When you’re looking for a new smartphone, several important factors must be considered. Obviously, you need to consider your budget to ensure you only consider models you can afford. Once you have your price range, you can start comparing different phones to see how they’ll meet your needs.
What do you need in a smartphone? Since not everyone has the same requirements, and not all features are necessary, here are some tips to help you choose the device that’s right for you.
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Ask for recommendations
How can you know if a certain phone is right for you if you’ve never owned one before? This is where you can leverage your friends’ input. Ask some people you know – friends, coworkers, family – for their opinion on what phone they like best and why. If they happen to own that particular phone, ask if you can play around with it for a bit to see if you like the user interface.
You can test out various phones in retail shops, but sometimes it’s easier to test a friend’s phone because you don’t have to drive anywhere.
Don’t jump for the most expensive model
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, don’t automatically assume you should get the most expensive smartphone on the market. For example, many people love iPhones because they’re reliable, feature-rich devices. However, you may not need to buy the top-of-the-line model.
If you can afford to buy a more expensive brand, like Apple, go for it, but don’t upgrade unless it’s necessary. If you don’t need a 1TB hard drive, for example, it doesn’t make sense to get the most expensive iPhone. Buy the model that meets your needs, grab a sturdy case for your iPhone, and you’ll save money in the process.
Stick to your budget
When looking for a new smartphone, it’s best to stick to your determined budget. If you allow yourself to spend more than you plan, you’ll probably end up spending even more in the end. For example, if you’re waiting for the new iPhone 15 to come out, but it’s over your budget, you might be tempted to get into a payment plan to make it more affordable. Sometimes these plans aren’t bad, but you will end up paying more than the retail price for your phone.
Anytime you give yourself leeway to ignore your budget, you’re hurting your finances. You may not need to spend all the money upfront to get a high-end phone, but you will see that extra money disappear each month, leaving you with less cash for other purposes. However, if you don’t mind sacrificing other things to throw more money at your phone, it might work for you.
Consider the operating system
The two most popular smartphone operating systems are iOS and Android. It’s rare to find someone who loves both equally. Usually, the consensus is pretty divided.
PC Magazine published an in-depth feature comparison between Android and iOs, and the results were pretty close. Both operating systems offer updates with each new version that add cool functionality, but it appears that Android’s updates are a little less impressive than iOS. However, millions of people swear by Android and it’s really all just a matter of preference.
Even though you probably have a favorite OS, it might serve you well to test out a different OS. Just get a feel for what it’s like and see if you like it. You might find some features easier to use, in which case, it’s worth considering switching.
Look for a long battery life
Having a phone with a strong battery life is important. If you have to recharge your phone every day or multiple times a day, you’ll get frustrated and probably won’t use your phone much. Or, you’ll buy a new battery and that can get expensive. The way to avoid this situation is to buy a phone that already comes with a good battery.
When you’re considering different smartphone models, look at the battery life for each of them. If there are no specific features that make you lean toward one over the others, choose the model with a charge that will last the longest. Then, take care of your battery to ensure it doesn’t lose capacity. For example, it’s better to charge your phone slowly, and you never want to fully charge your battery. A smartphone battery should last between 2-3 years.
Don’t overpay for features you won’t use
Last, but not least, don’t buy a phone with more features than you need or want. It takes a little effort, but do your research first and avoid spending money unnecessarily.