Regardless of whether you require another phone because your old one conked out or you are essentially a smartphone addict who much of the time changes your phone, there are some factors to consider when buying a smartphone.
We’ve created a mobile buying guide checklist to assist you in choosing the best smartphone for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Smartphone
The humble cellphone has come a long way over the years. The days of using a phone solely to make phone calls are long gone.
Smartphones have become the focal point of our digital lives, allowing us to interact with others, surf the Internet, play games, pay bills, stay organized, and more.
Many people are perplexed about what to consider when buying a mobile phone.
There are several aspects to consider before purchasing a smartphone. First, you’ll need to decide which operating system you want your smartphone to use.
Other things to consider are the amount of storage, screen size, battery life, and camera quality, to mention a few.
As a result, because a smartphone is one of our most significant assets, it might be difficult to choose the proper one.
That is, however, why we have put together this mobile buying guide to assist you in finding the best smartphone for your needs.
1. Build Quality
This is the first and most important thing in factor to consider when buying a smartphone and hence we are starting with this in the smartphone buying guide.
The body of smartphones is made of metal or plastic. Nowadays some phones are coming with glass-covered panels too, which were not very popular in the earlier stages of their introduction.
The durability of your smartphone hugely depends on its build quality.
A metal-bodied smartphone is more likely to withstand drops from two to three feet. The survival of a plastic-bodied phone is limited.
Meanwhile, you can’t envision that glass-secured bodies will survive any drop. But the glass-covered phones are given a premium style finish. So give due weightage to it.
2. Size and Resolution of the Display
You should pick the size and objectives of your display depending on your usage. Phone display sizes have grown significantly over the years, which may be essential to you.
Smaller screens are four inches in size, whereas bigger displays can be up to seven inches in size.
If you love watching videos and stream a significant proportion of them on your phone, by then a screen size of either 5.5 or 6.0 full-HD or QHD would be ideal for you.
It will allow you to enjoy the experience of rich media while being easy to carry in your pocket or purse. They give you clearer and sharper pictures.
Bigger phones are bulky and you will find it difficult to carry them around. So a phone with over a 6.0-inch screen isn’t perfect.
A five-inch HD or full HD screen would fit the necessities like checking emails, chats, and other similar daily activities.
The LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is the most prevalent display type in mid-range and low-end phones.
LCDs are cheap to produce, which is why they’re so popular, but the market is that they’re not the greatest at preserving battery life and don’t offer the deepest blacks or richest colours.
However, there are two varieties of LCDs: TFT-LCDs, which are the cheapest and have the worst colour reproduction, and IPS-LCDs, which have somewhat better colour reproduction and broader viewing angles.
Then comes the types of display. There are chiefly two kinds of display – IPS and LED display.
LCDs are being phased out of high-end phones in favour of OLED displays. OLED displays consume less power since they light up individual pixels rather than the entire panel.
Furthermore, when black appears on the screen, OLED displays simply do not light it, resulting in deeper blacks and greater contrast ratios.
You may come across “Super AMOLED” screens, which are essentially Samsung branding for its OLED panels.
Smartphone major Samsung is an extraordinary promoter of Super AMOLED display. Similarly,iPhones and different gadgets of Apple brag about IPS displays.
However, the gap between the two is becoming less evident with the passage of time and the advent of new technologies.
You’ll probably only see the difference between LCD and OLED displays if you have a keen eye, however, the battery benefits that come with OLED panels may be worth the extra money.
Both IPS and OLED displays have advantages and drawbacks. Hence, it is not easy to judge which is better.
Related: Best smartphones under Rs.8,000.
The performance of your smartphone massively depends on the processor. In other words, the processor is the brain of any smart device. So choosing a smartphone with a well-capable processor is an important factor in a phone buying guide.
More powerful processors essentially imply that your phone can “think” faster, which means that tasks are performed faster, multitasking is snappier, and your phone will work well for a longer period.
Longevity is essential in this case: A phone with a substandard CPU may be perfectly capable of operating today’s apps, but that may not be the case for apps published in two years.
So knowledge of the processor also comes on top of the smartphone buying guide. Similarly, the performance of the processor depends on factors like Operating System, User Interface, bloatware, and more. Pick the processor based on your necessity.
A stronger processor like Qualcomm Snapdragon (4 Gen 1/888 etc.) is required for editing pictures and videos online and also to play games.
Qualcomm and MediaTek processors provide a healthy choice.
Meanwhile, Huawei is proving itself capable of providing users with strong performance with its Kirin chip.
See the processing speed that GigaHertz (GHz) reveals. The higher the frequency the quicker the processor.
If you will be doing a lot of photo/video editing or playing online games and streaming videos, select a faster processor.
They are likewise great when streaming videos online or multitasking (utilizing numerous applications simultaneously). On the opposite end, MediaTek processors are sufficient for light utilization.
If you want extra power, you should look for CPUs with several “cores“. Traditional processors can only do one job at a time, whereas dual-core and quad-core processors can handle two and four tasks, respectively.
Most people hold the wrong consumption that megapixels are the sole determinants of good photos.
Megapixels stand for the size of images and as pixels go high, the images get sharper on small screens. Apart from megapixels, other features like the camera aperture, ISO levels, autofocus, etc., do play key roles in creating clear pictures.
Any camera with 13 MP or above with f/2.0 or lower aperture will be useful for photography lovers while an 8 MP camera with f/2.2 aperture will be adequate for easygoing use.
A fantastic camera is made up of several components, the most essential of which is the software that powers it.
Because two phones with equal camera characteristics may provide radically different outcomes, it’s nearly difficult to shop for a phone with a decent camera only based on specs on paper.
Not all batteries are the same size, and a smaller battery can significantly reduce the time your phone can be used on a single charge.
Battery capacity is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh), with a higher value indicating more capacity. Of course, it’s not always as easy as “bigger batteries last longer on your phone.”
A phone with a larger battery but an equally high-resolution display and a power-hungry processor may not survive as long as one with a smaller battery, a lower-resolution display, and a less powerful processor.
Battery life directly depends on its use. A 3500 mAh battery would be ideal for those watching videos, playing games, and working on mobile apps.
Similarly, a battery of 3000 mAh will be sufficient for mild use or light use. Nowadays smartphones with around 400mAh capacity are available in the market.
A higher number of mAh does not signify an improvement in battery life or a longer battery life cycle. The factors which come into play are different and they are worth learning.
Heavy internet use appears to drain out batteries more quickly. If you belong to this user group then it’s best to go for a long-lasting battery phone.
6. User Interface and OS
Give due weight to the user interface and operating system. So, if you’ve decided you want a smartphone, you’ll need to determine which operating system to use.
A smartphone’s operating system serves the same purpose as a computer’s operating system. It is essentially the software with which you interact regularly.
Nowadays, we do nearly everything through mobile and thus, the interface ought to be straightforward to understand.
iOS is the operating system on an iPhone, while Android is the operating system on an Android phone. Each operating system has its pros and downsides.
Motorola handsets, Google’s Pixel smartphones, Android One, and so on., are some of those phones, which give an unadulterated Android experience.
Just two Operating Systems (OS) are available to choose from- Android or iOS. If you choose iOS, you’ll get an Apple iPhone by default.
All other mobile manufacturers work on the Android OS. However, this often comes with a confusing variety of versions.
For a variety of factors, Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the world.
Different handset creators depend on other UIs like MIUI, ZenUI, Samsung TouchWiz, OxygenOS, and Xperia UI to offer many different features and applications.
Each of these versions is frequently modified by manufacturers to add their features.
The latest available version of Android is Android 12, but sadly not all Android phones come with the recent version of the OS.
So we encourage you not to purchase a smartphone with outdated versions of Android like Nougat or Marshmellow.
At least opt for an Android Pie smartphone if you are sure to get updates from the phone manufacturer at least for 2 years.
In the Android OS when manufacturers are trying to add more features, by addition of bloatware may result in a further slowdown of the smartphone.
If you’re a long-time Google user, Android is typically better at interacting with your favourite apps and services. We’re not just talking about the Google search engine here; other operating systems do as well.
Instead, we’re talking about Google Play Music, Google Drive cloud storage, other Google products like the Google Home smart speaker, and more.
Picking a smartphone operating system is now more than ever about choosing an ecosystem, and if you go with an Android phone, it may be advantageous to either currently use Google’s services or be prepared to transition.
Finally, there are a few strong reasons to choose an Android phone. They can be somewhat less expensive, integrate better with Google’s applications and services, and are slightly smarter.
Apple’s iOS may not be used by as many people throughout the world, but it is the leading smartphone operating system in the United States.
There are several advantages to choosing an iPhone—the phone that runs iOS—over an Android smartphone. The primary ones are that it’s made by Apple, so it’s very easy to use, ultra-stylish and works well with other Apple products.
A phone running iOS is certainly the way to choose if you want a simple user interface, stronger Apple integration, and a phone that operates better for longer periods.
So, before you make the decision check the phone out.
7. Networking Technology
Every day, mobile network technology evolves. As a result, this factor is also important in a mobile buying guide.
A few years ago, 3G was the best, which was quickly followed by 4G and now 5G. Even though 4G is the current standard, 5G networks are rapidly emerging in most cities.
So opt for a 5G phone that is backwards compatible with 4G. However, a 4G phone cannot be used in a 5G network. 5G provides faster internet speeds and call connectivity.
The most recent technology, 5G, provides peak data rates of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) and average transfer speeds of more than 100 megabits per second (Mbps).
Then the other latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS will be available in almost all the handsets, and hence itself no need to worry in this regard.
NFC is also a good connectivity option to communicate with other phones having the same feature, and it will also help you with contactless payments.
8. Storage and Memory
These are also factors as much as important to be listed in a mobile buying guide.
Phones have two memory types–Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read-Only Memory (ROM).
Here RAM is the temporary memory in which all processing work is being done. ROM is the main memory or we call it a phone’s storage (internal memory) where we keep OS, other utility applications, and our data.
RAM, or Random Access Memory, is another type of storage, however, instead of saving files, it is utilized by your system to save anything that it may need to access quickly.
Most open apps are kept in RAM so that when you close them and reopen them, they will appear on the screen without needing to be entirely loaded again.
In general, more RAM is desirable when purchasing a smartphone, however, phones with more RAM are frequently more expensive.
A mid-range phone will most likely have 2GB of RAM, but for most users, a smartphone with 3GB or more is recommended.
Pick a phone that bolsters adequate capacity. Keep in mind you won’t get as much storage as the figure states like 16GB\32 GB\64GB and so forth.
Some portion of this storage is consumed by the preinstalled applications and you get just the rest of the piece storage capacity.
An average user would be satisfied with a RAM of 2 GB and a ROM of 16 GB. But if you are a heavy user, go for a phone with RAM of at least 3-4 GB and 64 GB.
You can also use a micro SD memory card to increase your ROM, but note, that those applications that are stored and run from memory cards appear to be slower.
So pick a gadget relying upon your utilization and the number of applications. If you are picking a phone with low internal storage, it will be lacking in your future utilization.
For most individuals, storage is likely the next most critical factor to consider. The more storage space you have on your phone, the more files, apps, photos, videos, and other media you can store on it at the same time.
It’s a little easier to get away with less capacity these days if you utilize cloud storage like Apple Photos or Google Drive, but some things just can’t function without being kept on your phone.
We recommend obtaining a phone with at least 16GB of storage (for moderate users), but 32GB is preferable, and 64GB or more should be enough for heavier users.
Some phones additionally support external storage, often via a MicroSD card slot. With this slot, you may purchase a tiny card, around the size of a SIM card, to store files on.
MicroSD cards begin at a low price for low-capacity cards and rise in price from there.
9. Security features
It’s always good to go for a phone that comes with additional security features like a fingerprint scanner or iris scanner.
These can be utilized not exclusively to lock/unlock your phones but additionally to secure your valuable files and documents on the smartphone.
The days of entering a PIN to unlock your phone are long gone. Most smartphones now have a fingerprint sensor, allowing you to unlock your device fast and effortlessly with the touch of a sensor.
Other kinds of biometric identification, such as iris scanning or face recognition, are available on certain higher-end phones.
Many people believe that fingerprint detection is the simplest way to authenticate, especially depending on where it is placed.
While some phones have a fingerprint sensor on the front, some have a sensor on the back, allowing you to swiftly scan your fingerprint as you pull your handset out of your pocket.
Some phones now have face recognition, which is both safer and sometimes simpler to use. To verify yourself using facial recognition, all you have to do is look at your phone, which might be tough if your phone is on your desk, for example.
We recommend a phone having at least a fingerprint scanner, however, any other identification mechanism can be handy as well.
Also, there should be an option to back up your data which can be achieved by using any of the cloud storage services like Google Drive or iCloud.
These days, everyone uses their phones to watch videos and movies, listen to music, and more.
Prefer phones with front-facing speakers for gaining voice clarity even when using the phones in landscape mode.
Likewise, check the quality of speakers and their sound system before buying.
11. Headphone Jack/USB port
Phones come with either micro-USB or USB Type-C.
Devices, which support USB Type-C are more futuristic. Check the accessibility of a 3.5 mm sound jack or USB Type-C-based headphone jacks.
Some handset producers have begun ditching a 3.5 mm audio jack in their gadgets.
12. Add-ons or Pre Installed Applications
Check the extra applications, which you get as pre-installed applications. As mentioned earlier these additional applications or bloatware may cause the performance deterioration of our smartphones.
A few gadgets accompany heaps of pre-installed applications while some accompany practically nothing. Check whether these apps are a boon or bane.
Bloatware refers to applications and games that come pre-installed with a device, most notably Android phones.
Some manufacturers will not even let you uninstall them, and your only option is to disable them.
If you don’t want bloatware, your options are limited: either clear Android phones or Google Pixel phones. Motorola devices have near-stock Android experiences.
Last but not least, the price factor is in the smartphone buying guide. Make sure you have chosen a phone that fits your pocket and budget.
A phone should be chosen depending on the requirement. Think about whether you truly require an exceptional phone to do all of your needs.
If not, lean toward a mid-range or budget smartphone that won’t consume a lot from your pocket.
So, first, decide how much you’re prepared to spend and what features your smartphone has.
If you desire an Apple iPhone or a similar expensive phone, you may forget about your budget. Apple gadgets are often more expensive than Android smartphones.
That is not the case with Android smartphones, as you can get a competent handset for basic day-to-day use for as little as Rs 7,000.
We hope you are interested in this article about the things to consider before buying a smartphone. Keep these things in your mind when you are making smartphone purchases next time.
Mobile Buying Guide – Frequently Asked Questions
It is dependent on how you use your phone. 4GB RAM is sufficient for normal voice and video calling, internet browsing, social media browsing, and basic games. However, if you are an avid gamer or use your phone for more graphics-intensive tasks, 6GB-8GB RAM is recommended.
To understand the latest smartphone collections, you can visit Amazon and purchase them from there.
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