Many people, my Dad included, base their decisions on getting a mobile phone from advertisements, be it from the media or friends. Just because it says $199 for a mobile phone in the newspaper does not mean that’s all you’re paying for. Just because it has an Blackberry, Android or an Apple symbol does not mean you are getting what you’re looking for. Actually, what’s most important are the 9 items below which will help you to decide the phone that best suits you.
- Battery Life
- Camera Quality
- Radioactive Level
The single most important deciding factor in purchasing your next mobile phone. Whether if it is a high end, mid range or lower range mobile phone, it all depends on your spending power. I assume that most have the budget for a mid range phone, at least. Now, I’m telling you DON’T. If you have the cash for a mid range phone, you should spend it instead on an older model high end mobile phone. For example, if you can’t afford a Samsung Galaxy S2, get the Samsung Galaxy S instead. It’s half the price and it will stay relevant longer than if you were to spend it on a Samsung Galaxy Ace.
One of the most looked at feature when buying a phone. Most people like it big but then they have to realize that the bigger the screen size, the more power it is going to consume. Also, nothing beats LED as they are lowest in power consumption, thinner than LCDs because they do not need to be back lit, really bright screens, truer blacks, wider viewing angle and have better heat dissipation that LEDs. The best screen you can get at the moment is from Samsung called the HD Super AMOLED.
A very, very important feature to look out for, especially if you are on the road a lot! The lower the battery capacity, the faster it dies out on you. When browsing through specifications of phones on the internet, always look out for talk time. Anything less than 12 hours (half a day) on 2G, forget it. HTC has a really bad reputation when it comes to battery life.
It may look good on paper, but in actual fact, it isn’t. The savings for going contract-less is enormous. For example, an AT&T customer with an Apple iPhone on a traditional plan pays at least $130 a month, excluding taxes and fees, for unlimited calls and web use. Compared with the $50 a month, all-inclusive prepaid plans, the iPhone owner pays nearly $1,000 more over the course of a year!
On slide out fairly big screens, a physical keyboard thickens the mobile phone. Blackberries like the Bold series are slimmer with the keyboard on the surface but the screen is much smaller. The only reason you would want to consider buying a mobile phone with a physical keyboard is if you email a lot. Most mobile phone keyboards are the QWERTY type that resembles the computer keyboard for familiarity and faster typing.
The most popular network band in the world is GSM, used by 80% of the world’s population. The other 20% belongs to the CDMA network band. Which means that when buying your next phone, check that it accepts both network bands for convenience purposes especially if you travel a lot.
The only way to find out if the phone survives a fall is to search youtube for “drop tests” of your phone model. For example, the youtube video above is the most popular drop test of 2011.
Of course, a real proper camera’s picture quality will always be better than one from a mobile phone but the thing is, the point and shoot or DSLR with isn’t always with you. Whereas, your phone is. So it is an important feature to consider as well. Don’t be too caught up on megapixels. It has little impact in producing a higher quality photo. The easiest is to find and compare photos taken by different mobile phones by users that uploaded them to the internet. A really good site for comparing every detail from colour to shapes to text is GSM Arena’s Photo Compare Tool.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the body when exposed to a mobile phone’s radio frequency electromagnetic field, defined as the power absorbed per mass of tissue and has units of watts per kilogram (W/kg). SAR levels for mobile phones sold in the US must not exceed 1.6 W/kg while Europe’s must not exceed 2W/kg over 10g of tissue. Motorola has a really bad record for having high SAR levels while Samsung’s record is the best. Check out the complete list of SAR levels of mobile phones here.
What other important thing do you think one should look out for when buying a mobile phone?