Thursday, October 10, 2013

Which smartphone to recommend to clients

There is no doubt in my mind that a smartphone is the best available memory aid. I estimate that I keep about 60% of all my day-to-day memory on my iPhone and tablet. I would argue that a person with a moderate memory problem but an excellent smartphone use can potentially outperform the majority of their peers.

So, which smartphone? I have just read an article about a top-end Android phone (the latest Galaxy, I think), that made me salivate and wonder about switching. But on reflection, I would still not change my recommendations for phones in memory remediation.

These are:

1. If a person is already using a smartphone, of whatever ilk, do not replace it with anything else. In this case, your job should be to just point out a few extra features that they should be using.
  • One of the most important of these, especially for those of your clients that tend to lose things, is an acquisition of a special keyring that raises hell if the keys and the phone get separated (e.g.: one gets left behind in a restaurant). Which reminds me, I really must get one of those.
  • Another thing to attend to, is to make sure that a phone's data is backed up. In particular, syncing calendars is important, so that if the smartphone gets lost or damaged, the appointments don't disappear with it. I tend to sync to Google calendar, which I find very convenient. You can add appointments on a computer, your smartphone or tablet, and they propagate across devices. Also, from a computer you can request multiple reminders, in the form of texts or emails that will arrive at your smartphone. However, Google Calendar is only one of a few systems worth considering.
  • The third matter to attend to, is to make sure that your client is using all the basic memory functions of the device: the notes app, keyword searching, camera for taking pictures of relevant info, the ability to add photographs to contacts, voice recording, asking people to text you information, etc. 

2. If a person is new to smartphones, I would strongly recommend iPhone. The reasons for this are:
  • The 'closed' architecture, or inability to mess around with operating system. All apps are pre-tested by Apple, and generally work without problems. The thing does not require technical know-how to manage and is fairly resistant to messing around with software. In other words, it is relatively hard to stuff up.
  • All models of the iPhone are basically the same, with the same suite of basic apps. I have recently damaged my iPhone and had to go back to the original one I had (imported from the US before the Australian release, version 0). It still worked, and still had all the basics that I use every day. This is important if you are giving advice, recommending apps, or generally helping the person learn how to use the phone as you don't have to know the functionality of multiple systems and models (although this argument is invalid if you are an Android expert). It also means that the client can buy an older version of the iPhone, which can be very much cheaper (especially second-hand), and still enjoy the core functionality.
  • The quality of the iPhone is generally good. In contrast, I wonder what is the quality of the low-end phones on the market.
So, for me the uniformity of architecture across models and the difficulty of 'breaking' the phone (software only, if you want a physically unbreakable phone, you'll have to go to Nokia), are the most significant features.

Of course, any Android fans, and those who prefer other brands of smartphones out there, are most welcome to explain their opinion in the comments or as a guest post.



  1. The most preferred brand is Samsung as you can find the largest range of smartphones from cheap to costly budgets.

    Charlie Electra

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  2. But if we talk about the quality and brand both, then Apple iPhone are the best.

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