When buying a new phone, we get cooler and cooler tech each year from all the top brands. While this trend means you can always look forward to the latest and best phone features, how do you know which phones are suitable for you?
More importantly, how do you know which top smartphone features you want to prioritize when deciding? Once it was fingerprint sensors, now devices are using Face ID — it can be challenging to keep up.
Read on as we dive into the most critical phone features according to Navi users themselves.
Battery life is a huge consideration when shopping for a new phone. As your phone becomes more and more advanced, it will use more energy. For example, a higher resolution screen and regular video streaming take a lot of energy. The battery becomes crucial.
So, when you are shopping, be sure to ask about the battery life. You will probably need at least eleven to twelve hours of power daily.
Two phones on the market with the best batteries are Android phones like the Moto G Power, which can run for roughly fourteen hours with its 5,000 mAH battery, and the Nubia RedMagic 6, which runs for thirteen-and-a-half hours.
There are only two operating systems to choose from Android and iOS. If you decide to go with iOS, then, by default, you will end up with an Apple iPhone. Every other mobile device, including OnePlus, Motorola, Nokia, Microsoft, and Huawei, is running on Android. Each system has its fanbase and a healthy list of pros and cons.
Android devices are known for their versatility. Different mobile phones adapt and utilize their OS differently, and there is much room for user customization.
On the flip side, Apple iOS is known for its homogeneity, with high-end new smartphones offering advancements in processing power, refresh rate, and rear camera megapixels without straying from their tried-and-true aesthetic. Many of Apple’s unique apps, such as iMessage, FaceTime, and others on the App Store, work best when both parties have an iPhone.
More features are available, apps work faster, and users get access to various health and informational apps that are iOS-exclusive.
The terminology that flies around the processor and its abilities is enough to make your head spin if you are unsure what is being discussed. But here is the bottom line: processing speed is measured in GigaHertz — the higher the number, the higher the speed, and the faster the processor.
If you use your phone for photo or video editing, online gaming, or streaming, you’ll want to use the fastest possible processor.
Apple’s most advanced chipset is the A16 Bionic chip. However, it is important to note that this is only available in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, not the base model iPhone 14.
The best Android processor is the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which you can find in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, one of the most powerful phones on the market.
If you want to try a wild card, you could check out the Tensor G2 chipset in the Google Pixel 7. This chipset isn’t as powerful but makes the difference with unique machine learning capabilities.
If gaming on your handset is your thing, you should look for a touchscreen of at least 5.7 inches. Anything smaller, and you’ll lose the luster. As far as displays go, there are two different types in Android: AMOLED and LCD.
AMOLED offers sharper contrasts and more saturated colors, while LCD tends to be brighter displays that are not as affected by direct sunlight. The differences between the two technologies are almost unnoticeable for all but the most discerning connoisseur of screen res.
That said, Full-HD, QHD, or FullHD+ are all excellent technologies. If a larger screen size is your thing, check out the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 with its dual screen 7.6-inch display or the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Large Screen iPhone with its 6.7-inch display.
There is always a lot of noise in the marketplace concerning companies trying to outdo each other’s smartphone cameras by offering more pixels. The truth is that more pixels do not necessarily mean a better camera.
Several other factors are at play in taking quality photos with your phone: ISO levels, autofocus speed, and aperture, among others. If photos are your thing, make sure you use a camera with 12 or 16 MP, an aperture of f/2.0 or lower, and effective autofocus.
For 2023, one of the best choices on the market is the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which has a 48MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom.
You can find another excellent camera system on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. This quad system has a 108MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 10x telephoto, and 10MP 3x telephoto.
If you’re a selfie-loving social media buff, your camera specs may be more critical than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, cutting-edge voice assistants like Siri, and wireless charging compatibility (such as the new iPhone MagSafe chargers).
Carriers and Available Plans
Who is the best carrier? What is the best plan? Honestly, the landscape is in constant motion. There are great things about plans from most carriers, from AT&T to Verizon, and each has particulars to offer customers.
When looking at a package, you will want to consider how much you will use the different available technologies: data, calls, and text messages. If it turns out that another provider can offer you a better plan, be sure that you can move over and take your phone number with you.
That will help avoid the hassle of contacting everyone you’ve ever met to let them know you’ve got a new number.
Memory and Storage
Memory comes in two flavors — Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read-Only Memory (ROM). The RAM determines the phone's speed and its ease of operation. ROM is what is generally regarded as storage.
The ROM stores the OS, photos, apps, and songs. Higher RAM means faster speeds; higher ROM means more room to keep all the important stuff.
An average user should be happy with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM, but those numbers can vary depending on the way you plan to use your phone. You can always add more ROM with an SD card, but note that apps stored on cards tend to slow down the phone's operation.
The cost will always end up last on your list. Ideally, with a budget in place, you should put this first to get a better sense of where you should be looking.
How much do you want to spend? Are you distracted by the features you will never use but bump the price into the realm of something out of your budget?
Make a list of everything you need from your phone — from app performance to memory, to the camera to resolution. Once you have your priorities set, as well as a budget in place, then it is time to go shopping.
If you aren’t sure, shopping for a phone can spin your head. But by considering all these factors at the outset, you can find something powerful, effective, and within your budget.
Are you interested in more advice and information about cell phones, carriers, and deals? Check out Navi for everything you need to know.
What Is An AMOLED Display | HP® Tech Takes
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Google Tensor G2: All the details on the Pixel 7's custom chipset | Android Police