Android smartphones are much more than about doing voice call and sending text messages. They are like portable computing devices that you may carry in your bag or pocket. Smartphones can bring the world of information to your fingertips. However, purchasing a smartphone is a daunting task due thousands of varieties available in all price range. In this article, let us explore some essential steps you should consider before buying Android phone.
When choosing a new smartphone, you need to get your priorities straight. The simplest way to choose the best smartphone is to match your budget and your requirements. If you spend most of the time using social media and instant messaging, you can get a phone with fairly large display and decent hardware for about $200. Smooth and fluid gaming experience can be obtained from a phone that starts at around $400. Use the following steps to refine your buying decision further.
11 Things to Consider Before Buying Android Phone
- Choose phone with mobile carrier
- Operating System version
- Design and functionality
- Display size
- Display type
- Processor speed
- Check RAM size
- Internal storage
- Battery life
1. Choose with Mobile Carriers
If you want to significantly reduce the initial cost of ownership, then you should choose the best smartphone plan offered by network carriers. The contract agreement usually lasts for 24 months. Therefore, make sure that you get the best deals for monthly voice calls, text messaging and data plan. However, you can buy the phone with contracts only in limited number of countries like Unite States. If you are living in most populous countries like India or China most probably you should pay the full amount or go for monthly installment options.
2. Operating System Version
If you are planning to purchase an Android smartphone, you should understand about the latest Android versions, such as Nougat (7.x) and Oreo (8.x). Make sure that you get functions and features you need. Some Android models will not support the latest or future versions of the operating system. It is not advisable to choose devices with outdated Android version that may have some security issues.
3. Design and Functionality
Unlike Apple’s iPhone, there are many companies manufacture Android phones in the market. This is where personal taste plays an important part. Each person has different opinion about outward appearance of a device. Some people want to have the sleekest design, while others prioritize more on performance. Design also affects functionality. For example, a metal unibody design is generally considered as stylish and trendy. However, it doesn’t allow the use of common features, such as removable battery and microSD card slot. Regardless of the model, you should make sure that it is convenient and comfortable fitting your budget.
4. Display Size
Get at least 5.2-inch and 720p resolution, if you plan to watch video or play games at HD resolution. For better experience, you may get 5.7+ inch display with 1080p resolution.
5. Display Type
Two main display technologies in the market are LCD and AMOLED. If you choose smartphones with LCD display, it tends to appear brighter and more readable under direct sunlight. With AMOLED display, you can get more saturated colors and sharper contrast.
6. Processor Speed
Processor is the hub of smartphone and the performance relies mostly on the type of the processor. When choosing processor type, Qualcomm is the safest bet. MediaTek and Huawei’s Kirin processors also prove themselves capable of delivering good performance. When determining the level of performance, processor should be your first focus.
RAM is another crucial indicator to ensure good performance. Whenever you open apps, your phone will copy the content from storage to RAM, before being handled by the processor. If your smartphone has too little RAM, it will delay the processing speed.
8. Internal Storage
Another thing to consider is the internal storage and it affects the number of apps and files that you can have in your smartphone. When choosing smartphones with 32GB of internal storage or lower, you should know that a portion of it is occupied by the operating system and built-in apps. So, it is advisable to get at least 64GB of storage. If you have limited budget, it’s acceptable to choose a model with 16GB or 32GB storage, but make sure it has microSD card slot, so you can upgrade the storage later.
9. Battery life
If you travel often, then you should choose the type of Android phone with reasonably longer battery life. You shouldn’t be fooled by the mAh number of the battery, because it doesn’t always indicate actual battery life. Even if the battery has higher mAh value, the battery life may not be so much different with other models, if the smartphone has powerful processor and high resolution display. If your smartphone has quick charging technology and Doze mode, you may extend the battery life further. It’s best to check user reviews to make sure that your device could perform well.
Some people rarely use cameras on their devices. However, if you snap photos and record videos often, then you should focus on the camera quality. The number of megapixels is no longer an essential factor. You should also check other features, such as optical stabilization, hybrid auto focus, special effects, selfie features and manual settings. Smartphones are getting closer to the quality of professional cameras. However, instead of dwelling on the technical sheet, you can also check reviews from photography experts about the model you want to buy.
In the end, this could be the most crucial factor for many people. Regardless of your needs and wants, the final decision depends on your budget. Even if you have a big budget, you shouldn’t buy an overpowered device, if you use your smartphone only for voice calls, email and social media. A good strategy is to make a list of Android models within your price range and choose the best one, depending on factors that you prioritize.
You should choose smartphones that can do many more things. As an example, some smartphone models have UV sensor, heart rate monitor, retina scanner or fingerprint sensor. The choice depends on your requirements and whether you will actually use these features. If you often share smartphones with family members, consider models with integrated parental control or guest mode. If you plan to read e-book on your smartphone, check whether there’s anti eyestrain feature that will be comfortable for you.