The biggest problem with buying a phone is being spoiled for choice. Our mobile phone buying guide will help you out.

mobile phone buying guide operating system

Operating System

The first thing on our mobile phone buying guide is the most important. You need to consider when buying a new phone is the operating system. There are two to choose from…

Android

Android is the most common OS on a mobile phone today. It is featured on Samsung, Sony, LG and Googles phones. The operating system is known for its customization but is also known for late updates and security patches.

It hosts the Google Play Store which has millions of Apps and Games, you can also download apps from outside the app store.

iOS

iOS is the operating system of the Apple iPhone. The operating system is very well known for its regular updates and easy to use layout. It is known not to be as friendly with third party’s though.

It has it’s own app store with over 2 million apps and games.

mobile phone buying guide

Screen Size and Resolution

Screen size will determine how big the phone actually is, the bigger the screen, the bigger the phone.

If you want to get a mobile phone that you can watch multiple videos and play games on, you will definitely want to get a phone with a big screen and a good resolution. If you  are mainly getting a phone for social media use, size and resolution shouldn’t be a major factor in buying a phone. If you prefer a small phone or something easier to hold/use, we suggest you get a small screen size. The iPhone SE is a great example of a small phone.

Display Types

Different displays have different types, some better than others.

AMOLED

AMOLED was particularly made popular by Samsung, featuring in their phones for years. AMOLED displays have better colours, brightness and better battery life. The viewing angles are not the best on some AMOLED panels, giving you a blue hue or a darker screen.

LCD

LCD is by far the most common screen type on mobile phones and other devices. It is known for it’s sharpness and great viewing angles. The colours and brightness are not as good as the AMOLED though.

Retina

Retina is Apples buzzword for their own LCD panels, the display is a little different though. Due to how well Apple can program the screens, they offer very realistic colours, great viewing angles and better sharpness than usual LCD.

Mobile phone buying guide iPhone X

Storage

Storage is a key feature in a phone, allowing you to keep more files, photos and apps on your phone.

Low storage – 4GB -16GB

Enough for basic files to be stored and for a few images and apps. We would suggest using ‘Lite’ apps and only getting a phone with this storage if you will be using it for contact only.

Mid storage – 16GB – 64GB

Enough for the normal user who will be using it for music, games and apps. It can hold some HD videos but not too many. This is the recommended memory size unless you’re a power user.

High storage – 128GB – 512GB

This is the memory perfect for power users, photographers, video creators. Great for power users who will need loads of memory for films, music and 4k Video.

Camera Guide

Every mobile phone comes with a camera now, you normally get a front camera (selfie) and a rear camera.

Megapixels

Megapixels are the main thing advertised in mobile phone cameras, more pixels mean more quality and better zooming. Although, software now plays a big factor in processing photos so they’re not the biggest factor.

Sensor Size/Aperture

The sensor size can ultimately determine how good your shots are in different lighting scenarios. For example, a smaller aperture size (f/1.5) will get a be able to capture more light than a larger numbered aperture (f/2.3) and having better low light shots. Bigger sizes are better for quality though.

Video recording

Different phones have different video capabilities; offering different frame rates and resolutions. If this matters to you, you need a phone that records 1080P at 60 frames per second (many mainstream phones do. You can also get phones with slow motion capabilities. The higher the resolution, the better quality. The higher frame rate levels, the smoother the video.

Image stabilization

There are two different types of Image Stabilization: OIS (Optical) and EIS (Electronical). OIS is a more natural way, allowing the camera to stay in the same position and varying the optical path. Electronical allows software to cut the video into chunks and stitches up the parts that didn’t shake. OIS is probably better but software has improved so it’s neck and neck really.

Rear Cameras

Rear cameras now vary from before, adding an extra camera for a Dual-Camera set up and even Huawei adding a third camera on the back! Having more cameras doesn’t mean better photos but they do offer more features. For example the second cameras can be; Wide Angle cameras, Monochrome cameras, Telephoto cameras and even a camera dedicated to background blur.

Battery/Charging

mobile phone buying guide battery

The battery capacity (mAh) determines how much power your phone can hold before it dies. Normally, the higher mAh battery, the longer the battery will last. Software has gotten a lot better though, allowing batteries to last longer. If you need a big battery go for one over 3200 mAh.

There are different kind of charging now, with certain phones offering fast charging and wireless charging. Wireless charging is great but is slower than standard charging. Have a look at the phones description and see if it offers fast charging. Quick Charge 3+ is quick and so is One Plus’s Dash Charge implementation.

Water & Dust Resistance

Some mobile phones have certifications for how resistant they are towards water and dust. Allowing you to use your phone in various conditions. There are two main ratings; IP67 and IP68.

IP67

IP67 resistance rating equates to water resistance for up to 30 mintues at one meter depth. It also means the phone is resistant against dust, dirt and sand.

(It is not recommended to use your phone in those conditions)

IP68

The IP68 resistance rating equates to water resistance for up to 30 minutes at a one and a half meter depth. It also is resistant to the dirt, sand and dust.

(It is not recommended to use your phone in those conditions)

RAM & Processor

The processor is what powers your device, the better the processor, the faster and more powerful your phone will be.

Processor

The processor is what powers your phone, it is pretty much the brain and heart of your phone. The better the processor, the faster your phone is. Better processors offer better capabilities such as; better multi-tasking, better performance with high demand tasks, better camera abilities and better software capabilities.

Processor Cores

Processor cores are a great way of knowing which processor is best for you. The number of cores a phone has, the better it will be performance wise.

The Dual Core processor is the weakest of the bunch, this is more suited to basic tasks with less demanding tasks.

The Quad Core processor is great for everyday tasks and apps, perfect for browsing social media, listening to music and watching YouTube.

The Octa Core processor is the best processor, it has the most power and will allow you to do extensive tasks like gaming and having several apps open at once.

RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) helps with making the performance better and improves multi-tasking capabilities. The more RAM a mobile phone has, the more memory it has to run apps, this helps multi-tasking by allowing more apps to be open without making the phone lag. If you feel like you’re going to be using multiple apps, we would recommend a phone with at least 4GB of RAM.

We will continue to add to our mobile phone buying guide weekly, adding more in-depth things you should consider. If there are certain aspects you want adding in to the mobile phone buying guide, let us know!

Thanks for reading our mobile phone buying guide!If you want anything adding into our mobile phone buying guide then please let us know