There are more smartphone models coming out every quarter than tv shows on a sitcom! Here’s how to navigate finding the right smartphone for you.
Picking the right smartphone with these easy steps:
1. What are you going to do with it?
2. How much storage space do you have?
3. Do you really want a smartphone or just something that looks like one?
4. Are you going to get service at your location?
5. What kind of battery life do you need or want in your phone?
6. Is size an issue for you (pocket/hardly noticeable)?
7. What’s your budget?
8. How much do you want to spend on apps?
9. Do you need a warranty plan for your smartphone?
10. Will looking at the bigger screen be an issue for you (if so, look into getting glasses)?
11. Buy a case and/or screen protector (things can get pretty expensive when they break). Those cases will make it harder to use the touchscreen, however they help protect it–which is very important!
12. When buying headphones, get some that are compatible with your phone or tablet model in case someone has something similar to yours and wants to borrow them…and please don’t share earbuds!
13. Once you get your phone, set up a password/security code! A lot of apps and settings can be accessed without having to do this, but if your phone is stolen or lost, it’s a good idea because they can’t use it without the password. Keeping personal items like that off public computers in a safe place when you need to go online is also helpful (for other reasons than keeping them from getting stolen). 🙂
Okay! So now that we got through all of those things, how are you going to pick the best smartphone for yourself?
Here’s some common questions people have when buying smartphones and my answer to them:
Will this phone work with my carrier service? Definitely ask your carrier at what frequencies/bands it will support. You can find that on their website as well (though having a smart phone is usually not an option for pre-paid carriers).
How do I know if my carrier service has good coverage in my area?
If your house, office, and other locations you frequent have decent signal strength consistently, then chances are the area also does!
How much storage space should I get?
This depends on what you’re doing with your smartphone. If you’re only going to use it for things like emails, texts, messages, photos & videos—then 16GB is more than enough. 64GB is better if you plan on downloading apps or uploading pictures & video—and 32GB or higher would be great for music listening (if you’ll be listening to a ton of music). Having more storage is better, so make sure you get one big enough for the things you want/need!
Do I need an unlocked phone or can I just buy it from my carrier?
If your carrier has phones and plans with them (like Verizon and AT&T), then they’re likely going to have sales on them. It’s ok if it’s not unlocked, but buying an unlocked phone means that you can use any service provider when traveling. Some smartphones are compatible with any SIM card, while others only work with certain types–so be sure to check before purchasing!
What kind of battery life do I need or want in my phone? This depends on what you’re doing with your smartphone! Talking & texting doesn’t use much battery power; however videos will drain it quickly…and so will having GPS/Wi-Fi on constantly if you’re using apps. The bigger screen and resolution usually also eats up more battery. Battery prices are ridiculously expensive too, so make sure you get one that will service your needs!
What size do I want?
This really is up to user preference. Personally I think phones right below the 5-inch mark (such as, most 4.7-5 inch screens) are the best because they’re easiest for one hand use…but once you have a screen above 5 inches then you might be tempted to buy bigger cases and cover it up with them. Keep
in mind that anything under 4 inches is going to be hard on your eyes if you’re browsing the web or reading small text, so it’s best for those who want easy portability (instead of a big screen).
Also consider how much weight you can handle—some newer phones are as thin as two credit cards stacked together, which makes them harder to hold.
Smartphones usually weigh anywhere from 3-6 oz; however there are lighter ones nowadays, and some come with cases that add more weight. Either way take this into consideration because just like a camera you don’t want something too heavy.
Are accessories needed?
This depends on what you do with your smartphone! Some people might say they need a case for their new phone, screen protectors, chargers for multiple places in the house & car, headphones or bluetooth headsets/speakers—and many more. Other things to consider are cases that can charge your phone while you’re on the go…or perhaps a waterproof case if you frequently swim and want to take photographs.
Accessories such as these may cost upwards of twenty dollars each though! Here’s a tip: If you have an old smart phone lying around (hopefully with a working battery) then use accessories from that one for your new one! It’ll save space and money.
What are the important features I need to look into?
This will either be in form of a touch screen button or a sensor at the back (like a razor has). This is the newest form of unlocking your phone and it’s supposed to be pretty secure.
I want my battery to last all day without charging:
This can be achieved by turning off things that are not being used (such as, GPS), lowering screen brightness, using fewer/smaller tiles on the home screen, etc. Don’t forget—you can always turn the device off!
What kind of processor do I need?
They come in different speeds (1-2 Ghz), cores (one, two or four) and even dual core processors…which means choosing one will depend greatly on how you’re going to use it. If you’re just browsing the internet then get a slow processor, but if you’re gaming, having a lot of apps open at once, etc then go for a more speedy one.
How fast is the internal memory?
This depends on how much space you need! A 16GB phone will have less room than a 32 GB or 64 GB because it must increase its speed to keep up with demand. If pictures/videos are important to you…then get as much storage as possible; however if not then don’t worry about it so much (because it’s mostly just your apps that take up all the space).
What’s my price range?
For older phones look for refurbished ones to save some money—otherwise do your research before buying and find out what kind of deals retailers are offering near you!