What’s The Best Smartphone For You?

In the early 1990s, BellSouth introduced the first “smartphone.” In addition to the standard function of sending and receiving cellular phone calls, the Simon Personal Communicator was the first device that allowed users to send and receive faxes, emails and pages via a touch-screen display. Users could also access advanced “apps” such as an address book, calendar, calculator, games, electronic note pad and more.

While today’s technology has significantly advanced since Simon, many smartphones on the market still incorporate these same features, with a few additions including apps for auto-tuning your voice and Angry Birds. Learn more about smartphones and data plans and 4g networks to discover what kind of device is the best fit for you.

Why do I need a smartphone?

Having a smartphone is like carrying a personal computer around in your pocket. In addition to making phone calls and sending/receiving text messages, you can check your email, open office documents, play games and much more. Here are just a few real-world examples of how having a smartphone can help simplify your life:

  • Never get lost again: Download directions via GPS and get step-by-step directions as you drive.
  • Never be bored again: Browse the web or download a new game while you wait for an appointment. Choose from a variety of options, including arcade games, adventure games, educational games and more.
  • Never stand in line at the movie theater again: Purchase movie tickets straight from your smartphone.
  • Never get locked out of your car again: Some smartphones can connect to your car’s security system and even start the engine from several feet away.
  • Never miss an appointment again: Your smartphone can organize your calendar and appointments in one convenient place and even alert you if you’re late for a meeting.

Combine all of your devices into one: Your smartphone can replace your MP3 player, camera, GPS and more. You can listen to music, browse Facebook®, read up on the news and even stream movies anywhere you go, using one device.

Explore the wide range of apps available, from wacky apps such as a Magic 8 Ball to more practical apps such as a map to help you remember where you parked your car. Whether you use your smartphone to keep up with work or play games on the go, the opportunities are endless.

Smartphone comparisons: Android vs. iPhone

Two operating systems currently dominate the smartphone market: Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone iOS. While both products offer some similar features, there are some major differences that could affect the user’s experience. First-time smartphone buyers interested in playing games and exploring apps and media from their mobile devices tend to prefer Apple products, while users looking for more powerful data computing and an Internet-browsing portal prefer Android, particularly its 4g LTE options. Here are a few key differences to consider in choosing the best smartphone:

  • The iPhone is the fastest smartphone experience on the market. The touchscreen responds without the stutters or delays that some Droid users experience.
  • Android phones offer “widgets” or “live tiles” that offer more options for customizing your home screen to fit your preferences. The iPhone’s home screen is frozen in one default format.
  • Apple, as of mid-2012, offered about 650,000 apps in its App Store, while the Google Play store had about 480,000.
  • Android 4g phones offer faster network data speeds than Apple’s iPhone devices, which means email, text messages, phone calls and Internet browsing is faster with Android.

Whether you prefer the easy-to-use interface of Apple products or the powerful data computing capabilities of Google’s Android products, it’s easy to find a device that makes your life easier. When you're making a smartphone comparison, consider even more products, such as the Windows Phone or Blackberry®, and choose the one that best fits you.