User Profiles

We’ve created a set of user profiles that capture many of the more popular ways that Smartphones get used. Each profile includes a set of hardware recommendations that are designed to insure that the phone you ultimately select is a good match for the way you intend to use it. All you have to do is find the profile that best describes who you are.

Super Socializers

If you’re a teen, tween or twenty something, you probably care more about a Smartphone’s features, physical characteristics and style than you do about its cost. You see your phone as a direct extension of your personality and your social life. You use it to reach out to friends and family and to keep you connected to the world around you. Your phone is your friend. It reflects who you are, it keeps you company when no one’s around and it entertains you too. That’s why you need a phone that’s got a large, crisp screen so you can play games or watch videos. You’ll need lots of storage for your music, photos, movies and apps. GPS tracking is important. So is access to a speedy 3G or 4G network that can provide good coverage to places you frequently visit. Voice quality is important, but access to the internet is essential. You’re probably an avid texter who frequently uses IM, SMS, video chat and email so you’ll need a keyboard that’s easy to use and quick to store. After all, if you can’t stay connected to your friends and family, what good is the phone?


If you’re an avid e-book reader, you’ll probably want a Smartphone with a big, bright, hi-res, high contrast screen with plenty of storage and a very long battery life. You’ll also need access to a speedy and reliable 3G or 4G network so you can download books whenever the mood strikes. You also should pay special attention to the size and weight of the unit you select because portability is an all important criteria.


If you’re on a fixed income, managing monthly costs are important. That’s why Seniors have a great deal in common with Cost Conscious Consumers. But as the saying goes, money isn’t everything. Seniors would do well to select a Smartphone that’s particularly easy to use and fits well in their hands. Feature rich phones are often confusing so it’s a good idea to select a Smartphone that specializes in the kinds of things you’re interested in doing. For instance, if you’re most interested in using the phone’s voice related features make sure they’re easy to use. Also make sure you can sync your phone’s address book and contacts with your home computer. If texting is your thing, make sure you select a phone with as large a keyboard as possible. If sharing pictures and family videos is important, make sure the network you select is up to the task and that the phone’s built-in camera has the quality you need.

Household Managers

Household Managers (Moms & Dads) should probably focus on picking an affordable service plan since it represents the biggest outlay in percentage terms of all your telecom related costs and determines the size of your hardware subsidy. As a Household Manager, your aim should be to minimize your family’s total telecom costs over a multi-year period. Predictability is the key to maintaining a budget so a monthly plan is your best bet. Hardware features are a secondary concern. Determine your family’s needs and pick the plan that matches your lifestyle and your budget. Most likely, all your hardware choices will be dictated by the type of service plan you pick. Some phones will qualify for subsidies and some won’t based on your plan.

Cost Conscious Consumers

If you’re a cost conscious consumer you’ll probably want to buy a used, unlocked Smartphone and pair it with a prepaid service plan. It’s a good idea to establish a budget and make hardware and service plan selections based on what you can afford. Considerations about hardware performance shouldn’t be your primary concern. Select a plan that makes the most sense for the way you’ll be using your phone. Estimate your long distance and local use and size the plan appropriately. Also estimate the amount of texting you’re likely to do and the amount of data you’re likely to download in a given month. Selecting a pre-owned phone and coupling it with a pay-as-you-go service plan will allow you to effectively manage both your initial and ongoing costs.


If you’re an avid gamer, you’ll want a Smartphone with a fast CPU (possibly with a dual core processor), a built-in GPU, built-in multi-axis accelerometers, a bright, hi-res screen that’s as big as you can comfortably handle and plenty of storage. You’ll also need a very fast network that provides easy access to a wide selection of on-line or downloadable games. Oh yeh, you’ll probably want a unit that’s also a very good phone with a slide-out keyboard for texting.

Road Warriors & Business Users

If you’re a Road Warrior, you probably treat your phone as the lifeline to your office. You’re never out of touch as long as you’ve got it with you. You rely on it most for phone calls and email which means that standard features like voicemail, speed dialing, call waiting, conference calling and call forwarding are a given. You’ll also need an easy to use keyboard that’s small enough to pack away smartly but big enough to accommodate even the largest of fingers. Blackberry style keyboards with their raised letters are still the most popular but virtual on-screen keyboards are coming on strong. You’ll also need a phone that can sync-up with multiple computers (i.e. your home and office machines) so you can safely access both your personal and corporate email accounts, calendars and address books. You’ll need a device that is friendly to most email attachments (i.e. PDF’s and MS Office docs). Uninterrupted and secure internet access is a given. Built-in GPS location finding is also essential. The phone you pick must be capable of providing timely traffic information so you can quickly navigate around town. A phone that can deliver audio turn by turn travel instructions is a definite plus. Bluetooth support is essential so you can drive hands free. Voice command is also an obvious plus. You’ll also need a very reliable, high speed network (i.e. great coverage with few if any dropped calls) with worldwide compatibility if you frequently travel outside the US. You’ll probably have to balance the need for a large screen and keyboard against the need for a small size and low weight device that would improve mobility. It’s also important to choose the unit with a long battery life.