Your phone is more than just a phone; it’s your camera, your GPS device, your mobile web browser, your messaging device. And the apps – oh, we can’t forget the apps. You can download software applications these days for just about any function you can think of – and many you haven’t even though of yet!
And wait, there’s more! Your phone can also be used as – wait for it – a phone that you can use for making calls and video-chatting.
Needless to say, having the right phone device is crucial to many of us. But with so many phones on the market, it can be hard to know which ones to consider. So, if you want the newest technology, have a need for speed, want to be cutting edge or can’t live without the next best thing since sliced bread, check out these hot phones, listed by operating system:
Apple’s iPhones are always hot. Not sure which one is right for you? Use the following information compiled from Apple.com to compare the bells and whistles of the 5s, 5c and 4s to decide which best suits your needs:
- Apple iPhone 5s ($199-$399) This phone features an “A7 chip, a Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, ultrafast LTE wireless, an iSight camera with a larger 8MP sensor, and iOS 7,” per Apple’s website. The 5s is available in three colors – gold, silver and the most popular color – space grey.
- Apple iPhone 5c ($99-$199) The 5c is available in more colors than earlier versions, including green, pink, blue, yellow and white. According to Apple, with an “A6 chip, this model also has an ultrafast LTE wireless, an 8MP iSight camera, and iOS 7.”
- Apple iPhone 4s ($0-$.99 with plan/ upgrade) Black and white are the two color choices for the iPhone 4, which features an A5 chip, an 8MP iSight camera. The 4s also comes equipped with the voice controlled intelligent assistant, Siri.
The difference between the A6 and A7 chip? According to Apple, the biggest difference is that the A6 is a 32 bit processor and the A7 is a 64 bit processor, making the iPhone 5s faster. This article goes into the differences in depth.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has some great new alternatives to Android and iPhone, says Cnet.com Senior Editor, Jessica Dolcourt. In her article, “Best Windows Phones,” updated Jan. 3, Dolcourt provides us with these top picks, advice and tips for the hottest Windows Phones:
- Nokia Lumia 1520 (AT&T): While it doesn’t come with all the features found in some rival phones, this device is a deal for Windows Phone fans who desire a smartphone with premium hardware that you can really get your arms around. Price: $549.00 – $631.11
- Nokia Lumia 1020 (AT&T): Photographers on the go will fall head over heels when they get their hands on the exact controls of the Nokia Lumia 1020, but non-shutter bugs might find this device a bit pricey. Price: $608.00
- Nokia Lumia 925 (T-Mobile): Providing a high-end Windows Phone experience, this model will do just fine for most, but if you tend to like high-end and happen to have deep pockets you may want to hold out for AT&T’s Lumia 1020. Price: $414.88
- Nokia Lumia 928 (Verizon Wireless): Windows Phone fans on Verizon will like this device for its strong feature set, but may not be as pleased by the slower-than-usual data speeds. Price: $9.99 – $289.99
- Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T): Nokia’s Lumia 920 is a brick of a phone, but if you seek the ultimate choice in power, this feature-rich Windows phone is the one for you. Price: $49.99
To compile the following list of top Android phones, PCMag.com selected the top one or two for each of the four major carriers from their highest rated phones, explains Wendy Sheehan Donnell, the company’s managing editor of Consumer Electronics and Mobile.
Check out these PCMag.com’s top picks posted in the December 9, 2013 article, “The Best Android Phones“:
- HTC One (Multiple Carriers): Starting at $199.99 (with contract) Easily voted winner of Editor’s choice, this innovative, well-built, aluminum-clad device will be a winner with you, too — especially you Android purists. It’s strong design perspective isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but on the up-side, it’s available on all four major carriers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (Multiple Carriers) Starting at $199.99 (with contract) Available on all four major U.S. carriers, this powerful, full HD phone/tablet combo might just be the only mobile device you need.
- Samsung Galaxy S4 (Multiple Carriers) Starting at $199.99 (with contract) This phone trumps its excellent predecessor and comes fully loaded. It’s fast, and according to PCMag.com, it was the ultimate kitchen-sink Android phone of 2013.
- Motorola Moto X (Multiple Carriers) Starting at $199.99 (with contract) AT&T’s Moto X is the best version of a very good phone and is easily operated with just one hand, says PCMag.com, adding that it’s all thanks to the Moto Maker customization options.
- LG G2 (Multiple Carriers) Starting at $199.99 (with contract) This big guy is the latest in superphones, says PCMag.com, providing users with the most phone possible with its 5.2-inch screen and barely handheld form factor. Its processor and hardware may be superior to Samsung’s industry-leading 5-inch Galaxy S4, but there are still a few bugs to work out before PCMag.com dubs it the Editors’ Choice.
- Samsung Galaxy Mega (AT&T) $149.99 (with contract) The Samsung Galaxy Mega is both absurd and absurdly awesome rolled into a phone touting the largest screen of any smartphone in the U.S., and it’s a top Android-based pick on AT&T if you don’t want to break the bank and don’t need the absolute latest cutting-edge when it comes to components.
- Kyocera Torque (Sprint) $99.99 (with contract) This affordable phone is the one for you if you’re tough on your toys. This device’s ultra-rugged design lets you play hard, and it’s got excellent voice performance, solid specs, and LTE support, PCMag.com reports, making it the best push-to-talk smartphone there is.
- Droid Maxx by Motorola (Verizon Wireless) $199.99 (with contract) If you’re all about bigger being better, then check out the Motorola Droid Maxx . Packing a big battery and oodles of memory, this phone looks lot like the Moto X, which PCMag.com says they love, but even with better storage and battery life when compared to the X, it does lose some of the friendly, human qualities that make the X so appealing.
- Droid Mini by Motorola (Verizon Wireless) $49.99 (with contract) If 5-inch megaphones are too big for you, check out the Droid Mini and save $150 over the very similar Moto X if you don’t mind trading price and a tighter package for some Verizon bloatware and slightly weaker signal strength, says PCMag.com.
- Google Nexus 5 (Unlocked) $349 Google delivers with this impressive smartphone from LG, PCMag.com reports. With its unlocked powerhouse and new Android 4.4.1 KitKat update that largely fixes the phone’s initial camera woes.