Tech Tools for School

While writing this month’s blog post it got me thinking about my school days and how different and limited the technology options were back then compared to today. Not that it was that long ago (ahem), but technology has changed so much in the last 10 years – even the last five years – that it is incredible the options now available at a student’s disposal.

One of the most important pieces of technology that students will need to have in their tech tool kit for Back-to-School is a smartphone. Not that I’m biased or anything, but the smartphone is probably going to be the most-used of all the tech products purchased and therefore requires a good amount of thought and consideration to make the right choice. Everything from size, weight and shape to the right OS, interface and communication features.

With all of the different options available, how do you choose? I’m a huge BlackBerry user with my BlackBerry Torch, but I also use the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S2 in order to meet all of my tech needs. I’m also an early adopter and tech enthusiast, so I use the term “needs” very loosely. I don’t expect most people will require more than one phone, but it just goes to show the different functionalities and specialties that different phones offer. What’s important is to first identify how you will most be using your phone and the capabilities you require to then narrow down the right choice for you. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help with your decision.

Will I be using this phone to send and receive text messages?

As mentioned in my previous blog post, If you only knew what your phone could do – Smartphones and the Connected Home, it was discovered that smartphones were being used for texting 64.5 per cent of the time. You can text with any mobile device, just be sure to get the appropriate texting plans for your needs. Also, you will want to consider which type of keyboard will work best for you. For those who use their phones primarily for typing emails, the touchscreen keyboard may take some getting used to and might not be the best choice.

Will you be using this phone to take pictures or videos?

Currently smartphones are being used 48.9 per cent of the time to take pictures and many smartphones have comparable or even better video and picture capabilities than digital cameras. Anywhere from 8MP and up to HD 1080p video! The galaxy S2 is one of the few devices that does a great job at this.

Will you be using your phone to listen to music?

A lot of people use their phones to listen to music on their commute to work or school, so this might be an option to consider when looking for a new phone. Most phones have some internal memory available for music, such as the BlackBerry Bold series and the HTC Sensation, but if there isn’t enough room for all of your music then you can always add a media card.

Does your phone need to be Skype capable?

To avoid long distance charges while away at school or on business trips you might want to consider a phone that is Skype capable. You would need a 3G phone, such as the iPhone 4 or the Optimus Skype Edition, which are able to handle the Skype app. Or even the new android devices that have front facing cameras for video calling.

Do you need a 3D phone?

3D phones are finally in to Canada! The transition from 3DTV to mobile phones has begun with the LG Optimus and HTC EVO which are now available. This phone will be good for any number of users, from looking at business reports to gaming, but they won’t be for everyone. If you do have a 3DTV this would certainly enhance that experience.

The key thing to remember while shopping for a new phone is to determine what your needs are so that you don’t wind up with something that doesn’t do what you need it to or has way more functions that you’ll ever need or use. It’s also a good idea to pick up the phone, play with it and see if it’s a device that will make your life easier – not more complicated. There are a lot of options available today, which can make choosing the right phone and plan for you more challenging.

A Best Buy Mobile specialist will be able to help you find the right fit. Almost all of the latest devices are on display and for use to try out before you decide to purchase. Furthermore, being that we have all the national carriers under one roof, the best rate plan to go with the right phone….and most importantly, to meet YOUR needs!