Smartphones have become indispensable sidekicks to many of us. They are information tools, media consumption devices, and our mobile offices. In some cases, they have outgrown being just computing tools and are evolving into our personal assistants. As such, it is safe to say that buying a smartphone is not an exercise to be left to impulse.
As with most other major shopping activities, it is important to have a checklist when shopping for a new smartphone. The idea is to get the most value for your money, whatever your budget is. Jumia Travel shares a checklist of items to look out for when shopping for a new smartphone.
The Operating System
When your budget for a new smartphone is able to get you either an iPhone running iOS, or a smartphone running Android OS, the burden is then about which of the two to choose. Some people say the iOS is better than the Android OS. In reality, it depends on you, the user.
iOS is easy to use and you can be sure of getting the hottest and best apps in most cases. Your iPhone will also get timely software updates, tight security and very few issues with malware. However, it is more restrictive in how it interacts with other gadgets.
Android OS gives you more hardware choice and more control over your user experience. You can change and customise almost anything you want on your smartphone. File transfer and interactivity with other gadgets is also easier on Android OS.
There is also Windows OS, which is a good choice if you are looking for an OS with good performance because it is tailored to offer better performance than iOS and Android OS. However, you won’t find as many apps as the other two offer.
The Screen Size
Smartphones with screen size below 5 inches are great if one-hand use is important to you and you are looking for a portable smartphone you can perform quick tasks with. However, if you use your phone mainly for media consumption (especially video), a smartphone with a large screen size (above 5 inches) is better for you.
This is unarguably the most important smartphone feature for most smartphone buyers. When buying a smartphone, consider the camera specs like megapixels (the larger the better), aperture (the lower the better) and, if it’s within your budget, try to get one with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). If you are unable to get one with OIS, that’s fine. Simply consider mainly the megapixels and aperture of the camera.
The RAM And Processor
For CPU results, speedier operations and better multi-tasking on your smartphone, you should consider both the RAM and processor of the smartphone. For example, a good RAM and processor will reduce, if not completely eliminate, the incidence of your smartphone ‘hanging’ while in use. However these days RAM is becoming a more reliable indicator of a phone’s performance than the processor, because sometimes a dual-core processor can be far more powerful than an eight-core processor.
Smartphones with 2GB RAM and above are recommended. Smartphones with very limited RAM are the cause of rudimentary performance problems. 1GB and 1.5GB RAM can lead to performance problems on your smartphone. However, if 1GB and 1.5GB RAM smartphones are the ones within your budget, you can make the best of this by downloading very few apps and refraining from opening multiple apps at the same time. You should close every app you open the moment you are done using them.
Multi-core processors like the dual-core, quad-core, hexa-core and octa-core processors are recommended when sourcing for a good smartphone. But be careful, powerful processors tend to drain the battery of your smartphone. If you will only perform simple tasks with your phone like communicating through text messages, making calls, checking emails or browsing the internet, a smartphone with a low but reasonable processing power, like the dual-core or quad-core processor, is good for you.
When buying a new smartphone you have to make sure the smartphone has good battery life. Usually, smartphones with a 3000 mAh battery are recommended if durability is important to you. You can settle for one above 2000 mAh, but avoid going for one lower than 2000 mAh.
If buying a smartphone with a huge battery, one with fast charge is a good idea, so that you can charge up your battery faster.
Most budget smartphones come with 4 GB to 64 GB internal storage. 16 GB internal storage and above is what we recommend though, if you can afford one. However, if that is outside your budget, you can settle for an 8 GB smartphone with an external memory card slot, so you can add extra memory with a card.