Smartphone Buying Guide 2020

Buying a smartphone is still considered a very big deal in India, given that a lot of us spend a substantial part of our income on getting one. Hence it is vital that we get it is right as there are usually no second chances. With so many brands and models that are available across the price range, choosing a phone can be a tedious task.

Here are some proven tips that will help you find the smartphone that suits your requirements, dodging the pushy salespersons and navigating the comparison sites.

Tips To Find Your Ideal Smartphone

Do Your Research 

Do the research first. Check if a certain phone meets your criteria and the budget, then compare prices online, read the reviews from trusted sources and visit local stores for a hands-on experience if it is needed. Don’t get fooled by the big promotions or special sales. Buying a smartphone with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage and hoping it will work for the next four to five years is not wise. Pay attention to the specifications.

Focus on features you may want to use

samsung-galaxy-note10-plus-Don’t rush into your new smartphone purchase. There are so many things to consider when buying a smartphone. First, understand what features you need the most in a smartphone, as it can vary dramatically from person to person. Do you need your phone with lots of storage to save music and video files? Are you looking for the long battery life on a smartphone? You may want a phone with the Snapdragon 845 processor and superior front-facing camera, there are others who can live with a regular selfie camera but want a powerful processor to play games. Be logical, and don’t get swayed by gimmicky features and don’t end up paying for something you will never use. Read our review of the iPhone XR here.

Screen brightness also matters more than resolution

While it may sound enticing to have a Quad-HD (2K) resolution display on your smartphone, even a Full HD is technically more than you will probably need. Experts believe a regular human isn’t going to see a difference between 2K and FHD. This is why buyers should look at the brightness and color quality more seriously. Make sure you are buying one that’s bright enough to see outdoors, and sharp enough where the text doesn’t look blurry.

You’ll also want to think about the display size. If you are going to spend hours looking at it, we recommended a smartphone with a very good screen size — popular sizes are between 5.8 and 6.4-inches —for watching movies and a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080p (Full HD). If you are an average user with some limited needs, a smartphone with a 720p (HD) screen would also be fine. In terms of screen technology, OLED screens have better contrast with deeper blacks than LCD screens. A number of smartphones sport OLED screens but they don’t come cheap. 

Ergonomics also matters

samsung-galaxy-s10-plus-newWith smartphones getting bigger in size, we have seen compromises being made in comfort and portability. Perhaps the reason why many people don’t like to use extra-large smartphones is that they cannot be used one-handed and feel far too bulky in the pocket. Always make sure you choose a smartphone that allows you easy typing and fast swiping. Plus all parts of the screen should be reachable with one hand. Never compromise on the comfort and usability, hence try out shortlisted phones in a physical store before buying it. 

Don’t go after specifications

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition also comes with 10GB RAM and a Snapdragon 845 processor. The question is, how much RAM do you really need in a phone? Does a Snapdragon 845 make a huge difference in performance?

However, 8GB of RAM isn’t required at all for a smartphone at the moment as there are not enough apps to make use of this. A smartphone with 4GB RAM will be more than enough to quickly open apps.

But iOS works differently, unlike Android which requires more memory. The iPhone XS Max comes with 4GB RAM but can crush any Android-powered flagship in terms of performance. The A12 Bionic processor in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR is the fastest mobile chip yet. Read our review of the iPhone XS here.

Buy smartphones with minimum 32GB storage

If you spot a good deal on your smartphone with 16GB storage ignore it. Instead, look for a smartphone with a minimum of 32GB of internal storage and if possible 64GB. While a lot depends on your usage, ideally you would want to store games, photos, videos and music on a phone. It would be nice to have an Android smartphone with a microSD card slot to expand your storage. But Apple doesn’t offer microSD support on iPhones. Read our review of Realme 2 Pro here.

Android or iOS

apple-iphone-11-proThe operating system (OS) is something that powers your smartphone. There are two main options these days: Android and iOS. Android is more popular because it is open and any manufacturer can customize it on its own; Android also has more hardware options available.

Always look for smartphones with a large battery

We all want our smartphones to last all day, but we already know that’s not true. Of course, how you use a smartphone also has an effect on battery life. Streaming from YouTube, for instance, takes up a lot more battery than simple browsing. So does poor network. If you are planning to buy a smartphone, consider one with a large battery and fast charging. Players like OnePlus and Oppo ship smartphones with special chargers inside the box that can charge a battery to 50 percent in just a few minutes. Read our review of Redmi 6A here.

Pay attention to a camera aperture

The camera is an important smartphone feature most users pay attention to. More expensive phones like the iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3 XL and Galaxy Note 9 have exceptional cameras. But the problem comes when choosing budget and mid-range smartphones which don’t really good cameras. Make sure to focus less on the megapixel count and more on features such as aperture, dual lenses AND optical image stabilization. Should you buy a new or Used smartphone?

This is something you have to evaluate on your own. Buying a used smartphone can be a haunting experience because of the possibility that the device could be stolen, abused and worn out or even all of the above. So think twice before picking up a used smartphone.

A used smartphone could save you a few bucks but could lead to more expenses in terms of repairs. Consider what you are looking for and why you need a used smartphone. If a used smartphone is being used as a secondary device, it might make sense to go with it. But if you want to use it as a primary device, maybe you should not consider a used smartphone that is too old in the first place. Logically, you should only consider a used phone if it is under warranty and the device’s condition is satisfactory.

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