Wednesday, January 18, 2017

8 Things To Consider When Shopping for a Good Android Smartphone

   
    Going by smartphone sales, Android is the most popular mobile platform today, and various versions of the operating system run on the majority of smartphones in virtually all countries of the world. Because of this popularity, a shopper looking to buy an Android smartphone often has to choose among a sea of devices, and the process can be overwhelming.
shop for good smartphones
This is why we have deemed it necessary to come up with our very own Android smartphone buying guide. The following is everything you need to know to buy the best Android smartphone for your wants and needs.

1. Design
Today, smartphones are as much a luxury item as they are an everyday computing device. Consequently, major manufacturers have invested a lot in ensuring their flagship handsets look as premium as they cost. When out shopping for a new phone, therefore, pay attention to the design and get something that appeals to the eye. Additionally, inspect the phone’s ergonomics, and hold it while in the store to judge how easy and comfortable it will be to operate. A 5-inch screen or smaller is
often the best way to go, especially if one-hand use is a priority.
A beautiful device is one thing, but you will also want it to stay attractive for at least a few months. Inquire about the phone’s durability from the merchant, and learn what measures the manufacturer has taken to ensure its long-term protection. A Gorilla Glass screen and a solid metal finish are good indicators that your smartphone is strong enough to handle inevitable knocks and drops.
LG V20

2. Display
Although some users prefer smartphones with smaller screens for their compact design and portability, larger devices offer more surface for multimedia use, eBook reading, and multi-window functionality. The size of the smartphone you get will, therefore, depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, screen size is only one consideration. You should also pay attention to things like resolution, brightness, color quality and viewing angles to get the best visual experience possible.
Today, even budget Android devices come with 1920 x 1080-pixel Full-HD resolution panels to offer acceptable clarity and vibrancy. Screens less than 4.7-inches in size can comfortably accommodate lower resolutions, but if you want a larger display, your baseline should be at 1080p.

3. Performance
Most mid-range phones can easily handle basic tasks, but for demanding multitasking and 3D gaming, you should get a device with stellar internal tech. When comparing specs, it is advisable to pay more attention to how new the processors in the smartphones are, and less to the clock speeds or the number of CPU cores. Newer processors are often faster and more efficient, which results in better performance and longer battery life. They also offer better graphics, swift cameras, and improved LTE speeds. Among the Qualcomm CPUs, the new leader of the bunch is the Snapdragon 821 which at the moment is only available on the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL. Nonetheless, you can still get excellent performance results from the 820, which powers high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5.
Other than the processor, RAM is another important hardware component to consider. For seamless multitasking, try to avoid budget handsets with less than 2GB of system memory and if possible, aim for the 4GB flagship standard.
A decent CPU and RAM combo is essential for optimum smartphone performance.
Nexus 6P with Qualcomm
Nexus 6P with Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon 810 Processor

4. Software
Among the reasons smartphone users prefer Android to iOS is that it offers a more customizable user interface, better file managing, and flexible sharing options. Moreover, useful Google apps are native to Android, including Google Maps, which is the best maps assistant for mobile phones by far.
That said, simply running Android doesn’t seal the deal on a smartphone purchase. You should also consider the following:

5. The OS version
An up-to- date Android version is necessary to ensure you get the newest and best software features available. Recent OS releases not only offer a bevy of upgrades but also come with better optimization, which improves general performance. Android 7.x Nougat is Google’s latest mobile OS, but because of its limited availability, version 6.x Marshmallow is acceptable. Just make sure the smartphone you get has a high likelihood of receiving the update.

6. The Custom UI
Android phone makers are known to trick out the software with custom UI overlays, which offer different menus, gestures, and other enhancements. A smartphone can be running the same Android version as another, but offer a different software experience. Some manufacturers such as ASUS and Lenovo keep the stock Android feel reasonably intact and tweak what needs to be tweaked, but others like Huawei and Samsung go to great lengths to create a more personalized feel. Before you reach for your wallet, therefore, have a go with the interface to see how pleasant it is to navigate and how useful its unique features are.

7. The Camera
Cameras on phones did not mean much a few years ago, but thanks to today’s age of social
media, users regard a good shooter as a top priority feature on a smartphone. Many Android phones are boasting sensors with 12-megapixels and above, but you should know that these numbers do not tell the whole story. Look for equally important additional features such as optical image stabilization, or OIS, which reduces blur and improves low-light performance.
High-end smartphones also offer a dual-camera setup for an optional depth effect (also known as background blur), optical zoom capabilities and wide-angle photography.

8. Battery
Samsung Galaxy S4 battery
Samsung Standard Battery for Galaxy S4
The rated battery capacity can be a reliable way to determine how long a phone will last on a single charge. However, factors such as screen size and resolution, the processor and the operating system will impact the battery life a great deal. A smartphone’s stay-awake time is, therefore, a collective effort from the battery, the hardware, and the software.
Regardless, picking a phone with at least a 3000mAh battery will increase your chances at long battery life. From there, you can use test websites such as the GSMArena battery life tool to get
a better picture and eventually buy the phone with the best battery life.

READ ALSO... Why Samsung Is Topping Other Smartphones

Bonus features
The above are the main things to consider while buying an Android smartphone, but sometimes you can get stuck between two seemingly perfect devices, which check every box on your list.
When this happens, turn your attention to bonus features such as:
A fingerprint scanner - Fingerprint security makes it easier and faster to unlock your device, and also enables the use of secure financial services such as Android Pay.

Water resistance - For the best protection from water damage, choose a phone with 1P67 or higher certification.
Availability of accessories - Accessories such as battery packs, USB cables, headphones, charging adaptors, cases and glass screen protectors should be readily available for purchase

● Multiband connectivity - Multi-band capable phones eliminate the carrier compatibility concern by being able to work with both GSM and CDMA carriers.

Removable battery - Removable batteries are a rarity these days, but if it is one of your priorities, there are a few good options to choose from, including the fan-favorite LG G5.

MicroSD storage - Although a sizeable internal memory capacity is important, a microSD card slot will give you the freedom to expand your phone’s storage if need be.

Final words
The large number of new devices running Android might result in a confusing shopping experience. By following the tips above, however, you are much likely to land the device that best suits your needs and your budget.

Guest Post
By: Jo-Ann


   
   
   
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