Other people will only look at certain features, like the quality of the camera, for instance. But there is so much more that should go into a phone purchase. The more you know about phones, the more likely you’ll get the exact phone that you need and not overpay for a subpar one. Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when choosing a mobile handset.
The very first thing you have to look for is performance. While you may not think that it’s that important, you have to think about requirements not only now, but in the future. Buying a powerful phone will ensure that it will be able to keep up and still run great a few years down the line.
RAM and processor power are the two things that you will need to look out for. The processor will dictate how pretty much everything runs on your phone. The processor is like the brain of your phone and can enhance many functions, such as image processing, for instance. If you want to perform heavy tasks on your phone and want it to run smoothly, you have to go with a strong processor.
If you have no idea about how processors work and which one you should pick, some popular options include Exynos 990, Snapdragon, Apple A13 Bionic, and Kirin 990. Apple chipsets are known for their RAW processing power and the Snapdragon is the closest you’ll get to this on your Android.
You should also check how you use your phone. Not everyone will need all of this processing power. If you never record videos or rarely use your phone to watch them, there is a strong chance that you don’t need a super-powerful processor. The same goes if you don’t do streaming or barely use apps. In this case, you could look for low and mid-range processors like the Snapdragon 675, 730, and 730G, or the MediaTek Helio G90T or G85 to name just a few.
RAM is also very important. RAM dictates how many tasks you can perform at once. If you like to run multiple apps in the background, this is where good RAM comes in handy. Some smartphones go overboard with the RAM, some even having as much as 16GB, which is more than in many personal computers.
If you only use your phone to make calls and use WhatsApp, you don’t need that much. Something in the 3GB to 4GB territory should be more than enough.
Budget is also very important when buying a phone. In this case, it would be wise to look at manufacturers that have a reputation for releasing great phones at low prices, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Motorola. If you want to keep costs down, we would also suggest that you consider looking at cheap SIM only deals. Companies like Lebara have very flexible cheap SIM only deals that you can choose from. One of the greatest things about their deals is the variety, but also the fact that you will never have to worry about going above your data or minutes. Everything is capped at zero and they offer great options such as the possibility to use your phone as a mobile hotspot or sharing data with your family or friends.
The Operating System
A lot of people will religiously go for one operating system over the other without understanding why. For some, a smartphone has to be an Apple even if they don’t even use most of its capabilities. Many of these people could actually be better served by an Android.
If you need something that you’ll be able to customise and will be adaptable, go for an Android. Another very important thing to consider is how dependent you are on Google’s suite of products.
If you use Gmail, Google Drive, or Google Meet, you know that they’ll always be optimised for your Android. Also, if you’re using something like a Chromebook, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues. You also never know if Google will decide to release a version of one of their apps for iOS or not.
iOS, on the other hand, is usually a better option for people who need something simple. Buying an iPhone also means that you can get more service and your phone will be supported for longer. Another point in the iPhone’s favour is that it’s generally thought to protect your privacy better.
One issue with iOS, however, is that it can be very rigid. You can’t use split screens as you do on iPads. You cannot customise your home page or use launchers to completely transform the interface. And only apps that are available on the App Store can be sideloaded.
Both operating systems also have very different user experiences. The iPhone doesn’t have a back button, for instance, which means that navigation can vary greatly between apps. While some say that it’s intuitive, having to learn how to go back on every app can become frustrating after a while.
One of the things with Androids is that different phones will have different interfaces. Samsung has its One UI 2 skin that is on top of Android and has greatly improved over the years. So, try as many as you can before you make your decision and pick the one that you’re the most comfortable with.
This one is very important. A bad display will make your phone almost unusable in certain conditions. You need a screen with low glare that can be viewed from any angle without any loss. When it comes to display type, you usually have the choice between LED and AMOLED. AMOLED is the latest technology and comes in different variants like Super AMOLED and OLED. These have better contrasts and darker blacks. They can also help reduce battery consumption by turning off black pixels to display ‘true black’.
You then need to look at the resolution. You have Full HD, Quad HD, and Full HD+. There is a difference in resolution between Quad HD and Full HD, but it’s very hard to see with an untrained eye, so Full HD should be more than enough for you.
Last, but certainly not least, you want to know how resistant to impact the display is. There is no reason for you to walk around with a cracked phone when you can get something, robust such as Gorilla glass. Gorilla 5 and 6 displays are common on recent models and will provide your device with reasonable protection. We still strongly suggest that you invest in a case, however.
Storage and Camera
The two last things you need to pay special attention to are storage space and the camera. You need enough storage not only for apps, but for updates, and these can balloon very quickly, so we would suggest that you go with a device with at least 128GB of storage. Check how much space is being taken by bloatware as well.
The camera is also important, but the price has to justify the quality. Here, we would suggest that you look at sensor size instead of mega-pixels. Most models today will have serviceable cameras, so unless you want to take professional high-res photos, this is not something you should obsess over.
This is everything you need to know about choosing a good mobile phone. Make sure that you do your research before you pick any model, look at reviews, and don’t go by trends.