When you think of buying a smartphone, a lot of things come to mind. No matter how many suggestions you take and how many reviews you read, choosing the right phone will always be a task unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. With so many options available in the market you are bound to get confused.
So here are a few things that will help you in choosing your next smartphone:
In today’s world, a smartphone has become a necessity. From kids to elders, everybody wants to stay connected via the virtual world. Before you buy a smartphone, you need to get something clear: ‘What do I need the phone for?’
Long gone are the days when phones were only used for calling or texting. Nowadays, smartphones come with so many features including email, camera, games and so on. You can be a photography enthusiast or a gamer or someone who likes to chat a lot, no matter who you are there is a phone out there to fulfil those needs. However no phone can be the perfect smartphone as after all, it’s a matter of personal choice.
This is the big daddy of questions which makes the choice of a smartphone all the more difficult. There are 3 major operating systems out there: iOS (Apple), Android , Windows and for some classic lovers there is Blackberry as well.
Android : This is the most dominating OS of the lot and offers a wide variety of options as compared to any other platform. A lot of companies manufacture smartphones with Google’s Android OS. Apps galore in the Play Store and this OS gives the developers a good platform to experiment. The current version of Android is Lollipop (5.1.1) with the latest Marshmallow (6.0) set to release soon.
iOS : This OS is only restricted to Apple iPhone and comes in various enhancements of the smartphone. As Apple users say ‘If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone’. Various apps release for iOS before Android and Apple fans enjoy the broadest range of accessories for their smartphones. The latest version is iOS 9 which will be available across all Apple Devices. Windows : The Windows OS is still evolving and certainly lags behind iOS and Android in terms of apps and sales. But, Windows phones offer some compelling features like a dynamic start screen and a digital assistant in Cortana . Nokia Lumia series provides some of the best Windows smartphones with good features and an amazing camera. But who knows, with Windows 10 set to release, there might be some respite after all.
Blackberry : From the being one of the most popular phones of its time, the Blackberry brand has slumped down to being the least popular. There are still a lot of fans of this classic brand but it has really failed to impress in these times of cut-throat competition. The choice of smartphones are limited and even the amount of apps provided are few. Unless you are die-hard fan, this OS is not for you.
While this category may only bother the nerds, processor, RAM and battery are vital in choosing the correct smartphone. These factors play an important role in the performance of a phone. Also, higher the specs, higher the price.
A good processor inside a phone translates into faster performance of apps, smoother gameplay and quicker photo editing. The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is the most common amongst many Android and Windows phones. However, Apple has its own chipset with A9 being the latest.
The amount of RAM in your phone is responsible for the multi-tasking performance and smoothness in the functionality of the phone. You should avoid phones with 1GB RAM and should look for devices with at least 2-3GB RAM for an optimum performance.(However this scenario is not applicable for iPhone).
Choosing a phone with a good battery life will always keep you happy. You won’t have to roam around with a charger all the time. From playing games, listening to music, checking emails and clicking selfies, a phone goes through a lot and a good battery would be able to handle all this with ease. Any phone with a battery of more than 2500 mAh should be ideal.
A smartphone is as good as the amount of internal storage it has. It can have amazing specs but if it does not have enough space, you will end up being disappointed. Therefore, you must buy a smartphone with enough space and probably with a provision for expansion through a SD card (which a lot of devices have sadly removed these days). 16-32GB of internal storage should be more than enough to suffice your needs although there are variants that go upto 128GB.
From small phones to phablets, there is a wide variety of screen sizes to choose from. This is purely based on choice and need. Some people prefer small screen phones as they are compact and easy to use as compared to a phablet which on the other hand are large screen sized phones.
There are 3 categories of screen sizes: Small (Less than 4.5 inches) Medium (4.5 to 5.4 inches) Large (5.5 inches or more)
The resolution may vary from 720p to full HD (1080p) and going upto QHD (2K). Another important factor in a screen is PPI (Pixels Per Inch). There is no point in buying a large screen with less PPI as the images and graphics will be pixelated.
Samsung ‘s Super Amoled display provides a very sharp image quality and is one of the best displays in the OLED category. However, Apple ‘s Retina Display is a true competitor and is definitely worth the money.
For a lot of people, the deciding factor in buying a smartphone is the camera. Most people use their phone to click pictures and now with the latest selfie craze, having a good quality camera is a must. Any camera ranging from 8-16 megapixels will give you amazing pictures but be sure to check their low light performance as well.
Some cameras may have more megapixels but may miss out on other aspects like Optical Image Stabilization or an Optical Zoom . Phone manufactures have also bumped up the front-facing cameras these days so that you get good quality selfies. For those camera buffs out there, y ou should also take into account things like aperture, ISO, shutter speed, resolution and so on. With phones out now which are capable of recording upto 4k videos, the future is bright (pun intended).
Keeping aside the technical specs, the major attraction in a smartphone is its design. How does the phone look, how does it feel in the hand, will it last long enough etc. are often the questions that come to mind. The appearance of the phone is what triggers most of the customers into buying it.
Before buying a smartphone, make sure it’s future proof by checking its build quality and sturdiness. Learn about the elements that have gone into making of the outer chassis and confirm whether it can handle multiple drops or not. Avoid buying phones which are made of plastic materials and opt for sturdy aluminium or metal versions. Unibody designs are usually stronger but they leave no scope for customization.(Weight of the phone increases with the addition of stronger materials in it).
Last but not the least is the amount of money that you will have to shell out for that brand new smartphone. We all want the best features at the least price but sadly that’s not always the case.
Make sure you do a thorough research of the smartphone before buying it and check the other options available in the similar price bracket. Price is the main factor which causes a lot of people to compromise and settle for a lesser configuration. But luckily enough, there are plenty of brands in the market which offer pretty kick-ass specs for a reasonable price. Yay!
To further assist you, we have given our own suggestions for buying a smartphone. These have been categorized according to the price. (Prices of the components may vary slightly.)
Moto X Play ( Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 5.5 Inches, 16GB Expandable Memory, 21MP, 5MP Cameras, 3630 mAh Battery) – ₹18,499
Asus Zenfone 2 (Intel Atom Quad Core Processor, 4GB RAM, 5.5 Inches, 32GB Expandable Memory, 13MP, 5MP Cameras, 3000 mAh Battery) – ₹18,999
Xiaomi Mi4 ( Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor, 3GB RAM, 5.0 Inches, 16/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 13MP, 8MP Cameras, 3080 mAh Battery) – ₹14,999
Nokia Lumia 830 (Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 5.0 Inches, 16GB Expandable Memory, 10MP, 0.9MP Cameras, 2200 mAh Battery) – ₹18,650
Between ₹20,000 – ₹ 40,000:
One Plus Two ( Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa Core Processor, 4GB RAM, 5.5 Inches, 64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 13MP, 5MP Cameras, 3100 mAh Battery) – ₹24,999
iPhone 5S (A7 Chip 64 BIT, 1GB RAM, 4.0 Inches, 16/32/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 8MP, 1.2MP Cameras, 1570 mAh Battery) – ₹30,500
Samsung Galaxy S6 ( Octa-core Exynos 7420 Processor, 3GB RAM, 5.1 Inches, 32/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 16MP, 5MP Cameras, 2550 mAh Battery) – ₹39,000
LG G4 ( Qualcomm Snapdragon Hexa Core Processor , 3GB RAM, 5.5 Inches, 32GB Expandable Memory, 16MP, 8MP Cameras, 3000 mAh Battery) – ₹38,500
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 ( Octa-core Exynos 7420 Processor, 4GB RAM, 5.7 Inches, 32/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 16MP, 5MP Cameras, 3000 mAh Battery) – ₹53,900
iPhone 6 (A8 Chip 64 BIT, 1GB RAM, 4.7 Inches, 16/32/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 8MP, 1.2MP Cameras, 1810 mAh Battery) – ₹43,500(You can opt for the larger variant iPhone 6 Plus also.)
Moto Turbo ( Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor , 3GB RAM, 5.2 Inches, 64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 21MP, 2MP Cameras, 3900 mAh Battery) – ₹41,999
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ (Octa-core Exynos 7420 Processor, 4GB RAM, 5.7 Inches, 32/64GB Non-Expandable Memory, 16MP, 5MP Cameras, 3000 mAh Battery) – ₹55,000