Smartphones these days have become an integral part of our lives. We use them for communication, taking pictures, saving documents on the cloud, internet browsing and even as a power bank to charge other smartphones.
But then, with the wide variety of smartphones available in the market it is never easy to decide which one to pick. It is always tough deciding the one that may suit our needs best.
Here’s a list of things you should consider before you decide to buy your next smartphone.
Build is all about durability of a smartphone. The entire handset market is largely divided in two types of builds — metal and plastic.
There are some that even have glass-coated panels, but those are very limited. If you are one of those prone to dropping your smartphone, it’s advisable to go for a metal or a plastic built handset.
These can sustain drops from 2-3 feet, while glass-based handset are sure to shatter.
The size and resolution of display depends on how you use your smartphone. If you often stream videos, edit photos or videos, or download and view movies, then a smartphone display ranging from 5.5-inch to 6-inch, full-HD or QHD resolution should be good enough for you.
Anything larger than a 6-inch display not just makes the handset extra bulky, but also difficult to carry around. If you are a regular user and largely use the smartphone for checking emails, chatting and browsing social media apps, then anything from 5-inch to 5.5-inch HD or full-HD display handsets is perfect.
The processing power of a smartphone varies from one device to another depending on several factors such as OS version, UI, bloatware and more.
If you are a heavy user who need to edit images/videos/documents online, play heavy games, stream videos or often use apps in split screen mode, then smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 or Snapdragon 820/821 should make multitasking fluid for you.
Light users will be happy with handsets that come with MediaTek processors.
Just having higher number of megapixels does not mean that the smartphone camera is better. Several specifications such as camera aperture, ISO levels, pixel size, autofocus and more are essential as well. A 16MP rear camera does not necessarily be better than a 12MP camera. Same theory goes for the front-facing camera.
Higher number of pixels mean that the size of the image is bigger, which becomes more sharper when seen on a small screen. A photographer enthusiast might want a camera with 12 or 16MP sensor under f/2.0 or lower aperture for speedy shots even in low lights. A casual shooter can go by even with an 8MP 0r 12MP camera with f/2.0-f/2.2 aperture.
The battery usage differs from user to user depending on the way he/she uses the smartphone. If you are a heavy user and work on apps, play games, stream videos and more then go for a smartphone with at least 3500mAh battery or above. If you are an average or light user, a handset with 3000mAh battery would be good enough to run for a full day.
User interface/OS version:
User interface and the OS version too are key factors to consider while choosing a smartphone. These are the interfaces that one would have to interact with each time to access anything, so it should be easy and simple.
For the most basic and pure Android experience you can buy Motorola handsets, Nexus/Pixel smartphones or even Android One devices. However different interfaces like ZenUI, Xperia UI, Samsung TouchWiz, EMUI and others offer more nifty features to sort applications and more options in styles the company thinks users would find more friendly.
However, smartphones by OEMs also come with bloatware and certain apps that you probably won’t use ever. So, we recommend to try the handset before you pick one.
A large part of the smartphone’s storage is taken away from the OS and the apps the device comes pre-installed with.
A 16GB/32GB/64GB or more don’t really come with exact mentioned space. If you like to keep less number of apps on your devices, you can go for 32GB storage.
Users who like to keep larger number of apps can go for 64GB or 128GB variants. You can also buy a 16GB model that supports microSD card as well.
Most smartphones these days have started coming with extra security features such as fingerprint sensor or even iris sensors. These are not just to lock/unlock a handset but as a password to access certain files, documents or apps.
While a fingerprint sensor can be found in even a Rs 5,000 smartphone, devices with iris scanners are still few. It’s preferable to buy a smartphone with these extra security features since most of us have personal information on our handsets these days.
Speakers and the quality of audio coming out of it can be an important parameter for those who rely on heavy video streaming or video conferences. If you like entertainment-on-the-go, buy a handset that has front-facing speakers. This gives clear sound even while holding the smartphone in landscape mode.
If you don’t indulge in video streaming or video conferencing much, then a regular handset with bottom-firing speakers should be just fine. Those with speakers placed at the back are also fine.
Headphone jack/USB port
Ports too can be a factor to consider. Although both micro-USB and USB Type-C ports are available in smartphones these days, it is preferable to switch to USB Type-C not just because it is easy to plug in but also it is future-proof.
More number of smartphones have started incorporating the new standard. Few have started ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack as well but there might be good two years before all the OEMs completely switched to USB Type-C based headphones jacks.