Apple or Android? Cheap or premium? Those are just some of the questions you may ask yourself when it comes to picking a new mobile phone.
With so many models out there, it can be difficult to decide what make and model is best suited to you and your needs.
Here, we take a look at how you can decide on the right mobile device for you…
LEARN THE BASICS
To pick a phone go right to the start and decide on what operating system you want.
Learn some basics between operating systems Apple and Android to decide which one sounds like the best choice.
IPhone is known for its ease of use, security, and clean integration with other Apple products, while Android is associated with its integration of Google services, its ability to be customised, and typically a lower cost.
DETERMINE YOUR PRICE RANGE
Deciding what you are willing and able to spend on a phone is critical when it comes to the decision making process.
Most leading brands offer low-cost alternatives to their highly priced phones that still offer some of the same high-end features.
Phone contracts can alleviate the cost of a phone upfront by allowing you to pay back the balance over a period of time.
LOOK AT YOUR OTHER DEVICES
If you already own a tablet or a computer from a certain make, you will experience the best level of integration with its services and software by getting a phone with matching developer support.
Apple and Samsung products can be used simultaneously with others from the same made, allowing for seamless integration and sharing on your devices.
If you are a heavy Microsoft Office or Google user, you will have the best integration and support using an Android phone, whereas if your house is filled with Apple, an iPhone is the way to go.
STUDY THE FEATURES
Certain features that the phone holds may make your decision easier.
Features such as fingerprint scanning and cloud storage may affect which device you choose to go for.
While iOS has features such as Siri and iCloud, Android has Google Now and Windows Phones use Cortana and Live Tiles that may prove useful to your every day schedule.
THINK OF THE APPS
Many popular applications are offered across all operating systems, however there are some apps that are exclusive to their respective platform.
Consider however that in general, if a popular app is not offered on a competitor’s operating system, there is a strong chance that an alternate app exists which is functionally quite similar.
Your app purchases are linked with your store account. You will be able to transfer your purchases to any future phones as long as they use the same operating system.
PICK A CARRIER
Most carriers will offer a range of phone options across operating systems.
Major carriers often subsidise phones or offer different payment plans and contract combinations to reduce the up-front cost of smartphones.
If you’re opting for an unlocked phone, make sure to double check that the model is compatible with your specific carrier’s network. Most carriers have a web page where you can check compatibility with your phone model’s ID information.
LOOK AT THE SERVICE AND DATA PLANS
In this modern world, data is essentially a must-have when it comes to phones.
Phone service carriers will usually offer a wide range of prepaid monthly plan options for phone minutes, texts, and data over the cellular network.
You may be able to cut monthly costs by not purchasing a data plan at all, but this means you won’t be able to access the internet from your phone if not on WiFi.
WHAT SCREEN SIZE?
Screen size is purely a matter of preference, but can impact the enjoyment of your phone.
The screen size is measured from corner to corner diagonally, with many brands offering increasingly gigantic devices.
Small screens fit in your pocket easier without a doubt, but if you plan to watch a great deal of videos, a large phone may be the way to go.
HOW NEW WILL YOU GO?
Do you want a brand new model, or one with a few years and generations behind it?
Newer phones are typically faster and more powerful than their respective older versions but will come at a higher cost. In particular, older model phones will have a more difficult time running modern applications.
For the budget-conscious, a good compromise is to wait for a new model of your desired smartphone to become available and to then take advantage of a drop in price of the other models.
When a new phone model premieres interest in older models will immediately go down and the price will often change to reflect that.
MONITOR THE STORAGE SPACE
A phone’s storage is key when picking out the ideal model.
Storage space strongly affects the price of the smartphone so consider how much you’re likely to need before settling on a phone model.
Many phones also offer cloud storage solutions, while there are similarly many apps that allow you to store all of your important files to the cloud.
SNAP THE PERFECT PICTURES
Although smartphones are known for taking high-quality photos in general, actual picture quality will vary quite a bit between brands and models.
The best way to measure camera quality in a phone is to search for sample pictures online taken with that smartphone model or to demo the camera yourself.
While manufacturers often advertise a camera’s megapixel count, features like ISO, low-light performance, brightness, and noise reduction are equally if not more important to consider.
HOW LONG IS THAT LIFE?
Battery power – arguably the most important factor to consider when selecting a phone.
Battery technology is improving steadily so newer phones tend to have longer battery life, however your usage habits are what really dictate how long the battery lasts.
Talking on the phone, gaming, and using phones outside of wifi range will all drain a battery more quickly.