At one point in our lives or the other, we always want or need to upgrade our gadgets as the world keeps changing and technology doesn’t stop evolving. Shopping for a new smartphone can be stressful and a real pain as there are so many to choose from these days and if one is not careful or doesn’t really know how to go about the process, one can easily end up with a technology flop of a phone which will definitely leave such person more frustrated than before. So in helping you know what to look out for when picking a new phone, depending on your ‘pocket’, there are both high end and budget phones with great features that can still serve the average smartphone users needs and we have compiled a list of what to consider. Listed below are the factors to consider so as to narrow down your choice:
OPERATING SYSTEM (OS): This is perhaps the first step given that we have 4 operating systems in the market right now, more might come in the near future but these are the ones to consider presently:
BlackBerry: This Operating system is made by Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM) and helped kick off the smartphone revolution years ago, but has had difficulty keeping up lately. If you’re hooked on BBM or love physical keyboards and small screens, BlackBerry may be for you. However, If you plan on using a lot of apps on your smartphone, you might want to avoid getting a Blackberry. The Blackberry OS is great for using e-mail and Web browsing, but it doesn’t have as many apps in it’s appworld. Most ‘BB’ devices have slower hardware and lack some of the core amenities that Android and iOS offer. BlackBerry 10 has supposedly fixed most or all of these issues, but we fear it still isn’t measuring up yet even with the release of the BlackBerry Passport and Leap. In a move to adapt to the increasingly limited OS market, BlackBerry released the Priv, its first handset to run Google Android.
Windows: After the failure of Windows Mobile, Microsoft started from scratch and built Windows Phone, which is based almost entirely on the Zune MP3 player interface. Windows Phone is the only OS to employ a new type of interface. Instead of relying on a grid of shortcuts and a notification tray, Windows Phone uses Live Tiles, which are half app icon, half widget. Everything on your homepage can display moving information or graphics. A Windows mobile phone is good to get if you plan on doing a lot of work on your phone. Since it runs a mobile version of Windows, which you may already have running on your computer, it can easily let you see and work on spreadsheets and documents right on your phone.
iOS: This very operating system was developed by Apple inc. The iPhone is the only phone that runs iOS and Apple plans to keep it that way. The iPhone kicked off the app revolution and in its fifth year, it is still the standard upon which all other phones are measured. If you own other Apple devices or enjoy services like iTunes, the iPhone may be a good option for you. It doesn’t allow as much geeky tinkering as Android does, but it has a clean, simple design and an app/game catalog that bests all other mobile platforms. If you want a lot of apps, an iPhone is your best bet. The Apple app store is the largest in the world. The downside of Apple OS is that it’s only available on Apple’s iPhones. We recommend iOS 7 and higher for Apple devices.
Android: This OS was developed by Google, this is an open source operating system that runs on the majority of new phones.. Android has a robust applications store called Google Play filled with Google services. Visually, it’s similar to iOS, but adds customizeable homescreens and widgets which show things like the weather. The main issue with Android is that because it’s open source, manufacturers like Samsung and HTC often modify its design and functionality, sometimes to the detriment of usability. Android-powered phones are quickly making up ground against Apple where apps are concerned, and the Android operating system is available on a range of phones,(Innjoo, LG, Huawei, TECNO, Infinix, Wiko, Gionee, Nexus, Sony and of course HTC and Samsung amongst others) making it easier to find one that fits your life exactly. We recommend Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and higher.
PROCESSOR TYPE: With this factor, the least processor type recommended would be a dual-core processor, as it will have a longer shelf life than a phone with a single-core CPU. Single-core phones are cheaper, and some OS’s like Windows Phone and BlackBerry still have them in circulation, but do know that your best bet is to go with dual-core or even quad-core. You’re not buying a phone; you’re buying a tiny PC which is why it’s called a smartphone.
MEMORY/RAM: A good smartphone should have at least 1GB RAM. While having a microSD slot is not required, it is nice if you like to listen to a lot of music, podcasts, or want fill your phone up with other items. A phone with at least 8GB of internal storage is also recommended, but if you’re buying a top-notch or high end phone, then 16-32GB of internal Flash storage is expected. Space is good to have.
BATTERY CAPACITY: Most high end/top-notch phones are usually lower in battery capacity but the manufacturers of such phones are now being more inclined to pay attention to battery life now much more than before. We would have advised if possible, to get a phone with a removable battery, so you can buy a spare or swap out a defective battery but given the new wave of waterproof, dust-proof and all other proof phones which we have floating in the market, we know well enough that most many of the manufacturers now make the batteries inbuilt so you would do yourself a good favor by considering a phone with a minimum of 2000mAh Li-Ion battery. Average smartphone battery life can range anywhere from 8-18 hours. Usage habits are what really dictate how long the battery lasts. Talking on the phone, gaming, and using phones outside of wifi range will all drain a battery more quickly.
CAMERA: You won’t always have a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) with you when something cool happens, but you will have your phone. You should at least have one capable of taking a good picture. A phone of 8+ Megapixel Camera will will be great. Currently, HTC, Samsung, Tecno, and Apple are leading in cameras.
SCREEN SIZE, SCREEN RESOLUTION AND QUALITY: Screen size is measured corner to corner diagonally. Ultimately, screen size is a matter of preference. Smaller screen phones may fit better in your pocket and are often cheaper. Larger displays may be preferable if you plan to watch a lot of videos.
iPhone offers the “SE” series for compact phones and the “Plus” series for an extra large screen.
Android phones come in a wide range of sizes: there are smaller budget models like some Infinix and Innjoo models, higher end models like the Samsung Galaxy 5,6,7 and Edge models or the HTC One series and recently HTC 10, LG G5, Huawei P9 e.t.c. There are also Windows phone models ranging from 4-6 inch screens.
Screen resolution is basically the amount of pixels in the screen. If you move very close to a TV or a computer monitor, you would notice miniature individual squares, so to speak. Those “squares” are individual pixels. The more pixels a screen has, the clearer the display will be. If the screen has enough pixels, the human eye cannot see them—which is where the term “retina display” comes from. Therefore, a high resolution display enables you to see more on the screen with much more clarity and detail. When buying a phone, make sure the display has a resolution of 1280 by 720 or higher. The only way to find out which handset size is right for you is to try holding a few in the shop. If you want something that will slip more easily into your pocket or bag, pick a 4 to 5-inch phones.
Hopefully this cell phone buying guide has helped you in choosing a phone.
What do you think of this article? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below. You can check check out various types of phone models listed above by just clicking here: Jumia.com.ng and Konga.com .