With excellent new flagships from Apple and Samsung all vying for your attention, plus dozens of high-quality options for those on a budget choosing the right smartphone has never been more challenging. But we’re here to help.
“Our Smartphone Buying Guide covers everything you need to know before you buy, including operating system, screen size, camera, processor and price. Use this advice to make sure you get the very best handset for your needs and budget”
- Get the right size screen. Buy a phone with a screen smaller than 5.5 inches if one-hand use is important to you or if you have smaller hands. Get a bigger-screen phone if you like to watch a lot of videos, play games or want to take advantage of the multi-window mode in Android. Still, phone-makers are now making big-screen phones, such as the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8, that fit comfortably in one hand thanks to larger 18:9 aspect ratios.
- For a phone’s display, color quality and brightness matter more than resolution. Pay more attention to how bright the display is, so it will be easy to see outdoors, and how colorful the panel is (AMOLED panels are better than LCD in this regard). The very latest phones offer high dynamic range (HDR) for displaying even more colors.
- Ignore camera megapixels. Along with battery life, the camera has become the most important smartphone feature. Pay attention to specs such as aperture (lower numbers are better) and special features such as dual lenses and optical image stabilization. Ignore the megapixels.
- The processor matters less than it used to. Even mid-range phones now offer good-enough performance for most users. But if you want the most power for games and augmented reality, buy an Android phone with a Snapdragon 835 processor.
- Don’t settle for a smartphone that lasts less than 10 hours on a charge. Buy a device that will get you through the day on a single charge. Even budget phones now boast long-lasting batteries.
- Get at least 32GB of storage. Phones with 16GB are a rip-off, even if they’re budget models. Opt for 32GB if you can to store more games, photos and video. 64GB is the new standard for flagship phones. A microSD card slot is nice to have for expanding storage, but it’s only available on certain Android phones.
- 9Mobile is the best Operator for speed and overall value.