Editor’s Pick: 7 Features to Always Consider When Buying a Smartphone or Upgrading to a Newer One

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(Photo Courtesy: San Francisco Chronicle)
(Photo Courtesy: San Francisco Chronicle)

Smartphones these days have become a part of our lives. We use them for communication (sms, social media, receiving & dialing calls), taking pictures, reading, internet browsing, business and some can be used as a power bank to charge other devices. For instance the itel it1516 Plus can be used as a power bank to charge smaller devices.

But then, with the wide variety of smartphones available in the market it is never easy to decide which one to pick. It is always tough deciding the one that may suit your needs best, most especially when it comes to first time smartphone holders.

In our editor’s pick, here’s a list of 8 features ought to consider when buying a smartphone or a upgrading to a new smartphone:

Build Quality
Build is all about durability of a smartphone. The entire handset market is largely divided in two types of builds; metal and plastic.

There are some that even have glass-coated panels, but those are very limited. If you are one of those prone to dropping your smartphone, it’s advisable to go for a metal or a plastic built handset. These can sustain drops from 2-3 feet, while glass-based handset are sure to shatter.

Display
The size and resolution of display depends on how you use your smartphone. If you often stream videos, edit photos/videos, and so forth, then a smartphone display ranging from 5.5-inch to 6-inch, full-HD or QHD resolution should be good enough for you.

Anything larger than a 6-inch display not just makes the handset extra bulky, but also difficult to carry around. If you are a regular user and largely use the smartphone for checking emails, chatting and browsing social media apps, then anything from 5-inch to 5.5-inch HD or full-HD display handsets is just perfect.

Processors
The processing power of smartphone varies from one device to another depending on several factors such as OS version, UI, bloatware, to mention a few.

A heavy user who need to edit media or documents online/offline, play heavy games, stream videos/games or often use apps in split screen mode, then smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 or Snapdragon 820/821 should make multitasking fluid for them while light users can opt for MediaTek processors.

Camera
Having a high megapixels value for your camera does not mean that the smartphone camera is better. Several specifications such as camera aperture, ISO levels, pixel size, autofocus and more are essential as well. A 16MP rear camera does not necessarily be better than a 12MP camera.

The same theory goes for the front-facing camera.

More number of pixels mean more the size of the image, which becomes more sharper when seen on a small screen. A photographer enthusiasts might want a camera with 12 or 16MP sensor under f/2.0 (Aperture) or lower aperture for speedy shots even in low lights. A casual shooter can go by even with an 8MP or 12MP camera with an aperture between f/2.0 – f/2.2.

So don’t run to buy a smartphone simply because its camera has a high value (in megapixels).

Battery
The battery usage differs from user to user depending on the way s/he uses their smartphone. If you are a heavy user and work on apps, play games, stream videos, social networking all day, then you ought to go with a smartphone that packs at least a 3500mAh battery or above. If you are an average or light user, a smartphone with a 3000mAh battery would be good enough for you, and can take you the whole day on a single charge.

Storage
The default internal storage 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB or more don’t really come with exact mentioned space because a large part of it is always taken by the operating system and the bloatware. If you like to keep less number of apps on your devices, you can go for 16GB/32GB storage.

If you think you’re that person that loves keeping higher number of apps can go for 64GB or 128GB storage variants. This is because some apps we download are usually large, and to make matter’s worse, they need updating which will increase on their size.

In my opinion, I would really not recommend having the 8GB model.

Security Features
Finally, security features is one important thing smartphone holders should always consider whether you’re a first time holder or upgrading to a new smartphone. Today smartphone makers bring smartphones with extra security features such as fingerprint sensor, iris sensors, face recognition, and so forth. These are not just to lock/unlock a handset but as a password to access certain files, documents or apps.

While a fingerprint sensor can be found in even much cheaper smartphones, devices with iris scanners and facial recognition are still few. It’s preferable to buy a smartphone with these extra security features since most of us have personal information on handsets these days. And also to avoid being victims of identity theft.

Hackers today hack into smartphones to access media or documents that they can make money out of them. For instance, users that love taking nude pictures, once a hacker gets hold of this, they can seek for a huge ransom to keep your secret. Today, many people have fallen victim of this.

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