Best alternatives to the iPhone
If you believe the hype, you might think the iPhone 5 is the one and only smartphone choice. Do your research, however, and you may be swayed by the features of these iPhone alternatives.
Samsung Galaxy S4
In Samsung's new TV ad, the Galaxy S4 is portrayed as the phone for the younger generation (while the iPhone 5 belongs to their decidedly less-hip parents who can't quite keep up with the latest technology). The ad shows off the Galaxy S4 features the iPhone doesn't have: letting users answer the phone by waving their hand over it, controlling their TV with the device's remote functionality and sharing content with other Galaxy S4s by “bumping” them.
LG Optimus G Pro
With its 5.5-inch HD screen, some call this device a “phablet” — a cross between a phone and a tablet. If you like a big screen, the LG Optimus G Pro is — well — phabulous. Intuitive controls, a long-lasting battery and a powerful processor make it easy to connect to watch movies, read books and take photos. Since we love anything that eliminates button pressing, we're big fans of the voice-activated camera that lets you snap a photo simply by saying “Cheese!
The HTC One is high on style, with an all-aluminum body, slim profile and 4.7-inch LCD display screen. Speakers on each side of the phone deliver quality audio for playing music or movies. Like other Android devices, the HTC One comes loaded with Gmail, e-mail, Google+ social networking, Google Talk and more, plus access to over 700,000 apps through the Google Play store. The HTC's built-in camera app (Zoe) lets you take continuous photos while you hold down the on-screen shutter — letting you choose the shot you like best. Each time you tap the shutter, Zoe also records three seconds of video with audio — great for capturing kids who will do anything but sit still for a picture.
Google Nexus 4
It can be annoying that Google knows so much about us — until that information is used to make life easier. The new Google Now (available on Google Nexus 4) is Google's answer to Apple's Siri — and according to early reports, it's a whole lot smarter. Google Now uses schedule, location and search data to display information on your phone screen when and where you need it. Want to make your life even easier? Make sure your husband gets a Google Now-equipped Nexus 4, too. That way Google Now can give him a heads-up when you're running late and you're exhausted — without you needing to tell him — so he can have the kids bathed and fed when you get home. (A girl can dream, right?)
If you crave the tactile satisfaction of a real keyboard, the BlackBerry Q10 has what you need. Four luscious rows and 35 keys are arranged in the QWERTY configuration. Sculpted buttons give a solid click when pressed. Of course, all that jumbo keyboard goodness comes at a price. In this case, it's the screen size that suffers. The BlackBerry's screen is downright mini compared with the competition.
Do your kids have mobile phones? What age is appropriate for children to get their own phones? Tell us in the comments below!