What To Look Out For When Buying Phones

In recent times, phones have become a key part of daily living. They have come from being merely communication devices to being little parts of everything. Now, phones can take pictures, thus replacing the need to carry a camera around. Access to internal and cloud storage takes out the need for additional drives. Internet connection means your phone can also double as a self-sufficient PC. Some phones are even able to charge others. How cool is that!

Furthermore, the improvements in purpose and usage has seen the smartphone market grow substantially with different brands promising unique features. In this diverse market, picking the right phone can easily become a chore. Also, since there is no perfect phone, one must be on the lookout for the one that best satisfies their needs.

Below, we take a look at certain specs and features you should look out for. This should gear you towards the ideal phone.

Battery:

Being a Nigerian resident means you live in a society susceptible to power failure. To thrive in such a place, you need regular power supply and/or a good battery capacity. This feature is especially necessary for heavy users who open multiple apps at once or play games. Additionally, internet connection drains battery the most. If you fancy yourself a heavy user, it’s best to get a phone with a large battery. As at now, the standard battery capacity is 4000mah. Anything below this mark might be unable to last you through a full day as a heavy user. Phones in the big battery domain include the Tecno Pouvoir series, Umidigi power 3, Redmi 8, etcetera.

Nature of build:

The build refers to how durable the phone is. There are two types of builds in the smartphone market currently, namely: plastic and metal. Some phones even come with the luxury of a glass coating for aesthetics and device safety. On some phones, the glass used is typically fortified to withstand scratches and cracks when dropped. However, this quality could cause a spike in prices. If you’re on the clumsy side or have kids prone to dropping stuff, you’re better off with a metal or plastic build. These are better at managing falls from 2 to 3 feet. Some phones with sturdy builds include the CAT S61, Land Rover Explore, and the Unihertz Atom.

Memory capacity:

There are two types of memories in phones, namely the ROM (Read Only Memory) and RAM (Random Access Memory). The RAM and processor are what determines how fast or slow the phone is, allowing for ease of use. Slower RAMs are usually 1GB and lower, with 2GB and above considerably faster. The logic is simple: the bigger the RAM, the faster the phone is.

The ROM is the storage in a phone. It is what stores the operating system, videos, applications, songs, and photos. The bigger the ROM, the more storage a phone has. For average users with no heavy use, a phone with 16GB ROM and 2GB RAM should suffice. However, for heavy users, a 3 to 4 GB RAM phone with 64GB ROM is a more plausible option. In addition, the ROM can be bolstered using a micro SD card. Albeit, applications stored and run from it are much slower. Phones with high RAM and ROM include the Redmi 9s, Samsung Galaxy S10, Infinix Note 7, among others.

Camera:

The cameras on phones only get better by the year, with different camera setups popping up. Each phone brand tries to outdo the other and win over the market by making higher megapixel cameras. But don’t be fooled. Just because the megapixel count is high doesn’t make the camera good. For instance, the 12mp dual camera setup on the iPhone 11 far outclasses the 48mp quad camera setup on the Umidigi power 3. What makes a camera better are features like aperture, autofocus speed, and ISO levels. In summary, if you love taking pictures, go for phones with 12MP cameras and above with a f/2.0 aperture or lower. Phones with 8-12MP cameras and slightly larger apertures should be good for non-camera users. Phones with great cameras include iPhone 11 pro, Google pixel 4, Huawei P40 pro, Xiaomi Mi Note 10, etcetera.

Processor:

Like cameras, processors can be hard to decipher as well. There are quad-cores, octa-cores, MediaTek, Snapdragon, and the likes. Forget the name attached to the processor and focus on the speed rate. The higher the speed rate (in GHz), the faster the processor is. Thus, for heavy users, a fast processor will save you from lagging. Phones with the best processor include Tecno Camon 15 Pro, Honor Holly 3, Oppo A31, etcetera.

​Display:

Two factors determine how a phone is used; screen resolution and size. For people who use their phone mainly for media (videos, photos, graphics, etcetera) a phone with 5.5 inches of display and above, with full-HD or Quad-HD resolution is your best buy. But take note that over 6 inches of display makes a phone bulky, except you don’t mind. Additionally, for regular users with no high end uses, phones with 5 to 5.5 inches and HD or full-HD resolutions are fine. Phones with great display include Google pixel XL, Motorola Moto Turbo, Nokia 8 Sirocco, etcetera.

USB port and Headphone jack:

The common ports in phones lately dabble between USB Type-C and micro-USB ports. The former is preferable because it’s the technology of the future and easier to use. Also, headphone jacks are fast disappearing from smartphones in recent times. Hence, it won’t be long before the switch to headphone jacks with USB Type-C is made. Phones with both USB Type-C and headphone jacks include the Redmi Note 9 series, Samsung Galaxy A50, etcetera.

Operating System (OS):

The two main operating systems in the world are iOS and Android. The former runs default on iPhones. The latter, on the other hand, is available for all smartphone makers. The availability of the Android OS makes it easy for manufacturers to customize interfaces, but at the cost of bloatware, which causes lagging. Some common Android-based operating systems include MiUI, ZenUI, Oxygen OS, etcetera.

Cost:

The prices of smartphones vary according to specs, branding, and release periods. New release phones with better specs and a popular brand name, tend to cost higher than low-end and less popular old releases.

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