Attention: Let this guide steer you away from "buyers remorse" by helping you choose the REAL best mobile for you.
To find the best mobile phone, you must consider your own particular needs. Here are the things to look for when considering the best mobile for you and your needs.
The Best Phones of 2013:
Samsung Galaxy S3
HTC One X
When searching for the best mobiles, finding the top rated ones is always a good idea. The mobile phone industry is so huge these days, that there are entire websites full of the latest mobile phone reviews, done by people whose very job it is to test these mobiles out and deliver the information, in the form or reviews, rankings and real world statistics to the public. To help save you some time, let's take a look at the top rated mobiles for 2013.
The S3 is loaded with features and the hardware to really showcase some brilliant Samsung ingenuity. They’ve taken their ‘inspired by nature’ ideal seriously, producing a phone which is beautiful and functional. It’s no surprise that the S3 is one of the top rated phones of 2013.
Although, the S3 has some stiff competition with the iPhone 5. Having only been released near the end of the year, the 5 made huge waves in its first weekend alone, selling an astounding 5 million preorders. Critics were split while the rumour mill was active, some loving the proposed design, other scoffing its lack of innovation. Regardless, the reviews have since been largely positive, despite a few hiccups along the way.
There are other top rated mobiles besides the two Samsung and Apple products available in 2013. HTC has also received very good reviews in 2012 with their HTC One X model being praised for its innovative audio capabilities featuring their partnership with Beats by Dre, the bass enhancing music program.
There may be subjective differences, as far as preferring a look or style of a certain mobile to ones that reviewers don't necessarily prefer, but as far as specs, function, reliability, and real world use, top rated mobiles will almost always be a great choice for deciding on the best mobile to buy.
To reiterate the point of narrowing down the best mobiles, let's have a look at the top five best reviewed mobile phones for 2013. Any of these mobiles would be a great choice to buy, but there are differences, and one of these mobiles may have features that you prefer over others in the list.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Of all the phones we’ve reviewed, the best mobile phone for 2013 is the Samsung Galaxy S3. Other reviewers also have called it the most complete top end mobile of 2012, and with good reason. Its large screen, Super AMOLED display, and Android operating system make it a fantastic all-rounder smartphone. The 4G model is fast and the battery is more than sufficient. Its popularity is well founded; the S3 is a truly marvelous phone and you won’t regret choosing it.
Coming in second is the iPhone 5. Previous models of iPhones have always been highly reviewed, but improvements in the newest model make it the best iPhone yet. The iPhone 5 boasts a larger screen than any previous iPhone which allows it to compete with other smartphones who have decided to go bigger with their displays. Each model of iPhone always receives superior marks for its craftsmanship, and the iPhone 5 is no different. The solid metal body makes it the most luxurious design of any mobile. Samsung and Apple mobiles seem to always receive great reviews, so it's not that surprising to see their Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 mobiles still reign as the best reviewed mobiles for 2013.
Google’s Nexus 4 is a newcomer here, having only been revealed near the end of the year, but it’s proving itself to be a serious contender. With Google Now and Photo Sphere, the first 360 degree panorama for mobile phones, it looks to be cementing its place in the top 5. It boast an impressive 320 ppi display nearing Apple’s retina display, an 8 MP camera, NFC and wireless charging. This quad core, 2 GB of RAM powerhouse should entice a fair few to Android’s latest iteration, 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Motorola Razr Max HD
It is surprising to see Motorola on the top five list of best reviewed mobiles this year. This is not to say that Motorola is an inferior mobile, just that it had lost its way a bit in recent years, failing to keep up with the top mobiles. They have made a commitment of getting back on track recently however, and their Motorola Razr Maxx HD is proof of that. Its incredible battery life immediately places it at the top of the pack in terms of reliability.
Nokia Lumia 920
Rounding out the top five list of best reviewed mobiles for 2013 is the Nokia Lumia 920. This is the only Windows OS mobile on the list, and the best Windows operated smartphone currently on the market. It features wireless charging capabilities and the most sensitive touch screen currently available among mobiles.
These handsets all have very different features and styles, but one thing they share is that they are the best reviewed mobile phones for 2013, making them a smart buy for anyone looking for a great mobile.
How Will You Use Your Phone?
How often will it be used?
Having an idea of how often you will use your mobile should be one of the first considerations to think about. If it will be used only for emergencies, and not very often throughout the week, it may make more sense to look at cheaper mobiles. There's no need to be spending over your budget for a mobile that will not be used on a regular basis. On the other hand, if you plan on using the mobile throughout most of the day and night, a higher priced mobile plan can be a justifiable and useful choice.
What are the uses for your mobile?
Another thing to consider is what you typically use your mobile for, and what you would like to use it for when getting a new model. If you notice that you are messaging a lot, you may want to find a mobile with a good physical or virtual keyboard. If you like to use social media sites a lot, you may want to look into a mobile that will have great internet connectivity and social media integration.
Overview of Features and Functions on a Mobile:
Is the Handset User Friendly?
One of the biggest challenges many people face in the transition from their older mobile to a newer model is the adjustment to the new user interface. In the current ages of the popular Android and iOS operating systems (also referred to as: OS), mobile usability and navigation is designed to be a lot more intuitive and user friendly for the user.
Two of the most popular smartphones on the market today, include the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. They are both very user friendly mobile devices, but the huge 4.8 inch touch screen on the S3 makes typing, executing commands, and using apps a breeze.
You’ll also find that S-Voice makes things a little simpler, the voice command feature allowing you to send texts, make calls and search the web without having to lift a finger. Apple’s Siri offers a similar, and arguably better, experience, but the S3 follows their voice command feature through to functions such as the camera - you can take a photo by simply saying ‘shoot’ or ‘smile’.
The entire phone was ‘Designed for Humans’, as Samsung’s ad campaign touts. From the curved pebble shape that feels comfortable in the hand, to the Smart Stay feature which will keep the screen lit up for as long as you’re looking at it and then put it to sleep when you look away. Samsung has really developed a handset that works for the average user and power user alike.
The Operating System:
The Samsung Galaxy S3 runs on the Google owned Android system which incorporates the use of widgets. With these widgets, you can pick and choose what information is displayed on your homescreen and shortcuts can moved around to your pleasure also - by manipulating and customising the system ultimately makes the handset much easier to manage and navigate for the user.
But if you don’t know how to access these features or are confused by how to do so, then they’re not really of all that much use to you, are they? Despite all the fancy new functions and modern features that the mobiles of today offer, they are only as good as the operating systems running them. This is why it is extremely important to find a mobile with a user friendly operating system, so that you can take full advantage of all the features your mobile offers without being frustrated by trying to figure out how to operate them.
For those unfamiliar with an operating system, it is the commanding program which drives all other programs, functions and apps on the phone. As soon as you turn on the phone, the OS will boot up and it’ll begin ‘driving’ your phone. When no other apps or programs are running on your phone, the OS will still be operational as it controls the functions required to run your phone. There are a variety of operating systems being used in the mobile market today, but the two most popular ones at the moment are Android and iOS.
In fact (according to Forbes, 2012), Android is the most widely used OS for modern smartphones on the market today - in the first half of 2012, Android accounted for 68% of all smartphones, with iOS (the Apple operating system) holding only a 17% share. Android has a distinct advantage in that it runs on a number of devices, whereas iOS only runs on the one line of Apple devices, the iPhone. Android is an open source Linux based system, which allows for coders around the world to work freely on it. While expert users will see this as a huge benefit (they can code and create their own programs and versions of the OS called ROMs). Add to this the fact that Android updates (fixes and improvements that Google makes to the OS and rolls out to users for download) are only released on a handset-by-handset and carrier-by-carrier basis - that is, not every handset can run every update and each carrier has to approve the update before they allow the public to download it - and we can see that an inexperienced user may have trouble using the Android system to its full potential.
iOS on the other hand is controlled exclusively by Apple. This leads to a much more restricted system, but it also makes it much simpler. There is also very little customisation in the iOS ecosystem which means that your experience on an iPhone will remain unchanged should you upgrade to a newer iPhone model. It will also transcend handsets and the experience on an iPad or iPod Touch will largely be the same.
You’ll also have to consider the apps available on each OS - both the Android Market and Apple’s App Store offer hundreds of thousands of games and apps, but Android has far less stringent screening processes and allows for downloads outside the official store, meaning that you may find yourself downloading malware unintentionally if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Any purchases you make in one OS app store will not translate into the other, i.e. if you buy a Google Play app, it won’t also be purchased in the Apple App Store and vice versa, even if it is the exact same ap by the same publishers.
Both operating systems have distinct advantages over the other, but for a novice in the smartphone market, iOS has a much more manageable learning curve and makes a great introduction. However, it should be noted that the iPhones which run iOS have a much steeper price point than some of the cheaper Android handsets.
Internet and Social Media Access
Most modern mobiles have at least some basic internet connectivity features, and many have as much connectivity as any home computer. Having access to the internet any time you have your mobile on can be a huge benefit. It will allow you to:
- Check your emails at your leisure or have them pushed to you with notifications
- Keep up with your friends and family via your social networks
- Stream movies, television shows and music
- Backup your data such as photos and files to the cloud
If you want or need any of these functions, you might consider getting a smartphone as they provide the easiest and fullest internet use of any mobile types.
A Music and Video player
Almost every mobile released today will offer some sort of music playback capability, and the mid to top range mobiles are just as good as standalone music players sold separately. Different manufacturers will often use different music software for their music playing options, but they all accomplish the same thing, which is to give the user access to their favourite songs to listen to any time. Advances in storage on mobiles such as the increasing use of cloud computing on smartphones such as the iPhone will often let you fit an entire library of music onto your mobile.
The World of Games and Apps
Another advantage modern mobiles can do is allow its users to play fun games and run entertaining downloadable programs or apps. Several of these games can be extremely fun and addictive, and apps range from flash lights for your mobile to organisational tools to help plan your day.
Mobile phones as early as the first widely used basic Nokia phones, to the top of the line smartphones today, provide some sort of gaming platform: from the block pixel Snake to hugely popular Angry Birds, there is a game on a mobile device that you’ll like.
Even if you are not a big gamer, you’ll find that each mobile has a range of apps, programs or functionalities that will help you with your day-to-day life or business needs - even the most basic phones will come preloaded with a calculator, contacts list and calculator. Smartphones will give you the option
to download a host of new and innovative apps that you can pick and choose to suit your own needs.
Back to Basics: Calls, Text and 3G/4G LTE
With all of the previously mentioned features, it's easy to forget the primary reason for owning a mobile, which is to make and receive voice calls. Modern technology has led to very crisp and clear call quality with most mobile phones, but it is true that some rank higher than others.
There are a few things to look out for:
Bandwidth Compatibility - Some phones will only run on certain network bandwidths and their connectivity will be limited. If you need fast internet, consider a phone that is 3G/4G LTE capable.
The Network Strength - Each carrier is different to another and the signal strength of each will determine if your calls drop out, have poor sound or can’t go through at all.
A host of these considerations will mean very little if you have problems while actually making calls.
Mobiles offering the most coverage
Mobiles of today aren't limited to just one mode of connection, and the top rated mobiles offering the most coverage are truly remarkable devices. Most older mobiles only had one form of coverage or connection. However, today's top rated mobiles have multiple coverage options that make sure there is almost always a way to connect.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 4G model and the iPhone 5 are 4G capable , if you sign up to a carrier which provides your area with 4G LTE coverage. They will also have 3G, 2G and wi-fi connectivity depending on availability and your settings.
This year the 4G network has received much attention and has built a lot of awareness of its benefits and so, many people are opting to use this latest network. Continuous updates and maintenance on the system are evolving the 4G network which is coming closer to becoming a solid network.
If you live in a very high population city area, sometimes the network may seem slow during peak hours; this happens because a lot of people are trying to access the same data point and so the data is split among everyone who is accessing it, giving each person a smaller allotment and therefore slower speed. Even so, with the ever expanding 4G network and the current 3G coverage being quite excellent with some of the big carriers, your mobile internet speeds should be fast and reliable.
Top 4G Mobiles:
The newest and most talked about network is the 4G network, and the top 4G mobiles have to be the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 4G, and the HTC Titan. Mobile networks have to simultaneously improve to offer the fastest data speeds to best accommodate these faster mobiles. 2G and Edge networks were two of the first high speed networks that really took advantage of this increased need for data connectivity and speed. When mobiles progressed even further and the world became familiar with the first high powered smartphones, a new 3G network emerged that was widely popular at the time.
The 4G network offers higher data speeds than the 3G network, and will eventually leave the original 2G obsolete. The first mobile with 4G capability released in Australia was the HTC Velocity 4G, and HTC soon improved upon this model with their incredibly fast HTC Titan 4G. Other mobiles soon followed, with the most popular ones being the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 4G.
The Galaxy S3 4G takes full advantage of the 4G network and offers blistering speeds of up to 42 Mbps. With the majority of mobile phones purchased through two year contracts, it is very important to consider getting a mobile with 4G network capabilities, as this will be the standard network for top tier mobiles in the future, and you don't want to get left behind. When looking for the best 4G mobile, the Galaxy S3 4G, iPhone 5 and HTC Titan are all top tier, solid choices.
Screen and Display Types:
You’ll find that many high-end smartphones on the market feature large, vibrant touchscreens which take up a large portion of the front of the phone. While they may look similar to one another, the screens used in these phones actually come in a variety of types.
TFT & IPS LCD:
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and it works as liquid crystals sandwiched between layers of glass and film modulate the light emitted from a backlight source composed of electrodes. The technology has since been evolved with TFT (Thin Film Transistor) technology, making the images better and allowing for higher resolutions. You’ll find TFT screens in lower end smartphones and budget phones, but a major drawback of the technology is the poor visibility in direct sunlight and the limited viewing angles (looking at a TFT LCD from a side angle, the image can appear darkened or not be seen at all).
Another improvement on the technology, IPS (In-Plane Switching), negates the narrow viewing angle problem and lowers the amount of power that the screens consume. You’ll find IPS LCD screens in higher end smart phones such as the iPhone. Variations on the LCD screen exist beyond these, with the HTC One X’s Super LCD 2 screen also providing astounding visuals.
OLED and AMOLED:
Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED, technology layers an organic, carbon based material between two conduction sheets sandwiched by glass. When electricity passes between the two sheets, the organic material produces light. OLED screens are generally better than normal LCD screens as they can produce varying intensities of light, usually showing up brighter images, better colours and can be much lighter as there is no backlight source.
AM(Active Matrix)OLED displays further the benefits of an OLED screen. Chief among these is the fact that, if an area of the screen shows up as black, no electricity is being used in that part of the screen. This means that AMOLED displays can show up intense blacks on screen while saving power at the same time. Because of this, they are fast becoming the screen of choice for higher-end phones.
Super AMOLED displays
Manufactured by Samsung and featured in the Samsung Galaxy S3, Super AMOLED screens built the touch sensors into the display itself rather than as a separate touch layer. As with the In-Cell LCD, this makes the light emitted produce better images on screen. It also makes the display thinner, allowing for a lighter, thinner phone overall. Super AMOLED is also much more responsive than traditional AMOLED screens.
Retina Display is Apple’s term for the resolution of their phone. By packing 326 pixels per inch (ppi) onto the screen, they’ve made it so that the human eye cannot distinguish between each individual light emitter on the display. Thus, the iPhone 4 onwards can produce some of the most astoundingly clear images of any smartphone.
With the screen of a phone being a predominant feature, durability and fragility are two factors that you should consider. Gorilla Glass is an alkali-aluminosilicate glass that can withstand scratches, drops and bumps that most everyday mobile users can throw at it. Even so, it is still glass and can break or shatter. Gorilla Glass 2 is an improvement upon the original and can offer your phone more protection.
The introduction of the iPhone 5 has seen an advancement in LCD screen technology. In-cell touchscreens integrate the touch sensors into the design of the LCD screen itself, meaning that there are fewer layers of glass and ITO conductive material between the light being emitted and the images we see on screen. Because of this, the iPhone 5 has clear, crisp and dynamic visuals while still retaining a functioning touchscreen.
Resistive Touchscreen LCD
Lower-end touchscreen phones will use resistive touchscreen LCDs. These use two conductive layers with a gap between to act as resistance. When a finger or stylus makes a circuit with these two layers, the point is registered by the mobile’s processor. They aren’t nearly as responsive as capacitive touchscreens and will largely involve a stylus to make them work accurately.
Capacitive Touchscreen LCD
Capacitive touchscreens use ITO conductors (Indium Tin Oxide) which is transparent and can thus be used on top of the screen, making them much more responsive to human touch. They are used in many of the mid- to high-range phones on the market.
Physical Keyboards versus Touchscreens
For those who like the more traditional feel of touching raised buttons when typing, a mobile with a physical keyboard may be the right choice. This can also be a great choice for people who have trouble with touch screens, which the majority of top rated mobiles without keyboards use. Many mobiles with raised buttons for typing have smaller screens than their counterparts because of the space the physical buttons take up on the mobile, but there are some devices out there with slide out keyboards. There are even some mobiles that use both touch screen technology as well as physical buttons.
If you do choose to go with a physical keyboard, keep in mind that dust and dirt can get stuck in between the keys and that the keys themselves will wear out with use. Inversely, if you choose to go with a touchscreen, you’ve got to consider that they can be prone to shattering if not handled carefully but working in tandem with the smartphone technology offers features such as shortcuts for its users on the android platform.
Design, Durability and Dimensions
Design and Style:
While design is largely subjective, it cannot be denied that Apple have taken style to a whole new level with their iPhone 5. The level of craftsmanship that is put into its design is leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors. While other mobiles are made primarily with plastics and have a sort of cheap feel, the iPhone 5 is made of anodised or brushed aluminium and glass with round solid metal buttons that give the mobile a luxury item feel that other mobiles lack.
Manufacturing the body of the iPhone 5 is more of an art than a process: two 29 megapixel cameras photograph each casing and match it to the perfect inlay, picked out of 725 unique options to find the best fit. Even the chamfer is engineered with almost ludicrous zeal; the bevelled edge is cut by a crystalline diamond.
The iPhone 5 is also very slim, measuring in at only 7.6mm thick - that’s almost 12% thinner than the S3 and 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S. It’s also incredibly light - 20% lighter than its predecessor, the 4S, and 15.8% lighter than it’s main competitor, the Galaxy S3.
Apple has long been the leader as far as the aesthetics of smartphones go, and they continue that trend with their latest iPhone 5, which is the mobile with the hottest design available currently. If design style is a feature that ranks high on your list, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 5.
Durability of the phone’s body
If you’re going to be handling your phone rough, you’ll have to consider the sort of beating the device can take. While many smartphones on the market today are quite fragile, thanks in large part to plastic bodies and large, glass screens, many manufacturers make cases and covers that will help protect your investment.
Dimensions: Shape and Size
When you’re looking into which phone you want to get, form factor will be a huge deciding factor on your final decision. Here are the basic phone shapes you’ve got to choose from:
The ‘bar’ form is so called because the phone is just that, a bar. It is characterised by a simple rectangular shape, often smoothed out by rounded corners or edges. A lot of the current smartphones and basic phones will fall into this category.
The ‘flip’ phone describes any phone with two separate pieces for the screen and keyboard, joined by a hinge joint. The screen and keyboard would then fold closed, often with a smaller screen or notification light on the outer side of the phone. While not very popular now, the flip phone allowed for large screens and keyboards without having to enlarge the overall size of the phone drastically. They also protected the glass of the screen and the keys were safe from dust.
‘Slider’ and ‘swivel’ phones are defined by having two distinct sections, the screen stacked on top of the keyboard or some type of keypad. In slider phones, the bottom section slides out to reveal the keys. In a swivel phone, the top screen spins out and into place, thus showing the keys.
Shape isn’t the only factor to consider about the way your phone looks and feels. You’ll also have to look at size and weight. In most cases, weight will largely boil down to how old your phone is (older phone models tend to be heavier) or how much battery life you want (larger battery capacities will make the phone heavier).
When deciding on size, the screen is measured in diagonal inches across, from one corner to the one opposite. A 4 inch screen on one phone may be taller or wider on another - with this you’ll have to consider the physical dimensions of the phone as well. Keep the size of your hands in mind when you’re picking your mobile phone - you don’t want a gigantic screen if it means you’ll have to fumble with it when you use it because you have small hands.
The camera phone has allowed us an unparalleled age of sharing - we can now post pictures of us at the beach, out to dinner or down at the pub in real time so that all our family and friends can share in the moment, even if they are half a world away. Even the most basic of modern mobiles usually have a camera feature, so the question really isn't whether or not you would like a mobile with a camera, but just what quality of camera you would like on your mobile. If a simple point and shoot feature is fine for the occasional picture, then you might just concentrate on the other features of mobiles you are looking for. On the other hand, if you love taking pictures then you may want to look for a mobile with state of the art camera technology, like dual LED flashes, video recording capability, a high megapixel count, and more. In fact, some mobiles can provide pictures that are just as good as many mid-priced dedicated digital cameras.
The camera features of mobiles have come a long way in recent years, and Nokia's 808 PureView is the highest quality camera phone currently available today. When mobiles first started adding a camera feature to their design it was almost more of a novelty feature, and the picture quality was nowhere near as good as standalone point and shoot cameras of the time.
As bigger lenses, more powerful processors, and overall advancement in micro camera technology increased, mobiles started showing incredible performance with their cameras that could compete with similarly priced standalone digital cameras of the day. This is especially true today, with mobiles like the Galaxy S3, Nokia's Lumia 920, and the iPhone 5 offering high quality 8MP cameras that render beautifully.
While the previous top mobiles boasted very impressive 8MP cameras, the 808 PureView utilises a 41MP camera. This mobile also utilises a much larger lens than standard mobile camera lenses to better capture image clarity.
41 MP may seem like overkill, and it is normally, but the innovative ‘oversampling’ function Nokia have featured here makes it worthwhile: oversampling works by taking a certain amount of pixels in the full resolution image (7 if you’re shooting in automatic mode) and combines them into one super pixel - this makes zooming in on an image much more accurate and the resultant lower MP image will be far greater than if the lower MP had been used during shooting initially. Be warned though: taking full resolution images on the 808 Pureview will fill up the phone’s internal storage lightning quick!
If all you’re looking for is a great camera phone, the Nokia 808 PureView is for you. Bear in mind that you’ll be sacrificing a lot of other things for this fantastic camera - the 808 PureView is bulky and runs on the largely defunct Nokia Symbian OS.
The battery should be another feature considered when choosing the best mobile phone for you. So if you plan to use multimedia features of your mobile throughout the day and night, you are going to want to look for a phone that has a powerful battery that can get you through the day without a recharge. If you use your mobile less often this may not be as much of a consideration.
A long battery life is essential when it comes to using a mobile and all its features throughout the day, and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD has the longest battery life of all the new mobiles out. In former mobiles battery life was not a top priority of concern when choosing a handset device. This is because voice calls, and even standard text messaging didn't drain a lot of a mobile's battery.
However, today there has been a massive shift of importance on battery life, mobile phones eat through battery charges rapidly, thanks mostly to:
- 4G LTE & 3G
- Constant internet connectivity
- Multitasking - running more than one app or program at a time
- Background apps and settings like push email and notifications
It is not unusual for people to have their mobile's battery charger on hand for the inevitable recharge sometime during the day.
That's why it's refreshing to see a battery as powerful as the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD's battery. It utilises a non-removable 3,300 mAh battery that blows away the competition in battery life. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy S3 offers a removable battery that can be upgraded. Increasing the juice on your android can by improved by optimising the way the phone is used and managed through applications. Another option is to purchase a second battery and keep it handy, just in case you do run out and need to swap it on the fly.
The much praised Samsung Galaxy S3 allows for a talk time of a little under 11 hours. The Maxx HD's predecessor, the very powerful Razr HD got an incredible 14 hour plus talk time. The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD sets a new bar in battery life performance allowing for almost 18 hours of continuous talk time. This is the best result of any smartphone ever. The battery also allows for over nine hours of video streaming, compared to seven hours for the original Razr, and roughly six for the S3. Although, this bump in battery life comes at a price - the Maxx HD is quite bulky and heavy, 9mm thick and 145g. With the longest battery life of any smartphone, users will never have to worry about a midday charge being necessary when owning the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD.
Digital Storage Options
If you are the type of person who is going to store entire libraries of pictures, videos, apps, and music, you are going to want a mobile with as much storage as possible.
The iPhone comes in 16/32/64 GB variants so you can choose how much storage you need. Other handsets follow a similar path, the Galaxy S3 currently offering Australians 16 or 32 GB, with a 64 GB available internationally and the HTC One X upgrade, the One X+ also offering up to 64 GB storage.
Truth be told, 64 GB should be enough phone memory for most any user, but if you find yourself needing more, you’ll want to go with the Galaxy S3 or any other handset that features a micro SD slot - with this one feature, you can expand your handset’s memory with another massive 64 GB for a colossal total of 128 GB - that’s more than computers a few years ago were capable of.
You can even go a step further with cloud storage. Most smartphones will have an app that will offer you varying levels of digital storage space accessible via the internet. iCloud with the iPhone is the prominent Apple cloud computing solution, Other examples include: Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive.
Speed and Processing Power
The ever increasing speeds and power of mobile processors make it very difficult to judge which is the best, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 currently holds the title of mobile with the fastest processor on the market. The processor is arguably the most essential part of any smartphone, as it acts as the brains of the mobile and runs every single feature used on the device.
Single core processors, used on older mobiles, no longer offer the power needed for today's mobiles. Dual core processors are in several new mobiles today, and to use the previous analogy they act as two brains for the mobile splitting processing duties for a faster and smoother experience.
The iPhone 5 is one of the best examples of a fast dual core processor. Quad core processors are available in several mobiles today as well. These incredibly high speed quad core processors can be found in the HTC One X, the LG Optimus G, and the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung currently produces the mobile with the fastest processor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which uses a quad core processor that functions at 1.6GHz, about .2GHz faster than its already powerful quad core S3 processor.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is also .1GHz faster than the quad core processors used in both the HTC One X and the LG Optimus G. The speeds are so close together that any of these quad core processor mobiles would satisfy someone looking for a fast mobile, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is technically the fastest of the bunch at this point in time.
Despite the hardware specifications, a fast processor does not always equal a fast phone. A true test of real-world capabilities is the benchmark figures that each handset can boast when tested. In this regard, the fastest phone is the LG Nexus 4 which runs a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1.5 GHz.
An excellent example of why this happens is the iPhone 5. Despite only having a dual core processor, the A6 chip was custom designed by Apple to work in harmony with iOS 6 - the OS that ships with the iPhone 5 - meaning that the capabilities of the hardware are used to their full extent. This makes the iPhone 5 much faster than other dual core 1.3 GHz handsets.
Smartphone - 2013
Basic Phone - 2013
Smartphone - All Time
Basic Phone - All Time
The Best Selling Phones:
When you’re considering which mobile phone to buy, it sometimes helps to know what other people have bought. In that vein of thought, it might be helpful to know which phones the most people bought.
The top two selling smart phones of 2013 still remain with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone 5. Technically, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best seller of 2012, having shipped out 18 million of these devices in the 3rd quarter of 2012, making it the first time that Samsung has reportedly had a smartphone that outsold the iPhone. Keep in mind that, while Samsung provides the amount of phones shipped, it doesn’t specify how many of those were actually sold - many of them may still be sitting in carrier stores or on shelves. Regardless, the battle is not over yet. Some analysts believe that the iPhone 5 should close out the year with higher 4th quarter sales, putting them ahead of Samsung once again for the year. Regardless of which of the two smartphones ends up coming out on top, customers can't go wrong in choosing either of these mobiles.
Nokia is the manufacturer of 2012's best-selling basic mobile phone, the Asha. It typically costs $49 globally, which accounts for its high popularity among those not looking for a smartphone but still looking for a reliable mobile. While there are similarly priced basic mobiles available from other manufacturers, Nokia's track record as the world's most trusted mobile manufacturer has led the majority of consumers to go with their Asha model coming to the end of 2012.
The Asha has sold an astonishing 70 million plus units each quarter in 2012, making it the best-selling basic mobile of 2012-2013. It is a no frills mobile, with little in the way of added features, but is a very solid and sturdy device that handles voice calls and text messaging very well, and has a sleek style. With Nokia's track record for selling a lot of basic mobiles throughout the world, it should come as no shock that they are leading the way as the top seller of a basic mobile in 2012. Even so, with the low price point of these basic handsets, Nokia's profit margin on these sales still means that the European company isn't in the same league as either Samsung or Apple.
It is hard to come up with specific numbers when judging which smartphone is the best-selling of all time. Some companies don't differentiate between their smartphones and basic phones when compiling sales reports, and some people argue about which mobiles can correctly be considered a smartphone. When all the research was compiled however, it became clear that the BlackBerry is the most widely sold smartphone of all time. BlackBerry has sold more than 150 million units.
The reasons behind this are pretty clear. They were one of the first manufacturers to release a well-tested smartphone, and initially marketed them towards the business minded, which resulted in many companies purchasing these for their own offices. While the company has not been as strong in recent years, they plan to make strides soon to keep their name in the history books as the manufacturer of the best-selling smartphone of all time.
Nokia holds the record for most phones ever sold with their Nokia 1100 mobile. More than 250 million Nokia 1100s have been sold, making it the number one selling mobile of all time, and will probably be secure with that record for the foreseeable future. Launched in 2003, there was actually nothing particularly innovative or creative about the mobile.
As a matter of fact, many mobiles that came out during the same era boasted new colour screens, camera options, and other features. The Nokia 1100 had none of that. Interestingly, this may have been what led it to become the highest selling mobile of all time. Because it had very little in the way of extra features, it was very modestly priced, but at the same time performed the few functions it did have very well. The Nokia 1100 is an example of how a mobile that is cheaply priced and offers solid service can sometimes even beat the fanciest mobiles with all of their new features.
Which Is The Best Phone For You?
If you aren’t careful with the phone you pick now, you might be stuck with a handset you don’t like or doesn’t do what you need it to for the next two years. Even if you buy outright, you’ll be losing a lot of money, all because you haven’t considered which phone is best for your needs.
For someone who doesn’t use their phone a lot or who won’t require a lot of extra features, a basic phone is the way to go. Many of them still have the basic music players, radio, phone functions and a camera, but will be more limited in terms of internet connectivity.
If you want more but are new to the smartphone scene, you might want to take a seat in the iPhone 5 corner - the learning curve is much more manageable and you’ll be guaranteed to have app support that will suit you. If you already have any Apple products, an iPhone can supplement them quite nicely and the transition from one product to the iPhone will be simple and painless.
If you’re a bit of a power user and you know your way around a phone or computer already, an Android phone will likely provide you with more options and a better overall experience. For that, a Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X will suit you the best.
Whether you value a camera on your phone or 4G LTE data speeds, the phone that is best for you will vary. Make sure that you consider all of these things before you pick which mobile phone to buy.
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