My (somewhat crappy but functional of sorts) Windows 7.8 crashed a few weeks ago. From what the techies tell me, it’s a software problem. So since I know that a 7.8 will not receive the Win 8 update <insert Windows rage> I decided to get myself a new phone.
I’m essentially a non-techie, which means I’m not impressed by arguments of ppi and fancy smartwatches and stuff, things that the marketing departments seem very eager to press on us. If you, like me, are in the market for a new phone, forget the hype – here’s what you ought to consider when getting yourself a new phone.
a) Price and usage
One of the things about the price you pay is to cross-check if your payment is justified by the purchase. This is where usage comes in. Be realistic and think what you would be using your phone for, how responsible are you with gadgets. Should you then consider a waterproof, dustproof, foolproof phone made just for you? Are you a cam person? Heavy on apps? How much of storage do you need? Most importantly, what is your budget?
Once you are able to make a list of things you expect your phone to do for you, do a quick Google search (GSM Arena helps!) with these filters and you might be able to narrow down your options. It’s one thing to crave the latest 150,000-rupee flagship. It’s another to buy the thing and use it only for making a phone call and sending an SMS every now and then (yes, I’ve seen people do this often). The novelty of a phone wears off quickly. If what you want to do with the phone (cough) can be done with less hardware or expense, you should very seriously consider dropping your price range.
b) Operating System
So afaik, there are three major mobile OS providers that run today’s smartphone industry: the Droids, the Newtons’ and the Gates’ <lamejoke.jpg> Well, we do have, uhm Blackberry and others, but they have been given slots in the Late Night comedy. All three have different strengths and weaknesses – and fan bases. You have Android fanboys with their endless talk of customizability and <shudder> rooting. Now, I’m all for wallpapers and ringtones, but I seriously do not have the time (or expertise) to spend hours each week dealing with whatever new problems new ROMs bring. Then there’s Apple fans hanging on Johnny Ive’s every word, and then there’s…the Windows people, who like to come out at night and boast about their cameras.
In my experience, Androids and Windows Phones tend to have lower-cost solutions, which is good if you’re keeping an eye on your budget. Android leans towards customizability and the whole hog, while WP is very minimalistic and generally focuses on giving you something that works really well out of the box. As for Blackberry, well, you should not be considering anything older than their new Q and Z-devices running BB OS 10. We’ve spoken to people who’ve loved BB10 (among them noted cybersec specialist Sujit Christy), but it may not be your cup of tea.
Features of the phones usually include fancy but functionally useless things like Air Gestures, Air Play and such. Unfortunately, those things are pretty much gimmicks after the novelty wears off. More important are the shape and dimensions (can you hold it comfortably?) to actual camera quality (calling all Instagrammers), lag (does it lag? Drop it!) to battery life. I’ve known people who buy expensive phones and turn off all the features that make those phones so expensive just so they can last a day on battery. Which when you think about it is really pointless.
Smartphones have a lot of power and they have large screens, which means they suck up a lot of battery.
This is to a great extent, important to most of us Sri Lankans. Check the HitAd. Ideabeam.com is another excellent place for price comparisons etc we wrote about it twice both here and here. Have a look, see what the best option is. We’d advice against getting down phones from abroad because you never know when something might happen and you end up needing warranty. Then there’s also ikman.lk to consider – though you might want to ignore any Left-handed Triton seashells that pop up in the search. Be warned – if you’re buying secondhand, know your phone inside out before buying. Watch YouTube reviews. Take a friend along who knows their stuff.
Your phone needs to survive you. This is very important, unless you want to spend your time staring at an expensive cracked screen. Sometimes a smartphone may not even be a great idea. In which case, let us leave you with this:
Good luck and happy buying!