9 Handy Tips for Picking Out a Smartphone

Shopping for a smartphone can be a tricky thing to do with the numerous components, different types of connectivity and further complications therein, various operating systems, and difficultly in judging quality. It’s almost fortunate that most devices need replacing after only a couple of years, since that means a purchasing mistake won’t become a regret that lasts too terribly long, unlike a TV or computer — though a good computer and smartphone purchase can last a bit longer than a bad one.

Though many of us might just opt to buy the latest iPhone or the latest flagship from some other manufacturer, that’s not always going to be the best move financially. Even if that is the route you go, there are some decisions you’ll still have to make, whether it’s deciding which device to go with or figuring out how much memory you should get with your new device. This guide should be able to offer some help in your decision.

1. Think about size

This picture taken on June 11, 2013 shows South Korean children displaying their smartphones after a special class on smartphone addiction at an elementary school in Seongnam, south of Seoul. South Korea, after boasting for years advanced technology from high-speed Internet to Samsung smartphones, is now taking pains to try to pull its tech-crazed youth away from digital addiction. (Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

This choice might be obvious if you’ve owned smartphones before, but if you’re new to them, it will be important to get out and get your hands on some devices to try them out. If you usually carry around a purse or have large pockets, you’ll have a much easier time getting a large phablet (that’s a smartphone with a screen size over 5 inches diagonal). The larger phones will be handy for a lot of things: browsing the Web, watching videos, playing games, and being productive on the phone. This is because it can be easier to read and more can fit onto the screen.

Big screens do have their drawbacks, though. For one, a big screen is going to have a bigger power demand than a smaller screen that otherwise has the same specifications. Though a bigger phone might have that in mind and include a bigger battery, it will be a good idea to check what the expected battery life of the product is to decide if it will be enough for you. Additionally, if you don’t have big hands, the big screen might not be the right choice for you, as it can require a lot of repositioning to interact with webpages or apps.

Small-screen devices have their advantages and disadvantages, as well. Obviously they’re more portable, and they’ll be less prone to battery consumption than bigger counterparts. However, the drawback of having a device that can more easily fit into your pocket is that some things have a hard time fitting inside the device. Bigger devices can just fit more options more easily, and thus may have higher tech specs than a small phone at an equal price.