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BASIC THINGS TO KNOW OR CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A NEW SMARTPHONE

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Choosing the right and perfect smartphone for yourself can be a daunting task especially when you are surrounded by too many brands at a time. True, you have plenty options but if one is not careful, there could be regrets. Nobody really wants to purchase a smartphone today and decide to change it in a few weeks’ time. Only geeks do that, and they have a good reason for it!

There’s a bulk of things everyone should look out for in a smartphone. However, there is no ‘perfect smartphone’. Aperfect smartphone for you might just wear out in three months when there is a much updated version in the market. You get the point? Nonetheless, when you know your onions, you’ll live with a smartphone you are happy with and the same which would last you for quite some time. Now, let’s see how we can help you select the best smartphone(s).

 * DISPLAY/ SCREEN SIZE

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Before now, what people considered as a perfect screen size was 4.0” – 4.5”; however it gets better and even more convenient with a 5.0-inch screen. Thankfully, out of every 10 smartphones out there today, 7 of them are about 5” in screen size. In essence, to find a mobile phone that would work for you, you might want to consider starting from a 5-inch screen model – big enough for easy typing, viewing videos and playing games. If you don’t mind, you can step up the game a bit with a 5.5-inch screen size. Only know that the larger the size of the screen, the bigger the phone gets to be. In case you would not like to carry a big phone around, there are couple of 4.5” smartphones around that you can choose from here.

Hint: Get a ruler, switch to the inch side and measure the diagonal of the screen (not the whole phone) to know how many inches a particular smartphone is.

* SCREEN TYPE

There are two major screen types to watch out for – IPS andAMOLED. Both have their own advantages. Discerning which to opt for can leave you clueless but let’s compare a little.

– IPS LCD: IPS (in-plane-switching) display is a technology that was built dust off the imitations of conventional TFT display. Basically, IPS LCD offers better response time [great for gamers], better color reproduction and makes for better viewing angles. IPS is great for daylight visibility. Experts say that it produces sharper images too. However, IPS appears to drain more power and requires a very strong backlight.

– AMOLED: AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a composition of organic compounds that illuminates when electric charge passes through. Therefore there is no need for any form of backlight for luminosity. AMOLED screens are slimmer and they offer great contrast but may not be able to produce images as sharp as IPS. Because of the slim screen, AMOLED phones are usually less bulky compared to IPS. They can be expensive but quite affordable on VConnect. 

* SCREEN RESOLUTION

Most times, screen resolution is one major determinant of choosing a phone. Screen resolution is basically measured in pixels and the higher the resolution, the better. The resolution of a phone’s screen determines how clear, sharp and vivid the display would be. For instance, a display built for 720p resolution will be able to play your full HD videos as high as 720p without hassles. If however you intend to play a 1080p video with it, you could experience difficulties and may lose some detail in the course of playing. Also, the resolution of the screen contributes to how convenient it would be for a user to use the phone in bright sunlight. Again; the higher the resolution, the better.

Hint: 1440 x 2560 pixels– High Quality Display (1080p) [See Samsung Galaxy S6]

          720 x 1280 pixels – Medium Quality Display (720p) [See Microsoft Lumia 640 XL]

         480 x 800 pixels – Low Quality Display (480p) [See HTC Desire 500]

* RAM CAPACITY

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Another important thing you want to assure yourself is great performance. As with a bigger computer, the Random Access Memory (RAM) of a smartphone enables it to load programs and apps as well as to multitask effectively. The size of your RAM is a contributing factor to how smooth your phone will be running. Certainly, the higher the RAM, the better the phone – in terms of performance. To avoid facing series of ‘phone hangs’, make sure you choose a smartphone with RAM large enough to carry your burdens. RAM is measured is Gigabytes (GB). A phone with 1GB RAM will perform good but if you can spew more cash, going for 2GB RAM and above will guarantee you optimum performance. You can trust VConnect for phones with great RAM Capacity.

Hint: Avid gamers should begin their search with 2GB RAM powered smartphones.

* PROCESSOR

The processor of a smartphone determines how fast and responsive the phone will churn out. The number of cores and clocked speed are exactly what should immediately tell you if you are getting a phone that would be as fast as flash or otherwise. The speed of any smartphone processor is measured in GigaHertz. The processor type or brand is one of the factors that suggest the overall price point of any particular phone. Basically, a bigger brand would opt forQualcomm processors which suggests that the phone would be quite expensive and built for people who are not really on budget.

processor - BASIC THINGS TO KNOW OR CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A NEW SMARTPHONE

At the bottom of the pyramid, brands that target the budget-conscious consumers may not be able to slap onto their devices a Qualcomm processor but rather settle for the MTK chipset brand. You want to ask, what’s the difference between these two? A geek would understand if I liken them to Intel and AMD PC processors (the former being Qualcomm of course) but for every other mobile phone user, I shall say that a combination of strength and durability makes for the difference between Qualcomm powered phones and MTK powered phones; as favour is credited to Qualcomm. However, MTK devices are great for use especially if bigger smartphone brands are way beyond what you can afford.

Hint: A Dual Core Processor [2 processing cores] with 1.5GHz speed in the BlackBerry Leappromises a fast performance but a Quad Core Processor [4 processing cores] with 1.3GHz speed in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 promises even faster performance.

* STORAGE

smartphone memory comparison - BASIC THINGS TO KNOW OR CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A NEW SMARTPHONE

Credits: Gizmag

Storage is another determining factor for finding the right smartphone. If you keep a lot of files [photos, videos and all that matters], you want to make sure the device you are purchasing has enough room.  With newer smartphones leaving no room for external storage via SD card, we are left with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal storage devices to choose from – this appears to be the future of smartphones. Cloud storage is meant to replace the conventional storage card as time meanders. For now, there are lots of smartphones that allows external SD card storage but most are probably previous phone models. Whether it is fixed internal storage or expandable storage via SD card, make sure there’s enough room for all your stuff in that ‘perfect’ smartphone.

* CAMERA

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For photography lovers and the selfie, duofie, groupie freaks; Camera is of utmost importance in any smartphone you’d like to get. There is really nothing bad in picking up a smartphone with great camera even if you will barely use it. One important thing to note in the game of cameras is that numbers don’t usually count. I have seen a 6.7 Megapixels Lumia device outshine an 8 Megapixels Android in photo-shoot. Yes, the numbers are rated in Megapixels (MP). There’s more to just packing heavy numbers with MP slapped immediately behind. We have to consider the size of the sensor, the kind of lens used, accompanying Flash light and some other nubs that make a great camera. Generally, Lumia devices are known to have great cameras and they produce rich photo quality even with the lowest model. Nonetheless, a smartphone with quality rear camera from 8MP and above should deliver quite fine for your photography needs. More is better though, if your budget is convenient with it. Selfie-addicts can look out for front-facing camera from 5 Megapixels or settle for previously appreciated 2Megapixels secondary camera.

* OPERATING SYSTEM

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Sliding into the software aspect of things, you have to choose between iOS, AndroidWindows Phone and BlackBerry. None is the best. Here, basic need and preference comes to play.Android could be better at productivity, iOS, for elegance and exquisiteness, Windows Phone for a smooth operating system and BlackBerry for office work and great social life. You can add to it based on your personal experience. Go for whatever you feel works for you or promises to deliver.

OTHER ESSENTIALS

Single SIM or Dual SIM? – Many people love to slot two SIM cards on one device as they would not want to carry around an extra device for their other SIM. Whereas, some other people love it solo. This is a decision you should make before hitting the phone store.

Features – This is very essential for every smartphone user. Ensure that there are enough features onboard to better your usability. Bluetooth, High Speed internet, NFC, W/LAN, Fingerprint, Add-on sensors and several others fall into this category. A feature-rich device gets you rolling in this developed world of ours.

Gaming – Some smartphones perform better than others in the world of gaming. This has to do with the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) running in the device. The GPU is a special processor that helps to render graphic work and promote smooth gaming experience. They come in various models. KEY – The newer the better. Hard-core gamers should check for GPU in phone specifications for the best guaranteed experience.

Weight – Weight matters too. You don’t want to carry a grinding stone in your pocket after all. Endeavor to lookup the weight of a smartphone before purchasing it. Also, you may want to consider  ‘slim’ as a prerequisite for your next smartphone/devices. 

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