How Phones Enhance Your Digital Life
Android smartphones are everywhere, and with good reason. Mobile phones have replaced date books, cameras, watches, rolodexes, and even home phones. For many people they are life itself.
What Can You Do With an Android Phone?
The most obvious thing you can do is make phone calls, but for many people that's far from the only thing or even the most important thing that they use an HTC One M9 for. Instead of the microphone and speaker, many users focus on the screen as the most important part of the smartphone because it's your primary interface. However, there is a lot more you can do with your phone than just look at pictures:
- Photography: Phones like the T-Mobile HTC U11 Life feature two 16MP cameras, one facing in each direction. You can use the front-facing camera for selfies and video calls and the rear camera for conventional photographs and video. You can even download an app for video editing.
- Entertainment: With features like BoomSound, quad core, and even octa-core Snapdragon processors, Android smartphones can more than hold their own as personal entertainment centers. Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity let you stream movies and TV shows right to your pocket. An M8 32GB phone has more than enough space to download movies so that you can watch even when there's no service.
What Should You Look for in a Carrier?
No telephone can work without a network; it has to connect to towers and then to the back end so that it can actually communicate with other phones. While there are lots of service providers out there, there are a few areas to look at before choosing one:
- Coverage: It's not a phone without service. No two providers offer exactly the same coverage map so you should always check the coverage where you will use the phone. For example, T-Mobile might have better coverage where you live and work than its competitors. Better coverage also means longer battery life as you don't have to push the radio on your OnePlus so hard to connect to the towers.
- Technology: The two main cellular phone technologies are GSM and CDMA. The biggest difference from a user level is that GSM phones use a SIM to store the phone's network information so you can easily swap an unlocked phone from one network to another. CDMA devices require that the device itself connect to the system, making number swaps much more difficult.
Using a Smartphone
Whether you have a locked or unlocked smartphone, they all work in the same fashion. The big difference is that locked smartphones come with the carrier settings already set, while you may have to set them yourself on an unlocked Android. Many cell phones now also come with features like voice command, or the U11 series' Edge Touch which lets you squeeze your device to activate functions like the camera rather than fumbling for buttons. You can also upgrade the OS if you're still on Nougat, to take advantage of the latest android features.
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