Choosing your smartphone is something that can sometimes be very complicated. While the purchase of this future companion should be a pleasure, we are so teased by the opinions of the entourage, the assaults of marketing professionals and articles from different specialized sites, that it turns into a real ordeal which brings up many thoughts from you.We always have the impression that if the smartphone does not suit us later, we will have to lug around for at least a year or two, either because we bought it with a subscription or because we think that the investment is still important. Especially in this time we now see smartphones posted at prices around $1000.
So to avoid you ending up with a smartphone that does not suit you absolutely, I have prepared a complete post that can guide you when buying your new smartphone.
This post relies on very specific criteria such as the size of the screen, its definition, the battery, the processor, the camera, the design etc. by translating the advantages and disadvantages according to the types of uses. Enjoy reading, as I hope that all this guides you in your choice.
Let us start with the design because obviously that’s the first thing we see about the product. Its overall appearance is important. Its size, its curves, its structural materials. With regard to this point, there are two considerations: those who prefer a compact format and those who opt for a large format.
Compact or large format?
The larger format will be suitable for those who are not used to necessarily using the smartphone with one hand, and for whom a large screen will provide optimal comfort . We will come back to this point when we talk about screens.
When we talk about designs, we talk about materials. Again, there are two things here: those for whom plastic is not prohibitive, who are looking for a very good value for money. For others, ie. those who have a particular love for beautiful objects, the choice of materials that constitute their smartphone will be important.
Although some plastics offer a qualitative aspect, especially those that offer some grip with a rubber effect, a lot of high-end smartphones offer more noble materials: leather or even wood on the Moto X , or the glass aluminum on the HTC U11 and the glass and metal mix of the Galaxy S8.
The best thought is to go to an operator shop or a high-tech store that has a demonstration product and take it in hand. Nothing is better than feeling the weight, evaluating the size and having contact with the materials that will make up your smartphone.
The screen Size
Ah! The screen! This is a subject that is debated. Firstly it was about the size. Today the trend is large screens. Even Apple, who praised the merits of his iPhone 5 used in one hand ended up putting it. Ditto for Google with its Nexus 6 and 6P!So let’s be clear, if you are not a fan of big screens, but those between 4 and 5 inches, then it’s good to buy phones with such screen sizes. Because they are becoming more and more rare nowadays. Fortunately I am currentrily putting together a buying guide specifically for smartphones below 5 inches .
Generally there are also two main things to think about screens as regards their technology: AMOLED technology and LCD technology. Some people say that AMOLED displays deeper blacks and colors that are too bright. Others say it is more energy efficient than LCD. I will not follow in the debate, I advise you to test both technologies on similar screen sizes. You will judge for yourself according to your impressions and experience.
Here again two important things are to be stated: Quad HD or Full HD? We’ll just talk about the techniques: on a 5.5-inch screen the Quad HD displays 538 ppi (pixels per inch). For the same screen size, Full HD displays 400 dpi. Technically the Quad HD is better. To make your choice, it will be necessary to look well what is accompanied by the screen: its processor, is it powerful enough and its battery also (to support such technologies over time)? Especially since all users do not necessarily look for a screen with such a display quality. This search for performance will be perfect for gamers and large consumers of multimedia.
If you use your smartphone to surf the web, send sms, check your emails and take some pictures, no need to explode your budget by opting for a smartphone equipped with this kind of technology. Quad HD or 4K screens are mostly justified by virtual reality but if your uses are limited to surfing the web, take photos and play from time to time, a 1080P Full HD panel will do the trick.
From now on, smartphones are no longer just phones like micro computers, but also photophones, just check out some of the top phones. The Galaxy S8 , for example, which uses Dual Pixel technology got it from SLR cameras and is far from the only one to excel in its field.
What you need to know is that today, it is no longer the number of megapixels that manufacturers put forward that matters but the technologies used. Between 2015 and 2016, Samsung and HTC went from 16 and 20 megapixel sensors to 12 megapixels, yet the new sensors used are much better because they offer larger photosites and a wider aperture, namely 1.4 μm and /1.7 for the Galaxy S8, and 1.4 μm and f/1.7 for the HTC U11.
It is the size of their photosites and their wide opening that allows them to capture more light than their predecessors and to offer excellent quality day and night. In summary, do not be fooled by the number of megapixels, it does not mean anything.
It must be said that this is the heart of the smartphone, but again it is not necessarily necessary to make a choice based on this criterion. A good processor is a guarantee of good autonomy, fluidity of the product and an optimum speed of execution. The latest Snapdragon 835, for example, offers increased power but also better power management, just like Samsung Exynos Soc.But again, no need to have a product with a powerful processor, to run 50 applications at the same time without showing any signs of weakness if the only applications you use are those of social networks, some streams of news and photo editing apps. Mid-range processors like the Snapdragon 660 do the job very well. By the way is there still a border between high-end and mid-range?
A very powerful processor will suit players and large consumers of multimedia content. The processor will allow them to run games with very high graphics requirements, on a Quad HD or Full HD screen and limiting battery consumption. For other uses, it’s useless to look for the best of the best.
Again, it’s useless to buy it if it doesn’t have a reasonable Storage system. Do you really need 64 GB of storage memory? On this consideration one must be very pragmatic.
If you do not download a lot of applications or very light (not very heavy games) and you do not store your entire photo library and video library then it is better to move to a smaller storage, 16 or 32 GB. And if you subsequently become addicted to uses that you did not initially have, opt for a smartphone that offers the possibility of adding an SD card .
Battery and Autonomy
As mentioned above, the battery is an essential element in the components of your future smartphone. And again, do not just look at the size of the battery to be certain that the autonomy of your smartphone will be good.
As an indication, the Samsung Galaxy S8 which displays high-end features at the processor and screen (WQHD +) in particular, has a battery of 3000 mAh, and has excellent battery life.
It is therefore necessary to think carefully about all the components to evaluate the autonomy of a product . Be that as it may, in general, with a few exceptions, a smartphone will have the best of a day autonomy. Impossible to follow two days, except with the Asus Zenfone Max and its big battery of 5000 mAh .
Again everything will depend on the uses, if you ‘play’ and watch videos as soon as you have free time, and the rest of the time you call, send sms, emails and check your networks and the web, you will certainly not have a full day of phone battery.
4G or not 4G?
This will certainly sound fun but many 4G smartphone owners do not have a 4G package. And conversely some have a 4G package but do not have a compatible smartphone. This is proof that there is a serious lack of information on this subject.
Clearly, if you have a 4G plan and you’re sure you need it, go for a 4G compatible smartphone. They are now at all price levels. You can even find 4G smartphones for less than $200. No need to opt for a high-end product simply because it has this connectivity. Mid-range smartphones are also well equipped.
It will therefore reflect on your uses to restrict your choice. If you want 4G for faster surfing, better conversations, and posting on your social networks at lightning speed then just go for a mid-range.
On the other hand if you download a lot of contents in mobility, that you exchange very heavy files by mail, that you have more than 100 applications and that you play a lot and online, opt for high-end.
OS and Applications
The choice of the operating system is certainly the most important element. In a smartphone there is hardware and software. The OS is certainly what will be decisive since it is what will allow you to feel comfortable or not with your smartphone.
It is often a matter of taste. iOS has its followers, Android his. There is the habit factor that comes into play, there is also the novelty factor. But the most important is ergonomics, ease of use and applications availability.
Some OSs are very intuitive and ergonomic but benefit from a restricted library, like Blackberry for example. iOS and Android are the two most-used application catalogs, there are practically the same applications on both stores. Though Android is still remains the most popular.
Finally, the price. And yes! It is good to look at all these considerations, but in the end the decisive element will remain the price . In all objectivity, Android smartphones being the most used, you will find it for all prices, in all ranges.
Obviously you will find interest in the likes of Galaxy S8, the HTC U11 or the LG G6 with high-end hardware and impressive performance. But is it interesting compared to the use you make of it? Do you really need to pay more than 600 dollars for the use you make of it?
Clearly, these are devices reserved for large consumers of multimedia content, who keep a lot of videos, photos, and who play a lot in addition to having a sustained use of the web information, emails and calls.
For other users, who have a more standard use , with some calls, some sms, a dozen or twenty applications, who surf the web and who consult their social networks by embellishing a few photos, a mid-range will do just fine and you might even be surprised by the performance that some offer.
You will thus lower the bill from 300 to 200 dollars. And if you want to try you also have the solution of Chinese smartphones that offer high-end performance for very attractive prices.
The post could not scan all the tips but it relied on the essentials. For example, I could have talked more on the importance of the quality of the camera, but that would make the post to be too long.