Saving Money When Buying a Smartphone: How to Decide What’s Important

Saving Money When Buying a Smartphone: How to Decide What’s Important

Smartphones come at a staggering array of price points, and individuals on nearly any budget can find an adequate phone. While paying for a premium model will almost always result in a great experience, those looking to spend a bit less will need to find out what features of their phones are most important. Here are a few of the features that drive up the price of phones and some tips for deciding which features are most important to you.

Storage Space

One of the primary differences between price points on a particular model is the amount of storage space the phone has, so determine how much you’ll need. The lowest-price phones often come with only 8 GB of memory, and much of this memory will be used by the operating system itself, often only leaving a few GB of space left. While this is sufficient for a minority of phone users, most people will want at least 16 GB. For those who want space for many apps, especially games, upgrading to 32 GB might be a wise decision. Storing songs and video files on your phone will also demand more space, although many people rely on streaming services instead of internal storage. Check if the phone you’re interested in can hold an external SD card if you’re interested in carrying your music collection with you instead of streaming.

Screen Resolution

Smartphone resolutions have increased dramatically over the years, and some smartphones have resolutions higher than those used to project films in theaters. However, even the lowest-cost phones have resolutions that are perfectly adequate, and 720p resolution provides a crisp and clear image when streaming videos. Devices with a higher resolution typically provide a slightly more crisp look for text, making them better suited for web browsing and other reading. Still, the difference can be fairly minimal, so try out a lower-resolution device and determine if it’s sufficient for your needs. Lower-resolution devices have another advantage: better battery life.

Battery Capacity

More battery life is always better, but cutting-edge batteries are often expensive. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to estimate the battery life of a potential phone, but reviews and specifications can provide some guidance. While being able to use your phone all day is a nice perk, those who work at a desk typically have access to a charger, so recharging is simple. Furthermore, those who don’t use their phones for heavy gaming or other activities might find a smaller battery to be more than adequate for making it through an entire day or even longer. If you’re concerned about using your phone in places where outlets aren’t available, consider picking up a phone with a replaceable battery so you can carry an extra with you when needed.

Build Material

One of the primary differences between premium phones and other devices is the materials they’re built from. Although there are some exceptions, premium devices typically use materials other than plastic. However, plastic has a number of advantages over metal devices, as it won’t dent. Plastic won’t shatter like glass can. Although they may lack a premium feel, using a phone made of plastic can be a great way to save money. Furthermore, many people place their phones in cases, and premium materials do little to enhance the phone experience if they’re placed behind a case. However, it’s still worth looking at overall build quality, as some phones are built to a higher quality regardless of what material they’re made of.

Screen Size

In the past, phones with larger screens almost always cost more than their smaller counterparts. While this isn’t always the case today, smaller phones still generally cost less. Small screens have advantages as well: They can be easier to carry and hold while you’re talking. It’s always worth trying out phones when you have the opportunity, so note the size of screens when you’re exploring various phones. If a larger screen would enhance the experience, budget a bit more to purchase a larger device. If you prefer the easy-to-grip design of small phones, they can be a great way to cut back on costs.

Gaming Performance

All phones sold today have sophisticated GPUs in place that can provide rich 3D gaming performing. Some premium devices, however, place a larger emphasis on gaming performance than less expensive devices. If you’re only interested in casual games, or have no interest in gaming at all, feel free to ignore these capabilities, as your phone will have the graphical capabilities needed to stream video handle web browsing adequately. If you want to push mobile gaming to its limits, on the other hand, consider investing in a phones with a more capable GPU.

Camera Resolution and Features

Smartphone screens have advanced tremendously over the years, and premium phones can take excellent photographs. For those not terribly interested in photo quality, however, it might be worth placing less of an emphasis on the camera’s resolution. Furthermore, many current smartphones use multiple lenses for the main camera, but the benefits can be minor. Smartphone cameras provide amazing quality for their small size, but even the most expensive cameras can’t match the quality of a standalone camera. If you take photography as a hobby seriously, consider saving money on your smartphone and instead invest in a camera.

Even the least expensive smartphone is capable of handling phone calls, web browsing, video streaming, and navigation well. Considering how often we use our smartphones, however, it’s worth spending a bit extra to make the experience a better one. Fortunately, those willing to look at phones outside of a single manufacturer have plenty of great options to choose from at nearly all price points. If you’re on the market for a new phone, make of list of the features that are most important to use. Start doing your research early, as your ideal phone might be one that hasn’t yet been released but that’s coming on the market soon. A bit of research can go a long way toward helping you make a purchase you’ll enjoy until it’s time for your next upgrade.

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