Without beating about the bush, let’s start with the basics. And this is most easily answered if you try to answer the question, “Why do you need to buy a smartphone?”
In attempting to answer this question, the first thoughts are “the world is connected more and more to the internet, and a smartphone is the easiest way to be online.”
Now, if the reason is to be connected, and then it makes sense to understand why buying a used smartphone may not be a good idea.
An ordinary cellphone is basically used for 2 functions – calls and text messages.
Which means, the wear and tear of a regular device is limited to weathering it undergoes while it is in your pocket (or bag) and the times that you take it out to make calls or punch in the text message.
Ordinary cellphones would have a smaller screen, and tactile buttons for input.
They connect to the network using conventional 2G networks. All this means, the cellphone uses lesser energy from the battery to power up its hardware, software and remain connected through a day’s use. Thus, while typical smartphones undergo 1-2 charge cycles every day, ordinary cellphones will hold great charge for 2 to 3 days or more depending on usage. This means, that after 2 years, a typical smartphone will most probably be struggling to keep pace with user demands, while an ordinary cellphone will still keep you happy.
Smartphones get outdated much faster when compared to regular cellphones.
A smartphone is only as good as the applications it runs. Many people would like to start with the basic use of being able to access emails while on the move. In most cases, this should not be too much of a problem. Apart from the fact that push e-mail requires the phone to have always-on connectivity, which uses considerably more juice from the battery as compared to a cellphone that predominantly stays offline.
However, you should spend some time learning and reviewing applications you would possibly be using, before making your purchase.
Assess the operating system
If you are thinking about a used Apple handset, it may not be very difficult to know what operating system is running, and whether or not the handset supports the latest iOS or not. However, if you are stepping into the Android arena, you might have some difficulty learning what OS is being supported, as it varies by model and handset manufacturer.
What you need to understand is that application developers for iOS are constantly required to update their apps to support the latest OS. Hence, as we move forward, fewer applications support older environments. This means you might find yourself in the lurch, if you cannot use a simple application like WhatsApp, just because the developer has decided not to support an older operating environment.
In the case of Android, developers need to be more flexible. This is because the space remains largely fragmented, as most handset manufacturers offer their own versions of operating system for their devices. Updating the software frequently requires considerable investment, which many of them decide to keep away from, so long as the devices in the market are not suffering from serious glitches. While in the iOS space, you’ll find a larger section of people running the latest version of iOS. With Android, you will find a mix of everything from Gingerbread to Lollipop or nerwer running on a wide range of devices in the market, with many device manufacturers like Samsung and HTC offering their own versions of these operating systems with their devices.
One of the less considered factors, although still important, is the generation of network connectivity that a handset support. Modern day handsets are offering multiple connectivity options that include 2G, 3G, 4G LTE for cellular networks in addition to WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth options ranging from versions 1.0 through to version 4.0, one needs to be careful about the pricing and availability of the network in our region, and if we will be using the handset while traveling or pairing it to the audio systems in our living room or vehicle.
Faster and more modern networks are designed keeping in mind our personal use, data transfer, easier connectivity and lower power consumption. Which means, that a newer handset will retain more juice in the battery while offering better connectivity, and sometimes, it may even be more cost-effective if your service providers offers cheaper plans across a new-generation network.
Last but not the least, many of us would like to use our smartphones for added convenience and for the part they keep you up-to-date. Many people’s grandmother for example, would have probably never sat at a computer to browse the internet, apart from maybe a few Skype calls that someone in the family might have offered her to be a part of while talking overseas with the younger generations. But yes, she will be able to use a smartphone – primarily because it is so easy to use. Convenience just goes into another dimension, when devices offer near-field-communication (NFC) to make payments at the grocery store, or play games with your grandchildren who are sitting on the other side of the globe.
If you’re not on the smartphone bandwagon yet, you might want to consider the possibilities that latest technology will bring to your palm rather than settling in for an out-dated compromise.