How much research do you do before buying a new tablet or smartphone? Do you try the product hands-on before buying it or are you happy to trust a particular manufacturer? Finally, what smartphone and / or tablet do you currently own?
I actually try to quite a bit of research before buying a product and in most cases I want some hands-on time as well if at all possible. (With my latest purchase, the 5th gen iPod Touch, I couldn't get hands-on time because there wasn't a single store that had one to try except for the Apple Store and I didn't feel like going to downtown Norfolk and fighting the traffic to try it). It's very rare that I'll buy a product without hands-on time, but as mentioned my iPod Touch was an exception. (And boy, it's way better than I thought it would be and the reviews were quite spot on).
My current smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I still maintain it's the best smartphone I've ever owned. My current tablet is the Google Nexus 7 and I love the little beast! And of course, my recently purchased iPod Touch.
As much as possible, but I have pre-ordered a number of Apple products, mainly if they are faulty their customer service is awesome.
Well I did have an iPad 2, Nexus 7, S3 but sold the Nexus 7 and S3, back with iPhone 5. Will be selling iPad today as cash converters and pre ordering the iPad Mini.
I just follow the tech news and use that as my research. I will try the odd different product like the Note I and WebOS. Currently main devices are Nexus 7, Note II and SIII.
I generally stick with my current OS unless something particular compelling happens, e.g. HP pulls out, but then try to decide which device from the range best meets my needs and falls in my budget!
Phone - Samsung Galaxy NexusBig tablet - HP TouchPad, running both WebOS and Android CyanogenModSmall tablet - Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition
As sad as this may sound I truly am a tech obsessed junkie. I buy whatever is top of the line for each OS and play. After a few weeks I sell the one I don't like. I have owned 3 samsung galaxies (1,2,and 3) and a nexus, a Nokia N9, and almost all the iterations of iphone (except 3GS). Ultimately I have returned to iOS each time. I must admit though the gap between android and ios has been closing, slowly.
I hate the thought of being a hypocrite and I won't advise others if I haven't tried it myself.
I did quite a bit of hands on before buying my first iPhone and then my first iPad. But after that, I bought the iPhone 4 early on and pre-ordered my iPhone 5. I ordered the iPad 2 and new (3) from Apple. I'd like an iPad 4th gen but not so soon after the 3rd. I'm now wondering if the next iPad will be the spring or fall.
As I live in Israel I don't much get a chance to try "hands on".
I do as much research as I can on the web and asking friends their experience.Sometimes it is just the hardware that sells me - ThinkPad Tablet with 64GB, Full size SD card and 3G.Though it has been hated by many and I've needed 2 repairs (IBM in Israel does it well), I like it and it suits my needs.
Present phone Samsung SII - still going strong and I like it. I'd consider Samsung favorably next time.
I first set out what I want from my new item. I then research all the options to find out which is supposed to best fit my list. Then I go instore to try them out and see if the reality matches the hype and reviews I have read. And only then will I start looking around for the best price, and will often give the store in which I did the demo an option to beat the best price I have (if it is within a value range to my best price I will often go with the store even though it is marginally more expensive)..... I can't afford for them to die out as I need somewhere to try out this stuff.
If I'm after Apple products, I don't need doing research. It's plain to see. If I'm after Android devices, high-end, then I will dig a bit just to be sure. But since I'm mainly after cheaper devices I search a lot because I try to maximize the most regarding the money I'm going to spend. I try to get the best for the lowest price and that takes a lot of research.Presently I came across and I'm looking at some crazy devices the Chinese are releasing that are typical clones of high-end well known android devices. They have just about the same look with good specs and are cheap!! very cheap. If only they could do what they announce they can... ;-)
Maybe I will get one for experience just to see what are the Chinese up to.
I like to read user reviews on sites I trust. If I can I'll have a play with it I will. But I got my S2 without even touching it. I have to admit it had been out for quite some time and since I was happy with my original S I figured I can't really go wrong with a "free" S2.
I do enormous amounts of research in enormous amounts of depth for pretty much any gadget I buy, and even non-gadgets. I feel it's a pleasurable part of the experience of getting a new gadget.
I generally look for The Best One. Unfortunately in most sectors shops don't stock The Best One so I have to buy them sight unseen. Phones are different and I was able to check out the S3 before buying it, and my gf was able to try the Note II.
Like Jaam I'll buy from a local shop if they have what I want and it's not massively more expensive, although I'm a lot less diligent with this if the shop's a chain.
It's not uncommon for someone else to either get me to find out what's best for them or for them to just buy what I bought, knowing it'll be The Best One. My cousin once bought exactly the same components as me to build his new PC apart from the case. Mine ran very well; his ran fine apart from over-heating because of the case...