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Its the most explosive growth category in the world, its supposed to change your life forever, its the one device that can catapult you into becoming more efficient and can also bring you entertainment and gaming like never before. The wonderful aura around the term Smartphone continues to attract people in swarming numbers. But a move towards choosing the perfect Smartphones is a daunting one. They donâ??t often come cheap, economy Smartphones can sometimes leave you worse off and using the true potential of a Smartphone can leave you underwhelmed. Here are some things you should be aware of before you take the plunge.

Identify your need

A Smartphone isnt about bragging rights and chest thumping. Showing off to your friends that you have a Smartphone is a phase that will last all of one week. Then will come the real relationship with your phone. Look at your real needs as to why you want to get a Smartphone. Do you email a lot? Is there a particular app that youre buying it for? Is there a specific feature? Is it to get better hardware and performance? Is it the superior camera and optics in a Smartphone? Do you create a lot of content and documents? Do you browse the net a lot on the move? Draw a real hard core list of needs and youâ??ll get a clear picture of why youâ??re buying a Smartphone.

Touch Vs Type

This is the big one and the controversial one. The war of two types of phones. Its the era of touchscreens and everybody wants one. And for 90 percent of the people its the best way to go. A nice bright, high resolution touchscreen is a beautiful experience and is amazing for browsing, ebooks, movies and gaming. Apps look better and have more space and emails and documents are easier to handle. If most of what you do with your phone is in the list above â?? then stick to a touchscreen phone only. But if you reply to emails a lot on the move, if youâ??re into instant messaging and chatting all thru the day, if you create lengthy documents and also make loads of notes â?? then look for a hybrid or a hard buttoned qwerty keyboard device. Touchscreens will needlessly bog you down as you cannot type on them with the same accuracy and speeds as a good qwerty keyboard phone.

Look and Feel

Critical while buying a Smartphone. You can go super thin, or super big or super tough. None of these are better or worse. Its all to do with you. Sometimes a phone too thin can be a little fragile â?? if you dont have the means to keep a phone like that protected at all times then youâ??re better off with a normal sized phone. If youâ??re attracted to a phone with a very large screen then remember- shoving it into your front jeans pocket isnâ??t going to work. Hold a phone in your hand; does it feel comfortable and easy to handle. Look at the button placement; is everything easily accessible. Match the ergonomics of the phone with your lifestyle.

Fix a budget

Identify and budget and stick to it. Chances are that you will be tempted to pay a few thousand more. Look at what you gain with that extra amount â?? do you really need that one extra feature and is it worth it?

Old is Often Gold

In this era of latest, just released, first to own a new model â?? you maybe be ignoring a gold mine. Donâ??t be afraid to go for a slightly older model. Quite often they are sold at a very affordable price, and have features which are still top notch. Older top-end models can be a good value for money then new economy range models.

The Big OS

One of the most important question: what operating system to use. iPhone, Android, Blackberry and now Windows Phone are the most obvious choices.

1. The iPhone software and hardware are both incredibly good. More apps than you can ever use, a great screen, good features, iCloud, decent performance. But its pricey.

2. BlackBerry has the popular BBM messenger and the experience of instant email is still unparalleled. But overall its a phone that is starting to look a little antiquated.

3. Android phones are the Monarchs right now. Multiple manufacturers, the most choices, very powerful hardware, amazing amount of apps, more flexible, great designs and choices, start from as low as Rs 4000. But flexibility and diversity also makes them slightly inconsistent. Many android phones are rarely upgraded by the manufacturers, or receive updates late.

4. Windows phones are the new kid on the block and are starting to make waves. Some of the new phones represent some of the most powerful devices in the market and the new upgrades on the OS have made the this one of the most feature rich OS. Prices are also quite good. Apps availability is also growing at a fair clip. Still, it has some way to go to catch up with the others.

Battery Life

This is probably the most important feature. Remember you are buying a Smartphone to get a huge array of features and utilities. Camera, GPS, Wifi, the big screen, the fast processor, 3G â?? all consumes battery in droves. Make sure the battery lasts you through the day as a dead phone in the middle of the day is not a very smart phone.