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Friday, 11 August 2017 - 13:33
7 things to consider in buying a new smartphone in 2017
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Smartphones these days have become an integral part of everyday life and are used not for just communication but for taking pictures, saving documents on cloud, internet browsing and even as a power bank to charge other smartphones.

But then, with so many smartphones on the market today, it can be kind of challenging to figure out as to what to buy. It is always tough deciding the one that may suit the needs best which makes choosing a phone pretty confusing.

Here's a list of things to be considered which would help to decide to buy the next smartphone. By the end, hopefully a clearer view about what phone to buy and why will be transpired.

1. Build quality & Design

Build is all about durability of a smartphone. The entire handset market is largely divided in two types of builds - metal and plastic. Though the definition of a good or bad smartphone design is highly subjective, but if you care about build quality and aesthetics, look for a metal or glass design, or a phone that offers both or having glass-coated panels, though they are very limited. There are some cheap handsets that have plastic bodies, but in general, should be avoided unless the top consideration is to save money.

 
A handful of phones, go the extra mile by featuring a shatterproof glass display. But at the very least, one should shop for a phone that has a Gorilla Glass display, which should protect the device from short drops (though a protective case will help with that, too).


If the user is one of those prone to dropping the smartphone, it's advisable to go for a metal or a plastic built handset. These can sustain drops from 2-3 feet, while glass-based handset are sure to shatter.

Also there comes the element of gender. Females, might want to think about the size, does it fit nicely in to a handbag or not. For the males, does it fit nicely in one’s pocket without bulging out.

OPPO F3 - 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD, Protected by Gorilla Glass 5

Huawei P10 - Gorilla Glass 5

Samsung – Corning Gorilla Glass 5


1.  Price & What’s most important to you?

Price has to be affordable. One has to ask oneself what he or she will be ‘actually’ doing with the phone, as most modern flagships are built with ‘unnecessary’ list of specs that most people seldom take advantage of.

One can save thousands of Sri Lankan Rupees just by opting for a cheaper model, or an older model, for instance, and still get everything done that one needs to. If someone literally just using it for calls, texts, email and some web browsing, getting an older model is not a bad idea. Most will never notice the difference.

Battery? The camera? Overall cost? You need to decide what you want from a phone and have clear objectives and ideas about how you’re going to be using it. Think about what you use most in your every day-to-day life already.

Huawei Price range – LKR: 8,000.00-100,000.00

Samsung Price range – LKR: 3,000.00 – 120,000.00

OPPO Price range – LKR: 22,000.00-70,000.00

1. Operating System: Android, iOS or Other?

User interface and the OS version too are key factors to consider while choosing a smartphone. These are the interfaces that one would have to interact with each time to access anything, so it should be easy and simple. One need to consider what operating system suitable for his or her needs. Some applications might not be available on some operating systems. So, trying the handset before actually picking one is highly recommended.

Android

Android dominates worldwide smartphone sales, and for good reason. You'll find many more choices than iOS when it comes to design, display size, specs, capabilities and price tag. Additionally, Android is an open OS, which means it's easier to customize with awesome launchers and widgets.

Huawei P10 - Android 7.0 (Nougat)

OPPO F3 - Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

Nokia 6 - Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Samsung S8 - Android 7.0 (Nougat)

 iOS 10

All of the latest iPhones — including the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone SE run the latest version of Apple's operating system. iOS 10 offers several enhancements, including a more interactive and expressive Messages app, an improved Siri that plugs into more apps and a Home app that helps you control smart home gadgets.

 iPhone 7 - iOS 10.0.1, upgradable to iOS 10.3.3

2. Old Hardware, Doesn’t Mean Obsolete Hardware

Why? Simple, really: these modern things we call smartphones are exceptional pieces of technology. One does not need to buy a brand new phone to get decent performance.

Some phones will still feel like a new phone even if it isn’t the latest model. Phones get worn down by usage; buy an older model new and one will not experience this – these phones are future-proofed to the hilt!

 3. Camera

Smartphone cameras are becoming even much better than there were ever before and we have arrived at a point in smartphone evolution where the camera matters more than the processor, especially considering most people use their phones as their primary capture moments. More and more smartphones boast cameras with at least 12 megapixels, but it is better not only to focus on that statistics as image quality, ISO levels, camera aperture, speed and the low-light performance are essential as well.

More number of pixels mean more the size of the image, which becomes sharper when seen on a small screen. A photographer enthusiasts might want a camera with 12 or 16MP sensor under f/2.0 or lower aperture for speedy shots even in low lights. A casual capture can go by even with an 8MP 0r 12MP camera with f/2.0-f/2.2 aperture.

Dual front cameras

VIVO V5 PLUS: Not available in Sri Lanka 

The V5 Plus has 20 MP primary plus 8 MP secondary sensor with f2.0 aperture and a selfie flash. There is a dedicated mode for taking selfies with background blur on the phone. It has a 5.5-inch full HD display and a 16MP rear camera with f2.0 aperture. Inside is a Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and a 3,160mAh battery.

OPPO F3 PLUS: LKR 43,990.00
OPPO’S smartphone with dual front cameras is aimed at selfie enthusiasts who want to take wide-angle selfies. The OPPO F3 Plus has 16MP + 8MP front camera setup with f2.0 aperture and a wide-angle mode in the camera interface. The phone has a 6-inch full HD display and a 16 MP rear camera with f1.7 aperture. Hardware specifications include Snapdragon 653 processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage and a 4,000mAh battery.

4. Internal Storage

A large part of the smartphone’s storage is taken away from the OS and the apps the device comes pre-installed with. It is better to opt for as much internal storage as possible given that some games can easily take up more than 1GB of storage — not to mention how many high-res photos and videos smartphone owners are capturing —The minimum on most premium handsets these days is 32 GB. 64 GB is recommended when there will be significant shooting of photos and video.

On can also buy a 16 GB model that supports microSD card as well. A microSD card can help expand the storage. It's available on many Android phones.

5. Battery Life

This is very crucial and also very important. The battery usage differs from user to user depending on the way he/she uses the smartphone. Many factors — including the screen size, processor and operating system — determine how long a smartphone can lasts long on a single charge. Generally, we consider any phone that lasts longer than 9 hours of straight 4G LTE surfing to be very good & beneficial.

Battery capacity is a specifications that can help determine a phone's potential staying in power, but it's not as reliable as test results. Nevertheless, look for a phone battery with at least 3,000 mAh if best chance at long battery life to be achieved. Some smartphones now have extra features that allows to actually put it in a mode where it can last longer.

OPPO VOCC Charger - A thirty-minute charge will get the mobile phone to 75% of battery. With 4x faster charging speed than conventional chargers, the VOOC flash charging system will have your phone ready to go when you are on your way out the door. A thirty-minute charge will get the mobile phone to 75% of battery. With 4x faster charging speed than conventional chargers, the VOOC flash charging system will have the phone ready to go within in 30 mins.

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