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A guide to choosing a mobile phone platform

© Scott Maxwell Touch Screen Cell Phone Worship
© Scott Maxwell

Decisive mobile platform purchasing factors Functionality

The big distinction between functionality of mobile platforms is made between smartphones and feature phones. Whereas feature phones seem attractive at first (budget-wise), there are clearly overshadowed by smartphones in terms of overall functionality. If you are looking for ‘pocket computer’ experience, complete with an app catalogue and advanced computing abilities, a smartphone is the one for you.

App Support

However attractive a particular model or platform might look at first, the golden rule is usually that a user experience is determined by the size of the app market. iPhone’s app market is the current market leader in this regard with the Android platform being a good second. Smaller, but nevertheless interesting players are RIM’s Blackberry platform, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Nokia’s Symbian (although the latter is being phased out).

Hardware

In the mobile platform world hardware is very important and not only aesthetically. It is important to identify the top model for a particular platform, which is usually guaranteed to enjoy popularity, a decent (and fast!) user experience and manufacturer support. If this particular model does not appeal to you at first you might want to use it as a benchmark to compare other models with. Naturally the closest your desired model mimics the hardware specs of the platform leader, the better your experience will be.

Budget

Naturally, your budget is the main reason to opt for a certain platform. Most mobile (smartphone) platforms have top of the line as well as budget models available. Considering the factors mentioned above, you will have to analyse why a particular model is priced as it is. Identify its major shortcomings and consider if it is worth living without them. The end decision: what platform to choose? Once you have finally committed yourself to a particular mobile platform it is important to consider once last aspect. Will this model do for the duration of your contract? If your answer is yes, go ahead and make the purchase and rest assure that you have made the right decision!

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