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Buying a new phone can be frustrating. Especially today, you have many options to choose from and a wide range of specifications to consider. Keeping this in mind, we have created this extensive guide to purchasing your first or next phone to make the process easier. If you are struggling with the question of how to buy a new phone, follow these steps to make sure your purchase is worth the money you spend on it. 

Choose your software: 

First and foremost, let’s make the most critical decision: deciding which operating system to use. Android and iOS are the two most common mobile operating systems, and the one you choose will significantly impact which phone you acquire. 

Choosing between iOS and Android boils down to personal preference, security, convenience of use, and the manufacturer’s upgrade schedule. Some people prefer the Android operating system; others find iOS preferable. In general, iOS is the finest operating system for simplicity, whereas Android is the best if you want greater customization and a more comprehensive range of purchasing alternatives. 

Android: The key advantage to buying an Android smartphone is the range of available devices and the wide range of prices you can select from. You can go for the flagship Samsung, the latest Google smartphone, or any other brand. 

The idea is, with Android you are in control of how much you will spend and what features you prefer spending for. You can get a device fully customised to your preferences, down to the colour palette you want.  

However, the downside of Android is that it offers security and software updates for a maximum of 5 years. Most manufacturers provide less than this mark.  

iOS: On the flip side, iOS devices are a world of their own. Apple provides a basic, minimal, and easy-to-use experience with the added benefit of quick and timely updates and the best connectivity with Apple’s other products like Macs and iPads. Major software updates for iOS devices are routinely supported for up to six years, significantly better than what most Android makers offer. 

However, with an iOS device, you will be limited to the operating system’s appearance and feel from the start. Even with the advent of widgets and custom icons, iOS still lags behind Android in customizability. In terms of hardware, you’re also limited. Because iOS is only available on the iPhone, you can only choose from what Apple has to offer at any one time. 

Select the hardware mix you want: 

Once you’ve decided which software to go with, the process has just begun. Your next step will be to decide on the right mix of hardware and features to ensure you get exactly what you need from your device.  

With Android devices, the possibilities are virtually endless. You will find an infinite number of combinations for each of the components listed below.  

With iOS, however, your options may be limited. There are only a select few devices being sold by Apple in each category that you can choose from. 

Some of the features you’ll need to look out for before you buy your new phone include: 

1. Design:  

Design is the most subjective of all features. Some people are susceptible to this feature, while others don’t care much about it. Think about how people prefer bezel-less phones and seem to go for any new design feature that looks out of the ordinary. 

Mobile phones like Samsung Galaxy Fold and LG Wing T-screen capture users’ fascination worldwide.  

However, design isn’t just about the looks of the device. There’s much more to a good device than just how it looks. For starters, designers focus on creating a balance between the look of the device and function.  

Things like how it feels in hand, whether can it be used easily with one hand in various scenarios, and whether the design will not be able to support functionality under certain circumstances are all considered.  

We strongly advise you to see and try to use the devices you’re considering before making a purchase choice. This will allow you to see the colour options as they would appear in real life and give you a clearer idea of which gadget would be the best fit for your preferences. 

2. Camera: 

In today’s world, there’s no compromise on mobile cameras. The camera has become one of the most important aspects of having a mobile phone. The digital age demands us to take photos and record every memorable instance of our life. Selfies with friends and celebrities are special to all of us. 

When deciding to buy a device based on camera, you should keep in mind the following: 

First and foremost, don’t be fooled by the specifications; they don’t always imply outstanding camera quality. Many companies have devices with high megapixel count sensors on their lower-cost devices, but this does not imply greater image quality – the software behind the camera is arguably as crucial, if not more, than the hardware. 

Take, for example, Apple’s iPhone 13 series. The iPhone 13 Pro boasts three 12MP cameras, and when compared to Google’s Pixel 6 phones, which have a 50MP primary sensor, the iPhone 13 Pro keeps up in terms of quality and sharpness. So, while a higher megapixel count does not equal better photographs, it captures more detail, allowing you to zoom in closer to a shot without becoming blurry. 

As we mentioned earlier, the software is where most of the magic is. Features like night mode, portrait and others rely heavily on the software. Hence, it is a good idea to look at the photos captured by the device under your consideration before you purchase it. 

So, to sum things up, camera is essential when purchasing a new mobile device. The hardware is primary, but software is every bit as important. Check online reviews, breakdowns and analyses of various phones and look for images they captured before deciding which phone to buy.  

3. Display: 

The display is another critical component of a mobile device. Not only does it let you interact with the device, but it also displays everything. Therefore, a better display always translates into a better user experience. 

When analysing various options and aspects of a mobile phone’s display, keep in mind the following: 

Screen resolution is of primary importance. The better the resolution on your screen, the more vibrant and detailed the display will be. Most of today’s devices have a Full HD+ or QHD+ resolution. Some smartphones, such as the Sony Xperia 1 III, have displays that go up to 4K, but this is overkill for most people. 

HD display is likely to be found on less expensive devices. This is mainly to keep the costs low. Keep in mind that when comparing a 720p panel to a Full HD+ panel, you’ll notice a significant difference in quality. However, the device’s reduced screen resolution may assist its battery life. 

Getting something with at least a Full HD+ resolution is a must, especially if you plan on watching a lot of films on your device. An HD screen will be enough if you use your phone solely for calls, texting, and light web browsing.  

Another important aspect of the display to consider is its ‘refresh rate’, the number of times a display can output a new image. A higher refresh rate means a smoother, more responsive display. The hertz (Hz) measure is used to quantify this feature. Many gadgets feature 60Hz screens; however, smartphone screens have recently adopted greater refresh rates of 90 and 120Hz. 

In everyday use, a higher refresh rate creates the impression that your gadget is faster since it can respond faster. The experience of scrolling through social media or performing other phone operations will be a lot more fluid. If you plan on gaming, you’ll profit from a faster refresh rate because you’ll be able to push higher frame rates. 

The third factor is display technology. Not only does it matter in creating a display, but it also plays a significant role in making a display more vibrant, colourful and overall attractive to the eye. An LCD display requires a backlight to illuminate the entire panel, whereas an OLED display does not. In comparison to LCD panels, OLED displays will have deeper blacks and better contrast.  

You can’t conclude your discussion about mobile phone displays without discussing unique displays like waterfall, which curves along the sides or foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Fold series. The curved displays might look prettier, but they are more susceptible to accidental touches. 

Foldables, on the other hand, provide you with a bigger real-estate screen but cost a lot compared to standard smartphone devices. Also, most foldables have a prominent crease line in the middle, which might irritate some users.  

4. Performance: 

The performance of a smartphone determines the capabilities and longevity of the device. There’s a wide range of available options in today’s market based on the combination of RAM, chipset, and storage capability. 

How to decide which device to buy based on performance? Well, you must look beyond the numbers. Devices like Apple’s iPhones usually feature lesser RAM than their Android counterparts, but because their RAM is so well integrated with their own silicon, their performance is on par with the Android devices having a higher RAM.  

A better way to decide which device to buy can be by focusing on your specific needs and what features can get the work done for you.  

Going for a device with more RAM is a no-brainer if you’re a multi-tasker. The least recommended RAM for a smooth and fluid user experience is 8GB. You can go up to 16GB, 32Gb and even higher based on your needs, budget, and the available range of devices. 

Storage capacity is also important. This is because, at one point during the usage life of the smartphone, you may find your device packed with data you can’t delete. After all, it’s too important. Hence, choosing the right storage from the start is very important. In this regard, a good benchmark to look for can be to see how much storage you currently have on the device you’re using now and is it enough? 

The third thing to look for is the SoC. Your device’s SoC determines how well it will run. SoCs in the mid-range, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, excel at giving a smooth experience while keeping costs down. These chipsets provide consistent performance, allowing you to run most programmes and games smoothly. 

A flagship SoC like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will let you get more performance out of your device and carry out intensive processes like recording 8K video or viewing content in HDR.  

If you are a mid-range user, you may be better off finding an SoC that balances performance vs costs to ensure you get the most out of your budget and have your needs fulfilled by the next device you purchase. 

5. Battery:  

Device battery is essential. If you choose a gadget with a decent battery life, you’ll be able to rely on your smartphone even when you’re far away from a wall outlet. A phone that provides a good battery experience lasts near to or for an entire day of use while also charging reliably and swiftly. 

Regarding battery capacity, larger phones will lend you larger batteries, but battery optimisation is important to consider. The iPhone 13, for example, offers very consistent battery life despite having smaller cells than competitors. This is due to the device’s power-saving A15 Bionic chipset, which allows it to run for as long as it does.  

Other considerations, such as having a power-efficient OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate, also affect battery performance. In general, larger batteries are preferable (obviously), but if battery life is crucial to you, consider other criteria, such as display resolution, refresh rate, and processor optimisation, to ensure you’re making an informed decision. 

6. Pricing: 

The price is, without a doubt, the most significant consideration when purchasing a smartphone. Smartphones, like any other product category, have a handful of pricing points that differentiate the device’s design, functionality, and novelty. 

The most considered price brackets for smartphones include: 

  • Budget (~£199) 
  • Midrange (~£399) 
  • Entry-level flagship (~£799) 
  • Flagship (~£1,149) 

With budget phones, you get the bare minimum when it comes to specifications and features. The mid-range is balanced between budget and performance but tilts towards budget slightly more. The entry-level phones focus on performance but don’t keep the budget out of sight. Flagship phones are a whole other story. With the most cutting-edge features and specifications, they are the most expensive ones that money can buy. 

Once you’ve been through the above list of specifications and features, the next step is to decide about a device you think ticks all your boxes. Here’s how to go on about it: 

Step 1 – Narrow down your options 

You already know your options, which devices are worth your consideration, and what to look for in a new phone. If you’ve checked for everything mentioned above, you will already have a few options you are struggling to choose from.  

The next step is to narrow down your options, and the way to go about it is by creating a list of everything you want and the budget you’re willing to spend. Doing this will give you a list of around 5 to 10 devices. These will have what you’re looking for at a price that suits your budget.  

Once you have a list of such options, you can eliminate a few more. This process of elimination is perhaps the best way to buy a new phone. 

Step 2 – Study expert reviews  

From your list of devices, check reviews for each device one by one. The best way to go about it is by visiting various sites, YouTube channels and social media accounts to see reviews for the devices under your consideration. One of the review sites is Android Authority, where you can find reviews for almost any device you want to know more about. 

Step 3 – Self-review the top three phones 

You now have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for. The options still on your list have survived through all the previous steps. 

Now’s the time to go hand-on with the top devices under your consideration. Pop down to a local store and try the devices you want to buy. One by one, explore their features, design and specifications to make up your mind about the ones you think are giving you what you’re looking for. 

Step 4 – Time to shop for the phone you like to be the best 

Once you’re through the steps mentioned above, you have one of two top devices that are everything you want. Go ahead, choose the one you think is the best and purchase it from an authentic and verified retailer, or order it online from a trusted platform such as Amazon. 

Consider SIM-Only Deals to save money & enjoy the best deals 

Congratulations on becoming the proud owner of your new device. Now’s the time to start connecting with loved ones. If you’re looking for cheap rates and a high-quality calling experience, we recommend checking SIM-only deals and PAYG plans to get the best out of your budget. 

Good luck with staying connected to those who matter the most! 

By Americbuzz

This blog has been founded by Mr. Saksham who loves Technology, Gaming, quotes and loves to share his knowledge. Here you will get to know about technology, Daily updates of tech, Tech gadgets, real quotes and many more about Realistic things.

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