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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Great New Features On Mobile Phones


The vast majority of people only shop for a new mobile phone every two years. This is understandable, given that a mobile phone is a big investment of us. But mobile technology changes fast, and if you're just now shopping for a new phone, the chances are that things have changed a bit since the last time that you shopped. Today we're talking about some of the features we're seeing on the latest mobile phones, to help you understand what you're shopping for. So, before you decide on a new phone, you might want to make sure that your mobile has some of these great new features.

The Latest Mobile Phones are 4G

Probably the biggest recent revolution in mobile phone technology is the advent of 4G. 4G is a new mobile internet option that offers speeds up to ten times faster than those of traditional 3G internet connections. Many of the latest mobile phones are 4G capable, which you'll see indicated by the suffix LTE after the model name. There are a couple of things that you should know about 4G before investing in it though. Firstly, you will need a special 4G data plan from your operator, otherwise your phone will connect to 3G by default. Not all operators have these plans, and they do tend to be expensive. Plus, there are still some areas in the UK that don't have 4G coverage, so you'll need to check to see if you are able to connect to a 4G network or not.

All about Screens

Not so long ago the priority for many mobile shoppers was getting a device that was as small as possible. Since the advent of touch screen phones though, all that has changed. The thing about a touch screen is that it needs to be big. This is not just for your viewing pleasure, but it's also because you need to be able to type comfortably on an on screen keyboard, and to read emails and web pages without zooming and scrolling all the time. And screens just keep getting bigger. Many high end new releases now have five inch screens. This of course makes phones a little less portable, they're no longer quite as easy to slide into your pocket. But a bigger screen does make using your phone a little easier and more comfortable. Also, smart screens are beginning to make an appearance on the consumer mobile market. These screens make use of the front facing camera on a phone to track the users eye movement. This information is used to stop the phone going into hibernation mode and switching off the screen whilst you're looking at it, even if there's no other input. And some smart screens can even use your eye movement to scroll pages up and down as you're reading, so you don't even need to touch the screen.

Internal Memory Issues

Internal memory used to be a big issue for mobile manufacturers, and to some extent it still is. The amount of internal memory on your phone will determine how much data you can store on your device. If you want lots of music, photos, games and apps on your phone, you're going to need lots of internal memory. Or are you? There's a growing trend amongst consumers these days to use cloud storage services. And if you have a Drop Box account, for example, you can just store your music there and access it over your phone's 3G (or 4G) internet connection when you need it, rather than keeping everything on your phone. Also, many mobile models are starting to come with Micro SD card slots. This allows you to buy a cheap memory card and insert it into your phone to expand your device's memory. Memory is expensive on a phone, just look at the price difference between a 16 GB iPhone 5 and a 64 GB iPhone 5, and less and less people are willing to pay for it. It's true that many top end phones are getting big internal memories, but it's unlikely that this is going to continue for long because it's simply not really necessary.

More Power

Obviously a processor is an important part of your mobile phone. It's like the engine in your car, and the faster it is, the faster your phone will be. Processor sizes on new phones are edging closer and closer to the 2 GHz mark, but is all that power really necessary? To the average user, probably not. A normal phone user using their phone for average tasks is going to see no noticeable difference in speed between a phone with a 1.2 GHz processor and a phone with a 1.5 GHz processor. Sure, high end users might notice, but only if they're using some extremely intensive programmes, things like video or photo editing software. In the future, as software for phones gets better and more involved, these big processors are going to be great. But just at the moment they're not really terribly necessary.

Mobile Cameras

One area that hasn't changed that much is mobile cameras. The standard camera size is still around 8 MP. Some top end models, notably Sony's new Xperia Z, have bigger 13 MP cameras, but not that many. Maybe a more noticeable difference is the number of phones these days that are coming with two cameras. It's not usual to have both a front and rear facing camera on a phone. Rear facing cameras tend to be the high resolution ones, still averaging around 8 MP, and used for photography. Front facing cameras are lower resolution, usually only around 2 MP or so. These front cameras are used for smart screen eye tracking, but also for video conferencing, so they don't need to be quite as high resolution since they're generally not used much for photography. Not all phones are going to come with two cameras, but it is starting to become standard, so it might be something that you want to keep an eye out for.

Sam Jones was interested in the latest mobile phones as he liked to stay up to date.  He knew that he could find exactly what he needed at the touch of a button on sites like uSwitch.

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