Buying a new smartphone can be a stressful experience these days, particularly as many of the newer handsets are more expensive than ever. However, that doesn’t mean that you should break the bank when you’re buying a new phone. If you know what to look for, you can make sure you’re not blowing a fortune on something that you don’t necessarily need.
Battery life is usually improved on with each new phone that is released, and larger handsets typically – but not always – have longer-lasting batteries. Of course, you can’t use your phone if it’s flat, so you’re going to want a battery that will last at least the duration of the day. If you’re a heavy user who gets through a single charge very quickly, then consider buying yourself a handset that supports ‘fast charging’; this is a relatively new feature that can boost a phone up to at least 50% of its battery capacity in a matter of minutes.
The display is one of the most essential features of the phone, considering it’s the part of the handset that you spend your time staring at. You want something that’s going to be easily usable day and night, whilst having rich, sharp colours, something particularly important for videos and gaming.
When it comes to screen size, consider the size of your hands and whether you’ll be able to easily use some of the larger handsets on the market. Equally, if you plan on watching lots of programmes or playing games, don’t pick a small screen. For larger screens, such as the Apple and Samsung handset ‘Plus’ models, you’ll want to avoid getting a resolution any lower than around 1920 x 1080p, otherwise you could start to see worse or blurry text and duller colours.
It’s simple: the more storage your phone has, the more money you’ll pay. As a result, with contract prices so expensive, you could end up with a very small amount of storage space if you try to go for the cheapest option. What many people don’t realise is that a phone’s operating system (OS) takes up some of the space straight out of the box, and with applications becoming larger than ever, you could fast run out of space if you go for the smaller options.
If you love to take and share your photos, then you’re going to want to make sure that your new phone has a good camera, or cameras. It goes without saying that the newest Samsung and Apple phones have high-quality hardware, though you’ll need to research lesser known brands or other contenders. The Samsung S9 and iPhone X, for example, are fantastic in low light and in some cases, utilise more than one lens to achieve high-quality photos.
Bear in mind that cheaper, budget model phones will invariably have worse cameras than the new, high-end handsets created by the leading brands in the industry.
Most people who own a smartphone could probably name the brand leaders of the industry; companies like Samsung, Apple and, more recently, Google are leading the way with their handsets. On the other hand, lesser-known brands like Huawei and OnePlus are putting out affordable smartphones with lower price tags, though there have been some controversies in the news around what these companies have done with customer data, for example.
Whatever you do, be sure to research the varied brands available. When it comes to the brand leaders, at least you can be sure you’re getting a quality product from a reputable manufacturer.
New or refurbished
Like cars, but on a lesser scale, smartphones lose value immediately after being purchased and used first-hand. Second-hand or refurbished models can save you a good deal of cash, but it’s worth noting several things. Firstly, may no longer be under warranty, depending on where you bought it from. Secondly, if it’s more than a couple of years old, you might stop getting software updates from the manufacturer, leaving it exposed to new security threats. Finally, you’ll eventually see worse battery performance, and newer applications could be too great of a challenge for the aging processor.
We’ve covered all the most prominent features of a smartphone above, though there are other points that you might want to think about. For example, what is the audio quality like for listening to music or watching videos? Is wireless charging supported? Does the phone have a 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting earbuds or headphones?
Many of these questions can be answered by searching for product reviews online and reading comments from people who have tried and tested the product already. For anything else, WiseGuys might be able to help you out. We are happy to offer any advice you need when it comes to buying a new handset, and we could even help you to find your next phone. If you’d like our advice, then you can get hold of us by phone on 0808 123 2820.