Choosing a new smartphone can often be stressful, but you can make it easier by narrowing down what it is you want from your new device. Whatever you do, don’t rush into the purchase, and make sure you’re 100% certain about what you want.
If you’re struggling to decide what you need, here’s a list with 13 methods to help you decide which phone, (if any) is right for you.
1. Contract or No Contract?
If you can decide on which model you want, deciding between buying the handset outright or getting a plan can be difficult. Depending on what you use your phone for, you might not have to get a new model in the first place. SIM only contracts are a lot cheaper, and you can always go for a new phone later if something goes wrong in the future.
You can save a lot of money on a handset if you only get a mobile plan, but older devices are often pretty cheap depending on how many updated versions have been released. Then again, the latest devices are always stuffed with new features, so it depends on what is right for you.
Make sure to shop around before committing to a contract, and remember that you have a grace period to terminate the agreement if you change your mind.
2. The Camera
The camera can be the most important feature if you love taking photos, and there’s lots of variety in terms of camera quality. Since selfies are all the rage, it’s worth checking out the specs on both the front and rear to see what they have to offer.
Check out the article below for a rundown of some of the best Android camera smartphones;
On the other hand, if you’re not fussed about the camera you could save money by plumping for an older model.
Nearly every phone has some kind of music playback capability, but some phones are built with audio quality in mind. This can come in the form of enhanced speakers, or more options while you’re listening with headphones.
Apps can bridge the gap in most cases, but they can’t make a cheap speaker better, so invest in quality if you use your phone for music a lot.
(Quality headphones can also be useful if you like listening to music on your device.)
The iPhone truly popularized mobile gaming, but Android has slowly caught up; some devices are taking the fight to Apple. The new Samsung Galaxy S7 is optimized for gaming, and it runs on great hardware.
Older phones can still run most games with no problems, while there are lots of emulators being developed for a range of older platforms if you’re interested in a retro or handheld fix.
As for the games themselves, there’s tonnes to choose from on the store, and pretty much every genre is covered, so you’re sure to find something to play.
5. Social Media
Nearly everybody has some form of social media account, and it’s often more common for me to get a social media message than a normal text. Some devices make social media more manageable, but they all offer the same basic functions.
Social media use can be a factor when choosing your device, but the handset itself won’t make that much of a difference, so pick something else on this list if you’re still struggling to decide.
6. Work and Productivity
Android phones are starting to become more prominent in the workplace, and they can handle most of the tasks you’d expect them to. From opening emails, to editing documents, most Android handsets will help you during day to day tasks.
There are lots of apps to help with productivity, while security is another aspect that means a lot for businesses. Android for Work will keep your device secure, and it’s slowly starting to become an option for businesses used to using Apple and Blackberry devices for work.
Newer devices will always be able to do more things, so it depends on what you would use the device for. If you need video editing or a way to easily make Office docs, pick a handset that will allow you to do these tasks easily.
Fitness is a big part of modern life, and your smartphone can help you along the way. Aside from apps like Google Fit, many devices come with features to help track just how much exercise you’re getting.
You can track physical activity in a number of ways, from Pedometer apps to wearable Android technology. Just check to see if your device is compatible before shelling out on an expensive piece of kit.
8. Web browsing
I browse on the internet way too much, and I choose an Android phone with a big screen after straining my eyes on the iPhone 4 years ago. (That’s not an iPhone dig, but it’s just too small for my liking.)
Surfing the internet should be fun, so make sure you get a device with a crisp screen, while most models have a larger version if you don’t like smaller phones. Yet again, it depends on your personal preference.
Most people upgrade to a similar model, and that’s exactly what the company wants you to do. (I’m also guilty of this, but I’ve promised myself to try out the new Galaxy range when I’m next due an upgrade, rather than sticking with the Sony Xperia.)
Blindly sticking to a brand is never a good idea, so check comparisons, videos and articles to see which phone is best for you. It can be hard to adjust at first, but you’ll soon come to love your new device if you choose wisely.
We might not want to admit it, but pricing is usually a major factor when it comes to deciding on which handset to get.
Paying over the odds is never advisable, so make sure that you can afford any contract before you commit. Older phones depreciate quickly, and the second hand market has a lot to offer if you shop around.
Sticking with prepaid credit can be useful if you’re on a tight budget, but most companies offer affordable plans if you’re able to stick within the limits.
11. Battery life
As phones continue to get more powerful, battery life can be major problem. Thankfully, batteries are also starting to get bigger and more powerful themselves, and they can take the strain for longer while the phone is being used.
Some phones can last for ages, while you don’t always have to go for the most expensive model. The HTC One M8 is a cheaper device that should easily last throughout the day, while the Galaxy S5 also has good battery life. Check our guide for a few of the best options.
Must Read: 10 Best Battery Life Android Phones
Deciding on which carrier to use can sometimes be difficult, but it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal. Check which one is best in your area, or check customer reviews if you want a better idea of what their customer service is like if you run into issues.
Above all, research is your best bet if you’re still unsure of what you want from your new handset. There’s no point in an unnecessary upgrade, but sometimes you can’t put it off any longer, or the benefits of a new phone just make sense.
Checking videos and reading articles like his one will always help, while user reviews can often be the most honest way to find out what others thought.
There are so many things to consider when it comes to choosing a new Android smartphone. If you’re still not sure of which device to go for, your best bet is to research a few of the ones you like to see which is best for you.
Hopefully this list helps you to decide on what’s important for you.
Which Android phone are you thinking of getting? Let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.