Smartphones: {Hardware}

Hardware makes up the tangible aspects of the handsets.

As far as the screen is concerned, there are two types; the touch screen and the regular LCD with a keypad. On the one hand iPhone uses touch screens only, but HTC and BlackBerry offer both touch screen and keypads, according to the model. In some circumstances it is preferable to use a touch screen, rather than a screen with a physical keypad, because it enables to use a bigger screen for viewing movies etc. However, touch screens are expensive, need more care when using and physical keypads have longer life.

Another feature is the camera, which is considered an important attribute for a smartphone. BlackBerry and iPhone have about the same camera capabilities, with their cameras ranging from 2.0 mp to 3.2 mp; however HTC has some models with a better camera ranging from 2.0 mp to 5.0 mp. Some users take camera capabilities as an important factor for selecting a smartphone to use, but some others do not regard it as an essential function.

Furthermore, memory is another important characteristic for smartphones. BlackBerry and HTC have about the same memory capabilities with the option of adding MicroSD memory, ranging from 1 GB to 32 GB. However iPhone has different models which include a build in memory of 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB. This is an essential feature for some users, since smartphones can be used for different functions, like listening to music, save different data, which requires large amounts of memory. However, the larger the memory, the more expensive it is.

Another essential hardware of smartphones is the processor. The processor (CPU), is responsible for the performance of the tasks and the higher its performance the more quick the functions are performed. HTC can be considered the one with the most powerful processor with 1 GHz, however only one of its models has such a strong processor where the rest range from 300 MHz to 528 MHz. BlackBerry has a slightly more powerful processor than iPhone, ranging to its models from 512 MHz to 624 MHz and iPhone ranging from 412 MHz to 600 MHz. (GSM arena, 2010)

Moreover, the feature of battery life time is essential, because without enough battery life then the functions that the smartphone has are not of an immense usage. Therefore, longer battery life, leads to better functionality of the smart-phone. In this area, iPhone can be considered the one with the better performance having battery life ranging from 5-12 hours in comparison to 5-6 hours that BlackBerry and HTC have. However, in 2007 iPhone was sent to court regarding an accusation of being able to recharge the iPhone battery about 300 times before it must be replaced, accusing the company of consumer fraud. Nonetheless, apple website states that it can last up to 400 full charges, after which the battery maintains 80% of its original charge.

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