Smartphone Buying Guide: How to choose the right Smartphone?

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A smartphone is the one’s personal possession, it knows your friends, it knows where you go and it keeps your memories in the form of photos, hence it is essential to pick the smartphone that is perfect for you. However with so many prices, sizes and options available in the market choosing the right smartphone has never been more difficult. Here is a guide that will help you choose the smartphone that is right for you.

  1. Choose the operating system

The first thing you need to do when buying a smartphone is to choose which operating system you want to use. There are three main operating systems on the market Android, IOS and windows phone 8.1. Here is an evaluation of the advantages and the disadvantages of each operating system.

Android

Android is currently the leading OS in terms of the market share. If you are someone who desires customization above all else android is the right pick for you. The benefits of android are that there are a wide variety of phones to choose from (like Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony etc.) in multiple sizes and at different price levels. Plus Google Play is home to over 1 million applications and games, also if you are invested in Google’s eco system then android is perfect for you as it offers great integration between Google services. However there are certain problems associated with android, firstly some interfaces like touch wiz are difficult to navigate and are cluttered and slow furthermore I have noticed in my use that third party apps tend to work better on IOS then android, on top of that even if you buy the most expensive android smartphone on the market there is no guarantee that it will get future updates however generally flagship devices are supported by their respective OEM.

IOS

With the latest version of its OS IOS 8 apple made sure that android and IOS are on a level playing field by including features like third party sharing and third party keyboards, thanks to these features IOS is better than ever. Generally IOS doesn’t have the openness of android but it more than makes up for that in terms of user experience. You will not get tons of customization in IOS but you can be sure that the iPhone is going run smoothly and will keep getting updates to future versions irrespective of your carrier and country. Also hottest games and applications are generally launched on IOS first and then on any other platform. Plus if you own an iPad or a MacBook then there is more incentive for you to choose IOS as apple offers great integration between products for example if you buy an app for your iPhone it will include an iPad copy furthermore features like continuity allow you to answer your messages and phone calls directly from your MacBook, also you can start typing an email on your iPhone and continue it from your iPad or MacBook. However IOS is not for everyone, its interface consists of rows and rows of icon and it can get boring very quickly plus there is very little customization you can do unless you jailbreak. On top of that third party keyboard support is nowhere near what android offers.

Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft’s windows phone 8.1 was the biggest update to the platform bringing some needed features like a voice assistant to the platform. Windows phone is now better than ever with the windows store offering 340,000 applications as of November 2014. Microsoft’s windows phone has a lot of advantages. Firstly it offers a dynamic and a very different interface with live tiles secondly windows phone offers a very polished user experience, using windows phone feels like using a well-oiled machine however despite offering more applications than ever before it still misses some popular applications like Pocket and Pocket casts which are two of my most used applications. Plus windows phone stills misses some much needed functionality and in some way always feels inferior to IOS and Android.

  1. Specs

The second thing you need to focus on when buying a smartphone is its specs, which includes the processor, amount of ram, display size and resolution, storage, camera and Battery life.

Processor and ram

Generally a processor with high clock speed offers a much smoother experience while opening apps, playing games and just about anything you do on your phone however even if on some phones the clock speed is lower they offer a perfectly smooth experience for example Motorola G and IPhone 6 (though iPhone 6 offers a 64 bit processor). Also the higher the amount of Ram in a phone the better the experience of multitasking will be. Generally most of the flagship android and windows smartphones support 2 GB of ram and midrange smartphones support 1 to 1.5 GB of ram with lower end devices supporting Less than 1 GB.

 Display

Display in a smartphone is also very important primarily because it is the window through which you look at your phone hence it needs to be of good quality. Generally higher resolution displays offer much higher quality however it should also be noted that the resolution of the display affects the battery life. Generally smartphones with 1080 display with 5 inches or above offer the perfect balance between high quality and good battery life, don’t be fooled by what everyone says guys you don’t need a 2k display on a phone as you wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a 2k or a 1080 display, plus below 5 inches 720p displays are perfectly fine. Speaking about size it all depends on your priority if you prefer one handed use then you are better off buying phones between 4 to 4.7 inches however if you prefer the experience of a big screen and one handed usability doesn’t matter then phones above 4.7 inches are great for you.

Storage

Storage is another very important thing to consider when buying a phone, if you are someone who consumes a lot of media and play a lot of games then you need to either buy a phone that offers expandable storage or a phone that offers high storage capacity like most flagship phone tend to do these days. On the other hand if you don’t play a lot of games or consume a lot of media then 16 GB or below of non-expandable storage is fine.

Camera

How important the camera is in a smartphone varies from person to person if you are someone who uses his smartphone camera for occasional photos with friends or photos to upload on social media then anything above 5 Megapixels is good for you, however if you are someone who does a lot of cropping and editing then you are better off with an 8 megapixels camera or more. However higher resolution does not mean better quality photos in every case hence the idea should always be to choose the phone with better quality photos rather than more megapixels.

Battery life

Last spec you need to consider is the battery life. Generally a smartphone with higher battery capacity last longer however battery life also depends on the screen resolution and processor. Generally smartphones battery lasts for one day of moderate to heavy use however if you are someone who travels a lot then you are better off buying a phone that offers a removable battery and keeping a spare battery with you.

  1. Price

The last thing you need to consider when buying a phone is its price and your budget. If you are an average smartphone user and don’t have the budget to buy a flagship device than you should buy phones in the range of 200 to 400 dollars like the one plus one. If you are obsessed with technology and want the latest and greatest and have no budget problems then you can buy phones with the price north of 400 $ like the iPhone 6 or the Galaxy S6. On the other hand if you are short on budget but still want the latest and greatest and have no problem committing to a contract for 2 years then you can buy a phone with carrier subsidy. Lastly if you are a low end user and don’t want to spend too much on a phone then you can buy a phone like Moto G 2015 which currently retails for below $200.

These are some of the things you should always consider when buying a smartphone in conclusion it all depends on your personal needs and preference if you are someone who wants customization and want more functionality then you should opt for an android smartphone. However if you are someone who prefers form over function and want a phone that simply works, iPhone is the best option for you and lastly if you are someone who wants to try something new, different and are willing to compromise then you should opt for windows phone. Once you choose which OS you can evaluate other factors and choose the smartphone that is best for you over a period of time.

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Abdul Basit Yousuf, a guy with two girlfriends; technology and cricket. He is an ambitious person working day and night, possessing exceptional marketing ideas. All the content and articles you see on screen have his direction at the back. He is also one of the founding members of this website and is obsessed with making GenY the best content based website in Pakistan, He believes, “You can, because you think You Can”
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