Smartphones are are the standard these days. They allow you to browse the internet, send and receive emails, make video calls, watch mobile TV and videos on the go. Smartphones also have applications or 'apps' that let you personalise your phone just the way you like it.
What does it cost?
A smartphone is like a mini PC in your pocket. They're loaded with tech, so generally they're not cheap to purchase outright. Though, with the Android OS, you can pick one up for less than $100. Or if you're looking for something with a few more bells and whistles, going on a Vodafone plan for 12 or 24 months can mean getting one of the premium smartphones for little or no cost upfront. Plus you get to enjoy all the extra inclusions of a Vodafone plan.
What makes a smartphone different from other phones?
Here's a few things to look out for. Some other phones might have a few of these features, but only a smartphone will have all of them :
Touch screen - The processor needed for a full touch screen is usually only found in smartphones. So if it's got a full touch screen, it's probably a smarphone (though there are exceptions, like the BlackBerry)
3G network - Vodafone's 3G network is specifically designed for smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices. The 3G network has a high capacity for transmitting mobile data which allows your device to connect to the internet, make VoIP calls, stream TV, videos, online games, and more
Apps - Applications are are little programs you can download to smartphones. There are apps for the weather, to-do lists, track weight loss, converting units, transport timetables, games and lots more. Check out the app stores for Android, Apple, BlackBerry and Nokia
Maps and GPS - Smartphones have a tiny GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. This lets you find out where you are and get directions to where when you want to be
Internet - Smartphones have full working web browsers, like a computer. You can search the web and visit pages the same way you would on your computer
Wi-Fi - Wi-Fi lets you connect wirelessly to local and public networks for internet access
Which smartphone is best?
There are lots of smartphone brands and even more handset models to choose from. The two most used operating systems are Apple® iOS and Google™ Android™. Other options are BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone. Smartphone operating systems all offer similar basic functions. Apple offers its own iOS in the iPhone. Android is the standard operating system for several brands including Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson and others. Where as Windows Phone is the main operating system for Nokia phones. If you can't decide which one's best for you, take one for a test run at a Vodafone store and see which one suits you best.