Smartphones Specs That Matter
Smartphones Specs That Matter
In this Guide:
The right smartphone can be the gateway to greater efficiency, increased productivity and more responsive client services. But with all the choices, you'll want to take the time during your search to ensure you buy a phone that matches your needs (particularly since many cellular contracts require a 2-year commitment with the phone.)
1. Seek comfort. These are hybrid phones and computers so be sure to evaluate communication options:voice calling, e-mail, text, picture or video messaging, and instant messaging. The phone should be comfortable to hold and easy to handle with controls conveniently located. Compare keypad entry with a touch-sensitive versus press buttons on a keyboard. Screen brightness and screen zoom determine viewing comfort.
2. Evaluate the operating system. All smartphones perform basic contact and schedule management functions well out of the box. You can expand their capabilities with additional software, such as mortgage calculators, and productivity suites like Top Producer Mobility or the iPhone edition of Real Estate Success Tracker. Check to see what programs have been developed for the phone's OS, and you’ll get an idea of what else you can do with that smartphone.
3. Prioritize what options you want. Identify what features matter the most to you, which you might use occasionally, and which you can do without. Let those priorities guide you to models with the right mix for your mobile needs. For example, the operating system dictates what software it runs. You'll also have choices with data entry and system control may be via the phone’s alphanumeric dial pad, a mini-QWERTY-style keyboard or a touch screen and touch-sensitive soft keyboard on screen. Presentable listing photos require at least a 2MP camera. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support give you more wireless options. MP3 and video playback are fun extras for downtime. After making a list of your priorities, you might find you don't even need a smartphone but rather a less expensive full featured cell phone with e-mail and a Web browser.
4. Talk to providers. Check if your local MLS recommends specific phones for mobile access to listings or its lockbox system. Your smartphone choice will also be dictated by your cellular provider, as each supports only certain handsets.
5. Test performance. Take advantage of in-store displays toput phones to all the tests for calling, retrieving e-mail, texting, getting directions, entering data and running applications. Cellular stores as well as electronics stores have these on display so buyers can try. Also, you'll want to consider the phone's system specs, like the processor speed and memory. A 500Mhz processor or better, and at least 128MB RAM should fit your real estate needs. But if you’re planning on using specific software, check that vendor’s system compatibility and requirements before buying. Design formats vary, as do the layout, size and style of the keypad, screen size and brightness, depending on your preferences.
6. Find the best deal. Cellular carriers bundle most smartphones with a service contract, making the hardware attractive and affordable and starting well under $100. The price of the smartphone is usually determined by the length and scope of the service contract and any related discounts and rebates. As a real estate professional, you'll likely be a heavy user so the unlimited voice/data plan is likely your best buy. Also, find out the cost of contract termination and any upgrades from the outset. As smartphones continue to evolve, you might want to step up to a better model before a standard two-year contract is up.
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