The one that’s right for you; is the answer
I know, that sounds a little trite, but it’s true. Only you know what you want and what you can afford, or want to afford for that matter.
This post highlights some things to keep in mind next time you are looking for a new device.
What do you want it to do?
Are you into taking photos? You can do this from just about any phone but if you are into the creative side of photography then you will probably need a phone with 10 megapixels or better. Most new phones these days have 12 megapixels or better. Megapixels refers to the quality of the image taken.
You may also see 3 lenses advertised on smart phones? Two rear lenses allow you to blur backgrounds in photos (called, depth of field in photography), which is a creative method used when taking portraits of people or single objects. The front lens is for face to face video calls or selfies. You don’t need 3 lenses to take good quality photos, just more megapixels.
The other thing you will need to consider if you are into taking lots of photos is the storage space required on your phone. The higher the number the better, usually measured in Gigabytes. Check how expandable the storage space is too.
How much storage space do you need?
All Android phones/tablets have internal storage, which in newer phones/tablets is larger than older ones. Most devices use on average 4 gigabytes internal storage just for the device system files.
In most Android devices, storage space is expandable using Micro and Nano SD cards. This allows you to expand your storage for photos etc to 16 gigabytes and greater. In my view, these days you need at least 16 gigabytes extra storage at a minimum, unless your device already has over 20 gigabyte of storage. You will have to open the back of your phone to install the SD card. If you are not sure how, ask the store-person if they can at least show you where it goes on your phone/device.
How secure do you want your device to be?
Securing your device is a good thing but you may find having to swipe your phone and enter a passcode every time you want to use it to be inconvenient. Finger scanners are becoming more common on mid range and the more expensive phones. You only have to setup your pin once and when setup you rest your finger on the scanner to enter your phone, no more swiping.
What is RAM?
Stands for Random Access Memory and it’s only used when the device needs it. Some apps use more RAM than others but as apps get more sophisticated and capable of doing amazing things they will require more and more RAM. This is why newer more expensive phones are now coming out with 6 to 8 Gigabytes of RAM.
When you get a new device, remember this
You are not buying a new device for the next year or two. You ideally want it to last 3-4 years.
What do all these numbers mean?
The higher the number for all the above; the better the device will be 3 years down the track. Remember, you are not buying a device for one year. Most of us want these things to last at least two years and possible up to 4 years. The higher those numbers are now, the better the phone/device will perform 3 years down the track.
Wait six to twelve months before buying a new model
There have been many cases of new devices being released only to find they have major faults revealed just after release. In my view it’s better to wait at least 6 months after the release of a new phone/device before buying, just to make sure there are no dramas.
Devices Locked to a Network
If the device is locked to a network such as Telstra or Optus; and they usually are if they on a plan, you cannot use them on another network, unless you pay to have them unlocked. Keep this in mind if you buy a device outright. You may have to pay extra to have the phone unlocked. Also, unlocked phones are usually more expensive to buy.
Do your research before buying
Don’t just take the word of someone selling you the device. Go to Google and do a search for the make and model of the device and then add the word reviews in your search query.
Something like this:
- Smartphone Reviews Android 2018
- Samsung Galaxy 9 Reviews 2019
- Android Tablet Reviews 2018
- Samsung s9 Reviews Australia
- Huawei P20 Pro Reviews Australia
If you don’t add the word reviews to the end of your Google search phrase you will only get companies trying to sell you their devices.
Anyway, that’s my two bobs worth. I hope you find some of this advice helpful. If you have anything to add, a recent experience or comments and feedback, please feel free to add those to the comments section below.