For many amongst us, buying a smartphone requires extensive preparations right from building up the budgets to finalising the phone based on our requirements. But the process is not that easy. Well, saving enough for buying may not be difficult but finalising a phone becomes tedious, especially if you were not satisfied with your previous phone. Sometimes the need to buy a new phone may come up suddenly in cases like phone stolen/damaged beyond repairs and extensive research may not be possible. Or simply you may not be a person who is aware of the technicality and always fall for the marketing gimmicks. Whatever be the case, a short guide goes a long way in helping you decide which phone my be the best for you. So here’s one.
There are number of points which need to be considered while buying a phone but the primary one are just three. Ask yourself, what’s your budget, what’s your usage, and how long you want to be married to it.
So what’s your budget? The answer to this question is not a simple one as it should be based on the other two questions to follow ie. your usage pattern and how long you want to stick with it. But if you are on a fixed tight budget, there’s no other way to it. Lets take those question first.
If you are a first time mobile buyer then it wont be easy for you to gauge your usage pattern. But the usage patterns observed among regular users of a mobile phone can be taken as a benchmark. These usage patterns can be broadly classified in to four:
Light Usage Phone calls and some amount of music/movies, light gaming, accessing social network/emails, basic photography etc.
Moderate usage Phone calls plus some midrange games, music/movies, social networking, moderate amount of photography and selfies(self photograph taken from front camera) etc.
Heavy Usage Phone calls, Heavy gaming, high end photography, office work, movies/music, multitasking etc.
Extreme Usage Enthusiasts who swear by numbers and tech specs and wouldn’t care if the phone performs as good as its seen on spec sheet(get outta here…you already know your phone . There’s nothing much I can help you with)
Android Phones, iPhones and windows based phones are suitable for all these usage patterns but iPhones a re insanely priced and windows phones have rocky past to consider them as established phones.
Along with these considerations you should also consider the battery life. If your life depends on this phone, ensure that you buy a phone with good battery life which can take you through the day while you perform your defined activities. But its very important to find and fit yourself in to one of these broad classification else after you buy the phone you would have bought a 25,000 rupee phone for send whatsapp messages or you would have bought a 5000 rupee phone and would be trying to play urban legend between skipped frames while a very hot device is trying to scald you palms.
Ideally, the phones as classified above fall in the following price range:
Light Usage Up to 8000 Rupees +/- 1000 rupees(A phone with 4.5 to 5” screen should suffice)
Moderate usage between 8000 –17000 rupees(A phone with 5” screen is suitable, may be extended up to 5.5”.)
Heavy Usage 18000- roughly around 30000 rupees.(recommended 5.5” but may even settle for 5” or 5.2” depending on personal preferences)
Extreme Usage lots of gimmicky features and insanely priced at around 40000 – 80000 rupees and above that in some cases. One batch of say 10000 phones may value equal to the economy of some poor country.
How long will you stick to this one:
If trying out new phones every year is in your blood then you should restrict yourself to light or moderate usage phones. If you plan to play high end games on different phones each year, make me your tech advisor with a fixed fee recommendations. That way I too earn some. If you plan to use you phone for a time period of more than 2 years, try to up you budget to be placed in heavy usage category.
There are lots and lots of manufacturers selling phones in India and its easy to be lost in the maze searching for the right on. Rule of thumb, go for a name you have heard before since atleast one year. Also, now that we are almost facing the 4G revolution, keep this criterion as prime.
Of the above lot, Moto E LTE falls in the maximum value for money catagory.
Moto G 2015 should give you the maximum value for money. Also we can expect updated for atleast next two iterations of Andriod(Marshmellow and N***?). Zenfone selfie is for selfie addicts and lenovo K3 note should give you a note experience below 10,000 rupees. The Mi pair packs the punch but do not expect support in terms of updates.
Heavy Usage 18000- roughly around 30000 rupees. If you got that much to spend, you may start with Moto X Play at the lowest price and upward to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in the higher range. This is the range where iPhone starts to beacon you. If you feel that you can live with the low customisation index of the iphone, you can give it a try. Be sure you will get updates for atleast couple of years if you go for iPhone or above
Extreme Usage insanely priced at around 40000 – 80000 rupees and above that in some cases.
Here’s a table to simplify matters:
Price Bracket in Indian Rupees
||Phone calls and some amount of music/movies, light gaming, accessing social network/emails, basic photography etc
||up to 8000
Huawei Honor Holly
|Forget it. Moto E might get an upgrade but that’s highly unlikely.
||Phone calls plus some midrange games, music/movies, social networking, moderate amount of photography and selfies(self photograph taken from front camera) etc.
||8000 to 18000
||Moto G 2015
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser
Asus Zenfone Selfie
Lenovo K3 Note
|Expect atleast one upgrade for all phones. Expect 2 upgrades for Moto G 2015
||Phone calls, Heavy gaming, high end photography, office work, movies/music, multitasking etc.
||18000 to 30000
||Moto X Play
Moto X Style
Asus Zenfone 2
Samsung Note 3
|Sure upgrades up to 2 iterations unless there is an inherent problem in the phone.
Moto X will get the earliest upgrades, followed by OnePlus
||Out of the world specs.
||Samsung Note 4 & Egde
Samsung Galaxy S5
iPhone 6 & 6s
|They might as well send someone to your home to update your phone
This simplified table should be sufficient to help you out with your selection. Its always best to go for the previous generation flagship in case it fits your budget as you can get decent specification at lower price. Eg. You can get Moto G2
If you have any other doubts or any more recommendations required, do mention in comments or use the “Your Tech Advisor” tab above or click here to contact me.