Smartphone buyers guide: A guide to helping you choose the right phone

In this Smartphone Buyers Guide we identify what to look for in a new phone, what features are important, and what to take into consideration when purchasing a new phone.

Choosing a new phone can be daunting, there are hundreds of different phone brands to choose from and every phone model has different specifications and features, to narrow this down first identify the following.

Budget

How much are you willing to spend on a new phone? There are three different general categories of phones as follows.

Entry-level: $100-$300
Mid-range: $301-$599
High-end: $600-$1000+

Needs

Identifying your needs is an important part of choosing a new phone, ask yourself “What Features do you require?” do you need a big battery? lots of storage space? there are a lot of different features in Smartphones. The following are some of the common features and requirements.
Large storage space

  • If you plan to take lots of photos and videos, download lots of music, or anything else that takes a lot of space you might want to get a phone with a decent amount of internal storage, 16GB or 32GB sound big but they fill up very quickly over time.

Good camera

  • Remember higher megapixel doesn’t always mean it’s a better camera, a 12.3 MP phone might take better photos than a 16MP phone

Large screen

  • This is a personal preference, some people prefer a bigger screen and it’s especially handy for watching videos or reading eBooks, you might like to try some phones in a phone store first to decide what you prefer more.

Good battery life

  • Battery life is something that’s important in a Smartphone, it’s got to be big enough to last you through the day. Most Mid-range Smartphones will last a full day of the essential tasks such as taking phone calls and checking emails, but if you need decent battery life look for phones with a 3,000mAh or higher battery.

Locked or Unlocked

Headphone Jack

  • Modern Smartphones are beginning to ditch the headphone jack and require wireless Bluetooth headphones, if you plan to listen to music a lot keep this in mind when searching for a new phone.

Aesthetics

  • This is to do with how the device looks and feels in your hand, whether it’s comfortable to hold, and whether you can comfortably type on the touchscreen without issues. To know if a phone will suit you aesthetically you’ll need to try the phone in a phone store or borrow a friends phone.

Choose a carrier

Some plans may only be offered on locked phones, once you’ve chosen a plan you like that fits your budget you can then check whether you’ll be able to use that plan on a phone of your choice, check with your carrier to find out whether your plan is compatible.

Choose an Operating System

The last thing to consider is which platform you’d like to use, there are a range of different mobile operating systems available but the most popular ones include Apple’s iOS, and Android.

Apple’s iOS gives you a limited choice but provides a consistent experience across all of its devices, the only company that sells iOS phones is Apple themselves allowing them to have greater control of the platform.

Android gives you a lot of choice and customization options for your needs, there are a whole range of brands that sell Android phones due to the open nature of the Android operating system, some of these brands change the look and feel of the device providing an inconsistent experience with other devices, but this is slowly starting to improve with stricter rules enforced by Google and the release of Google’s own devices.

Sales assistants in a phone store may be able to assist you in choosing a phone but keep in mind they may offer a biased opinion.

This has been a basic Smartphone Buyers Guide for purchasing a new smartphone, you can see our Android Smartphone buyers guide to find out what to look for when purchasing an Android Smartphone.

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