Shopping for a smartphone is quite a maze these days, and although iPhone 4S is one of the most popular devices out there, there are at least five other phones to consider before picking one up. While it's easy to just pick a price and not look at other more expensive (or less expensive) phones, other things to consider are carriers and what exactly you plan to do with it. Carriers are important because, other than perhaps abandoning your current plan, it's good to know what you get from each one. Data plans, for example, vary widely, and only one carrier in the U.S. still allows unlimited data (Sprint).

Other carriers offer different data amounts at different prices and with differing costs for exceeding those limits.

This makes buying a smartphone as a gift very difficult (unless you are also paying for the plan, i.e., adding a phone to a current plan). It will depend on how much you know about smartphones and also how much the person you are buying for knows. It might be easier to shop for a person who's looking to get their first smartphone rather than someone who already has one. With that in mind, here are five other phones to consider before grabbing that iPhone 4S. Teill us in the comments about your shopping experience for a new smartphone. 

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