We’ve always listened, keenly observed,thoroughly read your comments and today we respond to you. An exhaustive criteria is hard to come by but we’ve tried our best to harness every corner that at the end of this read, you’ll have made up your mind before you decide to buy. This is our ultimate guide to buying the best smartphone.
Smartphones are categorized in 3 tiers that is; the low-end, mid-range and the high-end each suited for the respective target audience. The low-end in most cases comes cheap but with lackluster specifications and so the price while the mid-range smartphones are midway between the low-end and the high-end whereas the latter comes up as the beefed up version of the whole lot.
Talk of top-notch specifications, build quality, better optics and above all, a price tag to justify the spec sheet.
Your needs and expectations
Like we said, before you commit to buying a smartphone, first establish what your needs are as well as expectations. Do you just need a smartphone that goes beyond calling and texting? Say adding social networking to the above equation at a price that won’t break the bank, then the lowest tier is best suited for you. The lowest tier caters for people that want to jump ship to the smartphone world, away from the misfortunes of dumb phones or what we categorize as feature phones.
Do you want a smartphone with upped specifications from the low-tier but not as expensive as ones from the highest-tier but can still deliver like them? I just spoke your mind and therefore mid-range smartphones must be your choosing. And here we come. To the promised land where not everyone qualifies to gaining tenancy. This is to the upper end of the smartphone game. Only a few –at least here in Africa –play around here and smartphones here exhibit the future while still living in the past.
Talk of the best hardware, cameras, storage, displays, processing speeds, RAM, extra features like Finger print scanners, heart rate monitors, wireless & quick charging and the best everything, offerings here bear it all. It’s only a game of flagships. If this is the game you want to play and willing to cough the extra amount that comes with it, then this is your comfortable zone.
Mobile Operating Systems are worth considering.
Mobile OS Screenshots
Not every smartphone runs on the same operating system! We’ve got many but the outstanding ones are Android, iOS, Windows Phone (Now just Windows) and BlackBerry OS. They’re others like Sailfish, Ubuntu, Tizen, Firefox OS and some other OEM proprietary software.
It should be noted that the most widely used OS is Android with a vibrant ecosystem challenged only by iOS. However iOS delivers on quality, it being a closed ecosystem and exclusive to only Apple’s iPhones. BB OS is exclusive to the BlackBerry platform and Windows Phone can be found on a secluded sect of devices but is well visible on Microsoft Lumias, formerly Nokia.
Each OS has where it outperforms the other and nevertheless falls behind the other.
However, the Android experience is deviates on different handsets owing to its open source nature. This allows different OEMs to tweak the OS to their own liking which isn’t the case with the rest of the contenders here. So the experience on Samsung devices will be different from one found say on Tecnos, iDroids, HTCs among others.
Display as well
The curved edge of the Galaxy Edge
We’ve come a long way here and still going strong. From the different screen sizes and the technology behind them to now having curved and foldable ones. But let’s stick to the basics. First, what screen size do you want? There are panels ranging from 3.5, 4, 5 and the many iterations that follow all way to 6. We recommend you choose one that won’t inconvenience you and adopts to your smartphone needs like watching and reading content, playing games etc
These different screen sizes have different screen resolutions and pack different pixel densities thus they’ll display differently. Here at Techjaja we recommend a minimum of an HD screen that maxes the 1280×720 resolution for crisp viewing. Please note that the higher the resolution the more demanding it will be on the phone’s battery, as in order to push more pixels on the screen you need more power.
Processing power too
Whereas guys on wheels talk of horsepower, torque and the like, we play it differently here. Benchmarks are the norm here. Performance is subdivided into categories but ones to take note of are; CPU performance(Talk of clock speeds in names of GHz), GPU performance(Graphics to be precise), RAM optimization among others.
It should be noted that the higher the number doesn’t necessarily translate to better processing power though it holds true on a few instances.
Better optimization which runs through the SoC architecture is king here and the faster the processor, the faster the overall smartphone experience and performance. So that will mean efficient multitasking all day long without lag.
This is very vital. We have different connectivity standards and not every smartphone comes equipped with them. Perennials here are Bluetooth, WiFi and Cellular. Others are NFC, WiFi Direct, HotKnot among others. We shall focus utmost effort on cellular given its our immediate way to connect to the Internet or share stuff wirelessly.
Common standards are 2G (also known as Edge) , 3G (also known as HSPA), 3G+(also known as HSPA+), 4G that mirrors itself as LTE. For faster connectivity purposes, the team at Techjaja recommends a minimum of 3G for blistering Internet speeds.
NB: Choose only handsets with wireless standards that are compatible with your geographical enclave. Say GSM bands work fine here unlike CDMA since almost every telecoms here supports the former.
How about the camera?
These have different technologies behind them with different megapixel counts. But like we previously said, not the numbers depict quality so finding an 8MP camera sensor outperforming a 13MP sensor isn’t uncommon.
You should consider hardware capabilities like optical image stabilization which enhance the overall photo experience for optical shooters, lens aperture since a wide lens allows in more lights thus an enhanced photo experience and good low light shots, shutter speed and software tweaks like HDR.
Not forgetting the battery.
This is like your phone’s lifeblood. Without it, it’s rendered useless. Therefore it is wise to choose a smartphone with a gargantuan battery capacity and enough juice to last you a day(s)
There is no way you’ll enjoy the above features without enough battery power to last you throughout. On the contrary here, the higher the mAh or what we call milliampere hours, the higher the battery capacity. To put this in perspective, a battery rated at 1800 mAh can power a device drawing 100 milliamps for 18 hours, or a device drawing 180 milliamps for 10 hours. In simple terms, a device using more power will drain the same battery faster.
What about the resale value?
Often times the smartphone wears out with time and it’s resale value diminishes as well. It’s best to consider the resale value of the handset you’re about to buy incase you want to upgrade to a better offering and sell one you’re holding. High-end handsets tend to command a high resale value compared to their mid and low tier counterparts.
Others like availability and support.
Where to buy your smartphone from matters alot given the extended services like warranties that come with buying from genuine sources. These include most telco shops and dealerships, online retailers like Jumia, Kaymu plus authorised retailers like HTC Hub for HTC phones, Elite Computers for iPhones, Banana Phone world for Tecnos and Huaweis, Transtel for Samsung devices among others.
Featured Image Credit: Android Central