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10 Cool features that make Android phones a great choice.
Android smartphones come with a number of nifty features which can make your life much easier.
It was a pretty long time ago, but you may still remember the days when smartphones were just a little bit smarter than regular cell phones. Those days are gone now. Today’s smartphones are so much more than just a touch screen, GPS navigation and access to the internet. In fact, many manufacturers equip their phones with features and functionalities you wouldn’t even dream about a few years ago. Here’s a list of 10 cool features that make Android phones a great choice no matter if you planning to buy it in new, used or refurbished condition.
Battery life is usually the biggest disappointment for users who switch from basic phones to smartphones. Let’s face it, smartphones are power-hungry devices, hence they require frequent charging. One solution would be to use larger batteries, but then an average smartphone would be the size of a brick and no one would appreciate that. Instead, many manufacturers opted for quick charge technology which allows you to charge the phone up to 50% in no more than 30 minutes. You still need to plug the phone to a charger quite often but at least you don’t have to wait long hours for the battery to have enough power to get you through the rest of the day. Unfortunately, in order to take advantage of quick charge technology, you have to purchase a separate charger, but it’s very likely that it will soon become a standard feature. This option can be found, for example, on the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, and Nexus 6 Android smartphones.
Heart rate monitor
A heart rate monitor is not an absolute must for every smartphone user, but if you are health-conscious and want to keep tabs on your physical condition, this feature may come in handy. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was the first Android phone to come with a heart rate monitor. Its successor, the Galaxy S6, as well as Galaxy Note 4 also offer this feature. Although to some it may still sound like a science-fiction idea, the sensor used in Samsung phones is actually pretty accurate. Moreover it works with a dedicated app called S Health which can record your results and help you monitor your condition.
IR blaster/Remote control
Remember when you used to send files from phone to phone via infrared? Now we have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transfer data between devices, but it doesn’t mean that infrared is only a sweet memory when it comes to phones. A number of Android devices, for example those made by Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC, are equipped with IR blasters which allow them to act as remote controls. Thanks to special apps, you can use your smartphone to control a number of devices in your house, for example TVs, set-top boxes and sound systems. It can be very useful, especially if you are a person who has trouble keeping track of all your remote controls.
Kill switch (Device Protection)
Apple’s iPhones and Android phones are among top ten most often stolen items in the US but while chances of you getting back your phone all by yourself are pretty slim, you can at least make it more difficult for a thief to use it. Android Device Manager offers a certain degree of protection by allowing you to remotely lock, ring and track your device, but Lollipop 5.1 update brought something Android fans have been waiting for for a very long time – full-on kill switch. In order to activate it, you need to enable Device Protection on your phone. Once it’s done, the only way to use the device if it gets reset to factory settings will be by entering your Google account details.
Manufacturers have been experimenting with screens for quite some time and so far managed to come up with a few interesting solutions. Samsung is the first company to wrap screen around the edges in its Galaxy S6 Edge phones to create additional space that can be used for shortcuts, displaying notifications and much more. While some claim that it’s nothing more than a clever trick to squeeze more money out of gadget fans, others see a lot of potential in such innovation.
Knock On and Motion Launch
Waking your phone by pressing a button too much trouble for you? You can do it in a simpler manner if you opt for one of LG or HTC latest phones. Both manufacturers introduced a new feature which allows you to activate a turned-off screen by tapping on it twice. Do it again and the screen turns off again. LG went even further and implemented this concept into Knock Code – a pattern of your choice that you tap on a turned-off screen to unlock the Android phone. It’s actually not that different from punching a PIN code but it’s way cooler. HTC, on the other hand, integrated motion sensors with the screen in a whole new way allowing you to take different actions depending on the gesture you make. For example, swipe a turned-off screen in one direction and it will take you to Blinkfeed, swipe the other way and you go to the last open app.
If you take photos at least every now and then, you know that beautiful moments tend to disappear quickly, hence it’s important to get your camera ready to shoot as fast as possible. HTC, Huawei and Motorola know it too. Instead of unlocking the phone and going to camera app you can now start the camera by rotating the phone to landscape mode and then pressing the volume down button in the HTC One M9, pressing volume down button twice in the Huawei P8 or simply twisting your wrist in a special way in the Moto X.
Among all the improvements Android 5.0 Lollipop brought is a new way of interacting with notifications. Now you can do so directly from the lockscreen meaning that you can go straight to the app that left notification, or choose to ignore it. And you don’t even have to unlock the phone in order to do so. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
The vast majority of users protect their phones with PIN codes. It’s a very wise habit and it only takes a second or two, however, if you have to do this 50 times a day, it can be irritating. Android 5.0 Lollipop brought a clever solution to this issue called Smart Lock. This feature allows you to set up safe locations where you will be able to unlock your phone without having to tap a PIN code.
In the past couple of years Android smartphones have gone from being fancy tools for communication and entertainment to becoming personal assistants. This feature developed to such an extent that you can actually talk to the phone and it will respond. How? Just use Google Now. Just say “Ok Google” to activate it and then you can ask for directions, dictate messages or browse the internet. Phones with Android stock, such as the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Moto X offer “always on” mode for Google Now. In other devices you have to first drag it up from the home button and then activate it by saying “Ok Google.”
These are just a few examples of how Android phones can make your life easier. Some of the above mentioned features seemed impossible a few years ago, and now they are becoming a standard. With that in mind, we can’t wait to see what other improvements the future will bring. Whatever it is, it will be exciting, that’s for sure.