This detailed smartphone buying guide, contains all you need to know before committing on purchasing a new phone. It will guide you on the features of phones to consider when it is time to upgrade to a new device. The decision is usually a hard one since companies such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG are adding new features to their lineup of flagships. We have broken down phones into various components that are relevant to you, the buyer. Find also Galaxy phone price list and Iphone cheapest price in Kenya.
Three options exist here, iOS, Android and Windows Phone 10. We assume you will be choosing to buy from one of these mobile operating systems.
Android is for those who want customization in and on their phones. The phones are unique since you will get a thousand customization options, from the screen, design battery capacity, features and even price.
This is the most powerful operating system yet. Apple have ensured that there is a high level of integration between the software and the hardware to bring out performance and a good user experience. Although it’s a bit limiting to use these phones since customization like that of android is simply unheard of.
Windows Phone 10
Personally, I have used windows on several occasions. I would say it has a good user experience and performance is almost similar to iPhone, the only limiting thing here are the apps. If you decide to choose windows phone 10, ensure that the essential apps you will require are also present for the operating system.
Considering your budget, you may have to settle for less once in a while. If, however, you have unlimited funds, go right ahead and purchase the flagships available. While Apple does not provide quite a choice here (because all their phones are expensive), android comes in and saves the day. These days, cheap android phones are available with decent specifications. You can get an android phone for 20 USD, with average features. Caution should be taken since some of these phones don’t meet safety standards and may be hazardous.
Also, make sure that you buy legitimate phones, if you get a very low discount, think twice unless it is from a reputable store.
Three options exist here, phones released within the year, 1 to 2-year-old devices and over 2 years. You are quite safe when you choose to buy a device that is not more than a year old. You will get the latest features and specifications from the various manufacturers. If you decide that an older device is more appropriate, care should be taken to avoid situations whereby the phone is obsolete. If a phone is older than 2 years, we recommend not buying it, since you will be running ancient software and hardware on your phone. there is an exception to this, if a phone was a flagship. Then you can even cross the 3-year mark and pretty much be sorted out.
This will also depend on personal choice. I find 4.7 to 5.0 inches comfortable to use when compared to 5.5 inches. Any larger than that then you are talking about a tablet. What I don’t like about more than 5.0 phones is that they require more than two hands to operate.
These day using 4 inch smartphones will have you limited to what you can do with it. browsing will be a problem since the phones are too small. Fortunately, no smartphone manufacture is making them anymore.
The days of 720×1080 pixels is long one. Only buy them if your budget is very limited. The bare minimum should be 1080 by 1920. This display details with high accuracy. Right now the ultimate displays are 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. One example of a phone with that resolution is the Samsung Galaxy S7.
16Battery life and capacity
I will group the this under 4 sections. The first one is 0-1800mAh, the second one is 1801-2500mAh, third 2500-3200mAh then lastly is over 3200mAh. It is important to consider this factor when buying a new smartphone, because it will impact the user experience in a major way. Avoid smartphones with below 1800mAh. These usually don’t last a full day, unless it’s an Apple device, because they are well optimized.
The second option should also not be bought unless you have a really tight budget. This will leave you with little room to use it comfortable without worrying about the battery life. In the 2500 to 3200mAh, section, though it might last you a whole day sometimes, heavy usage in the day will lead to a dead phone before the end of the day. Over 3200mAh is really the best choice. You will use the phone comfortable during the day.
Also check out talk time and standby/ music play time of phones, though this does not usually represent real world usage.
There is a current trend is making batteries non removable. This has hugely become insignificant with the fast charge introduction. However, there are people who still prefer buying two batteries then swapping out for a drained one. The convenience of this was a major factor when choosing a phone some years back. If still stuck in the old school, some decent devices exist out there for you.
Most Samsung devices are now coming equipped with fast charge. If the battery capacity is little, this can compensate for the shortcoming. Similarly, other phone companies have also implemented this feature on their devices. I expect by 2018, all phone will have faster charging
Days of typing in passwords are long gone. Almost all phones right now are coming with some form of bio-metric identification. Most of them use a fingerprint sensor. The position of the sensor varies. On some devices, it is located at the back, while in others such as Apple iPhone 7 Plus, it is at the front. Some people have argued that the ones located at the rear are most convenient for everyday use. This is due to the fact that; it is more ergonomic as compared to front fingerprint scanners.
Then then there are the iris scanners. This has majorly been advanced by Microsoft. Their Lumia line such as the 950 and 950XL have iris scanners for identification of the owner. This can be considered a new feature in phones, we will see how far it goes.
Some stick to the brands they first bought, others are good at experimenting. Sometimes, the smaller companies produce decent notable phone, however, it has been the “giants” who mostly dominate the sales. Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Infinix, Tecno, Huawei, Lenovo just to name a few phone companies. What you should know here, is that you should avoid some of the less known manufactures since their track record has not yet been proven yet.
I know a couple of people who are stuck with a particular product line, that is the Galaxy S product line. When it’s time to upgrade they will only consider that line when making a choice.
Always ensure you buy a phone with warranty, you never know what will go wrong. Some brands offer, 1 year, 2 years and 6 months of product warranty. I have never heard of any that offer more than two. Nothing is perfect, you might be the one who lands n that defective product from the factory and it is always nice knowing that you can return it if it has problems.
Normal phones have two cameras, the rear one and the front facing one. It is only recently that we have phones that come with three cameras, such as Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Before I start discussing the camera, you should be aware that, the number of Megapixels is not directly proportional to the quality of the camera. Many factors come into play when the quality is measured. Some phone manufacturers even mention the extrapolated camera megapixel instead of the true value.
Currently, the best camera offered by any phone is in the Google Pixel. The highly rated camera even outperformed the likes of Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7. When the camera quality is a factor, look out for autofocus and dual led flash.
Because we are constantly on the move, taking photos might me a problem especially if you don’t have steady hands, this is when optical image stabilization comes in play. It is also helpful when taking videos.
I won’t go into the technical detail of cameras, however, you should keep the factors I have mention above in mind. Buying any of the flagships will give you a very good camera quality. In the midrange
You don’t want to get surprised by the phone when you reach home. Ensure that you read reviews online or look for the phones review on YouTube to familiarize yourself with some of the faults that the phone might have.
These days, the amount of ram does really matter on a phone. There was a time when phones stagnated on 512MB and 1GB, those days are gone. Choosing a phone with the right amount of ram will lead to a better user experience, because it is essential for multitasking.
Buying a phone with only 1 GB of ram will reduce the performance of your device, so, avoid this at all costs. In android devices, 2GB should really be the minimum. Apple iPhone, on the other hand are usually optimized, so those with only 2GB can outperform an android counterpart containing 4GB.
If the price point doesn’t really matter, settle for 4GB of random access memory. The flagships by Samsung (Galaxy S7) come with this amount.
Normally, a lot of options exist here. These are 4,8,16,32,64,128,256 GB smartphones. No company is producing smartphones with single digits GB storage right now. The choice here will largely depend on what you intend to use the device for. For heavy mobile gamers, always buy phones with higher storage since there are games that are over 1GB.
Also if you intend to take many photographs and videos, choose higher, having to clear out some images and videos to make up space for new ones is not a nice feeling. In 2017 don’t go below the 64GB mark, especially for those who intend to get an iPhone.
For most android devices, a microSD expansion slot is provided. Use that incase the memory of the device does not meet your expectations. What is important to take note, is the maximum supported memory card storage.
Under this one, there is support for 4G. You should really ensure that your device will have this capability also the network band are important. Various countries only support certain bands, but this is not a big problem, since the importers/manufacturers always sort this issue out. However, if you are buying your device from oversees, ensure that it is supported
4Online vs in store
The feeling you have when holding a phone is important. This is when buying instore is advantageous since you will know how the device feels before taking it home. On the other hand, if you buy the phone online, you might get some great discounts. However, the device might get home and you just don’t like it. if you spot a great discount online, the best decision is to visit a nearby store that sell the same product and get to know how it feels on the hand
3Is it locked to a carrier?
Several carriers exist with their various plans. Ensure that you look around for plans that suits you well if the device will be locked to the carrier. Some folks prefer unlocked phones since this gives them the option of choosing better plan pricing and they can also switch without much hustle.
People’s opinions are usually divided on this one. What looks good for me might totally be ugly for you. With that said, choose something that you like. There is no point relying too much on other people’s opinions, it is you who will use the device and not them.
Design of a phone speaks a lot about it. That is why phones like iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S line sell well. Since the aesthetics of phones is usually an individual’s opinion, I won’t talk much about it.
Usually, the processor is majorly responsible for making apps open faster. Smooth game play can also be attributed to a faster processor. Snapdragon 800 series is for the high end flagships, while low and mid range use the 600 Series. But to be on the safe side, choose a phone with the latest processor because you will get a boost in performance.
When buying the latest Apple iPhone in Kenya , don’t worry about this decision, because those phones are beasts.
The choice you make should be majorly based on what you will use your phone for, however since you can never get everything you want on one phone, its okay to make sacrifices.
Did I leave something out? Tell me about it.