Choosing the best phone from hundreds of similar products is simpler than you might think. Just follow our purchase guide taking into account the user’s needs, in addition to the type of intended use.
In addition to searching for mobile phones by features, there are more factors to take into account in a new smartphone. From the screen size to the operating system, this guide will tell you what type of phone to buy based on your priorities.
1. Start by setting the budget
Even though the values fluctuate, the budget will dictate the type of mobile phone, or the range of the market where the best mobile phone is found for each type of user. We can, a priori, divide the offer into three main ranges and their average values in 2020.
- Input range. Simple cell phones whose value will not exceed € 200.
- gamma average. Balanced cell phones whose value will not exceed € 500.
- gamma high. Advanced cell phones, tops or flagships, starting from € 600.
These are the price “beacons” that allow us to compare mobile phones taking into account the range and market segment in which they operate. From there, we can deepen the search and choose the best phone based on the characteristics.
We could also consider the mobile phones themselves, devices like the new Nokia 3310, among others, equally simple and cheap, for basic calls and communications.
2. Choose the best operating system
(1) Android or (2) iOS. Depending on the answer to the previous point – budget – the choice may fall immediately on the Android universe, with iOS phones being consistently more expensive than Android smartphones, with exceptions.
1. The operating system Android has several “flavors” with different manufacturers to develop and apply their “skin”, or UI, the graphical interface. Examples of famous UI’s are Samsung’s One UI, OnePlus’s Oxygen OS, or Xiaomi’s MIUI.
Pay attention to the version of the Android operating system used by the manufacturer, in addition to its functions, update history and support granted to the respective graphical interface. This system is more Open and allows for bigger customization.
2. The operating system iOS is exclusive to Apple phones. It stands out for its fluidity, simplicity of use for any user, regardless of experience and, above all, by updates system that can reach 5 years.
It is more closed, with less customization options, but it benefits from a great ecosystem Apple service provider. Moreover, if you have other Apple devices, an iPhone is the right choice to enjoy the continuity of the platform.
3. Pay attention to the processor
THE processor it is the “heart” of the smartphone and, as a rule, the more powerful it is, the longer the mobile phone will buy. It is the main component / technical feature that you should also be aware of when comparing mobile phones.
You will find several processor synonyms to be used frequently, for example, chip, chipset or SoC. Whenever you see them you will know that we are facing the description, name / manufacturer / model of the mobile phone’s processor.
Among the most famous manufacturers we highlight the Qualcomm with yours Snapdragon; The Apple with THE, a Samsung with Exynos, or Huawei with Kirin and MediaTek with Helios, among other lines and processor manufacturers.
By the way, discover the smartphones with the best processors, all available in UK. Note that each of the processor manufacturers has several ranges of SoCs, from the cheapest to the top of the range.
The importance of nuclei and frequency
The name and model of the processor is accompanied by the number of cores that comprise it. Currently the most common are quad-core – composed of 4 cores – with a certain processing frequency and chip architecture.
The rule for choosing the best phone is simple, the higher the processing power, the better. Opt for the device with greater number of cores, higher processing frequency and smallest architecture (in nanometers, nm).
It is also worth noting that a smaller architecture, or lithography, measured in nanometers, indicates a more efficient processor, with longer battery life and better performance. Like this, a 7 nm SoC is better than a 14 nm.
4. RAM never hurts!
THE RAM memory is used by SoC to access applications and perform the most diverse tasks on a smartphone. Thus, the greater the amount of RAM available, the more agile the smartphone will be in processing.
With the evolution of technology and apps, we currently do not recommend an Android phone with less than 4 GB of RAM to ensure smooth flow. In iOS this principle is mitigated by the system’s RAM management.
In summary, the more RAM, the better. Although today the phone may not need 12, or 16 GB of RAM, if you plan on using the same phone for several years, then these large amounts make sense.
Internal storage also matters
The space to store files, images, documents, music and applications. This refers to the internal storage, or ROM memory and nothing is lost in having more reserve space to, for example, record 4K videos.
Currently an Android or iOS phone with 128 GB of storage is sufficient. It is worth noting that some smartphones can use credit cards Micro SD to expand internal memory, in addition to storage solutions on the cloud.
Furthermore, there are different types / classes of RAM and internal storage. For example, RAM LPDDR5 is the fastest, while the default UFS 3.0 is the fastest, both for mobile phones.
5. It is worth looking at the battery
Smartphone battery capacity is measured in milliamps / hour, or mAh. As a rule, a mobile phone with a higher capacity will have a better autonomy, and it is advisable to have between 3000 to 4500 mAh of battery today.
Values that vary from brand to brand, with Apple normally having less capacity and, for example, Xiaomi having large capacity batteries, not that this directly translates into longer battery life, or duration.
Capacity is a good starting point to choose a mobile phone, but in real life autonomy has a lot to do with the energy management done by the mobile phone. Not only does the operating system interfere here, but also the processor and screen to be powered.
Pay attention to the type of charging the phone. Wireless charging is a great convenience and is generally slower than cable charging. Still attentive to charge speed, usually indicated in watts (W).
6. Chambers, many or many MP’s?
Skips megapix count / number. The resolution of any photographic sensor used in current mobile phones is more than sufficient to capture images / video intended for publication on social networks, or online storage.
There is, however, great value in having several cameras equipped with different lenses. It is good to have a mobile phone with a camera and its lens suitable for a different situation / use, from wide angle, to macro and telephoto.
Currently, smartphones with triple, quadruple, or even more cameras are common, but if possible pay attention to the sensors used. The justification for this is also present in the guide for choosing a camera.
By the way, you can find the best mobile phones for photography, according to the DxOMark ranking. Anyway, remember that more cameras bring more versatility, while having more MP’s doesn’t mean more quality.
Software is as important as hardware
Taking a good photo with a cell phone, or recording an excellent video is the result of several factors. Among these, we can point out the type / characteristics of the photographic sensor, the resolution, but also the optics or lenses, as well as the software.
It is important to have a good camera app, and, above all, a sophisticated image processing algorithm. It is thus very clear that the resolution indicated by the number of MP’s is not the only factor in capturing a good photo, far from it!
We can cite Google as good examples of computer photography with its Pixel smartphones and Gcam app. Huawei also stands out for the use of several cameras, excellent optics and excellent image processing.
7. Choose the screen size and respective cell phone to buy
Currently the phones to buy range from 5.5 inches to about 7 inches. This means that it is rare to find a small phone like the iPhone SE (2020), while large phones like the Galaxy Note are more common.
So, if you like to watch series, play games and consume multimedia content, a large screen, starting at 6 inches, will be the ideal choice. For simpler use, or if you prefer a small phone, there are still a few options.
Attentive to the following screen features:
- Size (in inches)
- Resolution (in pixels)
- Screen type – TFT / IPS / AMOLED
- Refresh rate (in Hz)
- Brightness (in nits)
- Protection – glass type (Gorilla Glass)
- Other certificates like HDR10 +
The most common resolution pattern is Full-HD + (1080p), with Quad-HD+ (1440p) growing in popularity. In both cases you will already have a perfectly sharp image, with abundant resolution.
The best colors are provided by the type screens AMOLED. At the same time, we see more and more mobile phones with a high screen refresh rate (with 90 or more Hz), providing greater fluidity during use.
Note that the size of the screen will also dictate the size of the mobile phone to buy. That said, the choice of the first will dictate the second, and this choice must be made according to the type of use intended for the new mobile phone.
Before you go, check out the best Xiaomi phones, with suggestions for various budgets. In addition, discover the best mobile phones up to 100 €, with cheaper options.