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Don't Know Which Mobile Phone to Buy: How to Choose a Smartphone (Must have a physical keyboard)

The aim of this guide is to help you decide which (smart-)phone is the best for you, based on your needs and budget.

Here are some basic points you should know when buying a smartphone: 

1) Operating system (OS) - The user interface which allows common users to use the hardware components (camera, speakers, etc.). The most common operating systems which run on smartphones are:

  • Android - runs on the majority of smartphones (Sony, Samsung, LG, Huawei, etc.). The latest version of this operating system is Android OS v.6 Marshmallow (as of Aug 2016). Some PROs and CONs using Android as operating system:

    PROs: 
    - A huge catalogue of applications
    - Home-screen widgets
    - Open-source

    CONs: 
    - Back-up options are limited to specific user data
    - No quality control of the applications
  • iOS - runs only on iPhones, iPads and iPods. Its latest version is iOS v.9.3 (as of Aug 2016)

    PROs:
    - Full back-up service
    - Frequent system updates
    - Greater control of notifications and data usage
    - Easier to uninstall applications
    - Mostly high-quality apps are offered in App store

    CONs:
    -
    No home-screen widgets
    - Many limitations
     
  • Windows Phone OS - used by Nokia and Microsoft smartphones. The latest version of this smartphone is Windows Mobile 10 (as of Aug 2016)
  • BlackBerry OS - used only on Blackberry smartphones. The latest version of Blackberry OS is v10.3 (as of Aug 2016)

Note that not all devices can be upgraded to the latest OS version. It's mentioned in the solutions listed below. 

2) CPU (Central Processing Unit, or Processor, or the "brain" of a smartphone) - The main component of a smartphone which is a crucial factor for phone speed (how quickly applications open etc.).

There are several types of processors used in smartphones:

  • Single-Core - It has only one independent microprocessor
  • Dual-Core  - A multi-core processor with two independent microprocessors
  • Quad-Core  - A multi-core processor with four independent microprocessors
  • Hexa-Core - A multi-core processor with six independent microprocessors
  • Octa-Core - A multi-core processor with eight independent microprocessors

Note: You should treat the smartphone as a whole, as unity of all the components in it. It doesn't mean that a device which has an Octa-Core processor is faster than a device which has a Quad-Core processor. For instance, iPhone 6s has a Dual-Core processor, but it doesn't lag as much as some Octa-Core-processor smartphones.

The above-mentioned note also applies to camera quality. It doesn't mean that a 21 megapixel camera will produce higher-quality images than an 8 megapixel one (take iPhones for example. iPhone 6s has a 12 MP camera and produces better images than smartphones with 21 megapixel camera).

3) RAM (Random Access Memory) - The more RAM the more applications you can run in parallel.  Usually, the amount of RAM in smartphones varies from 1 GB to 4 GB.

4) Storage size - The space you have to store your pictures, music, videos or other documents. The amount of free memory on smartphones varies from 4 GB - 128 GB of internal memory, plus the ability to add a microSD card (up to 256 GB)

Select specifications which apply:

Click on this if you're not willing to pay more than $100 on your mobile

Click on this if you only want to spend a max. of $200 on your mobile

Click on this if you only want to spend a max. of $300 on your mobile

Click on this if you only want to spend a max. of $500 on your mobile

Click on this if you don't want to spend more than $1,000 on your mobile

Click on this if you're willing to pay more than $1,000 on your mobile.

Click on this if you want a smartphone (with more functions than a calls-and-SMS-only phone)

Click on this if you only need the most basic functions in a phone: making calls and sending SMS

Click on this if you want your mobile to have a certain size (be it big or small)

Click on this if you already know from which manufacturer (Apple, LG, Windows etc.) your mobile should be.

Click on this if you want a (smart-)phone with a removable (which you can easily remove and replace yourself), or a non-removable (which can be removed and replaced in repair shops only) battery.

Click on this if you have a preferred operating system (e.g. iOS, Android, or Windows) which might be the case if you already use this operating system and don't want to switch to a different one.

Click on this if you want a mobile device with a secondary camera.

Click on this if you want to add extra memory (a microSD card) to your mobile device

Click on this if you want a device with a scratch−resistant screen, i.e. a device which has a "Corning Gorilla Glass" protection.

Click on this if you want your new mobile to have a stylish design

Click on this if long battery life is very important to you

Click on this if you want to additionally protect your smartphone and unlock it only with your fingerprint.

Click on this if you want to buy a waterproof mobile device (i.e. a device which can be used under water for a certain period of time)

Click on this if it's important to you that your mobile device has a physical keyboard, i.e. not only a "virtual keyboard" on the screen

Click on this if you have specific technical requirements, e.g. processor speed, min. megapixels for camera etc.

Click on this if you want a phone running on the Android operating system.

Click on this if if want a mobile device which works with a nano SIM card (it looks like this http://goo.gl/0DOq4e)

Click on this if you want your mobile (camera) to have at least 4 Megapixels. Read this intro to megapixels http://goo.gl/dbNK9r, however be aware that a high number of megapixels doesn't guarantee a high picture quality, as you can read here: http://goo.gl/PUZ8QV

Click on this if you want a mobile device which works with a micro SIM card (it looks like this http://goo.gl/v8rUoz).

Click on this if you're fine if your new mobile has a camera with less than 4 Megapixels. Read this intro to megapixels http://goo.gl/dbNK9r, however be aware that a high number of megapixels doesn't guarantee a high picture quality, as you can read here: http://goo.gl/PUZ8QV

Click on this if want a mobile device which works with a standard/mini SIM card (it looks like this https://goo.gl/nrkomV)

Click on this if you want your mobile (camera) to have at least 6 Megapixels. Read this intro to megapixels http://goo.gl/dbNK9r, however be aware that a high number of megapixels doesn't guarantee a high picture quality, as you can read here: http://goo.gl/PUZ8QV

Click on this if you want a phone running on the Windows phone operating system.

Click on this if want the diagonal of your mobile screen to be larger than 5.3 inches. See on http://goo.gl/3jNErw how much that is.

Click on this if you want a phone running on the iOS operating system.

Click on this if want the diagonal of your mobile screen to be between 4.65 and less than 5.3 inches. See on http://goo.gl/3jNErw how much that is.

Click on this if you want your mobile (camera) to have at least 8 Megapixels. Read this intro to megapixels http://goo.gl/dbNK9r, however be aware that a high number of megapixels doesn't guarantee a high picture quality, as you can read here: http://goo.gl/PUZ8QV

Click on this if you want your mobile (camera) to have at least 12 Megapixels. Read this intro to megapixels http://goo.gl/dbNK9r, however be aware that a high number of megapixels doesn't guarantee a high picture quality, as you can read here: http://goo.gl/PUZ8QV

Click on this if you want a battery which would last at least 70 hours if you do one hour of calls, one hour of video playback and one hour of web browsing daily.

Click on this if you want the diagonal of your mobile screen to be between 3.5 and less than 4.3 inches. See on http://goo.gl/3jNErw how much that is.

Click on this if you're fine with a phone which only supports the second generation of wireless telephone technology

Click on this if you want a battery which would last at least 100 hours if you do one hour of calls, one hour of video playback and one hour of web browsing daily.

Click on this if you don't want the diagonal of your mobile screen exceed 3.5 inches. See on http://goo.gl/3jNErw how much that is.

Click on this if want the diagonal of your mobile screen to be between 4.3 and less than 4.65 inches. See on http://goo.gl/3jNErw how much that is.

Click on this if you want a phone that supports the third generation of wireless telephone technology

Click on this if you want a phone that supports the fourth generation of wireless telephone technology.

Click on this if it's important to you that the phone has a certain storage size so that you can save many pictures/music/video on your mobile

Click on this if you want your phone to have at least 8 gigabytes of storage space

Click on this if you want your phone to have at least 16 gigabytes of storage space

Click on this if you want your phone to have at least 32 gigabytes of storage space

Click on this if you want your phone to have at least 64 gigabytes of storage space

Click on this if you want a battery which would last at least 30 hours if you do one hour of calls, one hour of video playback and one hour of web browsing daily.

Click on this if you want a battery which would last at least 50 hours, if you do one hour of calls, one hour of video playback and one hour of web browsing daily.

Click on this if you want a smartphone which has a Dual core, Quad core, Hexa Core or Octa core processor.

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