Smartphones became our irreplaceable companions. We carry them everywhere, and thanks to these incredible devices, we can not only place calls and send texts, but we can also use the Internet and apps on the go. That is why choosing the right phone really is important. There are many things that you should take into consideration when buying a smartphone. We are going to list and discuss all the essentials here so that you can buy a smartphone that will be perfect for you.
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Things to consider when buying a smartphone
Carrier or unlocked phone?
In this smartphone buying guide, we are going to start with one of the basic decisions you will have to make. You have two options, to sign a contract with a carrier and get a new device, or buy an unlocked smartphone.
If you choose to go trough a carrier, you will have to pick one of the phones the carrier is offering. On the other hand, if you are up for an unlocked phones, you get to choose between a wide range of devices and you will easily get the one suitable for your needs and budget. The majority of unlocked phones work on most networks.
Going through a carrier may be a good idea for those who want to purchase a device through monthly payments. We may take the latest Apple’s flagship as an example, iPhone 7 Plus (128 GB). In AT&T, its retail price is $869, but you can go for a 30-month installment agreement, and pay 29$ per month.
Android, iPhone, Windows phone or BlackBerry
Android is the most versatile operating system ideal for those who love to customize everything according to their desires. Also, the choice of Android devices is huge. They come in different screen sizes, designs, and are available in a wide range of prices.
The latest version of Android software, Android 7.0 Nought brought many awesome new features. The latest software updates are not available to all Android users at the same time. They first arrive on Google’s devices, such as Nexus and now Google Pixel. Others have to wait for a while. If you are looking for a personal virtual assistant, Android got you covered with Google Now.
If you are a fan of Apple products, and looking for a companion for your Mac or iPad, and iPhone is the obvious choice. iOS is known for its simplicity and a wide range of options. It comes with Siri, one of the best virtual assistants. However, you can’t customize iOS.
Apple updates iOS frequently, and every new version brings bug fixes and new features. As soon as the update is officially on, all iPhone users can upgrade their devices. iPhones are pretty expensive, and they look the same, so you won’t have the huge choice in terms of design.
Windows phones are not popular as Android or iPhone, but they do come with some amazing things. The build quality is great. The user interface is simple and runs smoothly. Android has Google Now, iOS has Siri, and Windows phones have Cortana, and it’s awesome. These phones come with Microsoft integration and support and you can even play the Xbox games on it.
However, Windows phones are not rich in features as Android and iPhone are. Also, you won’t find nearly as many apps in Windows App Store as you will in the Play Store or App Store. People are not too impressed with the design, or the look of the UI. If you are planning to get a Windows phone through the carrier, you will probably hit the wall. The phones are mostly available in the Microsoft stores.
BlackBerry phones used to be very popular. They were known for the exceptional battery life, sound quality and security features. If you are buying a smartphone and looking for a device with built-in security features, BlackBerry Priv may be a good choice. It is the Android-powered device that comes with the qwerty keyboard, but it is quite expensive. Hopefully, BlackBerry will find a way to attract the users and get back into the game with new devices.
The size of the screen and the quality
Another important decision you will have to make when buying a smartphone is the size of the screen. You get to choose between a small screen, medium, and a big one. When it comes to the first option, you can get a smartphone that comes with less than 4.5-inch screen size. If you like using a smartphone with one hand, this is a perfect choice.
That’s too small for you? Consider a smartphone with a medium screen size (4.5-inch to 5.5-inch). Some of the most popular phones of 2017 have a medium-sized screen, including LG G5 (5.3-inch) and iPhone 7(4.7-inch).
If you don’t find the above-mentioned sizes appealing, then go for a phablet (5.5-inch or more). A smartphone with a large display is an excellent choice for people who like watching videos or playing games on the go.
Display quality also needs to be taken into consideration. Resolution and viewing angles are the things that make a difference. Brightness and colors play a significant role in the overall experience.
Many Android phones present today come with quad HD resolution of 2560×1140 pixels. As these smartphones include extremely sharp displays, their price is higher. The majority of the phones feature a full-HD display of 1920×1080 pixels, including some budget smartphones. The iPhone 7 Plus comes with a 1920×1080 pixel resolution and iPhone 7 with 1334×750 pixel resolution. When it comes to cheap smartphones, they mostly feature displays with 1280×720 pixel resolution.
The screen resolution has a major impact on the quality – the higher it is the better. Phones with low screen resolution can’t display all the details and offer that exceptional experience the ones with the high resolution can.
Processor, RAM, and Internal Storage
Before we dive deeper into this part, it is important to figure out what kind of user you are and for what things you want to use your smartphone for. It is quite simple. If you want a phone to place calls, send texts, and use a few apps every now and then, you can get a cheap smartphone. There is no need to look the configuration too much. If you want to play games, watch videos, open apps fast and have super smooth experience, processor, ram, and storage are very important.
Having a phone with a great processor makes a huge difference. You can perform any task smoothly, without lag or other issues. The best smartphone processor at the moment is Qualcomm 820. Among the phones that run this processor, you can find Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and Xiaomi M5. Other really great ones are Apple’s A9 and A8, Samsung Exynos 8890, Kirin 950, and Qualcomm 810. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature A10 processor.
RAM memory stores open apps, so the processor can access them easily. Let’s say it this way. You are using Instagram at the moment, but you see a notification on Facebook. Now, you switch from Instagram to Facebook. When you want to go back to Instagram, you will be able to continue where you left off. It is because RAM stores open apps, and you don’t have to restart them. You should avoid phones with just 1 GB RAM. Go for the ones with 2, 3, or 4. The more the merrier – faster and smoother experience.
We also have to mention internal storage. In order to store all your apps, photos, videos, and other things, you will need a phone with a good amount of storage. You have a lot of options these days ranging from only 2 GB up to 256. Many phones come with the expandable storage. This means you can buy a microSD card and expand the storage. The microSD cards are pretty affordable. For instance, you can buy San Disc Ultra 32 GB microSD card on Amazon, for $10.59 only.
One of the things important for every user is how long will the battery last between charges. When buying a smartphone, get the one with 3.000 mAh battery or larger, so it may last longer. But keep in mind this is a tricky one. How long the battery will last depends on several factors, such as the processor, size of the screen, etc. It also depends on the usage. If you keep 4G on all day, play games, and watch videos, you simply can’t expect the battery will last for 3 days.
Also, keep in mind that most of the phones these days feature non-removable batteries. But there are some advantages. The phones are not bulky as they used to be. They are slim and just gorgeous. Also, this prevents dust particles from entering into the interior of the phone. When you have a phone with a removable battery, you may pull it out often which may damage the components.
Gone are the days when we packed a camera when going to a vacation. Now we use our smartphones to capture all the precious moments. If you like to take pictures and record videos, you want a phone that comes with a great camera. Many phones boast with a 13-megapixel camera or more, but that’s not enough. When choosing a smartphone and want a good camera, consider the camera speed, image quality, and things such as autofocus, aperture, and additional features.
The high-end smartphones such as Samsung S7, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus deliver some pretty astonishing photos. There are many mid-range phones with good cameras too.
We can’t offer you some specific advice here. Every person has a specific taste. If you love the design of iPhones and would love to switch to iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to get the new features, go for it. The latest Apple’s flagship looks similar to its predecessor. If you pay a lot of attention to the build quality, you won’t go wrong with HTC 10 or iPhone. These devices are known for their exceptional build quality.
If you want something a bit different in terms of design, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or S7 Edge may be a good choice. These devices come with a curved display that many people find attractive.
The rest is up to you. There are many smartphones available today, and they come in different sizes and colours. We are sure you will find a perfect companion that matches your personal style.
The smartphones keep getting better. Manufacturers are giving their best to introduce some new and exciting features created to improve the user experience.
There are things such as NFC, fingerprint security, wireless charging, a slot for MicroSD card for expandable storage, water-resistance feature, and so on. These features boost the overall experience. The high-end smartphones come with most of these features.
Wrapping it up
We have listed all the things you should consider when buying a smartphone. There are tons of great phones out there for every budget and taste and with these things in mind, you will know what to look for. Thanks to this smartphone buying guide, you will easily find the one that will be just perfect for you.