What smartphone should I buy?

By Pedro Sanchez

Looking for an upgrade? Have you lost your smartphone? Let me show you the best smartphones of 2013.

What smartphone should I buy?

In today’s world, there are so many devices that people use in their daily lives that are of great importance to them. Most people from our generation cannot fathom life without their smartphones. Our smartphones have everything; our calculators, our notes, our Facebook, our Snapchat, our phone numbers; we store a big chunk of data in a small device that goes in our pocket. The crisis occurs when we don’t know what smartphone we want to buy, or, heaven forbid, we lost it and are looking to buy a new one.

Which one should you buy?

I’ve pulled out some of the most mainstream smartphones from different companies to give you a brief overview of what they each offer for your smartphone needs. We’re going to be looking at 4 different smartphones: the iPhone 5S by Apple, the Galaxy S4 by Samsung, the Nexus 5 by Google, and the HTC One by HTC. They each bring similarities and differences to the table. Let’s start with the mainstream Apple iPhone 5S.
(All prices will be in USD in US prices.)

The iPhone 5S is Apple’s newest gem, put on the table very recently. They offer upgrades to their older features; an A7 chip, a 1080p screen and a 64-bit architecture, with the phone built for their proprietary OS 7. They’ve stepped up the hardware power since the iPhone 5 and 5c, but have otherwise left the phone alone, except for one small thing. They have provided a fingerprint scanner in the Home button, something that’s never been done before. It goes without saying that this is an attempt at an increase in security and at pushing the smartphone industry forward, to eventually host more things on your device. Apple’s iPhones are geared towards the people that have always used them, and want a simple phone, no special details. They work well in almost every situation, but don’t excel anywhere, at least in my opinion. The pricing goes anywhere from $650 – $850.

The Galaxy caters to the customize-hungry market. You can customize pretty much everything from the Android operating system, to fit your own personal needs. Specs-wise, they offer a similar approach to Apple’s iPhone, but instead offer more threads rather than focusing on single-thread performance. They use AMD quad-core processors to optimize their phones with games and other applications that use multiple cores/threads. They haven’t changed much, apart from upgrading their camera on the front side to a 1080p, 30FPS camera, from a 720p camera. If you’re a customization freak, and are willing to learn how to use a new OS, this might be the phone for you. The price range is anywhere from $500 – $700.

The Nexus 5 offers a different approach. Google’s latest focus has been that of focusing on the camera; making the ISO better, automatic focusing smarter, video quality and codecs higher, all sorts of things to make your media production better, faster, and overall more efficient. They also focus on backing up your photos and videos to the extreme, so forget about your data being lost. They use a Snapdragon processor, which is what the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One use, albeit a lower tier version, to accelerate media input from their cameras. The most impressive thing, for me, is the battery times. 17 hour talk time, 8.5 hours on wi-fi, 300 hours on standby. The pricing is also very competitive, at either $350 for 16GB and $400 for 32 GB. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper phone, this is the way to go.

Finally, the HTC One. Their approach is providing a smartphone that takes very high quality photos, video, and offers audiophile quality sound. Their speakers are among the best in the industry, providing the loudest, highest quality sound a smartphone can offer. Both cameras offer 1080p resolutions and high megapixel counts, making this phone very media-centric. To handle all this hardware, they offer a quad-core Snapdragon processor and even a dedicated soundcard, for your audiophile needs. The pricing for an unlocked phone is $600. If you’re an audiophile, this phone is the phone for you.

My biggest recommendation for buying anything is to do your research. Spend some time looking for things you see as cool, and see if they fit the needs you have. If they do, hold off a week and see if you still want it. I haven’t suggested which one to buy; I merely showcased them to suit their best purposes.

Enjoy your smartphones!

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