3 Helpful Tips Every Smartphone Buyer Should Know

By on December 5, 2014 | 5:00 pm
December 5, 2014 | 5:00 pm
Smartphone choices
December 5, 2014 | 5:00 pm

Buying a new smartphone can be a hassle. Not only is there a massive wealth of phones out there but they all have different prices, shapes and sizes and it can be difficult to know where to start.

But it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t take a mobile expert to pick a good smartphone, and by following this simple list of tips, you’ll be able to choose the best smartphone for you.

1. Price

A budget is the very first thing that you should figure out before you buy a smartphone, or anything, really. It determines how much you’re willing to spend and what you’ll get so you’ll be able to set (realistic) expectations accordingly.

For example, if you have limited funds, do not expect to buy the latest iPhone; that just won’t be possible. You should also be mindful of paying small amounts for phones that claim to have everything without reviews confirming that they do – ‘too good to be true’ really is an important mantra here.

The average price of a brand new high-end phone with no contract is around $650 – $750 or £500 – £600. You will be able to get a phone for around a third of that if you decide to go for the contract option, but you’ll usually have to pay around $30/£40 a month too. Budgets phones meanwhile offer lower specs but retail sub $200/£200 without a contract (some are as low as $70/£50 with a contract). Mid-range phones can be anywhere in between and may offer a good median if you want quality specs with less of a big spend.

2. Usage

Another question to ask yourself when buying a smartphone is what you plan on using it for.

If you’re new to the world of smartphones then it might be best to go for an iPhone. Stylish, sleek and closed off, you can’t really go wrong here. There are a good many games and apps too, so although they aren’t the most powerful things around, you’ll be able to ease into the market easily.

For work, it’s smarter to go with a Windows Phone. Although choice is limited with Windows Phones, the Cortana virtual assistant (a bit like Siri on iPhones) will make you work day a breeze while the Windows powered smartphones also include mobile versions of Microsoft Office which will help you take your work on the go.

Android phones meanwhile are a tech lover’s dream. Not only are there more Android powered phones than iPhones or Windows Phones (and therefore the choice is greater) but as Android is open-source you can modify it yourself should you wish. It also means that you have more ways of getting music, files and apps as you won’t have to go through iTunes or the Windows Phone App+Games Store to get them.

3. Specs

With those things considered, the last and final piece of the puzzle piece comes down to specs.

As a minimum, you should expect 1GB of RAM. There are phones out there with just 526MB of RAM but these cannot bear the brunt of gaming or much work and so while cheap, should be avoided. 2GB is a fairly sized reasonable amount whilst 3GB of RAM is the current maximum that we’ve seen from a smartphone.

You’ll also want to pick a speedy processor. Again as a minimum, I recommend a dual-core processor that clocks in at 1.4GHz or higher (most high-end handsets have quad-core processors with 2.0GHz or more.)

If RAM is the brawn then processors are the brains, and if you’re looking for a serious gaming (or serious work) phone, then you’ll want a phone with a high figure of both.

Meanwhile, you should look for no less than 1080p HD if you’re bothered about graphics. Or, for something less than 1080p, ask to test out the phone in the store so you can see if the visual quality is up to par.

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