How to choose the right smartphone for your specific needs

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These days, when buying a new phone, you have a lot of choice. Apart from Apple and Samsung, there are heaps of other brands that make phones, and there are lots of different devices available in different sizes, with different functionality.

In this guide, we’ve explained a bit about how to choose the right smartphone for your specific needs.

Step 1: choose between Apple or Android

With Android phones, you’ll have a lot more choice, because you’re not limited to phones made by Apple. Samsung, Google, Sony, and a lot of other companies all use the Android operating system.

Apple vs Android is a debate as old as time, and it comes down to personal preference.

If you’re used to iOS, Apple’s operating system, then you might like to stick to Apple phones. And when you buy a new phone from Apple, you’ll know that it’ll have a great camera, a good screen, and will feel great to use.

However, Apple phones can be quite expensive when compared to similar devices from Samsung or Google. Plus, Android gives you a lot more in the way of customization options, which is useful if you want to change how your phone feels to use.

Step 2: decide what screen size you want

Once you’ve decided whether you’re shopping for an Apple or an Android phone, the next step is to consider what screen size you want.

In general, phones with bigger screens cost a lot more. This is because movies and videos look a lot better, and you get more room to type, browse the web, and use social media.

However, bigger phones are heavier, and won’t fit in your pocket as easily. You might prefer to use a small-to-medium sized phone instead.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a large phone, with a 6.68” screen size. On the other hand, smaller phones will have a 5.5-6” screen size.

Step 3: decide how much you’re willing to spend

New flagship smartphones can be seriously expensive. It’s important to consider how much you want to pay for a phone, because cheaper options do exist, if you’re on a budget.

For example, rather than paying for a new Samsung Galaxy S22, you might like to look at their A-series phones instead, which are considerably cheaper. Most brands have a similar range of cheaper phones that cost a lot less than their flagship handsets.

If you pay more for a phone, you might get:

  • A larger, better-looking screen, with a higher refresh rate (which means that everything will look much smoother)
  • A better camera, with more lenses
  • A longer battery life
  • A faster processor
  • Wireless charging

Different phones will perform better in different areas, so you need to consider what you want to prioritise. It could be that having a great camera is really important to you, for example, as a photographer.

Some expensive phones actually take certain features away from you, which it’s important to be aware of. For example, most top of the line phones no longer have a headphone jack – you’ll need to use wireless Bluetooth headphones instead.

Step 4: watch some reviews of the phones you’re considering

Once you have a few phones that you’re considering buying, take the time to watch some reviews to get a feel for them.

Is the phone intuitive to use without too many software tweaks? Do the front and rear cameras take good photos/videos? And how good is the screen?

There are lots of good YouTubers out there who do a great job reviewing different phones to see if they’re any good, such as MKBHD. However, always check to ensure that a review is unsponsored, otherwise the reviewer’s opinion towards the phone may be biased.

Step 5: decide how much data you need, and what network you’d like to use

When buying a new phone, you also need to consider what network you’d like to use, and how much data you need each month.

You also need to think about whether you’d prefer to buy the phone upfront and then buy a SIM card for it, or buy the phone on a pay monthly contract.

If you currently use a given mobile network and get good speeds, including with 5G, and don’t have any other issues with them, then you should probably stick with this network. However, if you have issues, it might be worth trying a different carrier.

It could also be that different networks offer better deals on certain phones, which might influence the phone you end up choosing to buy.

You might also be able to save money by avoiding a SIM plan with unlimited data, unless you’re on your phone all the time. For most people, a 40-50GB plan should offer plenty of data, unless you’re watching lots of movies on the go.