Some of the current smartphones drain their battery quite quickly. Gone are the days when a cell phone battery can keep the phone running for a week. Today's smartphones need to be charged every night, and some even need to be charged all day. Some phones allow you to change batteries, others don't (eg iPhone). Keep this in mind if this is a big deal for you. Also be prepared to spend more on extra batteries, chargers, and accessories, such as car chargers and car mounts. There are many other types of accessories, so check out what's available for the phone you want before making your final decision.

Well, that's all for now. Let me know which phone did you choose and why? I love hearing your opinion.

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