Choosing a Smartphone Manufacturer

Choosing which manufacturer that you want to pick when buying or selecting a smartphone can be a bit of a challenge as there are many different options to choose from. Here is a list of some of the more popular smartphone manufacturers along with a brief description of some qualities that make each manufacturer stand out from its competitors.

This Posts Outline

Apple

Apple’s iPhone has made leaps and bounds in the Smartphone industry since the release of the first iPhone in 2007. One of the major features of the iPhone is Apples App Store which provides users the option to choose from thousands of free and paid third party applications and multiple methods to load them onto their Smartphones.

Apples iPhone runs on its own unique operating system (iOS) and has thus far proven to be a phone of quality user friendliness and extreme popularity in the Smartphone market.

Samsung

Samsung is arguably one of the most popular and successful manufacturer of Smartphones in the world supporting many different types of operating systems including Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phones, Linux-based LiMo, Samsung's proprietary Bada, and of course the ever growing Android operating system.

Samsungs Galaxy series of smartphones are user friendly, dependable, and a popular choice for many smartphone owners (including myself).

Samsung also has a good habit of continually releasing software updates for their smartphones, even the older models. Which is a really good sign of a quality manufacturer in my opinion as many Samsung owners can and do continue to use their smartphones well into the future. Samsung is currently my favorite smartphones manufacturer.

Nokia

Nokia dominated the mobile phone market for roughly 14 years until 2011 when Samsung and Apple started to provide some seriously strong competition for Nokia.

Nokia has had an interesting past in regards to early smartphone history pioneering the S60 platform which was built on the Symbian operating system. This S60 platform is one of the first types of mobile phones to allow its users to install new application after purchasing their smartphone. This is of course commonplace for the more advanced smartphones available today but it’s kind of a cool thing to think about.

Since technology can change quickly especially when it comes to smartphones Nokia no longer utilizes the Symbian OS and instead has switched to using Microsoft’s Windows platform as the primary operating system for its cell phones.

Nokia’s Smartphone market share might not be the crushing force that it once was but Nokia is still a player when it comes to the worldwide sales of Smartphones.

LG

LG doesn’t just manufacturer home appliances, or simply build great television sets; LG also manufactures some great smartphones. Although LG might not be a power house player, like some of the other Smartphone manufacturers listed in this article, LG makes good dependable and high quality phones in my experience and is a respectable brand in the Smartphone industry.

Motorola

Another good brand of Smartphones the Motorola Android phones have a well build user interface and file management system.

The only thing about Motorola’s early history was that on the early Android Smartphones like the Motorola Atrix you had to create a Motoblur account (a social networking platform specifically for Motorola phones). This was a problem if you were having touch screen issues because if you performed a factory data reset on the phone and the phone was still having issues it was very difficult if at all possible to log into your Motoblur account and there for couldn’t get into your phone to set it up again. Motorola has since made Motoblur an optional feature for their phones and as a company has continued to create many great smartphones.

People who own Motorola smartphones are usually very pleased with the product that they have chosen.

HTC

HTC is yet another well respected manufacturer of Smartphones for both the Windows Mobile OS and for Smartphones built on the Android OS. HTC was actually the first phone on the market to use the Android mobile device platform and as a member of the Open Handset Alliance HTC is dedicated to the advancement of the Android mobile device platform.

Blackberry

Blackberry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM), is best known for the creation of the BlackBerry Smartphones and although the company has experienced a decline in profits and might have fallen a little in popularity amongst the average Smartphone user ever since Apple’s iPhone and the Android OS came to fruition, RIMs amazing email and messaging features still makes it a great phone especially in regard to its use as business phone.

Sony

Sony Mobile Communications AB Formerly a joint venture between Japanese company Sony and the Swedish telephone company Ericson made phones under the name of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Sony acquired Ericsson’s Share of the venture on February 16, 2012 and became fully owned by Sony.

Sony is a leading manufacturer in mobile communications and has a pretty successful line of smartphones; especially Sony’s Xperia series of smartphones.

Other popular manufacturers

The manufacturers listed above are just some of the big boys when it comes to smartphones. Some other manufacturers that you might encounter include…

Huawei

Correctly pronounced “Wah-Way” which seems to be extremely difficult for us in the US to pronounce properly the first time, this smartphone manufacturer has made some leaps and bounds in recent years and is actually now one of the bigger smartphone manufacturers in the world.

I didn’t care for Huawei smartphones when they first came out (a troubleshooters biased view point) but since they first started making their stride they have come a long way in quality while still maintaining their affordability.

ZTE and Lenovo

Lenovo and ZTE are two more manufacturers that have stepped in to answer the demand for low cost smartphones both of which have also been making names for themselves as some of the top smartphone manufacturers in the world.

Coincidently these three Chinese based manufacturers (Huawei ZTE and Lenovo) seem to be gaining more and more traction in the smartphone market share and smartphone environment; so keep your eyes peeled as you might just see some interesting smartphones come out of these companies in the next few years.

Why the Manufacturer Can Make a Difference

Software

Operating System

Choosing a manufacturer can most certainly effect how you use your phone. Even if the manufacturers OS is the same as other manufacturers operating systems. For example, the Android OS is used on many types of phones by many manufacturers but if you want to save pictures from a Samsung phone onto its memory card then the process is going to be different than saving the pictures from a LG phone to its memory card. These are usually subtle things you discover after you have had your phone for a while so you might want to consider usability and user friendliness as a factor when choosing the manufacturer.

Originally I found that Samsung and Motorola had the most user friendly file management systems among Android Smartphones but other manufacturers have made great improvements as far as ease of use and managing files. For those manufacturers still playing catch-up this shouldn’t be a huge problem thanks to the Android Play Store because you can always download a file management application but still, why should you need an app to do something as common as move and save files?

Additional Software and Bloatware

Smartphone manufacturers often include additional software on their devices. This extra software can be both a good and bad thing and here is why…

On the plus side of things these extra programs or applications can increase the phones functionality and open up a ton of additional options for you to use on your new smartphone. I mentioned file management earlier but these apps can range in purpose and function. It could be a translation app, a voice commands application, an app to help you manage your health, take memos, sync to services offered by the manufacturer etc. All of these apps serve a purpose but what if you don’t plan on ever using one of these services? What if you want to free up some storage space on your phone?

Well since these types of apps are built into the phone many of them won’t allow you to uninstall them. These types of applications are usually not so bad when the app is included directly by the manufacturer but these types of applications are often also included by the cell phones wireless carrier as well. These types of unwanted apps are commonly referred to as bloatware and can be a chore to get rid. They just remain on the phone taking up space. Now it’s true that sometimes you can root your smartphone in order to get rid of such programs but it’s kind of an unnecessary hassle and you have to be careful when customizing or manipulating the software that comes with your smartphone. If not done properly you can run into some serious problems including a non functional smartphone.

For the most part bloatware from the manufacturer is very manageable and should be a big deal breaker when choosing a smartphone. The hardware on the other hand can certainly make a difference.

Hardware

How a smartphone is actually constructed is going to make a huge difference in its quality and functionality and while it’s true that some of these differences can be cell phone specific many smartphone manufacturers maintain consistency in their smartphone construction.

So when choosing a smartphone there are a few things to consider about its design. Does the phone have physical keys like a Samsung for example which consist of a physical Home button a Back button and Home/Recent Apps button or is the phone like a Sony Xperia where these navigation buttons are part of the display and activated by pressing part of the touch screen? Or to use that same two manufacturers as an example again you may want to compare common battery access… Is the phone designed for its user to remove the battery, like you are able to do on most Samsung smartphones, or is it built into the phone and non-removable, like most Sony Xperia smartphones? Are you going to experience difficulties replacing the phones battery when its battery needs replacing? Batteries don’t last forever…

Does the phone come with enough internal storage space? Are the speakers loud enough? Does the phone seem durable or is it going to bend and snap in your pocket? Will the screen shatter if pressed on with too much pressure? Does the manufacturer use quality parts or are they a little on the cheap side? This list can go on and on but each smartphone manufacturer has a name and reputation to uphold when it comes to quality. If you’re looking at a phone and have never heard of the manufacturer that made it then you should probably do some research on that manufacturer and on that particular smartphone before purchasing it.

A List of My Favorite Smartphone Manufacturers

The topic of the best smartphone manufacturer is a very debatable subject but I figured that while on the subject I would contribute a list of my top 5 favorite smartphone manufacturers.

This list is the result of a practical understanding and familiarity with many different types of cell phones by many different manufacturers as well as years of experience helping people use and more importantly fix their cell phones. This list is not just about usability but dependability and functionality as a whole.

That being said here is the list of my favorite smartphone manufacturers. If your list of favorites differs from mine then don’t forget to post your list of favorites in the comments section below as well as why they are your favorites and what smartphone you currently own. I look forward to reading about your favorite smartphone manufacturers.

My favorite smartphone manufacturers

#5 LG

You don’t often hear a lot about LG as a smartphone manufacturer but in my experience with LG smartphones they may not be packed with amazing features or even amazing hardware but over all I have found that they are well built little phones with few known issues and when their owners take care of them LG phones usually takes care of their owners.

While LG smartphone are not on the tippy top as far as popularity or as far as sales go the last time I checked they were amongst the top 10 best selling smartphone manufacturers offering quality products which are often sold at a very reasonable price.

#4 Sony

Sony Xperia smartphones are good smartphones and if it was not for the non-removable battery that Sony seems to think is necessary for their phones for some reason Sony would probably be my second favorite smartphone manufacturer.

It doesn’t sound like much I know but when a phone freezes what is the first thing that you do to try and fix it? You try to turn it off and if it refuses to power off then what do you do? You remove the battery. A soft reset can fix a multitude of minor issues that can occur on a smartphone. Luckily Sony has a simulated battery pull built into their phones which helps to combat these types of problems but having access to the battery is still one of the things that I look for when evaluating a smartphone. Besides when it comes time to replace the battery I don’t want to have to break my phone apart (which will void the phones warranty if it has one) just to replace a battery. I would rather just take the back plate off of the phone, take out the bad battery, pop in the new one and be good to go. Unfortunately this task is a little more work for a Sony Xperia…

As far as the phones themselves though… they are powerful, popular often affordable and for the most part are good little smartphone to own.

#3 Motorola

Motorola has slipped a lot in popularity over the last few years, especially with the competition coming out of China. Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and even Lenovo have been climbing up and competing for their share of this ever growing market and as a result manufacturers like Motorola has suffered but that is the nature of the business world. You are either growing or your dyeing there isn’t a third direction.

Hopefully Motorola can make a comeback as they are not out of the fight just yet and for now they still hold a place on the list of my top 5 favorite smartphone manufacturers. From the very begging they have including a very friendly user interface on their phones as well as a very friendly file management system as well. From my experience they seem to use quality parts and have very few known or common issues. Motorola just needs to find a way to make their phones stand out, without cutting back on the quality. They also need to keep an eye on their smartphone design as far as removable batteries are concerned as well. 

#2 Apple

Apple and Samsung are the epitome of competitive rivalry in the smartphone world and both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages over one another.

Apple has a reputation of keeping everything in house. Apple and their ever popular iPhone run on their own unique software (the iOS) which is not available to any other smartphone manufacturers and iPhone also use their own app marketplace as well which is only available to other Apple products. Apple can sync directly to iTunes (another Apple product) for managing your iPhone and its content etc. All in all if you love Apple products then you are going to love the iPhone.

While Samsung is currently selling a record number of smartphones Apple remains the runner up and while it may have a lower market share it gets to boast about its much larger profit margin.

#1 Samsung

Samsung is currently my favorite smartphone manufacturer. It offers smartphones for a variety of operating systems, including Android my favorite operating system.

Samsung smartphones are typically built using quality materials and superior parts and they are very easy to use and operate; even for first time smartphone owners. I have noticed that Samsung has a good habit of keeping the software of their phones up to date; even on older models (which is uncommon and awesome). Samsung often includes additional features and applications and their smartphones which don’t usually feel like bloatware (at least not to me). Over all Samsung typically offers a quality product at a reasonable price and a Samsung smartphones seem to hold onto their value better over time compared to its competition which I find important in this tech driven world that we live in.

Thanks for Reading and Thanks for Sharing

Thank you for visiting the site. I hope that you enjoyed this post and were able to take something away from it that will help you make your decision when choosing a smartphone manufacturer.

Don’t forget to press the Facebook Like or Google + buttons if you enjoyed this article and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have a favorite smartphone manufacturer and if you do then who is it and why?

Thanks again for visiting and I look forward to what you have to say in the comment section below.

Would you like to learn more?

This article is PART 4 of Choosing a smartphone. Click HERE to start at the beginning or feel free to jump to a different part in this series of posts by selecting one of the links below.

Part 1: Choosing a Smartphone - Getting Started

Part 2: Specifications to Consider when Choosing a Smartphone

Part 3: Choosing a Smartphone Operating System

Part 4: Choosing a Smartphone Manufacturer

Part 5: How to Choose the Best Wireless Service Provider

Part 6: Smartphone Buying Tips

Part 7: Things to Check in Person after Buying a Smartphone

Part 8: Things Often Overlooked when Choosing a Smartphone

Part 9: Things to Consider when Replacing a Cell Phone

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