For many people their phone is like a technological companion, connecting them to family and friends, allowing them to capture memories and maybe even get some work done on the go. However, many people also probably don't take the time to make the best possible decision when selecting their new phone.
Picking out a new smartphone can be tricky, read this guide for a few tips
Also, if you have any other suggestions of what to consider, please feel free to add a comment.
Think about what you want in a phone and how you want to use it
These days having a phone means different things to different people. For some, their phone is used mainly for calls, messaging and some light web browsing. But for others their phone can be used as a camera, multimedia library, gaming device, work tool and more.
Obviously, different phones are suited to different types of use and sorting out what you want is important. There is no point in buying yourself the most multimedia savvy device when you hardly ever watch videos or view pictures on your phone.
One way of sorting out exactly what you want is to take a look at how you use your current phone and decide ideally what you would like to see added to it. This is a good method to use because it won't leave you lusting over huge feature lists and functionalities that in reality, you won't need or use. Also, figuring out the features your phone will and won't need can help your hip pocket when it comes to making a purchase, as you won't be paying for a lot of unnecessary extras.
Decide how much you're willing to spend before you start looking
This tip may seem like an obvious one, but it's often something that goes unthought of until making a purchase. Setting yourself a limit of how much to spend will probably depend on what features and functionalities you want your phone to have.
However, remember that while it may sound like a cliché, technology does move quickly and because of that buyers can find phones with impressive specifications at relatively low prices.
Another thing to remember when budgeting for your phone is accounting for all the varied types of plans, caps and other payment options available. It is important to find an option that suits you, whether that is a premium plan that gives you unlimited calls or messages, or a plan with lower thresholds if you're not a heavy user.
Plan ahead and do your research
Once you've figured out what you want in a phone, take the time to have a look at all your possible options in terms of models and pricing.*
While researching can be a daunting task as there are various phone models available across a number of service providers, it can be a worthwhile endeavour to find the phone that is perfect for you. As mentioned before, different phones are suited to different uses and picking one that matches your requirements should be a top priority.
Regarding service providers, be sure to read through what each is offering with any deals. Some carriers are likely to offer deals more suited to your individual needs. For example, somebody who rarely uses the internet will not need a huge data allowance.
Also, even though the majority of phones today use touchscreens, some have distinctive designs and textures that may appeal to some but deter others. These may seem superficial criteria, but remember that you'll have to look at and hold whatever phone you choose every day for up to two years after making a purchase.
There are lots of third party websites offering detailed information on phones that are worth looking at, but keep in mind some may have partnership deals with certain brands.
Remember not to buy into the 'latest and greatest' hype
This is a very common factor when searching for a new phone. People often walk into a store unprepared and get talked into buying the newest phone complete with all the bells and whistles when all they needed was a fairly basic device.
The latest and greatest phones are the pinnacle of technology when you walk in the store, but remember that while many of these features and capabilities are fantastic, not everyone needs them. Also, if you do choose the latest model, keep in mind there are always new models on the horizon and it may not be the latest or greatest in a few months time.*
Sales people shouldn't take offence to this tip, understandably they have a job to do and they want to do it well. This tip simply makes the point that consumers should be informed and make sure that sales staff help them find their ideal phone.
Note: If there is a brand new model you truly desire and nothing else will suffice, a money saving idea may be to wait a few months for a price drop, which can be common among phone pricing.
Pick a smartphone that syncs with the rest of your devices
This tip is slightly more technical than the others on this list, but is important to consider when picking out a phone. Modern phones have the capability to sync with our computers to share files such as photos and videos, or data such as contacts and appointments and other important information across multiple devices.
For some people, syncing will not be on the top of their list when looking at how they intend to use their phone. However, remember that many syncing options can make file and data storage easier, increase accessibility and may be something you want to look at in the future.
With this in mind, an Apple user will probably choose an iPhone (running Apple's operating system) while a Windows user may choose a phone running Android or Windows Phone operating systems. Naturally, many phones can sync across operating systems but it is worth checking this before making any purchase.
Hopefully this quick guide has helped you in your search for a smartphone. If you have any comments or other suggestions for the guide, please leave a comment below.