Hoping to buy a new smartphone? Don’t buy the first thing you see in the market! You might not get what you need and you’ll end up disappointed. 

Fortunately, learning how to choose a smartphone isn’t rocket science. We’ve broken down the whole process to 8 simple steps you can follow. Read on below to learn everything you need to get the best smartphone:

1. Know Your Budget

Not sure how to choose a smartphone? You can start by finalizing your budget. There’s a noticeable gap in quality between a $1,000 phone and a $400 option. 

If you’re getting a phone through a service provider, you should check both the monthly payment and the total amount at the end of the contract. Read more now about different phones for different budgets.

Some companies offer lower monthly payments for expensive phones, which could give you some leeway to get a great smartphone. You’re not paying a gigantic bill in one go.

2. Pick an OS

Figured out how much you’re willing to spend? The next step is to decide between the two big OS options in the market: Apple iOS and Google Android. 

The main difference between them lies in their perspectives towards third-party companies and apps. When you go with iOS, you’re pretty much locked into the Apple ecosystem. This means you’ll have to rely primarily on other Apple apps and products — including chargers!

Not comfy locking yourself to the App Store, the Lightning charger, or Apple Mail? Android might be a better option. They offer an open network, meaning it’s up to you to decide whether you want to stick with Google’s apps or if you’d rather go with third-party options.

3. Camera Capabilities 

Most people buy smartphones for two things: portable access to the Internet and the camera. 

For the latter, it all boils down to several key factors: image resolution, lighting, and stability. Do you want to take 4K UHD videos with full anti-shake stability and 360-degree capabilities? You’ll need to increase your budget for a smartphone with that kind of camera power.

Phones like the iPhone 11 Pro Max come with multiple cameras and can take some amazing shots. On the lower end of the budget scale, you’ll have to settle with smartphones carrying only 1-2 lenses.

Don’t settle for a smartphone that offers less than 720p resolution. That’s the industry standard nowadays — though that’s quickly changing as 1080p is now the popular option for those who can’t get 4K. 

4. App Compatibility

Here’s another important thing to consider: app compatibility. Some phones are simply too old and can’t update any further. This means they can’t run some apps that still see regular updates and patches.

Have you tried running YouTube on an iPhone 3G? It simply won’t work! Old iPhones simply can’t update to the latest version of iOS and YouTube now only supports the latest iOS versions.

You also can’t get apps in some markets. Some games, for example, simply aren’t available on the Apple App Store. Some apps that you can get for an iPhone aren’t available on the Android market.

5. OS and Security Updates

Don’t buy a smartphone that doesn’t receive OS and security updates. This can limit your options, however, since most smartphones only receive OS updates for 2 years. That said, you should still be able to get app compatibility updates and security patches for at least 3 years. 

Never overlook the importance of security patches and updates. A single update can make the difference between hackers breaking into your system and being able to stop them. These updates can also help your phone identify and terminate newer viruses or malware.

6. Modern Features

Did you know some modern smartphones feature biometric security? This means you can lock and unlock the phone using facial recognition or your fingerprint. Some also feature different kinds of touch capabilities and others still offer 3D scanning when synced with the right app.

You might want to consider whether you need these features or not. It all depends on your needs and wants. You might need some of these features for your work.

For example, professional photographers might want a smartphone with DSLR capabilities and multiple lenses. A YouTube content creator might want a smartphone capable of split-screen/multi-app options.

7. Specs Matter

Yes, the specs of your smartphone can make or break your purchase. Choosing a smartphone requires reading the fine print. 

Start by checking the processor and RAM. These two can determine how powerful the device is and whether or not it can run demanding apps or games. You should look for a smartphone with a processor not older than 3-4 years and a decent amount of RAM. 

Can you get by with a less powerful phone? It’s possible but only if you’re going to use social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. However, you’ll run into problems if you want to download and use power-consuming apps like video editing tools or a high-end mobile game.

8. Other Things to Note

There are also a lot of minor things to think about too. For one thing, you need to think about the screen size. Some people primarily use their phone for watching videos, especially if they have a Netflix account, and this can affect their viewing experience. 

You’ll want to consider whether or not the charger type matters. iPhones infamously rely on Lightning USB chargers. Most high-end Android phones use USB Type C or mini-USB. 

Do you need a phone with a 3.5mm headphone jack? You won’t get that traditional feature on some iPhones. You’ll instead have to rely on wireless earphones and Bluetooth connections.

Learn How to Choose a Smartphone!

Figuring out how to choose a smartphone isn’t too complicated once you know what to look for. These 8 steps break down the process and you should turn to these tips to narrow your options.

But why stop here when we have more content like this? If you want more great tips and articles, feel free to read more of our posts right here!