Smartphone Buyer’s Guide for Newbies

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From the status of just a utility phone for basic communication needs to the current day smartphone that brings entire world into our palm, mobile phone indeed has become an inevitable gadget in our life. With world-wide-web embedded into it, smartphone has also become the new laptop and new address for comfort and entertainment. Shopping, watching videos, playing games, paying utility bills were never that easy before. Smartphone market is evolving with sales spiking with every passing day. With hundreds of smartphone models available in the market it has become a daunting task to choose right one that best fits your needs. Here are some important points that should be noted before buying a smartphone. It is bit lengthy but you will thank us later for reading the entire post.

Be clear on your requirement and budget

It is utmost important to have a clear idea on why you need a smartphone and for what purpose you will be using it. Depending on whether you want to use it for official work at office or personal use at home there are plenty of options available. Some like to have a smartphone with better camera and some prefer a good display for watching movies and playing video games. The need could be anything but it helps to be very clear on your requirements.

The next step is to fix on your budget. Fixing on a budget narrows down the list of options. Price range varies based on whether you like to buy a phone through contract or not. Various carriers offer top models at a very low price through contract, but the catch here is that you would have to stay with that operator for the period signed in the contract.

Operating System

Choose an operating system (OS) that best suits your requirement. Android, iOS, Windows 8, Blackberry 10 are the leading players in the mobile operating system business. Ubuntu, a linux based mobile operating system is also making baby steps into smartphone market.

• Android is the leading mobile OS with over a billion smartphones activated on it. It provides you plenty of options for customizing the look and feel of your mobile. If you are a tech savvy, you could live in your own world by rooting your android phone which enables you to install custom ROMs like Cynogenmod. Android play store offers you lakhs of free apps. Only flip side is that it was reported to be vulnerable to malware, but billion active users assure you that it’s a best bet for a feature rich smartphone choice. Samsung’s Galaxy, Sony’s Experia, HTC, Motorola Droid series and Google’s very own NEXUS line up provide variety of models in the market and are hugely popular.

• Apple’s iOS is another excellent and popular operating system in premium range. It runs on all iPhones in the market and only available with them limiting the choice of models. Another limitation is the unavailability of Bluetooth and its unavoidable dependency on iTunes. iPhone’s bug-less performance and build quality powered with the best camera took the Apple brand to top level.  Apple’s iPhones are the only models available in the market with iOS.

Mobile OS

• Windows 8, this Microsoft’s unique innovation gives a different visual experience with its tiles based UI. It may be lacking a bit in smartphone race compared to Android and iOS, but is slowly picking pace with increasing sales in recent times. MS Office tools like word, excel, and outlook work best on this mobile OS. If you use your mobile more for official tasks then it is a better choice. Nokia’s Lumia series models are popular Windows 8 smartphones available in the market.

• Blackberry 10, the revamped Blackberry operating system is yet to get into the minds of smartphone users. BBM messenger is very popular but it will be coming to Android and iOS soon. Blackberry Z10 is the available model in the market.

It is also important to choose a carrier who promises you frequent software updates. If you prefer to have latest OS all the time then Android’s Nexus series and Apple iPhone are better options.

Specifications are the key

Smartphones are mini computers, they handle multiple and heavy processes internally. So a good processor with enough RAM is a must for any smartphone for better performance.

• Choose quad core processors with speed of 1.5 Ghz or above

• Also make sure that the device is compatible with latest Bluetooth (3.0/4.0) and WiFi (802.11 a/ac/b/g/n,) technologies.

• LTE (4G) is not fully functional in many countries, so if it can support 3G that should be enough for most your data necessities which guarantees a speed of 3 megabits per second or more.

• Choose memory as per your needs, 16GB should be sufficient unless you want to dump your mobile with all latest Hollywood action movies in HD.

• Camera can be of anything of your choice – 8 mega pixels rear camera with 1080p video recording and decent front camera for video calling should suffice your need unless you want to use it for professional photography. Oh wait, we heard many of the journalists are forced to use iPhone 4S/5 cameras for taking pictures for their articles by cutting on their photo-journalists budget.

• Prefer LCD/HD displays with Gorilla glass (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) as it is a scratch resistance glass.

• Choose a size which is comfortable to hold for single hand operations.

Battery – smartphones need more juice

The common complaint that you would hear from any smartphone user is about its battery performance. Take any high end model available in market, you won’t find one that would last for 24 hours on moderate usage. They promise talk times of up to 24 hours but in reality smartphones need a lot of juice for display and to handle tens of processes running under the hood. So give more attention to check battery spec, 2100 mAh is minimum requirement for any high end phone with screen size 4 inch or more. Apple’s iPhone 5 runs just with 1440 mAh battery.

You buy a smartphone to use it for multiple purposes but not to keep it on standby all the time, so do not hesitate if a battery of your choice is few bucks costlier.

Online reviews – give few minutes, you won’t regret later

Once you have decided on a particular model, do not feel lazy to quickly check online reviews for the same. It’s better to be smart in advance than to regret your decision later. There are plenty of online resources available for reviews, like GSMArena, The Verge and YouTube etc.

You can also find reviews for all future mobiles right here in; we are growing in size and building our resources accordingly.

If you are a smartphone user already and have more suggestions then please let everyone know by adding them under comments section below.

4 Comments on “Smartphone Buyer’s Guide for Newbies”

  1. Victoria

    I’ve been using online reviews for most of my online and even offline shopping recently – and I agree they are really useful, especially when talking about tch and those who are not professionals intechnology – spending an hour online will pay out in choosing much lowerprice/higher quality hardware

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