Every year, smartphone companies encourage, possibly mandate indirectly, their users to purchase new phones, often derivatives of prior releases. For some, this is because the latest and current flagship devices offer "better" features and "new technology". But, is there true value in upgrading your smartphone every year? Is it really an upgrade?
In this article, we give you the five pillars that make a great smartphone, with which you can evaluate your current device and potential upgrades to determine if the new device holds sufficient value to justify an upgrade.
Performance — This is a key consideration with any smartphone purchase and a vital consideration for your daily usage. Always do a little research from trusted technology reviewers and possibly analyze results from benchmarking software (for example anTuTu benchmark for Android). Phone manufacturers usually boast of faster CPUs, faster processing, and so forth, based on laboratory-environment tests, but technology reviewers validate their claims using benchmarking software against real-world scenarios. Before you buy, find out what technologists are saying about the phone's performance tests and experiences.
Display — Digital content is being generated in higher definition more and more. Images, icons, apps and videos are becoming crisper day by day. It would be frustrating to have a phone that cannot display content that is brighter, crisper and more vibrant in color. Generally you can settle for a 720p display but a 1080p screen display is fast becoming the average standard.
Camera — In addition to displaying images excellently, ensure that your phone's camera can take pictures and videos in high definition. One very important consideration is camera software performance. How long does it take for you to open the camera app and take a picture? You wouldn't want to 'miss' the shots and memorable moments because of sluggish camera performance.
Battery Life — This is also a very important metric to consider when making a decision to get a new phone. A good battery should be able to carry your phone through the day in a single charge. If you have to recharge your phone more than once in a single day, the phone's battery life is not ideal. Our acceptable number for a good battery capacity is about 3000mAh.
Build Quality — This might seem like the last, but it is by no means the least of the pillars to consider when buying a new phone. Build quality means that the material used to make the phone is durable, scratch resistant, ideally water resistant and (also ideally) shatter-proof. Can the phone withstand strenous conditions like harsh weather, occasional drops and minor scratches everytime you put it on a surface and pick it up?
It may seem like a lot, but considering most phones are a few hundred dollars these days, taking the time to evaluate them using these five pillars measures up with the financial investment.
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