There are so many phones available to South Africans ready to upgrade, with the vast range of options often indistinguishable from one another, making it difficult to choose. James Munn, vice-president: business development, Middle East and Africa at Qualcomm, offers some advice.
There’s one universal truth you should embrace when you’re looking for a new mobile phone or tablet: if you’re using the device to connect to the world, it makes simple good sense to get the best possible technology to do that – which is why you need to put 4G LTE at the top of your phone-shopping checklist.
Every few years, developments in mobile technology mean that communications standards improve, and mobile device developers respond to support these standards. The most recent wireless network technology is 4G LTE – your even faster-than-ever slipway onto the information superhighway, brought to your mobile phone or tablet through the technology in its processor.
4G LTE should be your top priority for many more reasons than simply that it is the latest tech. Qualcomm, global mobile technology innovators and makers of Snapdragon processors, offers some reasons why:
* Access your cloud files, faster – You store your digital life in the cloud — access it faster, on the go, with 4G LTE. The processor at the heart of your 4G LTE lets you download your pictures, videos, and files from cloud storage at 4G LTE speeds that are up to ten times faster than 3G, the previous generation communication standard.
* Stream music, HD video on the go – Viewing or listening to content on a 4G LTE mobile phone or tablet means that you never have to endure a video skipping or buffering again – and that the soundtrack to your life need never be interrupted either. Mobile phones and tablets with 4G LTE are turbocharged with high download speeds and fast responsiveness, so you can stream high quality video or music that’s sharp and fluid, and quickly start playing too.
* Stay connected to your community – in real time – Whether you’re tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming or connecting on LinkedIn, there’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to share a quick update with your online community, and being hamstrung by slow tech. Mobile phones and tablets with 4G LTE download at speeds that are up to ten times faster than 3G, so you can live in the moment with the people you care about, sharing your content in real time, and seeing what they’re up to, wherever in the world they may be.
* Impress your clients, faster – In business, time is money. Processors like the Snapdragon let you download your large presentation files at super-fast 4G LTE speeds, so you can spend less time waiting, and more time impressing your clients.
* Preview email attachments, faster – Are large attachments clogging your inbox while you’re working on the go? Avoid wasting time while they download with a 4G LTE mobile phone or tablet, and email attachments will load in a fraction of the time, giving you the space you need to update them exactly when you need to.
* Experience smooth, clear video chats – The future is calling – will you answer clearly? We’re all moving away from conventional calling to ‘dialing in’ over data, with video calling adding a wonderful, personal dimension to mobile communication. Mobile phones and tablets with 4G LTE mean that video chats in your favourite messaging app look clear and sound great.
* Browse the web, faster – Web pages are getting richer and more sophisticated, which means that they’re great to surf when you’ve got a fast connection – and immensely frustrating when you don’t. With download speeds that are up to 10 times those of 3G, 4G LTE mobile phones and tablets let you trawl the web in a fraction of the time, no matter the complexity or depth of the websites you choose.
* Better battery life – Faster communication over LTE also means you spend less time waiting for stuff to happen – which means you get more life out of your battery. If you are an avid gamer, enjoy streaming and watching full length HD videos and movies, you could invest in devices with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, which can charge from 0% to 60% in 30 minutes.
* It’s not as expensive as you think – Contrary to common perception, 4G LTE devices are not only for the premium market, where users can afford expensive mobile phones or tablets. Devices like MTN’s Steppa LTE, retail below R2000, and as demand for affordable smartphones grows, the prices of entry level devices will decrease even further. The prices of entry level 4G LTE devices are likely to fall below the R1000 price level in the coming months.
* Dump less cash on data – Consuming more media means spending more money on data, right? Wrong – over time. If more people use data, then the price of data (cost per bit) should decrease. It’s the demand and supply principle – more people purchasing and using data will decrease the price over time – definitely good news for everyone with a mobile phone or tablet in South Africa.
The writing is on the wall … of your phone. It’s worth reading the small print on your screen, and not just in your voice or data contract, to make sure that you’re getting the best possible functionality, and the most efficient way to connect to family, friends, and the rest of the world.
Using a 4G LTE connection will give you the digital clout you need to enjoy seamless browsing, instant downloads, and even slick connections with other WiFi enabled devices around you. If these sound like pipedreams of the future – they’re actually the reality of the present – but only if you have a 4G LTE phone.