Smartphone 101: What to consider when buying a smarter cellphone

CLEVELAND - If you are thinking about getting your first smartphone or shopping for one as a gift, you're not alone.

Smartphones are expected to be one of the hottest buys this holiday season.

But how do you know you're getting the right one for you or someone else?

Smartphones are able to do more and more these days, which means there is more to consider when choosing a mobile phone.

Best Buy sales manager Elisha Unger said figure out what you really want to do with the smartphone.

"Are you going on the internet? Are looking to attach it to Facebook? Are looking to send a ton of messages?" Unger asked.

Consumer Reports Senior Electronics Editor Mike Gikas said the operating system really makes the difference.

"If you're a real social networker, if you're comfortable with technology, you may lean towards an Android phone," Gikas said.  

If you're big on TV, music and games, you might lean more toward Apple's iPhone.

And if messaging is your big thing, a Blackberry may be your best choice.

Gikas said, "They have great keyboards, now they have the latest crop of better screens."

If you want a phone that's easy to use, both Best Buy and Consumer Reports agreed that the iPhone is the phone for you.

Unger said, "Even though it is a smartphone, it's on the cutting edge of technology. It's really simplistic in the way that it operates."

Many smartphones use touch screen technology, but if your buying for a teen or an adult who loves to text, a keyboard may make more sense.

If you like taking pictures, the camera is something to consider.

The phone's ability to connect to your car, your stereo and your computer is also something to keep in mind.

The more features you get, the more you'll pay for your phone. Although, there are some deals out there on older model smartphones.

Price is also a factor in choosing a carrier. Most carriers no longer offer unlimited data so figure out how much you'll use the Internet -- and that includes apps.

Unger said, "Statistically it was shown that people by and large look at their cell phone 150 times a day."

Search our database to see which smartphone is best for you:

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