We all are surrounded by smart devices, the most frequent of which are the smartphones. Everyone these days possesses a smartphone. Today, we aren’t limited about the variety of smartphones offered by the lots of manufacturers. We’ve got small, 4-inch displays and huge 6-inch displays. We have quad-core processors as well as octa-core processors. We have device prices ranging from $80 to $800. So the obvious dilemma to a casual user is—which device to go for?
There are as many options in the smartphone market as their users. This creates a good amount of confusion in the mind of the consumer as there are tens of phones with similar specifications and prices. Hence, to ease out your confusions, I’ll try to provide some key points of comparison so that you can get the best smartphone in your price-range.
The screen of your smartphone plays a huge role in your experience with the device. There are a lot of screen sizes for the variety of users. However while deciding the screen for your device keep a few points in mind.
Don’t always go for bigger screens. As for smartphones, “The bigger is not always the better”. Big screens (5.5” and above) consume more battery, are hard to carry around and don’t easily fit in your pockets. Go for bigger sizes only if you need them, i.e. you have a bigger hand in which small phones look and feel weird. Otherwise a device with a screen size of 4.5-5” is ideal. However you can also go for a big-screen device if you want to use your smartphone extensively for watching movies and videos (aka sole entertainment purposes).
Apart from the screen size, also take a look at the screen resolution. Nowadays, manufacturers are offering full-HD displays at prices as low as $100 which is a good thing. Therefore try to get the best possible screen resolution at your price because it will play a great role in determining the quality of your visual content. For example, if you’re going for an entry-level device you may not get a high-definition display but you don’t have to worry about it at that price. If you’re willing to go for a mid-range smartphone, aim to get an HD or full-HD display, and try to get a 2k or even 4K display if it’s a high-end phone. But keep in mind that big screens with high resolution consume a lot of battery.
Battery makes a huge difference in the amount of time you use can your device. Today we get a lot of options in terms of battery. Although the battery usage differs with usage, the amount of time your phone’s battery will last greatly depends on its capacity paired with the screen size. Choosing a battery capacity should be combined with the screen size.
If you’re choosing to buy a small or mid-screen device, an average battery of 2000-3000 mAh will do the job for most of us. This is due to the fact that such amount of battery is enough and mostly lasts a day with the above mentioned screen sizes. However, if you’re a hard-core gamer who likes to play high-end, graphic-intensive games on a 5-6” screen, you undoubtedly need a higher amount of battery (3000-4000 mAh). Some may argue that 4000 mAh is a hell lot of a power, but this varies with the manufacturer. We have devices lasting whole day or more with just 2000-3000 mAh power and devices giving the same battery-backup with 4000 mAh. Hence, the device you choose may have a different implementation of how it consumes the battery, the above criteria works most of the times.
For smartphones performance can be thought of as a combination of RAM and CPU. While it’s true that RAM comes under memory, however people usually link RAM with performance (which isn’t wrong). The amount of RAM you need entirely depends on your usage of the device. For most of us 2 GB of RAM would be sufficient enough. However, times have changed and now even the simplest of applications have begun consuming a lot of RAM. Also, don’t forget the loads of bloatware which comes pre-installed and is almost un-removable unless you gain root access (which most people don’t know about). So the viable question is how much of RAM do you need exactly?
The answer would be, neither huge nor mere. If you’re an average user who has usual expectation from their device which includes casual photography, running social media applications, browsing the Internet, creating and modifying documents, and normal gaming, 2 to 3 gigabytes of RAM is sufficient for you. There’s no point in getting RAM more than that for that much usage. ‘It will always be there for you’ unless you have higher expectations.
If you are a more expecting user who has tasks like extensive gaming, running multiple heavy apps simultaneously along with the tasks of the average user, you’re going to need around 3 to 4 GB of RAM. If you want real-high output, go for a 4 GB RAM variant. This much RAM would do the job for high-end gamers too.
Memory has a lot of importance today due to higher requirements of storage required by applications and users. Although large apps consume a lot of memory, smaller apps are following their trail too. Now even casual games consume a lot more memory. Therefore one needs high digital storage capacity in their smartphone, there’s no doubt in that. But how much is sufficient?
The choice of whether you need high storage capacity or not is dominated by two major factors: 1) You’re a hard-core gamer and 2) You love entertainment a lot more than others
If you’re a hard-core gamer who like to have games like Asphalt and Injustice on your phone then you, my friend, need lots of memory because these games are going to consume it and make you thrive for more storage for your personal content. For such gaming geeks, an internal storage capacity of about 32 GB is recommended with expandable memory as the operating system itself will take up around 3 GB of storage while you’d like to keep about 16 GB reserved for your own personal stuff (such as pictures and videos). That leaves 13 GB of storage for your games which will use around 2GB each for installation (and some more storage on further gameplay). This means you’ll be able to keep about 5-6 high-end, graphic-intensive games which is not a deal-breaker. However, if you need more storage, you can always use the expandable storage (but never use a low-quality memory card for expanding storage).
If you’re an entertainment lover (more than average that is), then too you’ll need high storage capacity same as above. Given that the OS will take around 3GB home, you’ll also like to keep 4-6GB reserved for games and applications. That leaves 23-25 GB for your movies and music. Assuming that you have around 5 GB of music content (which is a lot) you’ll have 18-20GB of memory in which you can have 10 full-HD movies. If this seems too less, you have the expandable storage at your disposal.
However, if you don’t fall into any of these categories, you won’t need much storage. An internal storage of 16GB with expandable memory or an internal storage of 32GB with non-expandable memory will do the job.
Everybody wants to capture the moments of their life as soon and as fast as possible. Along with that, they want those pictures and videos to be of a good quality. The quality of your pictures and videos is determined by the capacity of the image sensor. Without going into technical details, assume that the more pixels per inch your camera captures, the better is the image (not always though). The video quality is determined by the FPS (Frames Per Second) and video resolution.
The camera you need depends on whether you want casual photography or you’re serious about photographing with your smartphone. If you’re an average user and just want to take some snapshots, quick videos and selfies, a 13MP rear and 5-8MP front camera is good enough to do the job decently. However, you’ll have to be sure that it has a good low-light performance. There’s no better way to test a camera’s high, mid and low-light performance than testing it yourself, so never be hesitant to try out the camera before buying the device as you don’t want to live with a camera that’s of no use when you need it the most.
On the other hand, if you are serious about smartphone photography, which means that you want to get near-professional quality images with your phone, you should consider a few more things. Apart from the pixels, you need to take care of the aperture and focus modes too. Some manufacturers may offer high pixels but may compromise with other factors. Hence, always try out the camera in different exposures and all possible focus modes to get the best option.
Note: I recommend using an app such as Camera FV-5 for such near-professional photography
While one may condemn me for concluding here, but to be honest, these are probably the most prominent factors which will dominate your choice while deciding your next smartphone. Lastly, it goes without saying, always take into consideration all these points along with your own and form a good, combined list of choices for your phone and choose the one which fits in your budget.
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