There used to be a time when smartphones were a luxury; today, they’re practically a necessity. We can—and do—check the news, keep in touch with friends and family, play games, and even work or run a small business with just a smartphone in hand.
This is why buying a smartphone is a big decision for most people. However, with new models coming out every few months and more affordable brands coming up with competitive, feature-rich units of their own, the choice is getting harder and harder to make.
Here are a few things to consider in choosing the right smartphone for you.
- Primary Usage
How will you be using your smartphone? Will it be mainly for surfing the web and using social networking sites to stay connected and keep in touch with other people? Are you a mobile gamer who wants high-definition graphics? Or are you hunting for a model that will help you be more productive, in and out of the office? Deciding on the primary purpose of your smartphone will definitely help pare down thousands of options into more relevant choices.
- OS Preference
This is primarily a personal choice, closely related to how you’re going to use your phone. iOS remains the platform of choice for most developers. So if you’re an “app heavy” user, you might want to swing for an iPhone. However, Android isn’t really that far behind when it comes to apps and it’s also easier to customize. Android users also have an easier time in managing and transferring their files to a computer because they don’t need special apps to do so. Windows OS, on the other hand, can give you a leg up for office productivity with its suite of Microsoft-linked products.
- Processing Power and Storage
Are you a multi-tasker who keeps multiple apps running in the background, even as you keep gigabytes of files in your phone? Or are you a simple, casual user who focuses on surfing, social media, and perhaps a bit of phone photography? Heavy users will most likely need multi-core processors with speeds no lower than 4GHz, while casual users may find 1.8 to 2.2 GHz speeds just fine.
Storage-wise, if you’re planning on using your phone to save several gigabytes of photos, videos, and other files, you might want something with a bigger internal memory capacity. Phones with expandable storage capacities, sometimes up to 128 GB, will definitely come in handy.
- Camera and Display
Are you a self-confessed shutterbug? Then you definitely need a smartphone with a powerful camera. However, higher megapixels doesn’t necessarily mean better photos. Check specifications like aperture, ISO levels, auto-focus, and dual lenses.
For those who use their smartphones to stream videos or play graphics-heavy games, a smartphone with a 1080p resolution is your best bet to maximize those visuals.
While you don’t have to worry about your phone running out of juice thanks to power banks, you want your phone battery to last as long as possible before plugging it in. Heavy users shouldn’t consider anything lower than 3,500 mAH. Casual users should find 3,000 mAH batteries more than sufficient.
Smartphones with removable batteries also have a definite advantage when it comes to maintenance and repairs.
- Security Features
Among the most common security features on smartphones are GPS locators and remote locking should the phone get stolen or lost; built-in virus and/or malware scanners; and phone and SD card encryption, to name a few.
The most recent smartphone models include fingerprint and even retina scanners to prevent unauthorized access.
This is what it ultimately boils down to — how much you’re willing to shell out for a smartphone. There are several affordable options in the market, but you can’t expect too much on specs. Meanwhile, there are phones that can rival a laptop in processing power and other capabilities, but the price tag can be a bit steep.
Once you’ve figured out what you want in a smartphone and you’ve narrowed down your choices, the price range will be clearer.
Buying a smartphone is ultimately a personal decision. You don’t need to have the latest model if a mid-range phone with adequate capabilities will already meet your needs. List down all the things you need in a smartphone before you make a choice — it will make it easier for you to pick from thousands of different models in the market today.