Just over half the UK’s population now own a smartphone – that’s over 30 million people. What’s more, it’s estimated that by the year 2016, over 75% of the population will own one.

If you haven’t caught up with technology yet but are thinking about joining the smartphone party any time soon, here are some tips on making sure you get the right one for you.

Smartphones

Make Sure You Actually Need It

Smartphones aren’t cheap to buy or run, so before you rush to your nearest phone shop, consider whether you really need it or not. If you simply want a phone to talk and text and are happy to use your laptop for all internet-related activities or to play games, you’re advised to stick with what you have already. There’s simply no point in making an expensive purchase, just for the sake of it.

Choose the Right Network

There is plenty of choice on the market but there is also considerable confusion. Do your research and work out which company can offer you the best deal in terms of your expected usage. Check whether the network covers the area in which you live or work sufficiently to avoid connection problems; the companies should have coverage maps on their websites. Also check the speed of the connection, is it G3 or G4 compatible. Ask about contract versus pay-as-you-go and examine your current outlay to see which will give you better value-for-money. Finally, think about the data packages on offer combined with phone calls and texts and see who comes out on top for your personal requirements.

smartphones-operating-system-logos

Which Operating System?

Before choosing which operating system you need to ask yourself what you want your smartphone to do for you. There are four main rivals who each offer different user experiences. Apple’s iOS is used on iPhones and is great for downloading apps, available from the Apple App Store. Google’s Android system is available on a wide range of phones but doesn’t offer as many apps as Apple. Windows mobile phones are great for working on the go as they run a version of Windows you’ll already be familiar with. Finally, Blackberry can be used to surf the web or emailing but again, it lacks the range of apps available from other operating systems. Ordinary phones, like Nokia, for example, don’t support such facilities and so don’t forget that when you’re researching your new mobile smartphone, you may be able to recoup some of the cost if you recycle your Nokia with Music Magpie.

Screen Size

Screen sizes vary so it’s worth considering what you’ll be doing with your smartphone before you choose which one to buy. Apple’s iPhone 5 has a 4″ screen, the BlackBerry Z10 measures 2.4″ and the largest screen at the moment is found on the Samsung Galaxy note II which has a 5.5″ screen. Bear in mind that if you have large hands you’ll find the smaller screens tricky to operate, especially when typing and if your hands are small, reaching for all corners of the screen may cause problems. Be sure to test the smartphone you’re interested in in-store before you buy to make sure its functionality suits your personal needs.