Tech Insider: 4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Smartphone - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

The smartphone marketplace has gotten extremely crowded and competitive over the last year. This summer alone there has been a lot of news and reviews about the newer smartphone releases. Apple released the iPhone 4 in June; this week Research in Motion announced that the Torch 9800 will be available August 12 with a new BlackBerry 6 Operating System for it and for older BlackBerry phones; and last June Google launched the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system with flash that works on 4G networks.

Because they are thought of as hand-held computers integrated with mobile phones, smartphones help us to live efficiently and stay connected perpetually; an advantage for busy professionals and entrepreneurs. This week on Tech Insider we talked to Wayne Sutton, a social media and technology blogger about four things you need to take into consideration if you’re in the market to upgrade your mobile phone.

– Related reading: Photo Gallery: Droid X vs. iPhone 4

Your desktop platform. How easily does the mobile phone communicate with your desktop platform? If you’re a Window’s guy you might want to consider a Window’s phone, but if you’re a Mac user, you might want an iPhone, says Sutton. If you decide to go with something different, determine how will you get your contacts and data from your mobile device to your computer? Will you have to install software in order to sync your phone to your desktop computer or laptop? Can you sync them over web-based storage software?

The usability of the operating system. How many steps does it take to complete your core actions? Will you have simple mobile or full mobile web access? How many apps are available to you through the OS? Apple has the largest app store, but apps on the Android OS are increasing steadily. Depending on the phone, apps can also be purchased at the BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Palm App Catalog and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Before you buy a mobile phone check each store to see which has apps that are more relevant to your needs, says Sutton.

Multimedia capabilities. Can you easily take a photo and send it to your social networks? Can you easily shoot a video and upload it to YouTube? If you’re going to spend $200 dollars or more on a phone, you want to make sure the camera has the most updated features, says Sutton. Five megapixels are standard for the newer camera phones but several including the Sony Ericsson C905 and the Samsung Memoir both have capabilities of 8mp and up.

Fast data connection. 4G is being marketed as faster then any other connection in the USA on the market. It is important for uploading and downloading content with speed and consistency. Sprint is said to have the only 4G network in select cities with 10-12 megabits per second. T-mobile has launched High Speed Packet Access plus, which has a 4G-like connection in limited cities that PC Magazine rates as faster than Sprint’s 4G. AT&T and Verizon are still using 3G networks, but they are also working to upgrade to 4G-like speeds.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.