Smartphones Buying Guide

A smartphone is a hybrid device that has all the features of a mobile phone and most of the features of a PDA such as calendar, e-mail, Web browsing and office applications. Here's what to look for when buying one.

What is a smartphone?Sony Ericsson P91i A smartphone is a hybrid device that has all the features of a mobile phone and most of the features of a PDA such as calendar, e-mail, Web browser and office applications. Smartphones are one of the fastest growing segments of the consumer devices market. With 3G and HSDPA services, smartphones can be used to browse the Web.

Smartphones offer keyboards and/or touch screens for data input, and like PDAs they can synchronise with a desktop computer. Screen sizes and resolutions are designed for viewing documents, reading e-mails and browsing the Web. Memory capacity varies between devices, but expansion cards can give up to 8GB of external storage capacity. Battery life is dependent upon the operating system, hours of use and add-ons.

Most smartphones have at least a 2-megapixel camera and can take still and moving images. The inclusion of MP3 and video players is standard in new devices. Software such as travel itineraries, games and ebook readers and hardware inclusions such as GPS receivers can be used to build the smartphone into a single, personalised, feature-rich device.

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