Technology has improved drastically over the past decade and smart devices evolved a lot since the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007.
And smartphones in this day and age have become a basic tool needed for survival more than an entertainment or productivity device.
as the technology progressed companies have been launching a plethora of smartphones into the market in a single year that we can’t keep a count of. and choosing a smartphone from these options has become hard. I mean let us all agree, choosing something out becomes hard when we have so many options on the table.
So let’s discuss 5 tips that help you to choose your smartphone better, and also to save some money by categorizing your options better.
1. Fix your budget
yeah!. I know. the common tip that you get everywhere. but fixing the budget helps you narrow down your options.
suppose if your budget is around 40k to 60k, don’t get tempted to spend the highest you can afford i.e, 60k rupees. rather be selective in the price bracket and don’t try to spend the entire budget on the smartphone. This way you have some money left to buy a grip case and a screen protector to protect your phone from accidental falls and scratches.
2. Choose an operating system
Here, there are only two options to choose from IOS or Android. choosing between these two seems easy but is more complicated.
if you like simple, powerful, and efficient os, IOS is your best option. IOS devices offer a stable and efficient UI with timely software, security updates and are supported for a more extended period. But IOS lacks customizability like no support to sideload apps if they are not available in the app store, you cannot customize your home screen and install launchers to completely change the look of your device.
if you enjoy tinkering with your device and customizing it as you prefer, Android is your best option. Android is as powerful as IOS and offers great customizability, giving you options to modify how you interact with your device and completely change how it looks. you can customize your home screen with the help of a plethora of launchers available in the Play Store. sideload apps from outside the Play Store and a lot more other options to customize your device to your heart’s content.
IOS devices are made by only Apple and no other company. So every ios device has the same quality, same look, and feel. but when it comes to Android, Android devices are manufactured by a lot of companies like Google, Samsung, Oneplus, Xiaomi, Nokia, Vivo, Oppo, Motorola, Realme, etc., Each of these manufacturers has their own skin on top of android. Samsung uses One UI, Xiaomi devices come with MIUI, Oppo with Color OS, Vivo with Funtouch OS so on and so forth.
Most of these companies use ads on devices to cut costs of the device and compete with their aggressive pricing in the market. And comes with a lot of bloatware which are unwanted apps that are preinstalled on the device and cannot be removed or uninstalled. Software and security updates on these devices depend solely on the manufacturer, not Google so the software support period is not equal with all android devices.
The best thing to do is to choose an Android device that has minimal or no bloatware, has a good software support period and has no Ads in the UI. when it comes to UI I personally like Pixel Experience on pixel devices(made by Google), One UI on Samsung, and Oxygen OS on Oneplus. these UI’s have minimal bloatware, great optimizations, and offer timely updates. Some of the special mentions are My UX from Motorola and the UI from Nokia which are stock Android UI’s with minimal to no skin on top of android and have great optimization.
lastly, remember to try and experience the UI at least once before buying the smartphone.
3. choosing the processor and RAM.
the processor also known as SoC (system-on-a-chip) is the brain of any smartphone. And choosing the right processor has a large impact on how well your phone performs and handles day-to-day tasks.
A smartphone SoC contains a lot of other processing units other than the CPU. which includes GPU, ISP (image signal processing unit), Modem, and ai engine or some cores that are specific for performing language processing or working as a neural engine.
The latest processor which is on the top is apple’s A15 bionic and Snapdragon 888 gen 1 is its closest competitor in the android segment. both processors deliver top-notch performance in their segments.
and if you are a normal user, you never utilize the full power of these flagship chipsets so there are some budget options available for you like, Snapdragon 765G, Mediatek Dimensity 1000, and Dimensity 1200 which are the best budget options for people who rarely play graphic-intensive games and use power consuming apps.
when it comes to RAM, 6GB or more is decent enough for a normal person who uses one app at a time or doesn’t usually involve in multitasking. These days manufacturers are increasing the ram sizes to 12GB and more just to make their products attractive on paper don’t fall for such tricks and buy a phone just because of its ram size.
4. Display and battery
smartphones these days come with different kinds of displays ranging from IPS LCDs to OLED and AMOLED displays.
OLED displays are considered the gold standard in display technology. unlike LCD they have self-illuminating pixels which help in producing rich colors and a better contrast ratio than the normal LCD type displays. A lot of flagship mobiles started using high refresh rate displays like 120Hz Super Amoled in the first quarter of 2021. but these days high refresh rate displays have become common even in budget smartphones under 20K. So in terms of the display going with Amoled is the best choice. period.
Most people believe more mAh equals more battery life. which is true to some extent but software optimization plays a major role in terms of battery performance. for example, iPhone 13 pro max with 4300 mAh battery gives more screen-on time than the 5000 mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy S21 ultra. and Samsung S21 ultra gives more screen-on time than Xiaomi Mi 11 ultra even when having the same capacity of batteries inside them. So optimization is just as important when it comes to battery life in smartphones.
for a normal day-to-day user, a 4000 mAh battery makes thorough the day with light usage. If you are someone who uses your smartphone extensively to play games and run apps like maps for navigation every day then, A 5000 mAh can suit your needs well.
5. Camera and Build Quality
when it comes to camera the myth that more megapixels mean more quality is believed more often than we think. many people to this day pick a smartphone that has more megapixels, later realizing that their decision doesn’t make a difference when it comes to normal day-to-day photography. Computational photography has become so good that megapixels don’t matter anymore. pixel 3xl which has a 12 MP sensor can capture better photos than a 50 MP sensor on a mid-range smartphone. So don’t fall into the trap of more megapixels equals better picture quality.
nowadays smartphone photography mainly depends upon the software the device uses to process the image captured by the sensor. so it is really important to pick a camera system which justifies the price.
manufacturers these days are stuffing smartphones with useless cameras just to patch names like triple camera and quad camera onto marketing materials, to drive attention and grow sales.
adding additional sensors like a depth camera and a 2MP macro camera are nothing but gimmicks to lure not so tech-savvy people. when buying a smartphone choose a camera system that has a better picture quality even if it has only 2 sensors.
some things to check in a camera system:
- Good autofocusing
- low light picture quality
- video quality
- optical image stabilization
- focusing distance.
A smartphone is better appreciated with a good in-hand feel and build quality. you can immediately find out a well-built smartphone the second you hold it. So when buying a phone make sure it’s not bulky and inconvenient to hold for a long time. if possible try it out yourself in nearby stores before buying the product.
some other things to check when buying your smartphone:
- Gorilla glass protection
- Wireless charging
- Fingerprint sensor / face recognition
- Carrier aggregation( for better network reception)
- Widevine L1 certification
- Charging speed
- Display refresh rate
lastly, Remember the principle, Law of Diminishing Returns. there will be less price to performance when you go higher than a specific price point. so whatever your budget is pick the best price to performance or price to experience as I would like to call it.
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