In this post, we will talk about important points to consider before buying a smartphone. Smartphones have become an essential part of our life nowadays. Our day-to-day life is incomplete without our smartphones. We use smartphones to take pictures, communicate, saving documents on the cloud, playing high-quality games, and we even sometimes use smartphones as a power bank to charge other phones.
A smartphone is something different from a regular telephone. As the word says, “Smart” means a gadget that is more than just an electronic item. The smartphone industry is seeing a lot of advancement in technology. That’s why there is an upgrade available for a smartphone every couple of months.
This tremendous increase in technology has put us in a situation where it’s difficult to choose which smartphone is best for us. There are many manufacturers, and every manufacturer has many smartphone types with a considerable difference in price and features.
With this wide variety of smartphones available in the market, it’s not easy to decide which one to go for. We always try our best to get the best and spend days and even weeks thinking about the best smartphone.
By the end of this post, you will be able to understand essential points about smartphone choices. You will get to know about crucial things you should take care of while buying the best mobile phone for your loved ones.
Which one should you buy: Android or iPhone?
It is the first but essential first point you must take care of. Both Android and iPhone have their advantages and disadvantages. You can compare the major difference between Android and iPhone here.
However, if you have already locked into Android or iOS? If yes, then it’s perfect; otherwise, you need to first choose between both of these before deciding on a smartphone. Depending on the user’s features, price, and requirement, Android and iOS are both excellent. But all that matters is brand and few things that every iOS user wants in their iPhone and some things that every Android user wants in their android smartphone.
So, we will move to the next point, but if you can’t clear out your confusion between iPhone and Android, you can see my other post highlighting some pros and cons of Android and iPhone.
1. Build Quality: Metal or Plastic
The durability of any smartphone depends on its build quality. Generally, there are two types of smartphone material available in the market – Metal and Plastic. Also, there are some glass-coated panels too, but they are limited and not much popular too.
If you are very good at keeping your phone safe (unlike me), then you can go for the glass-coated panel as the reflecting body will catch everyone’s eyes.
But if you are prone to drop your phone, I recommend you go for a Metal or Plastic body as they can sustain a drop from 2-3 feet, but a glass body might shatter both your phone and your heart after a fall.
2. Screen Size and Display Resolution
Whenever you are buying a smartphone or another display-based electronic device, you might have asked yourself a question? What size should I choose?
In the case of smartphones, the size and resolution of the display usually depend on how you use your smartphone. If you need a smartphone for watching videos, edit photos and videos, play the latest games, then a screen size of 5.5 inches to 6-inch will be sufficient for you, along with full-HD or QHD resolution.
You may even look for a screen size larger than 6.5-inch, but that will be bulky and difficult to carry with you anywhere. If you are a daily user for everything on your smartphone, like work apps, maintaining documents, etc., then you should go for either 5-inch or 5.5-inch according to your hand grip.
In the world of selfies and short videos, the camera has become the essential feature to keep in mind while buying a smartphone—most of the peoples who love taking pictures regularly. Every smartphone is incomplete without a high-quality camera that can’t provide you selfie that you love.
Most people usually go for more megapixeles for a better quality in their pictures and videos. However, that is not true at all. The quality of camera depends upon several factors along with the number of pixels it can process.
Megapixels stand only for the size of the image. An increase in pixels means a sharper image on the small screen. Other specifications, such as focus, ISO levels, aperture, lens quality, etc., decide the quality of your pictures and the performance of your camera in your smartphone. Autofocus, ISO levels, pixel size, aperture, etc., are some of the specifications which must be kept in mind.
A 16MP/20MP camera might not click better pictures than a 12MP camera. You can compare the quality using an iPhone with a 12 MP camera with an low budget Android smartphone with a 48 MP camera.
It all depends on the requirement of the user what specification you need. So, next time you buy a smartphone, don’t forget to check the reviews and other camera specifications rather than only MPs.
Here are some features that you can look in the camera of your next smartphone:
- Image stabilization (OIS or EIS)
- Recording resolutions
- Frame rate
- Auto focus
Performance is the central part that plays a vital role in today’s smartphones. Nobody wants to have a phone that froze after some time, heat up very soon, and even restarts after seeing huge-sized apps.
The performance of your smartphone hugely depends on your processor, and the execution of that processor bank on the Operating System, User Interface, etc. So, it would be best if you chose the processor depending upon usage carefully.
Suppose you are a heavy user with many applications, playing high-quality games, editing videos and photos on your smartphone, and using multiple apps simultaneously. In that case, high-end processors like Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Snapdragon 865, Snapdragon 888, Apple A14, etc., are best for your multitasking capabilities.
Please note that if you are thinking about using 5G, you need to take care of the processor that can support 5G communications.
5. Battery and Charging
The quality of the battery and its charging capabilities plays a significant role in making any decision about the smartphone. However, the performance of a battery largely depends upon the tasks. It would be best if you considered how you are going to use your smartphone.
If you are a heavy user whose day is incomplete without gaming, streaming, video editing, etc., then then you must go for a smartphone equipped with at least a 3500mAh battery with quick charging.
On the other side, if you are a light smartphone user who only uses the smartphone for nominal usage that includes less calling, a bit of messaging, reading documents, etc., then a 2500-3000mAh battery will be sufficient to run it the whole day.
A more powerful battery means it will take more time to charge completely. In this situation, you can go for a USB Type-C port that supports quick charge, and you will be able to get 70% battery in around 25 minutes only. Nowadays, most of the smartphones you will find are having USB Type-C ports.
However, they take more time to charge the battery fully. That usually depends upon the quality of the adapter and cable. For example, you can compare the performance of a OnePlus smartphone with Redmi Smartphone. That means having a C-type charging port does not necessarily mean faster charging.
6. Operating System and User Interface
The operating system and UI are two joint things that are important for any smartphone user to keep in mind before spending anything. Your smartphone must have a creative user interface by which you can use it with ease.
If you want to experience the basic features of Android, then you can go for Nexus/Pixel, Motorola, or Nokia smartphones (running on Android One). They have a clean version of the Android with essential elements and original Android skin.
On the other hand, you can try custom Android skins from different manufacturers. Here are some of the popular Android skins:
- MIUI by Xiaomi
- EMUI by Huawei
- ZenUI by Asus
- Xperia UI Sony
- Samsung TouchWiz by Samsung
- ColorOS by realme
Many smartphone manufacturers provide these customized Android skin to make android more friendly with users. However, a custom UI means you might have to see bloatware on your smartphone.
Bloatware is the name given to pre-installed apps by the manufacturer. Most of these apps are part of system apps, and you can not get rid of them.
iPhone has its own UI that is unique and different in features but more convenient and reliable.
7. RAM – The More The Merrier
RAM is something you can not ignore as a feature in any smartphone or even a computer. You can choose to have a lower-quality camera and low resolutions, but it is not good to compromise on the RAM. More insufficient RAM can result in a significant drop in the performance of your smartphone.
Here are some problems caused by low amount of RAM in smartphones:
- Your phone might freeze frequently
- Unable to play good-quality games
- No or poor video and photo editing
- No streaming of HD content
- Lagging in every task
- and so on
However, RAM is not the only culprit here, you need to take care of other factors too (processor, OS, storage, etc.).
How much RAM should I have in my smartphone?
For normal usage (without gaming), you can go for 3GB of RAM for a decent performance. If you are a gamer, you can go for a minimum of 6GB RAM for Android and 4GB of RAM for iPhone.
8. Storage – once again The More The Merrier
Storage is pretty important for a gadget with memory storing capabilities. The more space you have the more stuff you can store. This applies on smartphones too and you should keep in mind the amount of storage is good for you. It could become the game changing factor while choosing a best smartphone.
A large part of storage is consumed by Operating System and pre-installed apps in any smartphone. You can go for the 16GB variant if you are sure that you won’t need several apps on your smartphone. But I advocate you go for a minimum of 32GB internal storage because you won’t be able to use at least 30% of your storage.
For nominal usage, with a bit of gaming, photos, videos, etc., you can go for the 64GB variant if you need more apps or even go for a 32GB variant with external microSD card support. Now there is a catch; most smartphones come with a hybrid slot for SIM cards and MicroSD cards. That means you would have to give up on one of the SIM if you want to extend the storage.
Also, there is a limit to the amount of storage a processor can handle. Hence, make sure to look at the limit of extending storage while buying a smartphone of your choice. Nowadays, many smartphones are offering up to 1 TB of storage extension using a MicroSD card.
Security is becoming a feature in smartphones nowadays. Every smartphone make is trying to make their customer feels secure while using their smartphones. Fingerprint sensor, iris sensor is the newest in this extra security category. You can secure your phone along with all your apps and documents with these additional securities.
Tip: Make sure to memorize or write down the secondary security method (Pattern Lock, PIN, etc.) if you’re going for Face Unlock or Fingerprint Unlock. At some points, you might not be able to unlock your smartphone with Finger or Face.
For all music lovers, this could be the most crucial feature to take care of before buying a smartphone. If you love listening to music for hours on your smartphone or streaming videos, you must take care of the audio quality and speakers.
You must keep the quality of audio coming out of your phone in mind before purchasing any smartphone. I’m sure you would not want to end up listening to annoying audio every time you receive a call or play a movie on Netflix.
You can go for front-facing speakers if you love watching videos in landscape mode. Otherwise, bottom-firing speakers or back placed speakers can work fine.
11. Regular Updates
Google release monthly security and bugs fix for Android OS. It is to ensure the safety and performance of your smartphone. However, most of the manufacturers get lazy after launching a smartphone. Xiaomi and Samsung are two of those manufacturers that do not seem to be fans of regular updates.
On the other hand, some smartphones updates their flagship phones only. It usually happens with Android smartphone manufacturers only as Apple releases timely updates for most of its smartphones. However, you can select an Android smartphone having Android One UI to receive direct updates from Google.
It would help if you took care of it before buying a smartphone of your choice. Regular updates also mean there are chances that you might not face software bugs and security issues.
Last but not least! You need to check the pricing of the smartphone you are planning to purchase. Make sure the smartphone fits in your pocket and budget. You must choose a phone depending upon your requirement only.
Think twice before making any decision about whether you need a premium phone or not. If not, then go for a mid-range phone of the budget phone that provides most features without putting holes in your pocket.
So far, we have discussed the most important tips to keep in mind before buying a mobile phone or a smartphone to be precise. We have discussed about the RAM, Processor, Camera, Battery, Pricing, etc.
Now you must be thinking like, “Okay, I understood above points. But how do I make up my mind?”
Let me help you in that case, follow the step-by-step process to make up your mind for buying a smartphone or you can apply similar approach for computers too.
- What is your budget? – That plays an important role here. There is no point in searching for the features and technology that you can not afford right now.
- Can you wait? – There are several smartphones launches every year. If you wait for two months, you might end up having more features in the same budget.
- How are you going to use your phone? – Take a look at how you currently use a mobile phone or how you might use it in the future? Make a list of features you need in your next phone.
- Do you have any preferences? – To be honest, we all have our preferences, someone likes OnePlus, someone likes iPhone, someone likes Samsung. Think about the preference you have. It is necessary to get satisfaction out of your choice. For example, my brother is crazy about Nokia. He might have his reasons, but that’s what it is.
- Go for one – It is a good way of finding out what you might like. Follow the points as mentioned earlier, and go for one without overthinking about it. Even if you might end up buying not such a good smartphone, you will get to know about its performance that will be helpful in the future.
Now that you have understood all vital aspects of a smartphone. Combine all the features and choose a smartphone. Share the mobile phone model with us in the comment below, and we will review it for you.
Thank you for taking the time to go through this post. I hope you get something useful out of it. Please let us know how we did it. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to contact us.