Modern smartphones are essentially phones with most of the features you would find in your computer. In January 2013, 60% of people in the UK owned a smartphone- compared to 38% just 3 years ago! When most people hear ‘smartphone’ they automatically think iPhone, but this is not the only option- there are a whole range of different smartphones with hardware and operating systems to suit every need.
Although there were plenty of smartphones around for several years before, the iPhone became the first really mainstream smartphone when it launched in 2007. Apple’s aim was to translate their computer operating system into something which you could carry around in your pocket with you. Although the hardware of the iPhone is not able to be modified in any way, its real selling point is the software- the vast ecosystem of apps allows you to do pretty much anything you want with your phone, whether you’re more interested in playing games or keeping fit there are plenty of apps for everyone.Android devices are much more open in comparison to iPhones, you can customise pretty much everything about your device- including the iPhone’s biggest drawbacks, storage size and battery life. The most popular Android phones are manufactured by Samsung, HTC and LG- their flagship devices have large HD screens with expandable storage and swappable batteries. The large screens on these devices make them ideal for gaming, reading ebooks and watching movies.
The Blackberry was in many ways the original smartphone, bringing instant emails and internet access to a host of business users- in recent years however they have been adopted by younger users due to their messaging capabilities (Blackberry Messenger) making it easy for teenagers to communicate instantly with their friends, as well as the ability to use all the other social networks available on other devices. However the cross platform capability of messaging apps such as Whatsapp has made one of Blackberry’s major selling points almost redundant and they have had to restructure their strategy. Now Blackberry devices are being marketed as being of the same ilk as iPhones and Android devices, introducing large touchscreen devices (alongside the classic keyboard toting models) in order to compete, although these new devices are well built with a completely new operating system, they are still lacking in support for some of the most popular apps on iOS and Android and are therefore not seen as being competitive enough.
Microsoft have been making smartphones for many years, with limited success, however their latest iteration- Windows Phone 8- has seen them pair up with big name manufacturers such as HTC and Nokia in order to release a wide range of devices ranging from simple budget models to high end photography-centric phones.
Although many of these smartphones have similar features, it is important to carry out your own research to ensure that you are getting everything you want from your phone- there are many review websites with analysis from experts and real world users which will help to inform your decision.
James Jack is a tech enthusiast and computer repairman from south east of England. James regularly writes about up and coming technology and advises his customer on what is hot and what is not. This article was written on behalf of Device Hospital