In this picture, if I ask people to name the phones shown there, most people will accurately name only about 2 or 3 of them, and I can even predict that the ones that would be accurately predicted would be the Samsung and HTC phones. Most times, this is the same way we buy phones, and there really isn’t much wrong with that. The fact is that getting any android phone in the first place was a gamble that paid off. The first android phones were terrible. Those that got them then were very bold people.
Left to most people, getting an android phone would boil down to one of few choices: Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge, HTC One M8/M9 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 3/4. All of these are superb devices for different reasons, but they are not meant for everyone. In this article, I’m going to quickly go through what you should consider when getting an android phone.
This is the most critical point to consider: who are you, what are your habits, do you want to use this as a work device or is it purely for personal use, do you take a lot of pictures, what form factor are you comfortable with (big, medium, small), do you work in rugged terrain or in an office, etc. You need to ask yourself these or you’ll buy a phone and wonder why you did.
If you have small hands and you get a Galaxy Note 4 or a Nexus 6, be prepared for plenty two-handed usage. Even the Galaxy S6 might feel too big. Some phones have power and volume buttons either distributed on either side of the phone, on one side of the phone, or even on the back like the LG G4. Some phones are lighter than others. Some have speakers facing downwards, backwards or front-facing.
For the most part, the android software is quite uniform on most devices, but there are significant differences. The pure android operating system is given to all the manufacturers, and they customize it to their liking. This is called skinning. In some it can be clunky while in others it is very light and fast. Some other manufacturers don’t even put a skin at all, but just run pure android, as seen in the Nexus devices as well as some Motorola phones.
Yes, this has it’s own section because along with the evolution of the smartphone has also come an increase in the amount of pictures taken and posted both in online and print media. This is one area you must not be deceived. A higher megapixel count doesn’t necessarily mean better pictures. The Galaxy S6, Note 4, LG G4 all take excellent pictures, but are just 16MP. Even the best iPhone’s camera is only 8MP. There’s a lot that determines how good a picture would be.
Most phones in an attempt to keep slim use smaller batteries in their phones. Battery technology hasn’t advanced as fast as smartphones have, but the battery management has shown improvement. Most new phones would last you about a day at least on a full charge, while there are few others that would last you significantly more, also depending on usage. If you just make and answer calls, send some texts, and check time and date, your battery would last longer.
This point is the only criteria for most people when getting a phone: can I afford it or not? The flagship phones usually cost from $600 and above for the base models, the mid-rangers cost between $300 and $450, with decent specs, but nothing mind-blowing. Then there are the sub-$200 phones.
All in all, information and education about the device of choice is very important. Do not rush into getting a phone without knowing what suits you and your lifestyle. Some people are flexible and could adapt to their phones, but is that a risk you’re willing to take?
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments and questions below. Did I leave any very important consideration out? Tell me. That’s how I learn and get better.