The Ultimate Smartphone Buying Guide You Will Ever Need


The smartphone is a constant companion for many people and therefore an integral part of everyday life.


What is a smartphone?

smartphone is much more than the evolution of a mobile phone.


Although it is still possible to make phone calls and text messages, there are still countless other possibilities.


smartphone is not so much a mobile phone with a lot more features than a real computer in a very compact format.


Among other things, users can shoot photos, visit the internetplay games or even work.


How does a smartphone work?

Smartphones today work much like a normal computer.


In the interior of the device, there are classic components such as CPU, memory, storage and graphics chip.


The only difference to a normal PC is that the components use energy extremely sparingly so that operation with a rechargeable battery for several hours is possible.


This does not mean that smartphones by not would be powerful. The development in this area was in the last years due to the high demand rapid pace.


Users can, therefore, look forward to devices that have multiple processor cores with clock rates of more than 2 GHz. With such hardware, even complex games in 3D are no problem.


The main input device of a smartphone is not a keyboard or a mouse, but the screen itself. Thanks to numerous technical innovationstouch screens are now better than ever.


For the input is no longer required a special pen, instead, your own finger is sufficient. In this way, users can directly interact with content on the smartphone, which in practice works very intuitively and requires no prior knowledge. For this reason, experts and lay people can easily handle a smartphone.


The most important substructure of a smartphone is the operating system. On this point, there are several different solutions of the manufacturers, which we look at in another article. At the core, however, the operating systems all work the same.


They represent the main interface between hardware and software. All user inputs are thus translated by the operating system, for example, so that the hardware can do something with it. 


Advantages & Applications

The advantages of a smartphone are so numerous that they can hardly be listed. Above all, users enjoy the freedom to access the Internet at any time.


As a result, almost infinite information is available at any time.


With a suitable app or browser, you can constantly check the review news, check the timetables of the local public transport or query information about the weather.


But these are just a few examples of the many possibilities that the Internet offers on the move.


A further great advantage is a direct communication with friends, colleagues and business contacts.

A smartphone offers all the possibilities that a user could wish for.


Alternatively, there is also a large selection of instant messengers like Whatsapp. These provide even more advanced features, such as group chat, in which several people participate in a discussion at the same time.




In addition, not only simple messages but also sound recordings, pictures, and videos can be sent in this way. Numerous clubs, companies, and student associations are already using this opportunity to organize themselves among themselves.

 

You can’t only communicate but also can socialize via Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and similar services. With a smartphone, you are always up to date and do not miss any news.


Even in the car, it can feed music into the system via Bluetooth or even completely replace a navigation system with a suitable app such as Google Maps.


It is also possible to work with your smartphone while traveling. There are many Office programs available that allow users to create and edit documents anywhere.


However, a smartphone is not just about productivity, it's also about entertainment. Modern devices are the right media centers that can be used for almost all needs in this regard.


Countless games are available in the respective stores, many of them even for free. The mobile phone is now a true gaming handheld. In addition, a smartphone also replaces portable video players.


Both local files can be played in HD as well as streams from the Internet from platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube.


In general, everyone can set up their smartphone with suitable apps according to their own wishes and the possibilities are virtually limitless. For this reason, the devices come today or at any purpose for use. Both professionally and personally and in a holiday they are from everyday life not indispensable.


What types of smartphones are there?

At first glance, most smartphones look very similar and they all have the same purpose in essence. In fact, there are some significant differences.


The most important systems are Android, iOS and Windows Phone. In addition, there are still some niche systems such as Blackberry, Symbian, Firefox OS and more.

 

Android is by far the most popular system on the market. It is used on devices of almost all manufacturers except Apple and Microsoft. The software was originally developed by Google.


It is basically available to manufacturers free of charge, so no license fees have to be paid to sell smartphones with Android. This circumstance also helped the system to a large extent to its enormous success.


The large spread is for the user a not to be underestimated advantage. Due to the enormous hardware basis, there are virtually no developers of Android could simply ignore.


All major apps for Android are now available and users enjoy the widest selection of available software.


However, Android also has one or the other disadvantage. Since the operating system is used with innumerable hardware configurations, a certain amount of fragmentation can’t be avoided.


Developers of apps can’t possibly every Android smartphone in the creation of software, consider making it every now and then to errors coming. In addition, Android due to its popularity also a popular platform for attacks by hackers.


Therefore, anyone who has sensitive data on their smartphone can’t avoid having virus protection. Another major problem is security updates, which depend on both the device manufacturer and the network operator.


In the past, there have always been cases in which even relatively recent smartphones hardly received any updates for the operating system.

 

Android 's biggest competitor is iOS. That operating system was developed by Apple exclusively for the iPhone and came later only on the iPads used. It is not available for other manufacturers.

 

Still is the iPhone one of the most popular smartphones, which is why iOS quite a large spread experiences, even though it only on a single device category is available.


The close integration of software and hardware is also the biggest advantage of iOS


Apple only has to concentrate on very few configurations and can, therefore, optimize its operating system to its own hardware. As a result, the system always runs smoothly, especially on current devices, without noticeable delays.

 

Even in benchmarks, iPhones are often able to significantly outperform Android rivals, despite the slower hardware on paper. The disadvantage of the proprietary systems is in part severe limitations in personalization and use.

 

To data from a  computer to transfer, owners of are iPhones, for example, to the software iTunes bound and can the device is not as easy storage use.


In addition, the look and the handling of iOS can’t set up freely according to their own wishes.




Although you can also install apps here to expand the range of functions. However, the system always works the same and the menus are the same on every iPhone.

 

Microsoft has long been trying to catch up with its own system Windows Phone to the competition. For this purpose, Microsoft even bought the former market leader Nokia for several billion dollars. However, the project did not succeed properly.


To date, the proportion of Windows Phones is comparatively low and the system itself is not in all respects equivalent to the competition. Some features are still missing and in the App Store, the selection of programs is significantly lower than iOS and Android.


Users of a Windows Phone must, therefore, be satisfied with less functionality.

 

However, that has an operating system from Microsoft certainly also its advantages. It is also happy with slightly weaker hardware and always works smoothly.

 

As a result, even very cheap devices for less than 100 dollars are often a good choice. In addition, Windows Phone is considered very secure and thus offers itself for use without additional protection software.

 

There are some other operating systems like Blackberry, Firefox OS or Linux. These are mainly obsolete systems or experiments for savvy users.

 

For the mass market, these alternatives have no meaning, as they lag behind the market leaders in every conceivable respect.


That's how we reviewed the smartphones

For a smartphone to call itself a smartphone for comparison reviews, it must first pass an extensive review course.

 

We review each device thoroughly and tell you which models are particularly recommendable and which mobile phone you prefer to avoid.

 

The following table reveals which features we are particularly interested in.


Display

The display is the heart of any smartphone. It is always in the focus of the user and is responsible for the presentation of all content.


For this reason, the highest possible quality is of course desirable.

 

In the review, we take into account things such as the resolution, the reaction speed, and color gradients.


Sound

The smartphone is now used by many people as a replacement for an MP3 player. Therefore, the sound is a factor not to be underestimated.


Music and other content should sound as high quality as possible from the speakers, although of course there are some physical limitations due to its small size. 


Speed

Modern smartphones are less related to a classic phone that much more to a computer. In principle, you can do all the tasks that a PC could handle. For this reason, a certain amount of power is required to ensure that a smartphone always performs well in everyday life.


In our Smartphone Review 2018, we do not just rely on the bare specifications and results from benchmarks. We also analyze exactly how a device behaves in actual use. In the best case, menus and apps always appear fluid and loading times are as short as possible even with complex programs.


Features and functions

Even though most smartphones are basically the same, there are some devices that compete for the customer's favor with special functions.


This can be, for example, a 3D display or a high-quality equipped camera.

 

In the Smartphone Review 2018, we take a closer look at such and other functions and tell you whether they keep what the manufacturers promise.


Camera

In times of Instagram, Facebook, and Co., the camera was never more important in a smartphone. It is a key component and is used daily by countless users. The smartphone has long since replaced the compact camera with many users since the mobile phone is always in the luggage anyway.


In order for photography to be fun, a camera must be able to capture images as well. This not only requires a high resolution, but also a good sensor and suitable software.

 

In the smartphone review, we check very carefully how the pictures from different devices fail in different scenarios.


Battery Pack

Even the best smartphone is of little use to its owner if the battery does not provide enough power. Even with moderate use, even some devices will run out of steam after just a few hours, so using it all day long is out of the question. So you can rely on your smartphone from day to night, we also take the battery of smartphones under the microscope.


Learn here how long the runtime in idle turns and under full load and various other usage scenarios. For a good result, we expect that a smartphone will last at least a full day of average usage with Wi-Fi and mobile. The best models can even do 2-3 days.


Stability

Smartphones are without question a commodity. They often accompany their owner everywhere, whether to work, on vacation or to friends. Many accidents can’t be avoided with frequent use.


For this reason, many smartphones are also built to be very sturdy and withstand a few bumps and fall on the ground. In the review, we want to know exactly and analyze with different methods how resilient the individual smartphones are.

 

Above all, the display should be resistant, so that a cell phone is still easy to use even after several small accidents. Bonus points are awarded when a device is protected against water, dust or other potential hazards.


Material And Workmanship

In terms of material, smartphone buyers enjoy a rich selection. The devices are not only made of plastic and metal but even of wood. All materials have their own advantages and disadvantages and which is the best choice always depends on the personal ideas of the user.


But no matter what material is used, it should always be as high quality as possible. This affects both the look and feel. Good materials make a cell phone feel better and feel better in the hand.

 

In addition to the material, we also worry about the processing. Here, everything should look as if they were all in one piece and gaps should not be found as far as possible.


Service

For the use of a smartphone to work well, it must be as easy and fast to use. An important prerequisite for this is a high-quality touchscreen that responds to inputs as desired and does not misinterpret them.


In addition, the software also plays a role. Functions such as auto-correction simplify usage and forgive the user small errors.

 

In the review, we pay attention to all these and other factors and can therefore very well estimate whether a device is easy to use even for laymen or too many stumbling blocks in the way.


Height And Weight

Not a few users prefer to carry their smartphone in their trouser pocket. For this reason, the devices should not be too big and the weight should be as low as possible.


In the Smartphone Review 2018, we attach particular importance to the fact that the ratio of housing and display is correct. Too wide edges are an obstacle in everyday use in any case.


Compatibility And Communication

In this category, it's all about how a smartphone communicates with the outside world. In most cases, the user has several options to choose from, from a wireless connection via WLAN and Bluetooth to cable connections via USB or HDMI.


In the smartphone review, we attach importance to the fact that such connections work without problems and are as rich as possible. From there on, we also feel the reception of mobile radio to the tooth. Modern standards with high data rates are desirable so that surfing on the go is not frustrated by long waiting times.


Storage

Smartphones today process and store amazing amounts of data that were only used by supercomputers a few decades ago. Users store high-resolution photos and videos, music, games and other content on their devices. For this to work in the long run, smartphones require a certain amount of storage space.


In the Smartphone Review 2018, we tell you how much memory each device has and what content can be stored on it. Pluses are available for all devices that offer a slot for memory cards in addition to the internal memory. Thus, the capacity can be easily and cheaply expand itself.


Longevity

For some users, a broken smartphone is like a catastrophe.


In the review, we, therefore, examine how well the devices cope with loads over long periods of time. We like to see it, when individual components such as the battery can be changed by the user. In such a case, the affected parts can be easily replaced in an emergency and it is not necessary to purchase a completely new device.


What should you look for when buying a smartphone?

If you want to buy a new smartphone, make sure that the device meets your needs as well as possible. Do not be influenced by the many buzzwords that manufacturers like to use.


A 4K display, for example, offers no advantages in everyday life to a device with Full HD resolution. Even with the camera, the number of megapixels is not crucial for the quality.


Probably the most important question when buying a smartphone arises in the choice of operating system. This has enormous influence on how a device can be operated and what functions it has. Which system is the best depends again on your own ideas?


If you like and often new apps tried and in this respect always on the review state would be coming to a smartphone with Android or iPhone from over. Only these two options offer everything your heart desires in this regard.

 

However, if you only use standard functions such as navigation, browser, telephony or messenger anyway, a good choice also applies to a Windows Phone.

 

When buying, try to take some consideration of the specifications of a device. These are not yet a guarantee for good performance, but at least a good indicator. Above all, it is important to have as much memory as possible, so that it does not lead to pauses in the system's use or even crashes the device.




The specifications also reveal whether a device is cutting-edge or already from an older generation. Basically, nothing speaks against the purchase of an older model, as it often saves a lot of money. However, at best, buyers are well informed about the smartphone release period, so they do not pay premium prices for old hardware.

 

Before you even buy, think about where and why you want to use your smartphone. For example, those who travel a lot and can’t rely solely on HotSpots need a fast data connection, ideally via LTE.

 

If you want to use a smartphone in the rain, look for water-resistant models. Ask as many questions as possible about the operation and functions of smartphones and you can make a good pre-selection before buying.

 

Not only the smartphone itself plays a role in the purchase, but also the connection to the mobile network. This is achieved by a provider who provides the user with a SIM card.


First, pay attention to the right format, because not every card fits in every cell phone.


There are the cards as mini-SIM, micro-SIM, and nano-SIM. Pay attention to which format your new smartphone uses. If you want to insert an existing SIM, you can exchange it with your provider for a suitable card.

 

It also raises the question of whether a cell phone should be purchased as part of a mobile phone contract or should be purchased in the normal way in the trade.


However the device price is financed over a fixed contract period, usually 24 months, over the monthly fees.


The tariffs are therefore in connection with a new device significantly more expensive than a tariff without a smartphone. The bottom line is the purchase of one smartphone almost always cheaper, if it is normal in a shop or on the Internet is purchased.


Also, when buying a smartphone, check if a cell phone can easily work with your existing devices. For example, if you own a Mac, you will be pleased with the numerous connectivity options available on an iPhone, but can’t use Windows Phone without any problems.


Such cheap devices already have almost all the features that even expensive smartphones offer. Users must compromise on the quality of the display, the camera, and similar components.

 

The most expensive smartphones can easily cost more than $1,000, but also offer extremely high-quality materials, fast-paced hardware and features without end. Between these two extremes, there are more smartphones in each area that can sometimes convince more and less.


Just for laymen, it is almost impossible to here Overview to keep. For this reason, it is a good idea to study product reviews carefully before purchasing in order to find a smartphone with the best value for money.


Brief Information On Leading Manufacturers

 

Apple

The in 1970 founded company Apple Inc. is one of the driving forces of the digital revolution. Like no other company, Apple has shaped the development of computers and thus secured a place in the history books. Apple is responsible for many innovations, including for example the first graphical user interface or the computer mouse. Apple did not always invent these things themselves, but they understood it, the technology for the mass market with easy operation and an appealing design compatible.


After initial successes with their own computers ran Apple in 1990 years in a crisis. Former founder Steve Jobs was kicked out of business and new executives struggled to invent new innovations. The business with computers and notebooks was declining and Apple was close to bankruptcy at that time. The competitors Microsoft and IBM Apple have long ago left behind in terms of both hardware and software.

 

But in the early 2000s, the turn was finally initiated. Steve Jobs was reinstated to lead Apple into a better future. The first product under Jobs struck like a bomb. The iPod revolutionized the music market, as the Walkman once did. The Macintosh computer and all other products were retreaded and Apple was able to back in the black.




Again history wrote Apple finally in 2007 in the field of smartphones. With the first iPhone, Steve Jobs invented the smartphone, as we know it today. For the first time, a device relinquished physical buttons and instead offered only a large touchscreen. In addition, the iPhone has many features in itself and was in terms of features ahead of most competitors. Initially, the device was ridiculed by many, including dared even Steve Ballmer, and then CEO of Microsoft, the iPhone has not had much success. In fact, however, Apple was able to conquer the market leadership after a few years and leave behind former giants, such as Nokia and Samsung.

 

To date, this is the iPhone the most important product of Apple and primarily responsible for the gigantic profits of one of the most valuable brands in the world today. Every year a new model appears which is improved in many ways. Apple's iPhones are one of the best devices on the market and in addition to faster hardware, an excellent operating system and high-quality materials and an attractive design. The iPhone is one of the most expensive smartphones ever and costs in the maximum expansion level more than $ 1,000.


Samsung

Samsung is one of the largest conglomerates in the world and is a leader in many areas of technology in particular. The company was founded in the 1930s when it was a simple grocery store. During the Second World War and the Korean War founder Lee Byung-chull had to fight with all sorts of problems and lost several times his laboriously structured business. In 1953, he broke new ground by founding the first industrial sugar refinery in South Korea, called Cheil Jedang, which means “best sugar". This refinery still exists today. A short time later, Lee also looked for other business areas and built, among other things, a textile factory.


The entry into the technology industry took place only in the early 1970s, with home appliances and consumer electronics were already in the foreground. In the following years, the responsible persons searched again and again for new areas in order to enlarge their own enterprise. Success has not always been driven by success, but its strong commitment has allowed Samsung to assert itself in many markets, laying the foundation for today's giant enterprise.




Samsung still does not rest on its laurels today. The Koreans make every conceivable technical product, from televisions and washing machines to smartphones. Meanwhile, Samsung is one of the big innovators and makes a lot of effort for its own research and development. One product of this effort is the smartphone series Galaxy S, which is the world's best-selling smartphone after the iPhone.


Sony

Sony is one of the best-known brands in the technology sector. The Japanese company is best known for its new inventions such as the Walkman in the 1980s or the PlayStation in the 1990s. For many decades, Sony was one of the largest companies in the world and continued to expand. This makes Sony one of the largest movie studios in the world today and also a leader in music. The subsidiary Sony Music has superstars like Britney Spears Under contract and contribute to the success of the Japanese.


Sony had to fight in the 2000s, however, with some problems. Above all, the business with televisions came to a standstill, on the one hand by the strong Yen, on the other hand by the competition from Korea. In addition, the very ambitious game console PlayStation 3 in 2006 caused billions in losses. For a long time, it seemed as if the former giant had stumbled and could even go bankrupt.

 

Sony was able to rip the helm but under new leadership. With Kazuo Hirai at the helm, Sony divested unprofitable businesses such as the Vaio laptops and sold some of its buildings to back in the black. Since then, Sony has focused on its core businesses, where Japanese are still leading the way. Among other things, Sony is the largest producer of camera sensors; these are even used in the iPhone. In addition, Sony has competitors in the field of video games as well Nintendo and Microsoft left behind.




In terms of smartphones, Sony could never really get a foothold. Although the Japanese were together with Ericsson early with the first devices on the market, these could set themselves apart from the crowd too little. To date, the Xperia brand is a household name to many users and many of the models are also praised by critics. However, Sony was able to generate little profit from it so far. Nevertheless, Sony is one of the largest manufacturers of smartphones, even if the distance to Apple and Samsung is more than clear.

 

Samsung enriched the world of smartphones with such novelties as an OLED screen or curved displays. However, unlike Apple, Samsung does not focus solely on a single model, but offers high-quality devices in almost all price ranges, giving users more choice. Overall, Samsung sells today by far the most smartphones, although Apple achieved higher profits thanks to higher margins.


LG

The in South Korea based company LG Electronics can be in many ways with Samsung compare. Not only do the two competitors come from the same country, they also serve the same markets for the most part. Just like Samsung also provides LG a large selection of equipment in the fields of consumer electronics and household appliances ago.


When it was founded in 1958, LG still referred to the name Goldstar, which accompanied the company until 1995. LG has always produced radios, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners. Such devices can still be found in the product catalog, but LG has always endeavored to conquer new markets and to advance its own developments through high investments.


 


In the field of smartphones is LG represented and is able to celebrate some successes. Users value the devices for their high-quality workmanship, numerous functions, and unique features. For example, LG introduced the first modular smartphone that can be expanded with special accessories, such as upgrading the camera or installing a larger battery. If you are looking for high-end smartphones with a twist, LG is the place to be.


HTC

HTC is still quite young, but nevertheless important companies in the field of smartphones. It was not until 1997 that it was founded in Taiwan. Long before the first smartphone, HTC wanted to find ways to connect a mobile phone to a classic computer. The first devices were for the mass market, however, little interesting, because they were too expensive and complicated to use. For a long time, HTC moved on the edge of insignificance.


This condition changed abruptly, however, when HTC joined in 2007 the Open Handset Alliance of Google and actively co-developed on Android. As a result, appeared in the fall of 2008 with the G1, the first Android smartphone ever and thus also the first real competitor to the iPhone from Apple. The sales figures could be seen already at that time and helped HTC to a high flight. All over the world, Taiwanese were able to gain market share and thus grow very fast.

 

Unfortunately, the initial success did not last long. As Samsung and other giants squeezed into the market of smartphones, HTC did not have much to oppose. Although the company also continued to manufacture high-quality devices with many functions, but they could not at any time with the enormous development and marketing budget by Samsung to record. That's why HTC even entered a medium-sized crisis and spent some years in the red.




For the future, HTC is preparing to enter new markets. Worth mentioning is above all a co-operation with the computer game manufacturer Valve. For the operator of the extremely successful platform Steam manufactures HTC the virtual reality headset Vive, which is considered as one of the most advanced devices in this area. Whether this will help to achieve another major breakthrough, however, must show the future.

 

Smartphones are still playing an important role at HTC. The Taiwanese like to rely on high-quality materials, fast hardware, and modern equipment. However, in response to declining sales, HTC largely departed from the entry-level and mid-range smartphones segment. The focus is entirely on high-end devices. So with a smartphone from HTC, users will always make a good choice, but they should also be prepared for a relatively high price.


Microsoft

Microsoft hardly needs a precise idea. The world's largest software company should be well-known to almost everyone through the Windows operating system. The software has established a virtual monopoly in the area of end users and runs on more than 90% of all PCs sold. Microsoft owes this success above all to its founder Bill Gates, who left no stone unturned in the 1970s and 1980s to drive his own success. Not always the means were morally harmless. Over the years, Microsoft saw itself not only exposed to numerous allegations but had to go to court and pulled it time and time again the short straw. But thanks to exorbitantly high profits, this has never had a negative impact on the balance sheets.


To date, Microsoft reaches dizzyingly high sales, which are surpassed only by Apple, Google, and BP. Microsoft also recognized early on that they can’t rely only on Windows as a driving force. For more than 20 years, efforts have been made to gain a foothold in other markets as well. For example, with the Xbox, Microsoft has entered into direct competition with Sony and Nintendo and the Zune MP3 player was once the dominant position of Apple's iPod break.




Also in the field of mobile communications, Microsoft was active early and developed solutions long before the first iPhones. However, the company from Redmond never won this fight. Windows Mobile was overtaken by Symbian in the past, which ran on most Nokia devices. Later, Microsoft missed the development around iPhone and Android quite simply. When the entire industry had already adjusted to devices with large capacitive touchscreens, solutions were still at Microsoft physical keyboards in the foreground that were outdated. Only very late Microsoft presented its answer on iOS and Android with Windows Phone 7. For the first time, the system brought out the characteristic tiles that are also present on the PC on Windows today. However, it was missing at every turn. Not only was the selection of apps very low, also in terms of features, Windows Phone lagged the competition at least a year.

 

To date, Windows Phone can only partially compete with the competition. Although Microsoft even took over Nokia to improve its own market situation, the market shares are only in the single-digit percentage range. But there are still some devices that are quite interesting for certain users. A big advantage of Windows Phone is that the system runs fast and smoothly even with comparatively weak hardware. Especially very cheap devices can, therefore, be better served with Windows Phone than most Android smartphones from the same price range. So if you are looking for a simple smartphone for little money, you may want to take a closer look at the smartphones from Microsoft.


Xiaomi

Xiaomi (pronounced: Schaumi) is often referred to as the Apple of China. The manufacturer is officially represented only in his home country and celebrates enormous success there. Growth rates in the double-digit percentage range speak for themselves; more and more Xiaomi depends on the iPhone in China.


In the West, more and more users are discovering the Chinese smartphones for themselves. They offer some high-end hardware at outrageously low prices. This is possible because Xiaomi saves on all sorts of fees that would be necessary for an official sale in Europe or the USA. The import is still legal.




A closer look is especially interesting for those who are fussy, who do not shy away from doing their own work. Because not always the devices are completely localized. It may, therefore, be necessary to flash a new operating system after purchasing, which can be a big challenge for laymen.


From Where Should You Buy Your Next Smartphone?

Smartphones are available in retail stores as well as on the Internet in a huge selection. But where is the purchase of cheaper and what advantages and disadvantages have buyers expect?


The specialized trade scores above all with the possibility of being able to try devices directly on site. In this way, anyone can determine even before a purchase itself, whether a particular device complies with their own ideas or not. However, this is also the only real advantage for the retailer.

 

The Internet is especially convincing with significantly lower prices. Online shops can run their stores much cheaper than a retailer, as there are no costs for staff and expensive sales space.

 

The traders are happy to pass on the resulting benefits to their customers, and they have little choice. Only those who can offer low prices have a chance to compete on the internet. After all, anyone can search for the cheapest price with just a few mouse clicks.


The shopping in the Internet designed total also much more pleasant than in an ordinary shop. Nobody has to take account of any opening hours here. Gone are the days in which you are interested in buying a mobile phone after closing time must torment in the crowded city center.

 

Instead, you can just make yourself comfortable at home and then go shopping for a smartphone when it suits you best. Even in the middle of the night, on weekends or public holidays, that's no problem at all. Once ordered, your new smartphone will be delivered to your door, so you do not even have to leave your own four walls to buy.

 

Away from the actual purchase that offers Internet and extensive ways to protect yourself from the purchase independently about the qualities of smartphones to inform.


The history of smartphones

For many, the iPhone by Apple is considered the first smartphone ever. Steve Jobs is honored everywhere for this invention and all competitors are gladly dismissed as mere imitators. But it's not that easy. The basic idea of the smartphone is much older than the iPhone. Already in the early 1990s, there were considerations in this direction.


Probably the first smartphone ever was the Simon Personal Communicator, which came on the American market in 1994. It was a cell phone with resistive touchscreen, which had only a few functions. It mainly linked functions of a mobile phone and an organizer in one device.

 

At that time, more was not possible because the components were not nearly powerful enough for complex calculations. However, the then market leader Nokia reacted quickly and introduced in 1996 with the Nokia Communicator a small revolution. However, it was less the hardware that made it, but much more the software.


The devices from the Nokia Communicator series introduced for the first time the operating system Symbian, which was in terms of functionality and operation at that time clearly ahead of the competition.

 

Therefore, Symbian was able to quickly prevail against Palm OS and Windows Mobile and received only by Blackberry OS serious competition. By 2006, Nokia could not seriously affect anyone in this area.

 

The iPhone appeared only in 2007 and it was strictly speaking not a new invention. Capacitive touchscreens with multi-touch were available before, internet browsers were nothing new for cell phones, and MP3 players in a phone have been around since the 1990s.

 

Apple understood, however, to present all these functions in a completely new way, making the iPhone was also interesting for the mass market. Symbian devices, on the other hand, have been favored by business people and experts.

 

With its own iOS system, Apple introduced an operating system that was so easy to use that even non-professionals were never overwhelmed. The result was extremely high sales, which catapulted Apple after a few years to the top.


In the following time, all competitors oriented themselves on the model of Apple. Both Google's Android and Windows Phone ejaculated in many ways iOS, the competition also brought new features that were not to be found in the iPhone.

 

Even Nokia rolled Symbian thoroughly around and made it, among other things fit for use with a finger. However, this was not enough to consolidate one's own position. Nokia had to contend with declining sales and eventually had to completely withdraw when the mobile phone business was taken over by Microsoft.


The enormous hype surrounding smartphones caused a veritable boom in the industry. Almost every technology company in the world was involved in any way in developing for smartphones. Be it in the form of hardware components, cameras or software.

 

Today, users can enjoy extremely fast devices, some of which have 8 or more CPU cores. In addition, there were never more apps available. There is practically nothing for which there is not an app.

 

The future development is particularly exciting because at present there is a certain amount of innovation poverty. Although new devices are still appearing every year, they are no longer bringing the big changes, as was the case in the past. A renewed revolution in the style of the iPhone could once again completely remix the cards.


Numbers, data, facts about smartphones

hones are probably the most important technical devices at all. With their tremendous success they most likely even influence the market for classic PCs.

 

By 2018, there were already 1.86 billion smartphone users worldwide, nearly one- third of the world's population, and the value has since been on the rise.

 

Each year are more than one billion smartphones sold, generating a turnover of incredible 407 billion is earned. This corresponds approximately to the gross domestic product of Austria or South Africa.

 

In Germany today, the vast majority already have a smartphone. Statista last counted 49 million smartphone users in a population of 82 million.


Even if the count includes babies, toddlers and disabled persons, more than every second German citizen has a smartphone in his possession.

 

The probability of meeting a smartphone user on the street is thus higher than the opposite. The small appliances have long since conquered our everyday lives, both professionally and privately.

 

Experts estimate that by the year 2020 already 2.87 billion people use a smartphone.


This sits trend continues so rapidly advancing, so in less than could have ten years the half of mankind a smartphone have. Such a distribution did not previously reach comparable equipment category.

 

With operating systems, Android is in the lead with more than 80 percent worldwide. However, locally this value can also deviate strongly. The best-known example of this is the USA. Here are iPhones particularly popular, and Apple's iOS system comes to market share of about 40%.


Trends in the smartphone sector

Since the first smartphones to the developing trend of more and more devices with as large displays. The first iPhone offered only a diagonal of 3.5 inches and the first Android smartphones were moving at about this level. Devices with 5 inches or more appeared years later and were then considered exceptional devices.

 

Today, smartphones with a 5-inch display, however, are almost standard and there are even devices with up to 7 inches.


The large dimensions also bring some advantages that can’t be dismissed out of hand. Not only is there more space available for content, manufacturers can also install larger batteries and thus increase the useful life.


However, there are also users who are more critical of the trend towards ever-larger smartphones. Some manufacturers have recognized this for themselves and deliberately offer smartphones in mini-format.


What is marketed today as a mini, but is still significantly larger than high-end smartphones in the late 2000s? Depending on the manufacturer, screen diagonals of 4 to 4.7 inches are available, whereby the hardware hardly or not at all differs from the respective flagships.

 

Also strong in the trend are smartphones, which also for the outdoor area are suitable. Sony presented the Xperia Z for the first time a smartphone, which was protected despite premium design against dust and water. It was not long before other manufacturers followed suit.


With the corresponding smartphones, no one has to fear from using them in the rain today and also a use in the bathtub is now completely safe. If you want, you can even record movies or photos underwater.

 

The smartphones are also generally much more stable with such protection and often hold many years without significant problems.

 

A smartphone with outdoor features is a sensible investment for anyone who does not always want to touch their phone with kid gloves.


The smartphone is not working anymore: what to do?

The software in modern smartphones is no less complex than in a normal PC. For this reason, it can sometimes come to one or the other error. The worst-case scenario is that a device can’t be turned on at all. However, something can often be done so that the device does not have to be sent in extra.

 

The most helpful is usually a hard reset. The complete system is reset to the factory settings and can often be used without any problems after the procedure. The disadvantage, however, is that it also all files are lost.


If a smartphone can no longer be detected by a PC, the only escape is the recovery mode. In this user have access to some emergency functions and can also start the recovery. The mode can be reached in different ways depending on the model.


For an iPhone, the Home button and the Volume up button must be pressed simultaneously for five seconds. The procedure works the same way on Android smartphones with the Home button. If the latter is not present, only the volume up key is pressed until the recovery mode opens.

 

In many cases, may touch in the recovery not be used, you must with the buttons Volume up / down navigation and a selection with the power button to confirm.

 

If a smartphone can’t even be started in recovery mode, there is very likely a hardware defect. It is inevitable to send the device to the manufacturer for a repair or to think about the purchase of a new smartphone.


My Smartphone got damaged: What to do?

It happens again and again that it comes with a smartphone to damage. The devices fall from the hand and make acquaintance with the floor or they are forgotten in the back pocket or other.

 

In any case, this is no reason to panic. Modern smartphones are extremely resistant and do a lot with them before it comes to a defect. Damage can often be repaired in case of emergency.

 

Probably the worst case is water damage. If your smartphone has fallen into the sink or toilet, it does not have to be irreparably damaged. It is only important to switch off the device immediately and if possible to remove the battery.

 

Then let the phone dry for at least 24 hours and then try to turn it back on. Everything works; you have luck again and can use the device as normal.


Cosmetic damage to the housing or the display front can also be ignored in principle, as long as this does not restrict the function. However, those who do not want to accept the ugly appearance of damaged parts can easily replace them.

 

On the Internet, there are plenty of offers for suitable spare parts, for example, complete displays with a touch screen, housing and much more. The installation varies depending on the model even very simple, something complicated out.

 

Basically, we recommend such measures but only experienced users. If you are not so familiar, you prefer to have your smartphone repaired by an expert.

 

By the way, a repair does not always make sense for serious damage. Especially with defective batteries or logic boards, the cost of a repair is often higher than for the purchase of a new device.

 

Therefore, before a repair, check the cost and do not use the service if you also get a new smartphone for the same price.


Smartphone insurance: useful or not?

Due to the many known dangers, more and more retailers are offering so-called smartphone insurance. For small monthly amounts or a higher purchase price, users should be protected against multiple damages and theft. But is such a hedge even useful?


In most cases, you can save yourself smartphone insurance. Although convincing arguments such as extending the warranty or protecting against theft are often promised, it is not very helpful in practice. Especially the protection against theft is no longer up-to-date.

 

Stolen smartphones can now be easily located using IMEI and GPS anyway. Criminals know this too, which is why they rarely steal such devices and prefer to focus on things that are difficult to track.


Warranty extensions of three, four or five years are not useful even if you really want to keep your device that long. In the extremely fast-paced market of smartphones, the value of a device sinks rapidly. After three years, a former top model is only worth a fraction of its original sales value.

 

If it then comes to a loss, the spare parts are often available at extremely low prices and usually much cheaper than the price that is called for smartphone insurance.

 

Even the smallest advantages can be compared quickly with most smartphone insurance companies. For example, providers often promise equivalent replacement in the event of loss or theft, which means exactly "equivalent", but is sometimes designed very freely.

 

You will not always get a current top smartphone again. In addition, self-inflicted damage from insurance is not always covered and declining performance of batteries is excluded from almost all providers.


Some insurance is not helpful in case of emergency and only causes unnecessary costs.


Smartphone Operating systems at a glance

The operating system is the heart of every smartphone. At this point, we would like to briefly introduce the most important representatives and explain you the respective advantages and disadvantages.

 

Android

Android is by far the most widely used operating system. With the exception of Apple and Microsoft, all major manufacturers rely on this system and there are matching devices in both the high-end and for the low budget.

 

The widespread use of the fact that countless apps in the store can be found, moreover, the system is maintained by Google constantly and is therefore always in the amount of time. Of course, there are also some disadvantages.


Benefits of Android:

Many apps

Modern functions

Completely individually adjustable

Hardly any restrictions on memory cards and peripherals

An enormous variety of devices, there is something for every taste

Relatively simple operation

No additional software necessary

High compatibility thanks to recognized industry standards (USB, HDMI, etc.)


Disadvantages of Android:

High fragmentation, thus errors in some apps

Runs only with strong hardware liquid

Vulnerable to viruses and other malware

Updates for older devices are often no longer available


iOS

iOS is the system used on the iPhone and has been maintained by Apple since its release in 2007. The software convinces with modern functions, a large selection of apps and an extremely simple operation.


The biggest drawback is that iOS only for devices from Apple is available. However, this is also an advantage elsewhere.


Benefits of iOS:

Hardware and software almost perfectly interlocked, extremely smooth operation

Unaffected by viruses and malware

Large selection of apps

The very simple operation, even laymen get along easily

Updates also available for older devices

Excellent support from Apple


Disadvantages of iOS:

Only available on Apple devices, low device selection

By the user only limited configurable

Proprietary standards, some incompatibilities

iTunes compulsion for connection to PC or Mac


Windows phone

Although Windows Phone is considered a marginal phenomenon throughout the market, there is still a multitude of users of the system. Microsoft's software also has some advantages, but there is more than enough reason for legitimate criticism.


Advantages of Windows Phone:

Runs fast and smooth even with weak hardware

Unaffected by viruses and other malware

Constantly new updates for many older devices by Microsoft

Great potential for individualization

Good integration of cloud services

Good compatibility thanks to established industry standards (USB, HDMI, etc.)

Pretty big device selection from budget smartphone to high-end model

 

Disadvantages of Windows Phone:

Not up to date, lacks some features

Low selection of apps

Updates often dependent on the network operator

Sometimes confusing menus, the operation for beginners not easy


Care and cleaning

With a few tricks, the daily care and the regular cleaning is also very easy and takes only a little time.

 

When it comes to caring, it is important to always treat a smartphone well. So it should not be unprotected, for example, in the same bag with keys or other sharp-edged objects.

 

In the best case, it has its own sleeve or bag and is kept in your pocket. In this way, scratches and other damage can be effectively avoided.

 

A certain amount of pollution can hardly be avoided by frequent use alone. Fingerprints on the display can be quickly and easily removed with a microfibre cloth. It is therefore never wrong to always have one with you.

 

A thorough cleaning is possible with special cleaning agents that do not attack the touchscreen.

 

One option is for example glasses cleaning cloths. It is rich in, with these, the surfaces to be cleaned thoroughly to a smartphone back to the rays bring.

FAQ

What is actually an app?

An app is nothing but a program for a smartphone. It is no different from software for the PC. However, Apple introduced the term for software for the iPhone and since then, this has prevailed as a designation for mobile software. When talking about an app today, it usually means a program for smartphones and tablets.


What are app permissions?

Many apps require specific permissions to work properly. For example, Whatsapp needs to be able to access contacts in order to use them in their own software.


However, such information is only available to very few smartphones without demand. In many cases, the user must confirm the authorization. It's worth taking a closer look to avoid data theft.


What is a jailbreak or root?

It is possible the limitations of the manufacturer on a smartphone to get around. For this purpose, a jailbreak (iOS) or root (Android) is used. This is a kind of hack with which new software is installed. The user then has full access to the entire device.


This is especially interesting for experts who want to have access to the hardware of a smartphone. For the end user, it is hardly relevant today. Features that were previously reserved for users with root and jailbreak are now largely the standard repertoire of official operating systems.


Why am I not getting updates anymore?

Especially users of Android devices often wonder why new updates no longer appear. Whether there are such, always depends on the manufacturer. Google itself only supplies Nexus devices, otherwise, Samsung, Sony, LG, and Co. are responsible.


Unfortunately, devices that have sold only sparsely are often ignored, even if they only come on the market for a short time. If you do not receive any new updates, you have to blame the device manufacturer.


Owners of iPhones don’t have to be worried. Typically, Apple provides its devices with the updates for about four to five years.


Useful accessories

For smartphones, there is a wide range of accessories, which can be further improved use. A too flabby battery you can, for example, with a power bank to the jumps help. This allows the battery to charge on the go, making it possible to use it for several days without a power outlet.


With a bag or a case, a smartphone is optimally protected against possible damage or dirt. Especially with expensive models, a bag is almost mandatory, so that not even a few days unsightly scratches on the display can be seen.

 

Particularly pleasant calls can be made with an additional headset. Such is optionally available wirelessly. Users are happy to be able to make hands-free calls.

 

This makes it possible to focus on other things such as driving while on a call.

 

A good supplement for a smartphone is a so-called smartwatch. It is a wristwatch with built-in hardware that can emulate some features of a smartphone.


Incoming messages or calls, you can, for example, in some models to answer without the phone from the pocket to pick. In addition, the own device can be located by pressing a button.

 

These are just a few examples of the huge selection of smartphone accessories. There is almost nothing in this area that does not exist. Even special mice and keyboards are available. Such accessories are not always useful, but if you are looking for something, you will find it in most cases.