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December is the holiday season for many, and that usually means that people are out finding gifts for their friends, family and colleagues. One of the more popular gifts is bound to be the smartphone. When looking for a smartphone though, it can be tough to find one that is a perfectly suited to the person you are wanting to give it to.
Before investing in a smartphone as a gift this holiday season, here’s our four point guide on what to bear in mind.
Before looking into a smartphone as a gift, you should first consider whether the person who will get the phone already has one. The reason being, that many people are on mobile plans. Most of these plans have a set contract period that is not always easy to break and can be costly to do so.
You likely don’t want to force someone to break a contract, but many carriers do offer upgrade options that are affordable. It is a good idea to think about when their contract ends. If it is already over, a new phone could be very much welcomed. If the contract is new, you may want to look at investing in another tech gift.
There is also the issue of the carrier. While most carriers have the same phones, some use different networks such as 3G and LTE. Most new phones support all types of networks, but it is worthwhile verifying whether the phones you have selected are supported on the user’s network.
There are three major mobile platforms, or operating systems available:
All three of the major platforms – Android, iOS, and Windows Phone – comprise of phones with different hardware. The high-end devices have leading hardware that will be more than capable of handling any task.
Android has the biggest range of devices which have all types of hardware. Flagship devices like the HTC One, Google Nexus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 all have powerful hardware. In general, Android devices with smaller screens, tend to have lower hardware specs while those with bigger screens have better hardware.
The iPhones on the other hand have two models: the high-end 5s and the slightly less powerful 5c. Both of these models have hardware that is more than capable of handling most tasks. While some view this uniformity as a downside, it has worked well for millions of users.
Windows Phone devices are more in the middle – there are more devices to choose from than the iPhone, yet fewer than Android. As with Android, there are devices with varying levels of hardware and those with smaller screens (below 4 inches) tend to have lower hardware specs, while those with bigger screens are more powerful. Nokia and HTC are two leading Windows Phone producers.
As a general rule of thumb, newer phones have better hardware and are able to handle almost any task. One thing to keep in mind is the systems the person uses on a daily basis. If they prefer Google, Android may be a better choice. That being said, the platforms all have apps that allow you to connect to your preferred system e.g., a Gmail app you can download to your iPhone.
Finally, your decision comes down to how much you want to spend. Most phones can be purchased two ways:
If you are going to buy your phone outright set a budget. The majority of high-end devices will cost you between USD$300 and USD$500 while mid-range will be between USD$150 and USD$300.
When picking a phone as a gift, why not ask the person what they prefer first. Most people who are looking for a new smartphone will have an idea as to what kind of phone they want and what they want to use it for.
If you are looking to learn more about picking the right smartphone for yourself or someone else, get in touch today.
Published on 24th October 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.