If your primary use for your phone is to access social networking sites on the go, there are certain features you should look for when shopping for a new smart phone. Although every mobile operating system these days offers social media apps, there are other features that can make your social networking experience better.
1. QWERTY Keyboard: despite popular belief, the full QWERTY keyboard will never become outdated, even with the widespread integration of the touch screen keyboard. Blackberry appeals to professionals because of how easy emailing, messaging, and general typing is with a full keyboard at your fingertips, especially because touch screen keyboards cumbersome. Writing status updates, messaging and chatting with friends, and general browsing is made much easier on a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. If your preference is a touch screen keyboard, go for a handset with a larger screen, like the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S3, which makes your typing surface larger. The Samsung Galaxy Note may not have a QWERTY keyboard, but it has a massive screen and Stylus pen to help you type with ease.
2. Social Media Integration: with the latest mobile operating system updates from all three major contenders, Facebook integration is becoming standard. However, some OSs do it better than others. Windows Phone 8, with it’s intuitive “Live Tile” system, offers status updates and unread messages at a glance, without the need to open the apps themselves. Both iOS 6 and Android Jelly Bean have integrated Facebook through out their user interface, syncing your phone contacts and calendar with information from your friends, such as addresses and birthdays. You can get notifications on the status bar, instantly share photos and video with shortcut menu options and more.
3. Connectivity: maintaining a connection on the go is important when it comes to staying up to date on the latest updates from your social networks. Standard WiFi hotspot support is essential, and now that 4G LTE is slowly becoming supported everywhere, you can enjoy lightening fast data transfer speeds where ever you are. If service is thin, you can always fall back on 3G, without compromising speed.
4. Camera: with more Instagram users than Twitter users, it’s obvious most social media is centered around capturing and sharing moments with friends. A phone with a camera that not only has plenty of megapixels, but lots of user features as well, will be an asset for social networking fans. Face recognition, LED flash, high definition video, and geo-tagging are essential, as are photo editing features. The Nokia Lumia 900 even has a professional caliber Carl Zeiss lens on it’s 8MP camera. A front-facing camera is also ideal if you take advantage of video calling and chat; Google+ Hangout will incorporate video chat in it’s social network.
There is only one phone on the market designed for social networking fans (more specifically, Facebook users) and that’s the HTC Status. It has a dedicated Facebook share button, which lets you instantly share photos, update your status, “check in” and more. It makes you wonder: with the increased integration of social networking features in phones, can we expect the future to hold more phones like the HTC Status?
The author of this post is Chloe Parker, an editor for MobilePhones.org.uk, the best place to find the latest news and deals on the most popular smartphone