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The Network

* Smartphones utilize the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) network for voice communication and the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) network for data transmission. The GSM network is a wireless digital mobile phone network and GPRS network is a wireless service that allows you to connect to the Internet. * Most Smartphones are either triband smartphone ensures that it can function at a variety of frequencies and allows it to operate in more than one country. * Advances in communication technology allows a number of smartphones to offer EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment) connectivity which provides faster data transfer, particularly for Web and multimedia over the GSM network. * With the addition of a Wienabled smartphones use Wireless Application Protocol for accessing the Internet and email connectivity over the GSM network.

Email Connectivity

* One of the key characteristics of a smartphone that made it popular and essential to businesses is email connectivity. They are able to deliver email wirelessly to the handset using an email client as well as operate with a variety of email applications including personal, business and IMAP Web mail. Smartphones will connect to the email server for the account to send and receive messages over the GPRS network. * RIM initially launched the BlackBerry as an email-only device. BlackBerry devices download email from an email server, support up to 10 email accounts, and come with a range of email options, such as email downloads to a PC. * The Palm Treo uses VersaMail and will connect with Microsoft Exchange as well as POP3/IMAP accounts.

Internet access

* If you like surfing the Internet on the go at faster speeds then Smartphones with the new EVsecond). * You can use a variety of browsers for the Internet, including the Explorer, Blazer 2.0 and Opera's mobile Web browser specially rendered for smartphones.

OS Platforms and Performance

* '''Palm: '''The platform is slightly limited for multitasking on the devices, but it is easy to hook up with other Palm devices. The interface is designed for ease of use and is compatible with lots of third party applications. For information specifically on Palm Treo OS options, read our Palm Treo guide here. * '''Symbian: '''The platform is supported by a large number of devices. It works especially well with Java, Bluetooth and IrDA technology. Limited software applications supported. * '''Windows: '''Supports Bluetooth and Wifriendly. Compatible with lots of different software.

Input system

* '''QWERTY keyboard:''' If you plan on texting and emailing, look for Smartphones that have a slide out or front keyboard with separate alpha and numeric keys. * '''Stylus handwriting recognition:''' Multilingual, handy writing tool that actually uses more than a keyboard. By writing with a small pen-like stick, your handwriting gets translated into Times New Roman (or whatever font you prefer) in a Word document. * '''Stylus tapping/touchscreen LCD screen. It takes two hands, but it's quicker and easier to use than a numeric keyboard.

Wireless Carrier Service

* Don't forget that you not only pay for the initial cost of the phone, but also you commit to a yearly contract. * Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and smaller carriers all offer monthly plans that range from $50 to $100 per month depending on your usage. * Are you moving around internationally? Think about getting an unlocked phone or a phone with a SIM chip that can be changed.

Top Picks

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* Cameras. Most models have a VGA camera for capturing stills and video with megapixel counts well past two. * GPS receivers and Bluetooth modems for additional Web access have also appeared. * Photo storage on expandable memory slots. * Memory Chip (these usually cost extra and you should have one or two to back up your data). * Video players. * MP3 media players.

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International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! DE: Smartphone