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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

4G LTE? Battery life? More tips on choosing a smartphone

30

March

What exactly is 4G LTE? What should a person look for in a smartphone? Mike Riley, vice president and general manager of MetroPCS's Central Florida Region, shares some insights. MetroPCS, which offers unlimited 4G LTE plans, was the first to launch the service in the United States.

4G LTE: Long Term Evolution, or LTE, is a globally adopted wireless communication standard that provides faster upload and download speeds than older mobile networks -- up to 10 times the speed. "4G" stands for the fourth-generation of mobile broadband Internet access. In a nutshell, 4G LTE makes web browsing, streaming multimedia like audio/video and playing online games easy and quick. Not all wireless carriers have 4G LTE.

Processor speed: Does a mobile phone processor (the brains of the phone) really matter? Yes, depending on your mobile usage. Talk-and-texters can get away with smaller processors (500 or 600 megahertz), while multitaskers who love using apps and multimedia features more than one at a time could benefit from a speedier processor, like a 1.2-megahertz dual-core found in the LG Connect 4G.

Battery life: Many consumers don’t realize that a phone’s battery life can be extended by making some simple changes to their mobile phone settings -- dimming screen brightness, cutting back on video streaming and closing applications instead of minimizing them. That can make the difference between needing a car charger on the way home from work and waiting until bedtime. Some batteries of high-end handsets only last “breakfast to lunch,” but what consumers need is “breakfast to bedtime.”

[Last modified: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:49am]

    

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