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6 Tips To Help Choose A Smartphone

The hunt for my next smartphone is on and I decided it would be fun to talk about it. As a mobile expert, you would think that choosing your next phone to be your main device would be a breeze, but it is actually quite the opposite.

I get a ton of questions about what I look at or take into consideration when buying a phone. So I broke it down into 6 categories per say that help guide my decision-making process when choosing a phone.

I get a ton of questions about what I look at or take into consideration when buying a phone. So I broke it down into 6 categories per say that help guide my decision-making process when choosing a phone.

They are: Assessing your needs, looking at the OEM release calendar, checking out the current market of phones, product review checking, cost vs value, pulling the trigger.


Assessing My Needs

The hunt for my smartphone usually brings about a joy and focus whenever it comes down to getting my device. I am usually in a position where I have access to get devices on a whim and may not need to think too much in terms of what to grab or I am not and I have to break down everything to come to a conclusion into which to invest my hard earned cash in.

I know the latter happens more frequently to the average consumer and I decided to break down what goes into making a smartphone purchase for myself since this is one of the most popular questions I get asked as a mobile expert.

It begins with assessing my needs. There are different types of smartphone users, which I will detail in another blog to help people understand that every smartphone was made for a user in mind. My needs may not unlock the full potential of a device, but a device needs to keep up with all the things I do use on my device.

I am what you would call a power user. I am on my phone for work and personal usage for most of my day. I need an excellent camera, zero lag, a big screen, good media capabilities, and dual sim.

Keeping this in mind, I already have an idea of what type of phone I would be looking at. My phone will be found in the flagship category, I will get into the different categories of phones in another blog just for you.


Looking At The Calendar

Now, here is where the real phone junkie in myself comes out. Every manufacturer has a schedule as to when they release phones and their schedule for flagships are well known to everyone. Every year they have their events, send out invites, stream it online, the whole shebang.

So naturally it is a gift and curse when you buy a phone closer to Christmas time. While you will be blessed to see the offerings of all the OEM’s, and take advantage of the discounts on flagships that came out early, the drawback is that you will not have the best phone for too long as OEMs will be bringing out their next year’s offerings.

That said, I like to roll the dice and get my phones around September to December so I can make the best decision on a phone and take advantage of all the reviews out on the market to aid in my choice.


Checking Out the Current Market Of Phones

Now that It is December, all the major flagships have come out and there are extensive reviews on each model. I have gotten a chance to narrow down my phone choices based on my needs to a few devices that have caught my eye.

Google Pixel, Samsung S7, Moto Z Force, Oneplus 3T, ZTE Axon 7, Xiaomi Note 2. Now I won’t get into the specifics of why I have been checking out each individual device as that will make this blog a whole lot longer than you may care to read J lol.

In general, those devices have been selected because they meet my needs I talked about earlier; I like the price points of each device, and also the design. I have a good mix of high priced phones, but also devices that are flagship on a budget.

Some of the best phones you can get right now are less than $400usd, which means that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a top device.


Cost vs Value

Now smartphone flagships may have hit a plateau in terms of specs, we know every year the new phone will have a better display, faster process, and better camera. Where the revolution is taking place is in terms of the price points.

A few years ago, you had to spend more than $600usd to get a good phone, anything below and there would be significant compromises. 2016 was a continuation of the value flagships. If the current trends persist, we may not get to a point where it may never make sense to spend more than $500usd on a smartphone ever again and this is saying a lot.

The fact that there are phones below $400usd with the same processors as the phones found in $650usd phones and up is a testament to how good this technology is getting. It is also pretty high on my list in terms of power over my decision for my next phone. It is also because of the cost to value ratio where I can comfortably eliminate Samsung S7 and Xiaomi Note 2 from the runnings for my next smartphone.

The Google Pixel is still there because I believe it is a phone that can really disrupt the market and does things differently than your Avg device.


Review Checking

When you have narrowed down your list, checked your pockets and got your budget for the phone. Now comes the part where I sent down and watch a few reviews from my favorite companies.

Those guys include MKBHD, Pocketnow, Android Authority and Mr. Mobile to name a few. They each have their own review styles and offer insightful opinions about any device that hits their desks for reviews.

That said, I check out all of their reviews to help me in my own decision-making process.

If a device has not hit their desk, it may not be something I would consider, as they really do a great job at covering so many good products that if it is not on their radar, chances are it’s for good reason.


Convincing Myself to Pull The Trigger

Now the reason I started to wait for closer to the end of the year to make a purchase is because every time I jumped on the early offerings, products came so fast that I would often sell my device to get the newest one and in turn never really committed to any device.

While there is nothing wrong with that, I have decided to keep my devices a little longer and save my money on the things that matter. Life changes and we all can’t go blowing money on the latest tech. Shucks, you would go broke trying to keep up lol. So to remind you the devices I am checking out are the Google Pixel, Oneplus 3T, ZTE Axon 7, Moto Z Force.

Taking into account everything I have talked about and going over several reviews. I have decided to get…*Insert Drumroll*... The ZTE AXON 7. So I will talk a tad bit about why I have landed on this phone. The Axon has a very good display and size. 5.5” with a 2k AMOLED display, great for outdoor viewing, watching views, crisp text and saves on battery vs having an LCD display.

The camera is pretty good with its 21mp sensor and for the price, while It won’t beat out the pixel, it also costs half the price, and that is something I can live with. It has dual sim capabilities which are great because I have two sim cards for our two major networks here in T&T. The speaker quality, the processor, the display, it all makes for a great media experience.

I cannot stress enough the value of this phone and what ZTE has done to jam pack this phone with high specs for the price. It makes it ALMOST a no brainer lol.

Hopefully, keeping these 6 things in mind, it will aid in your own personal hunt for a smartphone.

If there are any factors that guide your purchases for a smartphone, we would love to hear about it, drop a comment.

Keron Mcleish

Keron McLeish is the owner of Droid Island and has over 10+ years of international experience working for some of the biggest brands in mobile such as Apple, Telus, and Rogers. He is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is a trusted mobile expert in the region. In his off time, he can be found shooting airballs on the basketball court or eating a bake and shark on the beach.

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