Computers & Technology

by Darryl Budge

Help with buying a new phone

As with any technology device, serviceable life, warranty issues and budget are important considerations which will help you determine which phone to buy.

High end phones retail for over $500 outright and feature either a four (quad) or eight (octo) core processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, sharper screen (1080p HD resolution), louder stereo speakers and a thinner side profile. Mid-range phones now tend to be dual-core, have less than 1GB RAM, under 720p resolution and less than 8GB of on-board storage.

How long do I want to use my phone?

If it is less than 1 year, buy cheap, as technology goes fast and in 6 months a high end phone now becomes a mid-range phone.

If less than 2 years, then investment in a more expensive phone is wise.

If more than 2 years, look for a phone with replaceable battery.

How often do I take pictures and make movies?

If not often at all then 8 gigabytes (GB) rom without a MicroSD slot is fine for you.

If a few times a day then buy one with 8gb of memory plus MicroSD slot or 16 gb without MicroSD.

If all the time, you will need 16-32GB of memory with a MicroSD slot.

How often do I play games or am I a gamer (heavy games)?

If you play simple games; that means every phone with a 4.2inch+ screen can easily cope with that demand.

If you want to play heavy games, you will need to buy a quad core, because they have a better graphics processor. You need to realize gaming drains battery life very quickly: in 2-3 hours.

What are my demands regarding Android updates?

You don't care as long as everything works and there are no bugs. Buy a device with at least Android 4.0.

You like the big android updates but are not in a rush. Buy Android 4.1 to get Google Now built-in and the possibility of upgrading to 4.3.

You want them as soon as possible because you like to keep up to date on your phone. Buy a Google Nexus phone, or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition.

Am I a heavy medium or light user?

If you are a light user of your phone then your battery isn't a big issue.

If a medium user, make sure you get a good 2-3 hour active (screen-on) battery life use a day out of your phone. Buy with a battery capacity of at least 2000 mAh (milliamp hour).

If you are a heavy user of your phone then, even with a high-end device with 2500mAh battery, you will have turn off features like Bluetooth, GPS and NFC to get more than 2 hours of screen-on time.

There are a few basics that I think are wise to consider.

If you are a heavy to medium user but you do not play games or do high intensity things, other than chatting and or browsing often, use a dual core phone instead of a quad core. Quad cores use up to 40% more battery life, which means shorter battery life.

How big are your fingers? Do you want to easily pocket your phone? Large fingers may need a 5 inch screen to type easily. People with small pockets may prefer a phone under 4.3 inches.

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