Smartphone buying guide

With the market loaded with hundreds of smartphones, vying to get your attention with their enticing features, choosing the right smartphone has become more challenging. Considering all the aspects before buying a smartphone is important because today phones are not only confined to making calls; rather, they are used to make our day-to-day life easy. Here is an easy guide which will help you in making the right decision when buying a smartphone:

  1. Performance – A phone which has high performance is the one which is smooth and fast in its operations. A phone with high performance will allow the user to do more things at the same time, without any issue of lagging and hanging. Factors that determine the smartphones’ performance are:
  2. Processor – Take processor as a brain of your smartphones. The numbers of cores and the technology used determine the power of the processor. Currently, the most powerful processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Picking the right processor depends on your usage. The processor brands today have a huge range of processor – entry-level processors to intelligent and powerful ones.

Qualcomm processors are very popular along with Exynos, Kirin, Media Tek and Apple’s bionic chips. The powerful processor gives good performance along with low battery consumption. The only downside is that they have a high price.

Additionally, high core count doesn’t always determine the high performance, but high clock speed does. So look for a smartphone having a higher clock speed.

  • RAM – RAM is random access memory along with the processors determines the speed and ease of execution of the operation in the phone. RAM holds the data and offers to multitask. Having more RAM let the phone store more app without affecting the RAM a phone needs to make the OS run effectively.
  • Storage – More storage will let you have more games, apps, movies or videos on your phone. This storage is called as internal memory and ROM. Some phones also come with expandable memory to increase the memory of the phone when you run out of it. If you get low in storage, you will not be able to download more apps and pictures. It will also slow down your phone, and you will have to delete the old photos and apps to download the new ones.
  • Display – A smartphone with good display gives a rich picture quality and great viewing experience. Before buying a smartphone, consider a few defining factors of the display, which will help you in getting your hands on the best phone. Six things determine the right smartphone display:
  • Screen Size – When it comes to phones, big screens are generally great for a great viewing experience. Screen size is measured in centimetres or inches diagonally. But the screen also has got some disadvantages like it is cumbersome to hold and it consumes more power, which means when buying a big screen phone you should look for a phone with a bigger battery.
  • Aspect ratio and Bezel-less displays – While the bigger screen has its benefits, it also add up to the weight of the phone. Therefore new phones are coming bezel-less. The bezel is the border between the screen and the frame of the phone. Narrow bezel phones have bigger screens in the same size as the phone. A bezel-less phone can accommodate 6-inch phone in the same size as a normal 5.5 inch. Same phones have notch display, which means they only have a section of the front camera, notification lights, earpiece and other sensors. This further reduces the bezels and maximizes the screen.

Aspect ratio is the ratio of height to the width of the screen. It determines the total length and width of the displays of particular screen size. 16:9 is the standard aspect ratio, but now there are phones with 18:9and 19:9, which has reduced the width of a smartphone, making them easy to hold. The phones which are higher than 19:9 are called full view or infinity displays.

  • Panels – Modern smartphones use IPS-LCD or OLED panels. Previously TFT-LCD was most commonly use, which was affordable but used to offer poor viewing angles. IPS-LCD is used in mid-range phones, which allow better viewing angles. OLED panels are the best as it allows vibrant colours, better battery life and better contrast.
  • Resolution – The higher the resolution, the sharper are the images. Resolution is the number of pixels on a display which is measured in width * height. Though higher resolution offers a higher number of pixels, it uses more battery power. Common resolutions available today are HD, Full HD, and Quad HD.
  • Screen protection – Screen protections keep the screen of the phone safe from the accidental drops. Mobile displays are one of the most expensive parts of the phone. The screen protector is a protective layer of glass, which is meant to prevent the screen from any damage. Gorilla glass is the most commonly used protective glass. Higher the gorilla glass, the stronger is the protection that it offers. Nowadays, panda glasses are also available to highlight the protection of the screen.
  • Battery – Battery is measured in mAh; higher numbers mean more capacity of the battery. Battery consumption mainly depends on the usage, resolution, battery capacity, and power efficiency of the processor. Most mobile phones today have the batteries between 3000-4000 mAh. Before purchasing a new smartphone, make sure that the phone you are considering to buy has a good battery. A battery with less capacity will make you charge your phone again and again.
  • Fast charging batteries – These are the batteries which charge faster. Qualcomm quick charge 3.0 is one of the common standards, but other brands have their standards as well like VOOC flash charge in Oppo phones.
  • Wireless charging – Some phones allow the wireless charging, which saves the user from the hassle of managing cables. However, charging is slower, and they need you to leave your phone in one place for a longer duration. Additionally, charging stations are needed to be bought separately.
  • Operating system – Popular operating systems available today are Android and iOS. Some smartphone companies add their layers on top of Android OS like EMUI, Huawei, or MIUI. You can use any operating system that you like.
  • Camera – Good camera phone captures the images which are clear, sharp and rich in colours. Following things determine a good camera in a smartphone. You should look for a good Camera quality before buying a smartphone. Let’s understand the various camera specifications to find out which smartphone is the best for you:
  • Resolution – Resolution is the number of pixels in a camera which is measured in Megapixels. Higher megapixels mean higher resolution, which means more natural looking images with sharpness and details.
  • Lens and optics – Lens helps in focusing the light on the camera sensors to make the images sharper. Medium range phones use plastic lenses, but expensive phones use glass lens, which is of course of superior quality. Additionally, aperture also plays a key role in making the images more attractive. Bigger aperture allows more light to fall on the sensor resulting in better low light photography. Apertures are mentioned as f/1.4, f/2.0 or f/2.8. A small number in denominator means bigger apertures, which are good for low light photography.

In addition, a phone having a faster focusing system will ensure that you don’t end up with the blurry photographs. Dual Pixel Autofocus (DPAF) is the fastest focusing technology in low light. Phase detect autofocus is also a reliable technology. When buying a good camera phone look for both these features.

  • Number of lenses – Currently dual cameras and triple cameras are getting popular. A dual camera has two sensors – one captures the images and the other capture additional details to enhance the picture quality.
  • Selfie camera- Front camera is used to take selfies. Most phones now are coming with automatic beautification mode to make the selfies more appealing. Some phones have front flash to make the selfies beautiful even in low lights.

Now that you are fully acquainted with all the things that you should consider before buying the smartphone, you can pick up the one which suits your requirement. Don’t get swayed by the catchy advertisements and be logical while selecting your phone.

Image Credits: Smartphone via TrifonenkoIvan /Shutterstock