How to choose a new mobile phone? Set expectations and consider details

Today’s offer of smartphones is really extensive. Manufacturers are regularly throwing new models at us from all sides, which are not so different from each other, and the average customer can easily get lost in the whole after a while. Orientation according to model designations will not help much when comparing competing pieces.

Nevertheless, today we can hardly do without a smartphone, and sooner or later we still have to reach for a new piece. On the one hand, there are accidents, but at the same time they wear out and become obsolete. With gradual use, the individual components wear out and with increasing number of charging cycles, the overall battery life decreases. Over time, it reaches a stage where it is simply time for a replacement.

The smartphone is one of the devices that most people use every day, so choosing the right model is definitely worth the time. We have hundreds of models with different technical parameters, different equipment, construction and, of course, different selling prices.

It is the selling price that is often the most important item for most people. Choosing explicitly by price, however, is not the happiest decision.

It is certainly a good idea to set a budget ceiling, but a number of other factors still need to be taken into account. From the point of view of the selling price, the selection is practically divided into three categories. It is very difficult to set their exact price limits, but the basic idea will probably be clear.

Basic / low-end smartphones

The category of basic smartphones includes cheaper models, the selling price of which is in the upper limit of around 150 – 200 €. These are smartphones well suited for basic use, telephoning, online surfing or the use of common mobile applications.

As we are at the bottom of the ladder, so to speak, no top qualities can be expected. It’s just a smartphone for everyday use. Even in the lowest class, remarkable models can still be found today. Time is constantly moving forward, and what was once the privilege of the middle class can be found even lower today.

Medium alternate

We are somewhere around 250 to 650 €. Mid-range smartphones are generally able to cover all the requirements of the average user. In this category you can find some very interesting pieces that almost compete with the best, but there are still some compromises in this or that area. It is simply a golden mean, when for a reasonable money we get a well-equipped smartphone. As always and everywhere, there are a few exceptions.

Flagship / high-end smartphones

The price of the best-equipped smartphones exceeds the € 700 limit and, with complete ease, it can even exceed the € 1000 limit. In these price areas, you get practically the best that is commonly available for your money. If you take good care of such a smartphone, it will serve you faithfully for a good few years and so you will not need to replace it with something newer so quickly.

Flagships boast top performance in every area. From the quality of workmanship and materials used, through powerful processors, high-quality displays with excellent color reproduction to first-class cameras and video recording. Manufacturers also tend to add increased resistance to water and dust, support for the latest technologies and other specialties. They tend to pay more attention to more expensive smartphones in terms of software updates, although today is no longer the rule.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

What are the basic expectations?

It’s good to know what you really expect from a new smartphone. Do you just want a cheaper model to call? Do you want a durable piece that you will use while working on the construction site? Is it a smartphone for younger people, where a lot of emphasis is placed on the camera and viewing multimedia content?

This is important so that we set up correctly. It doesn’t make much sense to reach for the most expensive smartphones for phone calls, messaging and the occasional photo. On the contrary, something from the opposite end of the price spectrum should suffice. In addition, when I know what I want and I know how much I want to spend, it is much easier to choose.

Try to define which areas are important to you. For example, if you like to take photos and want your smartphone to replace a digital camera, this area will be a priority. If you work in demanding conditions, you will prefer proper durability and you can easily sacrifice a top camera. Those who travel frequently will again prefer a long endurance, support for multiple SIM cards and seamless connectivity.

Players prefer to reach for a proper processor and enough RAM, and they don’t have to be too interested in things like fingerprint reader, NFC or Dual SIM. Everyone simply has their own preferences, which they should use when choosing a smartphone. Mostly it’s just a matter of laying the groundwork, finding a few acceptable models and then finding the winner.

Many stores have tools on their websites to compare or filter the smartphones on offer. They can be used as a very good sieve.

If you have anyone, consult when choosing. Either in person with your friends or head to the discussion forum. Read the experiences of other users, for example in our reviews or in the catalog where you will find user reviews. The parameters on paper are one thing, but real use in practice can reveal various details, which are ultimately key.

Processor and RAM

Practically just like computers and smartphones, the imaginary heart is the processor. He is largely responsible for keeping the operating system, applications and games running smoothly.

Of course, this is also related to the size of the operating memory and the overall optimization of the software, but as a rule, the newer and more powerful the processor, the better the user experience. It is similar with RAM. The more a smartphone is available to it, the more applications it can run at once.

Getting to know the tangle of different models and designations is complicated even with mobile processors, but it can be simply said that the higher the number in the designation, the newer and more powerful processor. The so-called benchmarks are a great help in comparing, monitoring and evaluating performance. These are standardized applications that assign a value – a score – to CPU performance. The more points, the better.

Processor performance is affected by a number of factors. If we generalize it again, the most important things are architecture, the number of cores and their operating frequency.

Storage capacity and expansion options

The size of the storage or internal memory indicates how much data can be stored on the smartphone.

Part of it is stolen by the operating system and pre-installed applications, the rest is available to the user. Therefore, when choosing, keep in mind that the stated capacity is always greater than what you actually have available.

It stores practically all the things you can come across while using your smartphone. These are downloaded files, music, captured photos and videos, installed applications or games. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account that some part of the available space will also be taken up by updates.

Most smartphones today allow you to expand the storage capacity with microSD memory cards. It is not an expensive investment and you can expand the available space by hundreds of GB. You will normally encounter microSD cards with a capacity of 64, 128, 256 or 512 GB.

It’s a good idea to pay attention to the storage capacity of your new smartphone, but you don’t have to overdo it. A normal user will need 128 GB, the more demanding ones also have a choice with models with 512 GB capacity.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Display

In the display section of the smartphone, we can look at it from several angles. The most basic thing is that the screen diagonal size is practically responsible for the overall size of the device. In general, the smaller the display, the more compact the entire smartphone.

Again, we encounter multiple feedback from users. Some people want the mobile phone to fit in his pocket without any problems and easily be operated with one hand. The other side, on the other hand, prefers larger diagonals, because the text is read better or multimedia content is read on them.

This is also the case when choosing the aspect ratio of the display, although not much attention is paid to this specification. Of course, there are a lot of exceptions, and some users have their exact preference – for example, 21: 9.

The more attention is paid to the screen resolution. In general, the higher the resolution of the display, the finer the image.

At very low resolutions, we may recognize individual points when looking at the screen, which reduces the overall experience. Full HD resolution has become an imaginary basis today. More expensive models commonly have 2K or 4K resolution, which have a really high fineness.

Camera and video

The quality of the sensors for recording photos and videos is constantly advancing. On the part of customers, nice photos are often one of the priorities and manufacturers actively respond to this fact.

In the equipment of today’s smartphones, you can usually come across three or four sensors, each of which has its own specific purpose. Some are focused on creating wide-angle shots, others are used to capture detail up close.

More expensive smartphones can capture truly remarkable images, even without much effort. Models that excel in photo capture tend to be labeled as photo cars. So if you rely on the quality of photos, you should pay attention to this category.

On the other hand, even cheaper pieces and the middle class can sometimes conjure up magical images. At that time, however, it usually requires a little skill and help from the user.

In addition, as long as flagships get used to handling any area, with cheaper cell phones, you can easily run into limits in one sector or another. For example, sensors have a problem with sharpness, cannot handle low light conditions, or cannot capture the color gamut faithfully enough.

If you want your new phone to do well when you take photos and videos, you should definitely spend time reviewing and using the user experience. It is in real pictures that you will best see what you can expect.

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Battery

The normal endurance of today’s smartphones is somewhere around two days. Of course, it largely depends on how you use it, your hardware, your battery capacity, and your overall optimization.

Orientation according to the stated capacity is good at the beginning, but it is reasonable to reach for reviews and real user experiences, because the data alone is not enough. A pair of smartphones with the same battery capacity can have diametrically different endurance.

For cheaper models with weaker hardware and a smaller screen, a battery with a capacity of 2500 mAh may suffice for a comfortable three days of operation. However, in a powerful smartphone with a large screen, high resolution and powerful hardware, this battery would be enough to power in a much shorter time. That is why real experience is so important.

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Other equipment

You can include in this category all the specific things that are not among the absolutely key aspects of smartphones. Simply put, there are specifics that one type of user requires, but the other is completely stolen.

Some smartphones have a great deal of increased durability. The basic data is the degree of IP certification, which speaks to the extent to which the device is resistant to dust, dirt and water.

NFC technology, which is used primarily for making wireless payments, is also part of the optional equipment. In recent years, it has become a standard element in middle-class phones and is increasingly penetrating the lower segment.

Most mobile phones today have support for a pair of SIM cards. They often have hybrid slots that allow you to insert either a second SIM card or a memory card to expand storage. These are just a few basic examples of what we can call optional equipment.

Cat S42 subtitles

Can’t choose? We will help

Choosing the right smartphone is a complicated thing with today’s offer. Our regular selections in the Mobile Comparison section, where we look at the current offer from the point of view of various criteria, could also help you.

Detailed reviews of the latest smartphones can be found in the Reviews section, and if the quality of the camera or video is also a factor when making decisions, we should not miss the segment of articles “How do they take photos?”.

Photos presenting the possibilities of various smartphones in the hands of regular users can be found in the Photomania section.

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