Phone technology is evolving quicker than any of us could have imagined.
Phone manufacturers are constantly adding features and capabilities, and models that are even a year old are often outdated. 2011 has already seen some tremendous new capabilities added to phones, and if you want to keep up with the latest technology, here are some things you should look for:
1. A better browser
Not all websites have mobile versions, so a mobile browser that can render and support full websites on a small screen is needed. To do that, the browser needs features such as pinch-to-zoom (which allows you to zoom in on text and images) and fast word lookups (so you can quickly Google highlighted words). And it should also support Flash, which is used on a lot of sites.
2. HD video recording
The mobile should have enough power to be able to record video at least at 720p. Speaking of which, it should also have at least a…
3. Five megapixel camera
You want to be able to take good photos with your phone, and having at least five megapixels complemented by an LED flash and image stabilisation will help you do that. Image stabilisation is especially useful, since phone pictures are so often taken one handed. Geotagging attaches a GPS reading to the image information, which lets you know exactly where the photo was taken.
4. Live widgets
Live widgets are apps that are embedded in your phone’s home screen, giving you a quick glimpse of the weather, your latest emails and tweets, as well as what’s hot on YouTube. They also allow you to customise the way your phone looks and works.
5. Social networking and news integration
Some of the best new phones give you fast access to all your social networking information in one place. They gather your Facebook messages, followed tweets and email messages and present them to you in a unified and simple interface, often embedded in the home screen. The phone should also give you a quick live view of your chosen news feeds, so you always know what’s happening in your world.
6. Media sharing
The phone should have a mechanism for sharing any media stored on the phone. Some very cool new phones can actually wirelessly share media stored on the phone over a network using DLNA. That means that your Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or DLNA-enabled TV set can actually stream the media directly from the phone to play on your big-screen TV, without you even having the plug the phone into anything.
7. Locally stored maps
Google Maps is great – especially if you have a constant internet connection and plenty of monthly download quota. If you don’t, however, having maps stored inside your handset means you don’t require an internet connection and don’t require you to wait as the maps download.
8. Solid design, but light and thin
Look for a phone with things like an aluminium shell and Gorilla Glass surface, which make the phone robust, but don’t add too much to the weight. The sweet spot for phones right now is really 130-150 grams.
9. A 1GHz processor
If the phone’s processor runs at less than 1GHz, it’s probably old technology, and may not be able to keep up with HD video or the latest powerful apps.
10. Long battery life
Don’t get a phone with a dud battery inside. Look for something with a minimum six-plus hours of 3G talk time and 300-plus hours of standby. Even better phones can be found with seven-plus hours of talk and 400-plus hours of standby.