Looking at a smartphone

smartphones-pileThere are so many brands and so many specifications and features that it makes your head spin just thinking about what is the right choice for one.

Moreover, we have different needs and preferences when it comes actual usage of such a device, often dictated by user’s age, occupation, and lifestyle choices.

smartphonesI am going try to imagine what may be important to a Senior when looking at likely phone candidates, so assuming that the phone in mind of the buyer should  be able to take a photo, have a screen of about 5” with a decent resolution and of course be easily handled for the phone duty as the major requirements, then a comparison of specs will be a bit easier.

With the many specifications  for the tech literate to juggle with like speed and architecture of processor, number of cores, RAM details, storage fixed and expandable,  details of camera quality, size of aperture, video resolution, flash type and and and…. and battery life, charging time, and much more.

Since these specs change rapidly with every new model of every brand, it is indeed difficult to keep up with and make any sensible comparison for the purpose of choosing the ideal phone just for you, instead I’ll look at just a few things that hopefully will make your choosing your next phone a bit easier.

smartphones Samsung-Galaxy-S6-vs-LG-G3-660x400First and foremost is the screen. Our eyesight is no longer 20/20, but even with perfect eyesight a display – measured in pixels per inch – is 876ppi at a distance of 10cm or 4” which also happens to be the closest for focusing that the eye can get. Now you have seen all the advertising of displays on the latest phones reaching up to more than 2500ppi, many at 1080ppi similar to your TV screen. Consequently the best you may ever need on your smartphone display is around 720ppi. But do try  different phone displays before you decide.

Secondly, your friendly sales person will talk to you about displays of LCD, IPS, AMOLED,OLED and even Super AMOLED. What does it all mean.

LCD = Liquid Crystal display. IPS LCD gets you better viewing angles and a bit easier to read in sunlight. OLED = Organic light emitting diode also is better in sunlight with better contrast, but ages and dulls slowly though may well outlast your time of ownership.

AMOLED = active matrix of OLED has higher refresh rates than the passive matrix OLED and saves on power. However in direct sunlight it is not as good as LCD displays.

curved LG phoneWe also now have curved displays supposed to give a better viewing experience with fewer distortions and reflections. Actually, in general terms don’t expose your phone display to sunlight that may damage it, and don’t leave it switched on forever as that may cause discolouration of the screen through uneven pixel usage.

Lastly,  screen size. If it is larger than 5.5” then you may find that the microphone is too far away from your mouth and cause your listener to wonder what happened to your crystal clear voice, but with a curved screen that problem may not arise.

How to clean the finger-marks from the screen. Use a microfibre cloth to gently wipe the screen, and if marks are still there wipe with a damp cloth. Careful now, remove battery first, if possible, to avoid shorting, unless your phone is waterproof. Never use cleaning fluids.

Have fun with your phone and if you need help – well Kapiti SeniorNet is here. We may not know everything about all the different makes, but we can usually find out enough to get you out of trouble.