On a recent trip to a mall, I overheard someone say, “I wish I’d picked a phone with a better selfie camera.” The geek in me wanted to have a quick chat with the person but I controlled my emotions and moved on. My readers keep telling me about the bad choices they make when buying a phone. I always tell them that buying a smartphone can be a tedious process for many. The whole process of narrowing down to your phone of choice, finding deals, finding cashback, calculating EMIs, and more. can be a daunting task for some. However, if your priorities are set, the process will go like a breeze. Here are the five mistakes to avoid when buying a smartphone.
Don’t fall for the Android vs iPhone debate
This is a dilemma that many people face when they get confused between an Android smartphone and an iPhone. Both are platforms with different foundations. iPhone is about simplicity and privacy, while Android is about choice and control. A friend recently picked up a phone just because of its 128GB storage and fast charging support. When asked what made him choose a OnePlus phone, he replied, “I didn’t want to live in Apple’s ecosystem, that’s why I went with OnePlus.” The thing is, the freedom to choose form factors, customizable options, and different price points is something you only get with Android.
Know your requirements
Before buying a smartphone, just think about your needs. It is an absolute must and should not be ignored. List the features you want in a smartphone. I recently recommended the iPhone 13 Pro to someone who designs shoes and now wants to start a YouTube channel. A high-quality camera is a prerequisite for photo shoots or live streaming. Always ask yourself if the phone you end up buying adds value to your work or life or is just a piece to show off.
Consumers often pick up the wrong phone when their priorities are unclear. If I want to buy a phone for my dad, I might consider a Redmi 9A on a phone with a 120Hz refresh rate screen or multiple cameras. The goal here is to get a phone that supports WhatsApp and has a screen big enough to watch YouTube. And for that, you can buy any low-end or mid-range smartphone that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Look for the EXPERIENCE on the price of a phone
No matter what the brands say, it is the experience that ultimately decides whether the phone is worth buying or not. I recently heard a reader say he regretted paying 45,000 rupees for a phone that kept hanging up. Some pay well over a lakh for a phone. Others don’t. But there is no correlation between the happiness you get from using a phone that costs less than Rs 20,000 and phones that cost Rs 50,000. In other words, high-end phones do not necessarily satisfy everyone. You can get a phone for Rs 25,000 and have the best experience depending on your needs, the decision is up to you.
Not knowing the best time to buy a smartphone
Although brands release new smartphones throughout the year, there is a good time to buy them. Confused? Let me clarify. Apple, for example, is launching new iPhones in September. So it’s a bad time to buy a new iPhone between July and August, since new models are coming soon and existing models will either be discontinued or sold at a discount. However, if you want older iPhone models, Apple sells them at great discounts once the new iPhone hits the market. Year-end and holiday seasons are some of the best times when manufacturers and retailers offer big discounts. So be sure to choose the right time when buying a new smartphone, who knows you might get a pretty decent discount.
Don’t neglect the LONGEVITY of a smartphone
Software updates are a factor to keep in mind when buying a new smartphone. If you plan to keep your phone for 4-5 years, consider a phone or a brand that is committed to providing OS-level updates and monthly security patches for years. Until now, most Android device manufacturers have done a cumbersome job of delivering software updates to their devices. Except for a few, and most recently, Samsung is now promising four full years of security update support on its Galaxy smartphones. This is a positive move that will increase the longevity of Samsung phones. The same is not true for other Android manufacturers. Apple still offers the best update plan in the industry, with support for iOS 15 since iPhone 6S, a phone released in 2015. Therefore, choose the right brand compatible with software updates.