Size matters, it’s true – there, we’ve said it. At least it does if you want to get the most out of the sheer variety of smart devices available today, and it’s important to keep that in mind if you’re looking for a device that’s as practical as it is innovative. Here’s a snapshot of the types of devices available – from the ones small enough to dangle on your wrist to those mounted on your wall – that can help you stay connected and productive no matter where life or work take you. Read more about these technologies and the most popular solutions for each category after the infographic below.
Before you run out to your local Best Buy here are some things to keep in mind on the various devices and screen sizes and just how well they fit your individual needs:
These devices are perfect when you’re driving and want to keep your eyes on the road, or are enjoying a jog and don’t want to reach into your pocket every time you’re facebooked or whatsapped. Many models such as the Pebble Steel let you control all of your music on your phone as well as count your steps, helping you get in the zone and rock out that workout. But if you don’t already own one, you may want to keep an eye out for the highly anticipated Apple Watch release, expected in early 2015. It’s expected to make a huge splash in the market and may well elevate the smart watch market to new heights. These accessories range in display size from 1.5 to 2.2 inches.
Popular choices: Apple Watch, Pebble Steel, Moto 360, Samsung Gear 2.
Smartphones are getting larger and larger it seems, but if you’re a tech minimalist who still prefers using a phone to actually make calls (what a novel idea!) and fiddle with apps on your personal time, then mini phones will gain you more real estate and comfort in your pockets. Be prepared to give up some storage, power and processing capabilities, however. These phones carry display sizes between 3.5 and 4.5 inches.
Popular choices: HTC One mini 2, Galaxy S X Mini, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Samsung S5 mini.
The default lowest common denominator of the digital age. Regardless of any other devices you add to your repertoire, chances are you’re relying on one of these to browse the net, access apps, snap photos and post on social media. Today’s leading devices feature display sizes from 4 to 5 inches. If you’re going any bigger than you’re likely looking at a Phablet…
Popular choices: iPhone 6, Moto X, Galaxy S 5, Nexus 5, LG G2.
Larger than a smartphone, smaller than a tablet, yet with comparable features and capabilities, this relatively recent mutation of the two could be an all-in-one solution, and an alternative to tablets, giving you the benefits of both in a smaller package. Phablets will give you a screen display anywhere from 5.5 to 7 inches. The emergence of the iPhone 6 Plus could help push phablets as the disruptive innovation that snatches significant market share away from the smartphone and tablet market.
Popular choices: Samsung Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z Ultra, LG G3, Nexus 6
Remember the good old days when kids were content just to run outside and play hide-and-go-seek? Yeah neither do we. Tablets are ideal for casual browsing, playing lightweight games and watching multimedia. Sales agents, restaurants and other service industries use these point-and-click devices to enhance presentations and customer experiences. Tablets range in display size from 7 to 10 inches.
Popular choices: Apple iPad Air & IPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Nexus 7 & 9.
Designed for thinness (usually under an inch thin) and lightness, these devices can be a great alternative to travelling professionals who want the technology without the bulk. You can choose from screen sizes between 11 and 15 inches and still enjoy most laptop capabilities.
Popular choices: MacBook Air, HP Spectre 13, Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus, Toshiba Chromebook.
If you’re a mobile-minded freelancer, laptops can easily serve as your only PC. Ideal for content-driven marketers or business consultants working remotely, you can select display sizes from 13 to 17 inches.
Popular choices: Apple MacBook Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad T440s, Dell XPS 15, Acer Aspire E1-510P.
Still the preferred one-stop shop to get time-intensive work done efficiently, and easily access the full gamut of office applications and multimedia design programs. No longer the hub for innovation they also don’t need to be replaced nearly as much as their fast-evolving descendants, and are workhorses nevertheless. Branding is also much less critical – most office employees couldn’t even tell you what model they’re using. Leading models range all the way from 17 to 27 inches in display.
Popular choices: Dell OptiPlex, HP Pro, Lenovo ThinkStation, Apple iMac.
Mainly used for larger than life on-demand TV, video streaming and gaming, but Skyping with your friends and family has never looked better! Great for game consoles.
Popular choices: Samsung Smart Hub, Panasonic Smart Vieira, Sony Internet TVs, LG Smart TV Class, Toshiba Cloud TV.