6 Tips For Choosing A Smartphone

6 Tips For Choosing A Smartphone

6 Tips For Buying a Smartphone

Photo Compliments of William Hook

If this will be your first smartphone or you are a veteran smartphone user a new phone can is a difficult experience. The main reason: the choices seem endless, and there are new options every week.

How To Choose With So Many Options

You can really boil down choosing a smartphone to 6 key factors.

Factors To Consider When Buying A New Smartphone

  • Screen Size
  • Operating System
  • Hardware
  • Network Technology
  • Pricing
  • What Your Friends Use

A Bit More Information

1. Screen size

Initially Apple set the standard with a 3.5-inch iPhone screen, but that has changed dramatically. Since 2010 Samsung has been pushing the envelope with larger screen sizes. Their most popular phones now have screens measuring 4.8 and 5.5 inches. My latest phone purchase had a screen size that was 5.4 inches.

If you watch video and read on your smartphone, you need to consider a larger-sized phone; larger screen. If you value portability and like operating your phone with one hand, a smaller size is a better choice. The cutoff point is four inches, the size of the iPhone. Those who prefer a smaller handset will go with a 4-inch screen, or 4.3 inches tops. Those who want a greater media experience will go with the 5 plus inch screen models that are now on the market.

2. Operating system

There are a number of operating system choices. However the top three Operating Systems of today are Google’s Android, Apple’s IOS, and Microsoft’s Windows.
Android has the lion’s share of the market in terms of sales. It is the most customizable platform of the lot. The launch of Android Lollipop 5.0 adds new dimensions to the Operating System and offers the smoothest android experience yet. Android also offers the highest number of apps through the play store. Having said this, they do a poor job of bringing older phones up to the latest rev level.

The IOS of Apple is second to none and offers the most sophisticated look and feel with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being launched with the latest version of the Operating System IOS 8. The IOS tends to get the hottest apps and games even before Android. The one negative is the IOS only comes with the Apple phones and tablets and does not have the kind of variety enjoyed by Android.

Windows Phone Operating System is still evolving and lags behind the IOS and Android in terms of number of apps and sales. The Nokia Lumia series phones are all windows phones and are arguably the best camera phones in the market today.

3. Hardware


Hardware specifications like the processor and RAM play a key role. The kind of specifications you need requires you to know how you will use your smartphone. Will you just browse the internet, send e-mails, edit documents, play games, watch videos or movies, listen to music, or a combination of these.

If you can decide this you will know whether you want a high-end premium phone, a mid-range phone, or a budget phone. If you want to play High definition games on your phone, you may want a processor of highest grade like the qualcomm snapdragon 810, and at least 2 GB of RAM to go with it. On the other hand if you will only be using it for browsing the internet and sending e-mails, along with basic calling functions, than a dual core processor and 512 MB of RAM may adequate.

Internal storage and Expandable Memory

A smartphone is only as good as the amount of memory or storage it has. You may buy a smartphone with the best hardware specifications, but if you don’t have enough memory it may not work for you. You need to get a smartphone with enough internal storage, and you should consider a provision for expansion through a SD card. Now the question is how much is enough? The answer to that comes when you decide what you want the phone to do for you.

You have to ask yourself as to how many apps you will use, whether you will use it for listening to music, or watching movies, and would you want to have that all on your phone. Most of the smartphones have internal memory ranging from around 2GB to 128GB; some smartphones offer expandable storage through a SD card.


For a sizeable number of people the camera could be the factor that may tilt the scales in favor of, or against a particular smartphone. Most smartphones nowadays come equipped with at least a 5 Megapixels camera; good smartphones have a camera with at least 13 or more Megapixels. Although a lot depends upon the number of Megapixels a camera has, as far as quality of images it clicks is concerned, it may not be the sole criteria.

There are a number of other factors that you must pay attention to like the optical zoom. A camera with lower megapixels that offers optical image stabilization and/or optical zoom could be a better option than a camera with higher megapixels that does not offer OIS or optical zoom. You must also take into account how much control the smartphone gives the user on the camera settings. You should also take into account things like aperture, ISO, shutter speed resolution etc. You will only be able to make an informed and smart decision once you go through all this. It’s a tough call to decide which phone has the best camera. However, you may decide on the basis of color reproduction, resolution and other camera features. If you are in doubt you can look at reviews and take pictures with the phone you are considering.


Some smart phones have keyboards that have actual buttons while some use touch screen keyboards. Even though some people are more comfortable while using buttons, most people now prefer the touch screen technology.

Battery Life

Due to the high speed connections like 3G and 4G a battery can be drained very quickly. Battery life has improved in the latest smart phones to ensure longer talk time and stand by time. Your battery should have a battery life of at least 24 hours.

4. Network Technology

There are a few different technology standards for cell phones. Some run 3G on a CDMA network, while others use HSDPA. This does make a difference to you and you need to ask about this. There is also the issue of 4G LTE.

When choosing between network technologies, you need to consider what is strongest in your area. That’s really the only factor that matters. If HSDPA is generally stronger, but CDMA is stronger in your region, go with CDMA. If you live in an area that has 4G LTE coverage, go with that.

5. Price

Cost can be a negative for a smartphone. These are expensive devices and few of us have unlimited funds. There are good deals to be found if you look around and you ask questions.

6. What your friends use

There are many advantages to owning the same kind of smartphone as your friends. For example, if your friends own iPhones, you can share app recommendations, use iMessage, and share many other features with ease. The same goes if your friends have Android. It becomes easier to discover great new apps and features if your friends are using the same phones as.

6 Tips For Choosing A Smartphone That Will Make You Happy

The key here is to prioritize the most important functions and features and run each phone selection through your list. It won’t take long before you find the smartphone that works best for you.

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  1. Good advice. I got my first smart phone so that I could get photos and do Facetime with my daughter and to see the baby… Not the newest Iphone, but it is good enough for me…Michelle

  2. Charlie – What’s to be embarrassed about? You recognize the phone has more benefits than you understand. I just took free classes in Word Level 2 and a Look at Windows 10 at my library. I just got my second Android phone this year — a TracPhone bargain with 1200 minutes of phone/text/data for $134. It has the KitKat operating system which is SOOOOOOOOO much easier than whatever was in the last Android (hated that phone).
    Linda recently posted..Green PersimmonsMy Profile

  3. Funnily enough, I just bought a smart phone for the first time a week or so ago. The camera and the battery life were major points for me. The second was particularly important because I always forget to recharge electrical devices, so I needed something that could cope with my frequent memory lapses.
    Bun Karyudo recently posted..Severe Technical ProblemsMy Profile

    • I just bought my second smart phone an was amazed how much longer the battery lasted and how amazing the camera quality had become. I would say that as someone with hearing loss I am a little frustrated that audio quality does not seem to be a major concern.

  4. You make good points about camera quality and battery life. And many people have gotten used to the touch screen technology, just as you shared.

  5. Your point about cost is definitely a significant one. You make a good point about looking for deals as well.

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