Friday, March 16, 2012

Choosing an Android Smartphone: The hardware

Continued from here.
Half of the battle of owning an Android is choosing the right hardware. Tablet or phone? How much memory? How big is the screen? How long does the battery lasts? What accessories should I buy? As more and more options become available, the choice just becomes more difficult.
The key thing is to match the hardware with the way you want to use it. Imagine you are selling a tablet or phone.Then, advise someone who is trying to buy one. Here are some simple match-ups.
  • How long am I away from a power plug? = How long does the battery need to hold up. This is simple. If you are more away from the office or from your desk, the more likely you need a battery that lasts longer. 
  • Work or Pleasure? Or more work or more pleasure? = what do I need to connect it to and does the hardware support that. This is more complicated. Look at the way you are doing things now. Imagine the way you want it to be. Now douse that with a bit of reality by remembering a victory or success and how you worked to achieve that or what led you to that. What tools did you use? What did you need to make that success? Now can the phone or tablet be a part of that or replace tools that you used? Did you need a connection to a projector or TV? How much typing was involved? At any point, did you plugged in a thumb drive from someone else? Those are those things then the phone or tablet should support.
  • Did you wish you had access to the Internet when you didn't? = Do you need a mobile data connection? If you find yourself more often that not thinking "I could've looked that up on the Internet" and "I wish I can connect with you to give you that information", you probably need mobile Internet. But consider also other options like portable hotspots or using your current smartphone's Internet access, especially if you are still on a Blackberry. Factor in your current mobile plan or the one available to you.
  • How big is big? = What size the tablet or phone. Buy as big as you need. And match the battery for it.
  • Buy a casing = buy a case. The device was sold without one because they knew someone would sell it to you separately. Then think of it in terms of fashion: how do you want to look holding it.
  • Should I wait for the next software release? = You shouldn't wait. But buy a recently released model, if possible. That way if a newer OS is available, it will support it. 
Whether it is a tablet or phone, it should do the thing you want to do now. If it doesn't, why are you buying one?

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