Which Unlocked Phone Should I Buy?
Determining which smartphone to buy next has become research intensive, and a source of both stress and excitement for many. For the longest time when it came to getting your new phone it meant simply walking into your carrier’s retail shop and picking out what one looked the coolest, which one had a color screen or which one actually came with a camera.
Those days are long gone, and with new phones coming out almost weekly, it is important to take time to figure out what suits you best. Do you want the latest and greatest? Android or iOS? How much memory do you really need? These are just a few of the many questions that you need to examine before spending your hard earned money. Some people must have the latest, best and most expensive phone, while others just want last year’s flagship. There is also a large audience looking for a few generations back due to the heavy advancements in technology that have made phones very comparable year after year, minus the latest gimmick.
The best way to start is to lay down the foundation for your purchase: Android or iOS.
If you are a lifelong user of one of these OS then it is usually best to stick with it, however, taking the leap of faith and switching is always a welcomed approach. Buyer beware that this usually ends up in a return and coming back to the original OS. Check reviews and YouTube videos to see what most are saying about it. Remember that these two operating systems are totally different, what you may have been doing for years as a daily task is no longer done the same way, this is a source of heavy frustration for many.
Once you have landed on the OS it is time to think about internal memory. Check your current phone, do not make the same mistake twice of buying a phone with too much or too little memory. In the event that your new phone comes with expandable memory take that into account as well, that comes very cheap these days. If you are using way less storage than you thought you were going to use last time around, go with the smaller option on memory and save the extra money for accessories. If you used too much this time, check the expandable storage option, but if that is not a choice it may be time to splurge for the bigger one. Keep in mind the endless resources that are available these days though via the cloud. With Google Photos you can store everything in the cloud without taking any internal memory, the same goes with iCloud. So do you really need that extra 64GB? Maybe not, but never forget the cheap and free options that are at your disposal that can save that money up front which could go for that must have screen protector or rugged case.
Keep your eyes peeled for the small changes in each variation. There are many new devices on the market that have subtle or drastic changes depending on which variant of the device you buy. A great example is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Normally the Mate 20 Pro comes with 6GB of RAM, but if you splurge for the 256GB you get a much larger 8GB. This may be a must have. Similarly Samsung‘s new Galaxy S10+ comes in a one terabyte variant that jumps the ram from 8GB to a mind blowing 12GB. Changes to processors and battery size also play role here, so it is important to make sure you understand what a few hundred more or less dollars is really giving you.
Unique features are also becoming a factor daily. Do you want to have face unlock for security? What about finger print scanner that is embedded into the screen? What if you just want a normal finger print scanner on the body of the device? Some phones have both, some phones only have one option. Take for example the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max – they only provide face unlocking using FaceID, or a simply passcode. The OnePlus 6T has face unlock and embedded fingerprint scanner in the screen. Is wireless charging important? Most phones have it, but do you really plan on using it? What about a headphone jack? Is fast charging a must have? There are additions to how we use our phones coming to the market faster than most can keep up, make a check list and see which phone checks these boxes.
Reputation is also important. Do you want to buy a brand everyone knows like Apple or Samsung? What if I told you that some of the most reliable and best smartphones are ones such as Xiaomi or Huawei. Both of these brands are huge outside of North America, in fact Huawei is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
Price tag time. Did you know that many lesser known brand flagships cost half the price of the latest Samsung phone? They are also just as impressive and many times have features built in that Samsung or Apple is just now adding. What if you take even last year’s flagship phone, it can come in at a whopping 70% less than this years latest and greatest, and you know what? It is just as awesome!
Take all these things into account, watch as many online reviews and unboxings as you can. Many of the latest devices are not available in a carrier store, so you must rely on what you see online. There are many great technology authorities out there, pick a few and chances are they have reviewed the device you are looking at. Taking time to research all of the things discussed will ensure a great purchase with no regrets.