First time smart phone buyer? Confusing, isn't it? For non-smart phone consumers, terms like hubs, apps and home screens might be completely perplexing to start with. Even if you don't know your windows from your widgets, there is one thing you must do your homework on before making your smartphone choice so that you don't end up half way down the yellow brick road.
Choosing an operating system is a bit like choosing a place to live. It's no good choosing a three storey town house if you can't climb stairs and a penthouse flat is no good for someone with a fear of heights. No matter how many soft furnishings or fashionable artworks you adorn the place with; it will always be fundamentally unsuitable.
In terms of smart phones this means that the first and arguably the most important decision regarding your move into smart communications will be whether to go with the high profile and trendy Apple operating system iOS, the solid and dependable Symbian from Nokia, the alternative and highly praised contender from Google, the Android OS or indeed the relative latecomer to the field, the Windows Phone 7. Then there is also the granddaddy of all smartphone operating systems, the Blackberry and several less well known and used systems. Each OS has its own merits and its own shortcomings, so it's up to you to decide what is important to you and make your decision based upon this.
One big consideration at this time is the choice of handsets and apps that will be available to you on your chosen platform. For many of the systems, such as iOS, Blackberry and Symbian it is only those OS owners who manufacture phones to be used on their systems. Whilst the iPhone clan are very popular and certainly very capable phones, your only real choice is going to be whether to snap up the iPhone 4 or wait for the new iPhone 5.
Considering the Android platforms amazing success in 2010, manufacturers from all over the globe have been churning out phones for this OS. Relatively unknown prior to the smartphone revolution, HTC have emerged triumphant with an amazing range of capable and attractive phones for Android, from the large and luxurious Desire HD to the little pocket rocket HTC Wildfire S, the most powerful mid-range smartphone soon to be available.
Other manufacturers have enjoyed similar success, with Samsung a hot contender for best smartphone manufacturer. Their Galaxy Tab has rivalled the iPad in terms of functionality and price and for handsets their Galaxy S is hard to beat for quality and value. Due to be released in 2011, the Galaxy S will be superseded by the amazing Samsung Galaxy S II, an incredibly powerful phone with HD graphics.
Both the HTC Wildfire S and the Samsung Galaxy S II are prime examples of how quickly smartphone technology moves on, so no doubt there will be rival value for money phones hitting the shops in due course on other platforms, but for the time being unless there is a really good reason to choose another OS, Android definitely seems to be living in the Emerald City for now.