Smartphones may be a ubiquitous part of our society, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all focused on always having the latest and greatest model. According to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans replace their smartphones only when their existing model stops working or becomes totally obsolete. Smartphones aren’t a disposable item for most consumers, so it’s important to choose one that has the right features when you make your next purchase.
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Some consumers swear by oversized phablets, whereas others prefer more petite handsets. Although size is a matter of personal taste, everyone wants a phone that has a high-quality display. Two key factors influence how a smartphone screen looks: its resolution and the display technology used. Choose a smartphone that has at least a 720p display and a pixel density of 300 ppi to see crisp, clear images. LCD screens are brighter and have more accurate colors than AMOLED screens.
Clear Audio Output
How a smartphone’s display looks is one of the key concerns for many consumers, but don’t forget to consider how a smartphone sounds. Audio output matters, whether you love playing your favorite tunes from your device or simply want to use a smartphone to make voice calls. The decibel measure will tell you how loud a phone is but not how clear the audio is. Reading online reviews is one of the best ways to determine audio clarity.
HD Voice, also called Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate, is a modern feature that improves sound quality by extracting higher-frequency audio. This makes sound clearer and reduces background noise. However, you might not hear the benefit if you’re using a network that doesn’t support HD Voice or if you’re calling someone whose phone doesn’t have this feature.
Sufficient Memory and Processing Power
No matter what you’re doing with your smartphone, you’ll want a device that can keep up. The amount of memory, or RAM, and the phone’s processing power will tell you whether your potential new smartphone is up to the task. A healthy amount of RAM and a fast processor will make sure that your apps are responsive and that your games play smoothly.
New flagship phones have the best memory and processing power available. Midrange phones typically have the specs of last year’s flagship models. These phones have the specs that average users need, but if you love the idea of hanging on to your smartphone, you might want to choose one that offers high-end processing power and memory to keep it from becoming dated too quickly.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans ditching your point-and-shoot camera and relying on your smartphone for images, you’ll need one that has a good camera. A high-quality smartphone camera will have at least 12 megapixels, but this isn’t the only number that matters. Image quality, aperture, shutter speed, pixel size, and features such as optical image stabilization are all important factors. Low aperture numbers are especially important for taking pictures in low light, such as at night or at concerts.
VR Headset Compatibility
Take mobile gaming to the next level with a new smartphone compatible with virtual reality (VR) headsets, allowing immersive gameplay. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is designed to work with the Gear VR headset. Leading tech blog The Verge calls the Gear VR “by far the most sophisticated” mid-range headset on the market, praising its controls, optimized software, and dedicated app store. This acclaimed headset will work only with Samsung flagship smartphones.
Playing VR games and performing other smartphone activities can use a lot of battery power, so it’s important to choose a handset whose battery is made to last. A smartphone should be able to survive a day of moderate use without charging. To feel confident that you’re choosing the right one, select a handset that has at least a 2000 mAh battery promising 15 hours of talk time. If you’re demanding more from your smartphone, such as by playing many graphics-intensive games, you can conserve your battery by dimming the screen, or you can travel with a portable battery for backup.
Choosing a smartphone that has all the best features now will help you stay happy with your purchase for years to come.