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10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Smartphone

Buying a smartphone is a pretty intense experience, but it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Here's how to choose the best smartphone for you.

Speaking as someone who's slightly tech-averse, buying a smartphone can be a pretty intimidating experience. There are a lot of different phones being sold in stores, each with their own perks and pitfalls. Most of the time, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you.

Thankfully, figuring out the right match for your lifestyle is pretty easy, as long as you know what to think about. Before buying a smartphone, make sure you consider the following factors.

Operating System

Different operating systems are going to offer up different perks and pitfalls. Having an iPhone means that you will have a very wide range of apps, the majority of which have been screened for high levels of security. You also will get better photos and better access to your cloud.

Android users, on the other hand, have more flexibility when it comes to the apps they choose. They may also be able to homebrew their own apps, and tweak their phones to their specific tastes. Fans who love Androids, for example, might like the Galaxy S9. (Of course, which version of Android will also matter, but this is a basic statement.)

And, if you have a Windows phone, you will have a lovely paperweight.


Let's just face it: A large perk of owning a smartphone is being able to take pictures with it. If you want to take ultra-high, professional-quality photos, then your best bet is getting an iPhone.

As you might know, iPhones are known for having exceptional picture quality. There are guides on how to take photos using an iPhone, photo apps for iOS, and even printers for your iPhone photography.

If you want your phone to be the only camera you need, you should get an iPhone X.


Ideally, you will get a phone that is as close to brand new as possible. However, this isn't always doable because people have budgets and buying a smartphone is pretty pricey. Your goal should be to find a phone that's as close to new, but also within your price range.

For example, if you can't get the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S7 could be a better option that delivers similar results without the obsolescence.


Jumping off the last point, how much are you willing to pay for a smartphone? Do you have money saved up for it, or are you willing to go through a payment plan in order to make your budget work?

In many situations, this will be the biggest factor that you're going to have to deal with when buying a smartphone. When in doubt, getting a phone that isn't from Samsung or Apple, such as a Razer phone or a Huawei smartphone, could be a better option.


Here's another thing to think about when buying a smartphone: functionality. Some smartphones have different capabilities than others—and it's not just dealing with the quality of smartphone cameras.

Will you need a phone that can load stuff using a microSD card, or are you better off with cloud storage? Will you need a phone that can run a certain program? Do you need something that uses Google Pay?

If you're looking for a camera that has world-class functionality, the Google Pixel 2 is a good choice.

Phone Carrier

Obviously, this is a detail you may want to consider. And by "may," we mean, you have to think about it. Buying a smartphone that only works with Verizon will not bode well for you if you have a phone plan with T-Mobile.

Sure, a dual SIM design like the Huawei Honor's can help you avoid a carrier gaffe, but if you're not sure what to order, it may be better to just buy your phone directly from the carrier you use.

Screen Size

Screen size is another factor. Some folks like larger screens, others like smaller ones. If you're looking into buying a smartphone, you might want to look for one that has a screen size that makes you feel comfortable.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is a good choice for people who love large screens with crisp graphics. Most would agree that a screen size of 5.2 inches should be the bare minimum. This exceeds that.


It's no secret that some phones are faster than others. If you're looking for speedy computing power, then you're going to need to find a smartphone that has a better processor than others.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is a good one that offers a punch while staying affordable, and you can find it in a variety of different phones—including the HTC 10. If you want to use your phone for gaming or streaming, this is a good pick.

Memory and Storage

Let's face it, there's a reason why phones that have more storage cost more. Having more internal storage allows you to keep more videos, programs, and contacts in your phone. Having more memory means you'll have a lot more power in terms of daily use.

A good rule of thumb would be to get a smartphone that has a bare minimum of 16GB. 64GB of memory storage would be far better.


You know, not all the things that you should consider when buying a smartphone involve tech specs. You also have to think about the kind of accessories that you want to pick up.

People who like unique phone cases typically will enjoy iPhones in their pockets due to the massive array of different case options they can enjoy. Folks who want to ensure that they always want to have a charger on hand might do well with an older Samsung.

Go ahead. Accessorize. It's part of the fun.

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