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The Ultimate Guide to New Smart Phones in 2014

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It’s eye-catching, sleek, and powerful. It’s bold and creative, and yet still practical and safe. It will comfort you during sleepless nights and entertain you during your most mundane moments in life. You hate to admit it, but its absence makes you a little anxious. Still, you know that you need each other. This could very well be your longest relationship—until the newest model comes out that is.

Yes, I’m talking about cell phones.

We’ve all heard the saying “good things come to those who wait,” but sometimes that waiting really gets annoying. Especially with all the advertisements, PR, and social media buzz. For the past few weeks, the upcoming release of the iPhone 6 has been a trending topic on virtually every social media site. You can even go to Google, type in the letter “i”, and Google immediately suggests you’re searching for the new phone (granted yes, that WAS what I was doing but still!).

Lets be honest though. You see the newest version of your phone and instantly your tried and true becomes just trying. Is it really worth it to trade up? Or should you hold onto your existing phone? Here, I will weigh some pros and cons of some of the new and upcoming phones generating some buzz.

Samsung Galaxy S5 

s5 and s4 phones

S4 (right) and S5 (left)

Pros:

  • 16 megapixel camera
  • Up to 21 hours continuous use
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Bigger-than-average screen
  • No “special” upgrades to software

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

All around, this phone is just a beefier version of the S4. Yes, it has a faster processor than the 4, but it has the same software. So it will run faster, but will still be probably prone to the same glitches. Samsung did give it some cool features, though. It’s now water-resistant (not water-proof mind you) and has a fingerprint locking mechanism for those who want extra security. The battery life seems to be the biggest pull for this new model with its bigger battery (go figure) and new ultra power saving mode. This cuts out extra power-sucking features and essentially turns your phone back into a pumpkin. Your phone can go back to being just that: a phone.

Upgrade? If your battery life is draining the passion you once had for your phone, then I would seriously consider the upgrade. From my experience, battery life is usually a deal breaker. But as far as just going for the upgrade because it’s there? I would hold out till your phone gives out.

iPhone 6

iphone 5 and iphone 6 phones

iPhone 5 (left) and iPhone 6 (right)

Pros:

  • Apple Pay
  • Increased resolution

Cons

  • Still pricey

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

After looking at the specs for the new iPhone, I can’t help but see a lot of similarities between it and the Samsung S5. It has a better camera than the iPhone 5 and a faster processor, but the only thing really new about the 6 is that it no longer looks like a carbon copy of its predecessors. The new installment is considerably thinner with a bigger screen. Apple added the fingerprint technology in a whole new way with its new Apple Pay. Apple Pay will allow you to add your credit/debit cards to Passbook and give you control of security features. No more fumbling around for both wallet and phone when the two are combined! Now if the iPhone could start my car too…

Upgrade? Apple Pay seems like a pretty cool idea, but I’m still a bit hesitant. If you’re the type of person who is constantly misplacing things, then it may be a good idea to stick with what you have. However, with the new software and screen resolution, I would trade up if my phone was my only digital device for pictures and video. If you’re an avid photographer (or selfie-taker) then upgrading would be a good idea. Bottom line? If you have a 5, wait. If you still have a 4, go for that new phone feel.

Nokia Lumia 735

lumia 930 and lumia 735 phones

lumia 930 and lumia 735

Pros: 

  • Improved camera function
  • Better screen resolution
  • Cortana

Cons:

  • Loss of Dolby audio

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

If you shunned Apple and its iTunes to go with a Windows media system, then you’re in for a bummer. You  do get more bang with the upgraded resolution, high pixel density, and lack of shutter lag. In the trend of having your phone be able to talk to you like your own personal assistant, you will now be introduced to Cortana as well. Cortana is seemingly more dynamic in function and more seamless to use. The Lumia, to keep with the theme, is a larger screen phone with a better overall view than the previous versions as well.

Upgrade? Windows has made jumps in progress to stay competitive. For the features that were added from one generation of Lumia to the next, I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade with this phone.

 

But don’t just take my advice. Places like CNET and TechRadar provide concise reviews and more detail on the specs you may be looking for. They can give you the best side by side comparison of phones. One other tip? Make sure, if and when you do upgrade, to shop around before going to your carrier store. Sometimes places (like Best Buy for example) will offer you a better deal on your upgrade with the same service provider you already have.

Now with some information on your side, you can make an informed decision. Do your research and don’t do something you might regret! We all make mistakes, but choosing to upgrade or not shouldn’t be the most pressing concern on your mind. So, do you take the plunge and elope with the latest and greatest or do you hold on to that old reliable? Let us know on Twitter, @missmillmag #allthatglitters to share your thoughts!

 

Resources

CNET

TechRadar 

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