When it comes to modern smartphones, we’re spoiled for options. While some features provide clear advantages, knowing what to prioritize can be difficult. Furthermore, some aspects of smartphones are tradeoffs, and users need to find the right balance. Here are a few tips for comparing smartphones and finding the right one for your needs.
Choosing the Right Screen Size
The most obvious factor that differentiates smartphones is their screen sizes, and it’s a factor that requires considerable thought. For people who regularly use their smartphones for browsing the web and watching videos, large screens have an obvious advantage. Large screens are also great for people who enjoy gaming, and they can make it easier to read text and view images. Large screen sizes tend to be more expensive than phones with small screen sizes, but there are large devices at nearly all price points.
Small screens have some advantages as well, the primary one being that they’re easier to grip. Some people prefer phones that are easy to use with one hand, so if portability is important, try to see how much area your thumb can reach while you’re holding the phone. Small phones are easier to stow away as well, and they’re lighter to hold. When it comes to choosing a screen size, it’s worth spending some time trying out devices in a store. If that’s not an option, ask friends to try out their phones to get a feel for varying screen sizes.
Battery technology has improved dramatically over the years, and modern devices can provide more than a day of operation with mild use. For people who use their smartphones more often, especially those who watch videos and play games, battery life can drop significantly over time. Devices with more battery life tend to be more expensive, but a few extra hours of battery life can be a great investment.
Another feature worth considering is devices with replaceable batteries. Many batteries are simple to replace, letting you refresh your phone in a few seconds by swapping out your batteries. Some devices, including many high-end devices, have sealed batteries that aren’t easy to swap out. Replacement batteries are also great for people who spend time away from electrical outlets. If you’re a fan of camping, for example, it might be worth purchasing a device and a few extra batteries you can charge up before heading out.
Today’s smartphones have far higher resolutions compared to early models, and even low-resolution devices provide a clear image. Devices with higher resolutions still have some clear advantages. Video looks even smoother with high-resolution screens, and photographers might notice small differences unnoticeable on lower-resolution phones. Furthermore, higher resolutions provide smoother text rendering, and they can be great for games. If you plan on using your phone as a virtual reality device, a high resolution is essential.
The main drawback of higher resolutions is battery life; higher resolutions have more pixels to render, and these pixels consume more battery power. Furthermore, higher resolutions are more demanding in games, and those looking for high frame rates might prefer devices that run at a slightly lower resolution. Fortunately, even devices with relatively low resolutions still provide better clarity than most laptops and televisions, so consider if a premium high-resolution screen is worth the extra expense.
Smartphones are great devices for navigation, whether you navigate by car, by bike, or on foot. Today’s devices almost always support robust navigation capabilities, letting you take advantage of both included and third-party navigation apps. However, not all devices connect to the same satellites. GPS support almost always included support for the United States constellation of satellites, but support for GLONASS, Russia’s equivalent, can provide better resolution and faster connections. Galileo, a constellation supported by European nations, can provide better connectivity as well.
GPS connectivity is critical for navigation, but there are other tools that help as well. Integrated compass support helps navigation apps respond more promptly, leading to smoother performance. Accelerometers in smartphones also help pick up on turns more quickly for better interaction. If you’re going to use your smartphone for navigating regularly, especially if you navigate on foot often, it’s worth seeing if these hardware features are supported.
Apple devices have relatively reliable update schedules, so find out how long your Apple device will be supported before making a purchase, especially if you’re picking up a used device. Also note that Apple devices sometimes degrade in terms of performance as updates are released, so it may be worth spending a bit extra for a newer device.
Android devices are a bit more complex, as both manufacturers and plan providers offer varying support timelines. Find out how often security updates will be provided to ensure your device stays safe for as long as you plan on using it. If certain features of a new version of Android seem appealing, consider checking out if support will come to your device.
The Right Interface
Smartphone interfaces can vary dramatically. In fact, Apple’s smartphone interface is at the core of why iPhone fans often stick with Apple devices. The iPhone provides an intuitive design that doesn’t change dramatically between versions. If you haven’t yet purchased a smartphone, make sure you give an iPhone a shot when comparing devices.
Google’s Android interface offers a clean look that’s easy to customize, and its familiarity for users makes it a must-have part of any smartphone they buy. Some manufacturers, however, provide their own takes on the Android interface, including Samsung. When comparing Android phones, take some time to explore custom interfaces to find out if there’s one you prefer to Android’s default interface. While hardware elements are important on smartphones, the interface is what you’ll interact with most of the time.
Over the years, smartphones have come to support more and more mobile network infrastructure, and it’s now easier to find devices that work across the planet. However, people who travel to specific regions frequently should investigate if devices they’re comparing work well on the latest mobile infrastructure. LTE connectivity offers far greater connection speeds than other connection types, and some countries deprecate older equipment faster than others. Check out if legacy connections will be available in foreign nations you visit.
Another feature worth considering is dual-SIM support. Phones that support two SIM devices are easier to move between countries, and they allow you to keep your familiar phone interface even while crossing borders. Phones with two SIM slots often provide superior connection options to those with a single SIM slot, but it’s still worth investigating before settling on a single device.
Even people who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy regularly use smartphones. They help us stay connected, and they’re great for relieving stress or boredom while waiting. The right device can serve you well for years to come, but choosing one you aren’t happy with might have you wanting to upgrade in a short period of time. Take your time when comparing devices, and try out devices in person if they’re available at a store. By making a list of priorities and narrowing down devices based on the features you value most highly, you can ensure that your chosen phone is one you’ll enjoy for years to come. Visit your local Samsung Melbourne store to shop around and compare smartphones and their features.