If you are looking to buy a new smartphone this year and are finding it a tedious task, you are not alone. So am I. In this article, I will be sharing my process for choosing a new smartphone, and hopefully the info will be of help to you in your search too.
If you have followed me on MobilityArena for a few years, you probably already know that choosing a new smartphone for my personal use is always a painful process. Why? I am picky; very picky. I have a million and one specific needs that have to be met by one unlucky device, because that it what it takes for any smartphone to have a hold on me.
As my trusty Lumia 950 is now due for retirement, I have begun that process of cutting through the deluge of available smartphone to pick just one that will be my daily driver for the next one year.
In your search, having a list of criteria is the first step towards getting what you want. You have to know the exact features and capabilities that you want in a phone. Let me share with you my criteria for picking my next smartphone. Here is my list of features I want:
Criteria For Finding the Right Phone For Myself
- Solid dual rear camera.
- Bezel-less design/reasonable size.
- Minimum of 4000 mAh battery capacity plus fast charge.
- Support for LTE Frequency Band 28(700).
- Dual-SIM plus ability to peg network mode to 4G only.
- Up-to-date software: Android 7 Nougat or newer.
- Top dog processor and minimum of 4GB RAM.
You can use my list above as a guide to drawing yours up. Your needs may not be as diverse as mine. Just make sure that you list out specifically everything you want. Just so you get the full picture, let me break down what my list is all about.
Solid Dual Rear Camera
I am a lover of great camera phones. Because the new dual cameras on smartphones allow some greater level of photo capture, that is the direction I am looking. I want a dual camera that allows for special focus effects like Bokeh. I really have no great use or need for dual cameras that enable wide angle shots.
Unfortunately for me, no-one is putting a Xenon flash in smartphones any more in 2017, so i will have to settle for dual LED.
Bezel-less Design and Reasonable Size
It is time to experience this new design on a smartphone. It doesn’t matter whether it is the standard bezel-less design similar to what the Samsung galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone X have, or whether it is tri-bezel-less like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
I just want a bezel-less smartphone.
And because I am not a big fan of…well…really big phones, a 6-inch bezel-less phone will give me the size of a standard 5.5-inch phone, while a 5.5-inch bezel-less phone will give me something the size of a standard 5-inch mobile phones. Yes; I got this figured out.
Nursing a phone through the day is one of my peeves. I probably dislike it more than most people do. I like it when I can go through a full work day without having to plug in my phone. From experience, a minimum of 4,000 mAh battery gets the job done.
Of course, there has to be fast charge. Who wants to sit by and wait hours for a smartphone to get a full charge?
LTE Band 28(700) Support
I want this specific LTE band because it is rare (and used by Glo). Once you are outside of Lagos, Glo has the widest 4G coverage in the country, and there are times that man’s going to need broadband internet out there in the countryside.
Dual SIM with ability to peg network mode to 4G only
I opt for dual-SIM mobile phones because I need the second SIM slot for mobile data when I need it. That second SIM must also be able to peg network mode to 4G Only, so the network signal doesn’t keep switching between 2G, 3G and 4G.
Now, this is a dicey one because most modern smartphones do not have this ability. A workaround is to choose a smartphone with a Mediatek processor, so i can use an app like MTK Engineering Mode which provides that menu. The app does not work with Snapdragon smartphones. See my dilemma? Sigh.
Left to me, I won’t touch an Android smartphone that isn’t running Oreo, but then looking at everything i want in a smartphone, my chances of getting exactly everything are slim. So, I am willing to settle for Android 7 Nougat. Nothing older than that.
Note also that I prefer certain Android custom UIs to others, so I must bear that in mind. On the flip side, I am completely comfortable with pure Android OS. My possible options get slimmer and slimmer; right?
Processor and RAM
A top-dog processor coupled with at least 4 GB of RAM is it. If I get 6 GB or 8 GB RAM, even better. Let’s just say that I have my eyes on a flagship smartphone.
LOOOL. Let us just pretend that my bank account isn’t looking at everything I have listed above and laughing hysterically. Because, I am laughing my head off right here too. Please join me if you care.
In the meantime, hopefully, having seen my methodology for choosing a new smartphone for myself, you have a clearer picture of how to go about finding one for yourself too. Happy smartphoning (am I the first person to use that as a word?).
Choosing A New Smartphone: The Nominees?
I wish I could say that I have a list that meets all the above criteria, but it isn’t so. I haven’t found one smartphone that delivers on all my requirements, so I currently have no nominees. I just might have to make compromises and settle for one that is close enough.
Maybe you can help me out though. If you know any smartphones that fit my outlined criteria above, do share in the comments section below.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.