Before you can even begin to look at what smartphone options are available, you have to have at least a general idea of what you want.
To do this, ponder two main points:
- Identify your reason for buying a smartphone versus a feature phone. How could owning a smartphone benefit you and your life?
- Decide what you need your smartphone to do for you.
Then, ask yourself what features are most important for you to have. Some question examples include:
- Am I or do I plan to be heavily involved in social media tools through my smartphone?
- How important is the camera aspect of the smartphone to me?
- How often do I plan to charge my smartphone battery?
- How much do I plan to talk per day on my smartphone?
- How much do I plan to text per day?
- How much do I plan to surf the web or check e-mail through my smartphone?
- Do I need something ultra-thin?
- Do I need a slide-out keyboard or would something virtual work?
- Would I use a GPS feature from my phone?
- Would I benefit from having a phone that is also a personal WiFi hotspot?
- How important are apps to me?
- Would I use my smartphone frequently for work-related purposes?
Before finalizing this step, don’t forget about two other decision areas.
- Choosing a cell phone carrier. If you have one already, you can most likely just upgrade your phone and even keep your current number.
- Choosing your data plan needs. Unless you’re really strapped for cash, I would suggest going with the highest option for personal use, which, for Verizon, is $29.99 extra a month. This will give you the most options. However, if you really are tight on cash, the $15 per month option through Verizon is better than nothing — just watch out for extra charges if you go over the monthly 150 MB limit.
Last but not least — my smartphone features breakdown:
- I will often use my smartphone for checking and updating social media tools. I am a recent social media addict, after all!
- The camera aspect is very important to me. I always forget to bring my camera with me, but I always have my phone. However, my current 2.0 megapixels just isn’t cutting it. I want a really good camera phone.
- I charge my phone practically every night and also in the car with my car charger, so I don’t need an extremely long-lasting battery.
- I don’t talk too much on my phone.
- I’m more of a texter. Therefore, my current phone plan (which I will keep) has fewer minutes but unlimited texting, including video and photo texting.
- I will probably use the web a lot throughout my day, especially while running errands or at work.
- I need something that’s not too bulky because I often carry my phone in my pocket.
- I don’t need a slide-out keyboard. Even though my fingers aren’t the skinniest, I’m willing to sacrifice a keyboard for a little thinner phone.
- Absolutely I would use GPS, since that is another thing, like my camera, that I always forget at home.
- Yes. I often work remotely in very “rural” locations or family members’ homes that lack wireless internet for my laptop.
- Apps are important. Currently, I love adding free or inexpensive tools to my iPod Touch to make my experience with the device more interesting and efficient.
- Yes. I would use my phone for work- and non-work-related purposes. The line between these two areas is blending more every day for me.
So, what are your answers to the questions? And what questions did I forget to ask that are important to you?