A Decade after a few early adopting enthusiasts were able to get their hands on Apple’s original iPhone (or more likely 2008’s iPhone 3G), the market for the devices that have changed the world in countless ways has become one of the fastest moving and most competitive consumer catagories in existence.
If you’re planning to update your device this year, and we say update rather than enter into the smartphone market because if you live in the developed world… there is only a minute chance that you don’t already have a smartphone, then here’s what to consider in deciding on your purchase:
What to Avoid: As standards and software (both Android and iOS) continue to race ahead, you may come to regret going for a model more than 2 years old. Not only will everything run noticably slower, but you’ll not be future-proofing yourself against the next 2-3 years of inevitable innovation. In many other catagories, you’ll get away with not going for the latest, but with smartphones, you’ll probably regret it.
What to Look for: Top of the list is SPACE. Don’t consider anything less than 32GB of internal storage and more realistically, go for 64GB or more. MicroSD slots will allow you to add even more storeage later. Waterproofing (to IP67 standard) will save the day when your phone slips through your butterfingers into the bath or toilet! Increasingly phones come without a 3.5mm headphone jack, but if you don’t want to invest in a pair of bluetooth’s yet, you’ll miss it. Android phones should sport at least a Snapdragon 630 processor with at least 4GB of RAM and be able to run Android 8.0 Oreo.
How to Pay: Although carriers will be keen to offer you deals including monthly payments for your device, do the maths and avoid paying much more in total than you would by buying your device outright.
Buy Unlocked: You never know when you’ll want to change carrier after your plan runs out, whe you move to a location where your current carrier offers weak signal, or you get fed up with the extras many carriers will inevitably try to charge you for. Unlocked phones offer you the freedom to choose.
Bearing all these essential factors in mind, the range of devices you’re now presented with are still enormous. At the top end for Android, the Google’s Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S9 are super-powerful, feature-packed exempliary models which will delight practically any user. Be aware that Samsung’s flavour of Android is highly customised and messy bloatware compared with the Pixel 2’s clean OS. For iOS, strongly consider the iPhone 8 over the X, as its essentially the same phone, without forking out hundreds of £££ more for a couple more cm’s of screen and FaceID.
From these premium devices down, there are dozens of highly worthy models, and finding the perfect device without compromise for you is merely a matter of doing a little research and being amazed by how far your money goes today in comparison to what those early adopters in 2008 had on offer!