By Oluwatobi Soyombo
One of the most frequent questions people ask me is: “Which of the smartphones should I buy?”, “which is the best tablet/smartphone in the market now?” All these questions reflect one thing – confusion; and we can expect more of that confusion in 2012.
With more phones, tablets and gadgets rolling into the mobile market, an average consumer will continue to be confused. I have seen too many people sell off their one week gadget after purchase when they realised it wasn’t really what they wanted. I do not intend to declare which smartphone is the best; all I want to do here is to give a few guidelines you want to follow before buying your next gadget:
1. Do I really need this device?
Before you start saying “Oh, I need an iPad”, you may want to ask yourself; “Why do I need an iPad?”. Asking this type of question puts you on the right path in getting to know the features that you really want in an iPad. When I hear such statements, the first thing I ask is “Why not a Galaxy tab?” Most times the responses I get often clearly indicate that confused state of the customer. Imagine you have an iPad already, what will you be doing with it? Make sure your answer to this is solid enough.
2. Which Operating System is best for me?
We have android, iOS, Windows OS, Samsung’s Bada OS, HP’s Web OS and other unpopular ones. So, which one of them should you buy? They all have what makes them unique. On the other hand, they all have their own limitations. You want to ask “What qualities are you looking for in an OS?” Understand that no one is completely “the best”. Instead of looking forward to buying a device with “the best” OS, it’s wiser to look for “my best” OS. What’s good for you might not be good for me.
3. Don’t buy names:
Of course, apple is the giant of tablets as of today. Everyone everywhere in this country is shouting “iPad iPad” without even knowing what it is. I recently met someone who has never held or even seen an iPad before, yet was dishing out advises to a friend in favour of the iPad. Many have parted way with their hard-earned money only to discover that they’ve bought the wrong device. Always ask yourself, “Is there any alternative to this device?” Don’t just throw your money on a gadget because everyone is singing its praises.
4. Think Shortcomings:
This is the less travelled road in the mobile technologies market. Everyone is talking about the best things about these gadgets; only few are thinking about the cons. Ask yourself or friends, “What’s the con of this device against its best alternative in the market?” Recently, I was close to buying a gadget which I later discovered will be useless to me. This point saved me from making my “purchase decision”. It’s important to ask this question because a gadget’s shortcoming may just be the only feature you want in your choice gadget.
One last thing: The real essence of this piece is to make you, the consumer, more informed before lashing out your hard-earned money on a mobile device. This type of information is one of the easiest things to get on the internet today. Don’t get to the store and start asking the sales attendance which gadget is right for you. These sales attendances hardly know anything about mobile technology, Trust me on that. I have questioned quite a number of them in the most popular tech stores in the country, only to discover their ignorance on these issues.
There are countless sites on the web that give non-biased review of these smart gadgets. One of those indigenous sites is the Mobility Blog (www.mobility.com.ng).
On the other hand, you may want to ask from people who have used a particular gadget for their own opinion about the gadget. From experience, they’re the best source for a non-biased opinion. Evolve!