How to choose a smartphone: 13 steps (with pictures)

How to choose a smartphone: 13 steps (with pictures)
How to choose a smartphone: 13 steps (with pictures)

When you are about to buy yourself a new smartphone, you must first choose an operating system, then prioritize the features that you would like to have and then factor in the price to find the right model. Learn how to make an informed decision when buying a smartphone, and be sure to take into account the operating systems currently installed on your other devices.


Part 1 of 2: Choose an operating system

Choose a Smartphone Step 1

Step 1. Learn some basic differences between operating systems

  • IOS software formerly known as iPhone OS is renowned for its ease of use, the security it offers, and its ability to seamlessly integrate with other Apple services.
  • Android is an operating system that integrates Google services, easily customizable and very inexpensive.
  • Windows Phone is less common, but incorporates Microsoft services and some phone models that incorporate it have high-end camera software.
  • If possible, try to get a demo in the store. This will allow you to have an overview of the interface and to learn about each operating system.
Choose a Smartphone Step 2

Step 2. Establish your price range

Phones running iOS like iPhones are generally more expensive than their Android-powered counterparts. Among smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung are the most expensive brands (their devices cost between $ 400 and $ 700), while brands like HTC, LG, and Motorola tend to be cheaper (with entry-level smartphones from range that can cost less than 100 €).

  • Phones are subsidized when you buy them from a licensed mobile operator or even sometimes free when you become a subscriber of the company. Usually this requires you to make a 2 year commitment and there will be penalties to pay if you terminate the contract early.
  • Some operators may set monthly fees to offset the initial cost of your smartphone a little.
Choose a Smartphone Step 3

Step 3. Consider the devices and software you are using

If you already own a tablet or computer, you will get plenty of the best features when it comes to services and apps if you buy a phone that has a compatible system built in. For example, applications on Mac computers and iPads are often compatible with those on iPhones. Be aware that any type of phone can be connected and work with almost any computer operating system.

If you are a seasoned Microsoft Office or Google user, you will get the best compatibility and support using an Android phone. Note, however, that Microsoft and Google also make their most popular applications available to competing operating systems

Choose a Smartphone Step 4

Step 4. Determine which features are right for you

Each operating system has certain exclusive features. However, fundamentals like an email application, a web browser and a mapping application will be available on all systems.

  • iOS integrates exclusive features like Siri, a fingerprint reader, a videoconferencing application called FaceTime, and iCloud, a virtual storage space.
  • Android integrates a Google Now application, widgets to personalize the home page and accepts the installation of third-party applications. This means that you can download applications from the internet and install them without having to use the PlayStore. Today, most Android phones also have built-in fingerprint sensors, Google Photo a cloud to store photos and Google Drive to store documents.
  • Windows Phone-powered phones include Cortana voice control, Live Tiles home page customization tools, as well as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a PDF reader.
Choose a Smartphone Step 5

Step 5. Determine the applications you want to use

Many popular apps like Google Maps, Microsoft Office, and Apple Music are offered on all operating systems. However, there are some apps like iMessage, FaceTime, and Google Now that are specific to their platform. Consult the store associated with each software to check whether the application you are looking for is accessible there (Apple, Google Play, Windows).

  • In general, if you can't find a popular app on a system, chances are a similar app could be there with nearly the same functionality.
  • iOS and Android have so far had larger application markets than Windows.
  • If you buy an app, it is linked to your store account. You will be able to transfer it to any other phone that is running the same operating system.
Choose a Smartphone Step 6

Step 6. Choose an operating system

For most people, the determining factor in this choice will be personal preference. Those looking for a simple interface and a secure system will tend to prefer iPhones. On the other hand, those who want to have devices that can be personalized and that cost less will generally have a preference for phones running Android or Windows Phone.

Part 2 of 2: Choosing a smartphone model

Choose a Smartphone Step 7

Step 1. Choose an operator

Most carriers will offer devices that integrate almost any operating system, as no OS is specific to a mobile phone company. Larger carriers often subsidize laptops or offer different payment plans and bundled contracts to lower the initial price of devices.

  • Some mobile phone companies will allow you to terminate the contract while continuing to reimburse the phone on a monthly basis. Terminating your contract early will require you to pay the remainder of the original price all at once.
  • Unlocked phones are those that you do not buy from an operator and therefore are not tied to a telephony contract. They are more expensive, but allow you to have more flexibility if you want to change operator.
  • If you buy unlocked phones, be sure to repeatedly check that the model is compatible with your carrier's network. Most telephone companies have a web page where you can check the compatibility of the model by having the identification information.
Choose a Smartphone Step 8

Step 2. Choose the services and data plans that are right for you

Operators will still offer a wide range of prepaid monthly plans for calls, messages and internet.

You could reduce your monthly expenses by choosing not to purchase a plan. However, this implies that you will not have access to the internet, except through a WiFi network

Choose a Smartphone Step 9

Step 3. Choose the screen size

The latter is measured diagonally from end to end. Finally, it is also a criterion depending on the preference of the buyer. Phones with a small screen size could easily be pocketed and are generally cheaper. You could go for a larger screen if you plan to follow a lot of videos.

  • Apple has a range of compact phones called "SE" which has small screens while the "Plus" range is smartphones with a larger screen.
  • Android phones are available in a wide range of sizes. You will find entry-level models like the Moto G or the Galaxy S Mini. There are also high-end models like the Galaxy S or the HTC One. Finally, there are very large models such as the Galaxy Note or the Nexus 6P.
  • Nokia offers Windows Phone models in sizes between 4 and 6 inches.
Choose a Smartphone Step 10

Step 4. Decide on the condition of your new phone

Newer laptops are generally faster and more capable than their earlier versions, but they will cost more. Specifically, older smartphone models will have a harder time running recent apps.

  • A good compromise for a frugal customer would be to wait until the most recent model of the smartphone they want to buy is available and then take advantage of the price reduction on older models. When a new version of a smartphone is released to the market, the old ones are no longer in fashion and their price will change accordingly to reflect this reality.
  • Whichever you choose, know that technology changes quickly and newer models will continue to emerge. Ultimately, these are all smartphones that will look old and dated.
Choose a Smartphone Step 11

Step 5. Check the storage space

A phone's memory, usually expressed in gigabits or Gb, is the measure of the number of files (photos, videos, and apps) that you can back up at any time on the device. It has a big influence on the price of the smartphone, so think about how much storage space you really need before choosing a model.

  • For example, memory is the only difference between a 16 Gb iPhone 6 and a 32 Gb iPhone 6.
  • With 16 Gb, you can save around 10,000 photos or 4,000 songs, but remember that the applications you download will also be saved on your phone's storage space.
  • Some smartphones running Android, but not all, allow storage space expansion with the addition of a memory card. IPhones do not have this feature.
Choose a Smartphone Step 12

Step 6. Consider the performance of the camera

Although smartphones are generally renowned for taking high-quality photos, the actual quality of a photo will depend on the make and model of the phone that took it. The best way to determine the quality of a smartphone camera is to search online for photos taken with that model or to try it out for yourself.

  • While manufacturers often emphasize the megapixel count of their products, features like ISO, brightness, and noise reduction are just as important.
  • Most modern smartphones are often equipped with rear and front cameras accompanied by flash. These cameras also accept complementary products, such as lens mounts.
  • IPhones are very well known for the superior quality of their cameras.
  • The Lumia 1020 equipped with the Windows Phone operating system is specially designed for professional use and therefore for taking highly superior quality photos thanks to its ultra-sophisticated camera.
Choose a Smartphone Step 13

Step 7. Consider the battery life

Battery technology keeps improving and as a result newer phones tend to have longer battery life. However, it's your usage patterns that will determine how long your battery will last. Making calls, gaming, and connecting to WiFi while you're in town will drain her faster.

  • The average battery life is between 8 and 18 hours.
  • Most Android flagship models do not support removable batteries. No iPhone model incorporates a removable battery.
  • Some newer Android phones come with fast charging technology to help charge the batteries much faster. Examples include the Samsung Galaxy S and Motorola Droid Turbo. Manufacturers claim that with this technology, the smartphone can reach 50% charge in about 30 minutes.

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