In the past few years, technology has been rapidly evolving. We now have phones with a million different features and apps that can do almost anything. If you are looking to buy a new phone, there are many things to consider:
- Type of Phone: what type of phone do you want to buy (Android or Apple)?
- Budget: how much money are you willing to spend on your next device?
- Purpose: what are you mostly going to use the phone for? Is it watching movies or playing video games?
- Camera: Are you looking for a phone with excellent camera quality?
Below are the main criteria on what you need to consider when buying a new smartphone.
What to check in a phone before buying?
- Processor speed
The processor is one of the most important aspects when buying a new smartphone. It determines how fast your phone performs everyday tasks, as well as how future-proof it is.
If you are a fan of playing games on your phone, you will probably need a high-end processor in order to be able to play video games without experiencing lagging and freezing.
If you only want to use your phone for social media, a lower-end processor might be ideal.
When it comes to watching movies on your phone, you will need a high-speed processor that can handle high-resolution files.
A good way to estimate if your phone has an ideal processing speed is to look at the manufacturer’s information and compare it with similar products currently on the market.
- Screen size and resolution
The screen size and resolution of a smartphone determine just how big of a screen you’re going to have, and how sharp it’s going to be.
Do you want a small screen that enables you to take your phone everywhere with you or do you prefer a bigger, higher resolution screen so that everything looks really crisp?
Back when smartphones were fairly new products, screens were abysmally low in terms of resolution but nowadays, most screens have at least 1080p resolution.
It’s now more common for manufacturers to release smartphones with 1440 pixels resolution screens, or even 4000 Pixels resolution. This might be too much if you’re not planning on watching a lot of movies or playing graphically intensive games on your phone as a 4000 resolution screen is a lot more demanding in terms of resources, and can easily drain the battery very quickly.
- Operating system
There are basically three main operating systems you can choose from. If one doesn’t suit you, the other two should be able to.
- Apple (iOS) – This operating system is commonly found on iPhones, but there are also some tablets that use it.It’s easy to use and intuitive for most people as it comes with many pre-installed applications that users can easily access. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow manufacturers to alter the appearance of the operating system.
- Microsoft (Windows) – This operating system is used primarily by manufacturers like Nokia and HTC, but other companies like HP and Microsoft itself also make smartphones that run on it. Compared to iOS, the Windows operating system is more open for developers to customize, which means you can install third party applications . It’s easy to use as well, but not as intuitive as iOS. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t update their operating system (Windows Phone) very quickly – which means that your device’s software will be out of date.
- Android – Android is the most widely used operating system in the world: it runs on smartphones and tablets, and there are also several other devices (like smart TVs and consoles) that run on it. Like Windows, Android is easy to use and intuitive. However, manufacturers can customize the user interface of Android software – this means that not all Android devices will be the same. It’s also a lot easier for third party developers to create custom applications for Android than it is for Windows.
- Battery life
When it comes to battery life, the most important aspect is mAh – milliampere hours. This represents how long your phone will run before it needs to be charged. Smartphones generally have a pretty decent battery life by now, but if you want to be 100% certain that your phone will last all day, consider getting a phone with a large battery.
A phone with a 4000mAh battery should last much longer than one with a 3000mAh battery, even if the screen is on for the same amount of time. Don’t forget that battery life will depend on what you’re doing – playing games or watching movies means your phone will need to use more power, compared to merely checking emails or browsing web pages.
The average smartphone comes with a 5V 1A or 5V 2A charger, which can be plugged into the wall. While this is mostly okay, it takes much longer to charge your phone than if you got yourself a Quick Charge compatible car adapter (5V=of power) or an 18W USB-C Power Delivery-compatible wall charger (9V and 12v).
If you want your phone to charge quickly, we would recommend getting yourself a car adapter or wall charger with the same voltage as the original one it came with. However, if you decide to get an adapter that has 9V or more than 5A of power, then be sure that your smartphone supports it before buying it.
You might want to start with the security features of your phone, especially if you’re worried about the privacy of your data. Without getting into too much detail, some things you should definitely have are a fingerprint scanner and an iris scanner. These two are fairly secure, but you can find phones that have even better security features if you’re willing to spend a little bit more.
The iPhone, for example, has a face recognition feature that can be used as an extra layer of security.
- Internal Storage
Not all apps can be stored on the cloud (in fact, most require an internet connection even when simply running), so having enough internal storage space is important. The average smartphone comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage space, but this isn’t exactly enough for most people these days. As a result, most phones come with an expandable SD card slot that you can insert a memory card to expand your storage. This can come in handy if you want to play games that take up a lot of space or if you want to download movies to watch offline.
Most people tend to be rather conservative when choosing the look of their phone. They would like it to be either black, white, silver, or gold (for phones with metal back), which is usually not too difficult to find in any given price range. Still, you might consider paying a bit more for something like the S8 as its glass back is more fragile than metal, but looks much more premium compared to regular plastic.
A phone’s display is one of the most important factors when buying a new one. After all, that’s where you will be looking at your phone all the time. The most common type of display technology is LCD – it’s what Apple uses, and pretty much every other phone manufacturer out there. It has its advantages and disadvantages when compared to AMOLED – while it may have a smaller colour gamut, it tends to be brighter under direct sunlight hence causing eye strain.
Memory also referred to as RAM is important if you want your phone to be able to multi-task. Having more RAM will mean you can open multiple apps at once without any issues. The operating system also has an impact on the RAM(for example, iOS is limited to open only one app at a time), thus having a considerable amount of memory is ideal.
The quality of your phone’s camera is one of the biggest selling points nowadays – after all, Instagram has over 700 million monthly users! So make sure you choose a phone with a high dynamic range camera when it comes to photos and excellent electronic image stabilization for videos. Don’t forget the megapixels as well – an 8MP camera is not as good as a 16MP one, even though it may still take decent photos in well-lit settings.
The higher the pixels (the smaller they are), the more detail your camera will be able to capture – however, at some point, you’ll reach a limit of how small pixels can be without losing quality. Don’t consider this as an absolute number though – it varies from one phone to another, and depends on many other factors as well.
If you love taking selfies, consider getting a phone with higher megapixels – 12 or even 16 are not unheard of for this purpose.
The biggest factor when buying a new smartphone is of course its price – whether or not you can afford it and if it’s good enough for your needs. So, although we would never recommend something that we think is bad (or overpriced), we’ll just give you some general advice.
If you’re looking for a smartphone to replace your older one, it’s best if you look at devices that are either 1 or 2 years old – it will certainly save you quite a bit of money.
If you’re looking for a ‘budget’ phone, then devices that offer amazing value are usually sold by companies that have limited production, so they tend to sell out really fast.
- Dual Sim card
Dual sim cards are becoming increasingly popular, and there’s a good reason for that: if you regularly need access to two phone numbers or lines (for example, personal and work), it can come in very handy.
Just keep in mind that not all phones have this feature so make sure to thoroughly research whether your next phone has this feature or not – it may be a small detail, but it can make a big difference!
There you have it! A list of things that you should take into consideration when buying a new smartphone – hopefully, it helped! There are certainly more factors to consider, but this should get you started!