8 Factors to consider before paying for a smart-phone


Factors to consider before paying for a smart-phone


African is one of the largest users of smart phones in the world, and it is still growing at almost 30% annually. Today, you can get all kinds of smart-phones at in every African market at affordable prices.

The manifold number of smart-phones can often leave you confused. Hence, making a decision then becomes an exercise involving spending hours on the internet, researching various features and offers of each smart-phone.


To help you with your decision-making, here are a few handy tips on factors you should consider before paying for a phone:

1. Size and Display

For those who like to receive news updates or simply get lost in the HD graphics of the latest Android games, you should really consider a smartphone which is equipped with a display of at least 5.7 inches.

For those that use the smartphone mainly for WhatsApp or to read Facebook posts, a smaller screen will be more than sufficient.

As for the display technology, there are two main types in Android: LCD and AMOLED. The main difference between the two lies in the projection of light. In theory, LCD screens tend to be brighter and display content better when in direct sunlight, while the AMOLED display offers sharper contrast and more saturated colors.

In practice, however, with the passage of time and the arrival of new technologies, the difference between the two is becoming less noticeable. That said, Full-HD, FullHD+, or QHD resolution for images are almost always impeccable.

2. Battery Life

Are you the kind of user who is likely to have multiple apps open simultaneously? Do you see yourself being a heavy consumer of video-streaming apps or playing games?

Heavy online usage tends to drain batteries faster. If you belong to this category of users, then it is better to go for a phone with a long-lasting battery.

8 Factors to consider before paying for a smart-phone


3. Memory Capacity

Phones have two kinds of memory – Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). RAM, along with the processor of your phone (see below), determines the speed of the phone and its ease of operation. ROM is what most people refer to as storage.

This is the memory that is used to store the OS, apps and all the videos, photos and songs that you want to store on the phone.

Therefore, it stands to reason that phones with higher RAM will be faster and those with higher ROM will have more storage. An average user should be happy with a 2 GB RAM and 16 GB ROM. But if you are a heavy user, go for a phone with at least 3-4 GB RAM and 64GB ROM.

To extend your ROM you can also use a micro SD memory card, but remember, apps that are stored and run from memory cards tend to be slower.

4. Camera Type

There is a lot of hype surrounding in-built cameras on phones with brands trying to outdo each other by offering more megapixels. Don’t let this fool you. By itself, a camera with more megapixels doesn’t result in better images.

Apart from megapixels, good quality photos are a function of factors like ISO levels, aperture as well as the speed of autofocus. If you are likely to take a lot of pictures, then go for a phone with a 12 or 16 MP camera that has an aperture of f/2.0 or lower, for good results even in low light.

If your use of the camera is not likely to be heavy, a phone with an 8-12 MP camera and aperture of f/2.2 should be fine for you.

5. Processor

Much like smartphone cameras, there is a lot of hype about processors with jargons like quadcore, octa core, Snapdragon, MediaTek and so on. Here is a simple thumb rule. Look at the processing speed that is expressed in terms of GigaHertz (GHz).

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The higher the speed, the faster the processor. If you are going to do a lot of photo/video editing or play online games and stream videos, opt for a faster processor.

6. Operating System

Just like the computer, smart-phones comes in more than one OS, however, there are only two Operating Systems (OS) to choose from – Android or iOS. If you opt for iOS, then you are by default opting for an Apple iPhone. All other smartphone makers function on the Android OS.

But this also comes in a confusing array of names and versions. Often the Android OS is tweaked by manufacturers to add features which could also result in bloatware, thereby slowing down the phone. So, try the phone out before making the decision.

7. Price

As mentioned earlier, smart-phones comes in varieties, in the same vein, price differs very greatly. Obviously, prices tend to go up as you go higher up the value chain in terms of processor speeds, memory, camera and display etc.

But don’t let your budget stop you from buying the smart-phone you really want. You can actually discuss with a close by dealer and pay on installments.


8 Factors to consider before paying for a smart-phone


8. Design and functionality

In selecting a new smart-phone, personal taste is a major decision point, however, software and outward appearance matters a lot. Some people may prefer more rounded lines and a sinuous design, whereas others like a sturdier look, characterized by straight lines and sharp metal edges.

We must admit that with each passing month and the succession of launch events we see within the industry, smart-phones are increasingly starting to resemble one another and the choice available is strongly influenced by marketing campaigns and trends.

Samsung Galaxy A30S w/On-Screen Fingerprint (64GB, 4GB) 6.4", Triple Camera, Dual SIM GSM Unlocked A307G/DS - US + Global 4G LTE International Model (64GB + 64GB SD + Case Bundle) (White)

But, design is based on functionality. A metal unibody is stylish and trendy, but in some cases prevents you from using some features such as a microSD card or a headphone jack.

Before buying, check the quality of the device to ensure you'll be able to use it in the way which is most comfortable and convenient for you (provided these elements are important to you).

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