Tips for choosing your next phone

One question I tend to get a lot is “which phone do you recommend I buy?”. The answer is unfortunately not as straightforward as you might hope. In this article, I’ll highlight the factors to consider, hopefully, this will help you make a decision.

Budget

I usually start here and for good reasons. No matter how many awesome features you want your phone to have, you’re merely fantasizing if your pocket isn’t as awesome. In some cases, you just want to know how much your dream phone would cost while you save towards it. While this isn’t a bad approach, keep in mind that phones get stolen or damaged. You should have a ceiling.

Brand Reputation

This is not me asking you to go for luxury or expensive brands; rather, for brands that care about their customers. How optimized is their software? How reliable is their hardware? Are they malware free? These are pertinent questions. Obscure Chinese brands – though cheap – are notorious for shipping malware ridden or fake (cloned) devices with false specs.

If you don’t have the budget or stomach for experiments then stick with a brand that’s been around for a while and isn’t on the decline.

Spare Part Availability & Affordability

Some people might refer to this as After Sales Service. What happens when your screen gets broken or other hardware parts start to malfunction? Can the part be easily sourced? Can you afford part replacement? Are these parts from the manufacturer or just some generic hack?

The trick here is to go for brands that are popular in your location as this increases your chances of getting official or unofficial after sales support.

OS version & Updates

You really don’t want to go for brands that hardly ever release software updates for their devices; rather, expect you to buy a higher model to use the latest software. Besides the security risk with such brands, you risk ending up with an obsolete device as software vendors and app developers drop support for older OS versions.

If you’re looking to unlock bootloader / root / mod / jailbreak then older OS versions are surely a better choice than the latest due to unpatched exploits and fewer securities in place.

Needs (Features)

Phones these days can power our personal and professional lives. Phone features have different priorities to the user. Yours could be clear camera, large storage bank, large battery bank, regular OS updates (security), rugged hardware, strong screen etc. You should list out the features that are most important to you then filter phone accordingly.

One good place to find smartphones by specs and price is Spec411.com . Its a side project of mine which I use a lot when asked to recommend a smartphone to clients.

Have I missed any point?

Share it in the comments below. I would love to know what you think.

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