How to Choose a Smartphone

Choosing a smartphone for yourself or a beloved is not any easy task. Smartphones are generally high-ticket but critically needed items, and there are ways to narrow down your choices in order that you spend your money wisely for the most important features for you. Many available options can make your selection process overwhelming, especially if you’re not clear on your priorities. We will assist you narrow down your choices by analyzing all considerations you would like to confidently choose the simplest phone. Below are the main questions you would like to answer.

For an in-depth check out what the present smartphone market has got to offer, see our guides to the simplest smartphones, best Android phones, and best cheap smartphones.

Table of Contents

What’s your price range?

First, determine how much you’re willing to spend and the way you would like to spend it. If you’re an Apple customer, you already know that iPhones tend to be more costly than Android phones. However, a less expensive iPhone SE (2020) for around $400 could also be the perfect budget phone for the iOS platform. Samsung is another relatively high-priced brand with models across the price range. On the lower end of the worth scale, you’ll find brands like Nokia, Honor, and Motorola. you’ll save upfront costs with phones that are subsidized via a carrier that you simply pays for in monthly installments over a year or two. While these financial arrangements won’t save money within the end of the day , they’re going to make a costlier phone with more features cheaper . Have a glance at our roundup of the simplest cheap phones to urge a thought of what’s out there. If you’re really on a decent budget, you’ll still buy a smartphone for $100 or less.

What features does one need?

Start by drafting an inventory of the foremost critical features you would like your smartphone to possess . Use the list to match devices. Ask yourself: does one need a phone with an outsized screen? does one prefer one that you simply can use one-handed? Are you trying to find extended battery life or the simplest camera phone available? does one need tons of storage for your music or photo collection? Maybe you’re a frequent traveler and wish a dual-SIM phone. Is 5G getting to be a part of the landscape in your area?

Which OS does one prefer?

There are only two smartphone operating systems worth considering: Android and iOS. Both are easy to use and support a good sort of apps and games. While you’ll change from Android to iOS, or from iPhone to Android, there are learning curves in both directions. For familiarity, attempt to stick with whatever platform you’re wont to — unless you actually don’t love it and need to modify .

Android offers a wider choice of devices at different prices, more customization options, and Google’s excellent suite of services and apps built-in. If you already use Google Maps, Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Assistant, then Android could also be the higher choice for you, though you’ll download iOS versions of all of these tools from the App Store.

Apple’s iOS offers a more uniform, accessible experience, and operations are safer alongside proprietary features like Siri, fingerprint scanning, FaceTime, and iCloud. The App Store and app quality are slightly better than Android thanks to Apple’s oversight of the app process. If you have already got a MacBook or an iPad, an iPhone is perhaps getting to make the foremost sense for you. You’ll also find a huge choice of accessories for iPhones, something which will be limited for lesser-known Android devices.

What are the foremost important specs?

Listen critically to the salesperson at the shop then go searching to urge hands-on experiences with different smartphones before buying one. If you don’t know much about specs, bring along a knowledgeable friend or loved one . With more people shopping reception , you’ll still use chat apps and check forums and reviews for advice. Here are a few things to think about:


If you would like something you’ll use one-handed, attempt to pick it up and check out it out. a lot of phones lately have glass on the front and back, which makes them fragile and susceptible to smudges. make sure the fingerprint sensor position suits you also — on many phones, the sensor is on the rear instead of the front. the proper design for you ought to look and feel good.


You’re getting to spend many hours gazing at the screen, so confirm it’s an honest size for you which it’s a high resolution. We recommend a minimum of full HD, which is 1920 x 1080 pixels, or perhaps 2160 x 1080 pixels if the phone features a modern 18:9 ratio . Anything that’s 1080p or higher are going to be sharp enough. In terms of the underlying technology, OLED screens have better contrast, with deeper blacks than LCD screens, and that we prefer them overall. a number of Samsung’s Galaxy range and Apple’s iPhones feature AMOLED screens, but they will be pricey.


this may be determined by two main things: The processor and therefore the RAM. The processor is that the more important consideration, and newer is usually better in terms of both speed and power efficiency. Apple’s A-series chipset tends to outperform the competition. For an Android phone, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus is that the current cream of the crop. It’s debatable what proportion RAM you would like during a smartphone, but we recommend trying to find a minimum of 4GB, a minimum of for Android models. This doesn’t apply to iPhones, however, because they handle memory management differently and don’t require the maximum amount RAM. If unsure , read reviews or play together with your prospective smartphone during a store to check it.

Operating system:

If you purchase a replacement iPhone, then you’ll get the newest version of iOS, but this isn’t always the case with Android phones. Because the manufacturers often apply their own user interfaces on top of Android, it can take a short time to urge the newest updates. you’ll not get future versions of Android upon their releases, or maybe in the least if the manufacturer decides to not update. Only stock Android phones from Google, like the Pixel 5, are guaranteed to get immediate and consistent Android updates. the present version to seem for is Android 11. Always attempt to get the newest version you’ll .


Smartphone cameras have greatly improved over the last few years. the selection are often bewildering, but note that good camera performance is a few lot quite just a high megapixel count. If you’re ready to test the phone out for yourself, you certainly should, but you’ll also find useful information in reviews. We do numerous camera shootouts here at Digital Trends.

Bloatware: remember of bloatware or hobbled features, especially with Android. Sometimes carriers block specific features or change defaults. Carriers and makers often add a lot of superfluous apps, and you’ll not be ready to uninstall them.

Battery life:

Removable batteries are rare lately , so you would like a phone which will continue with you. Check the consensus on battery life in reviews. The mAh rating will offer you some indication, but the capacity is additionally impacted by the screen size, resolution, and software, so you would like to seem beyond the amount .


the newest smartphones generally accompany enough storage built-in. When 16GB phones were common, which already had spent 10GB out of the box, you’ll run out of space alarmingly fast. A minimum of 32GB is sweet , but 64GB is best . Much depends on how you employ your phone. You’ll obviously need more room if you wish to load your music or photo collection. Having a MicroSD card slot allows you to expand your space for storing relatively cheaply. However, Apple never includes MicroSD card slots, so this is often something you’ll find only in some Android devices.


If you purchase a predominantly glass phone, and you’ve got butterfingers, confirm to buy a protective case. you ought to also get a phone with some water-resistance. the highest flagships tend to possess IP67 or IP68 ratings nowadays, which suggests they will be submerged in water without damage. Many budget phones also accompany some water-resistance.

How to Choose a Smartphone

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