Buying Guide: What To Look for When Finding a New Phone in 2023?

Here's a basic guide on what to look for when buying a new phone


8/11/20235 min read

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Finding a new phone can be an exciting but overwhelming task, given the multitude of options available in the market today. Whether you're upgrading from an older device or venturing into the world of smartphones for the first time, it's important to know what to look for when selecting your new smart companion. From the latest features to personal preferences, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your new phone meets your needs and enhances your digital experience. In this guide, we'll explore the essential aspects to keep in mind when finding a new phone, helping you make an informed decision and find the perfect device that aligns with your lifestyle and priorities. So, let's dive in and discover what to look for when embarking on your phone-hunting journey.

silver iPhone X floating over open palm
silver iPhone X floating over open palm

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When finding a new phone, there are several important factors to consider. Prices are pretty much diluted in the $800 to $1500 dollar range for good phones, with lower prices for the less premium (usually non-flagship) phones... Here are some key aspects to look for:

  • Latest On the Market: While having the latest phone can provide access to the newest features and technologies, it's not the only factor to consider. Prioritize the features that matter most to you rather than solely focusing on being the latest model.

  • Phone Style & Design: Consider the overall aesthetic appeal and form factor of the phone. Look for a design that suits your personal preferences and feels comfortable in your hand. Sometimes you might need to go to the store to check out the feel of the phone in your hand. It has happened where phones had a slippery feel in the hand (think iPhone 6 to iPhone 8). The form factor wasn’t necessarily the best.

  • Screen Quality & Refresh Rate: A high-quality display is crucial for an enjoyable user experience. Look for phones with vibrant colours, sharp resolution, and good viewing angles. A higher refresh rate (e.g., 90Hz or 120Hz) can provide smoother scrolling and improved responsiveness. However, sometimes a higher refresh rate might consume more battery or reduce the life of your screen. Also, always remember to protect your screen by purchasing a screen protector!

  • Phone Processor: The processor determines the phone's performance and speed. Look for a powerful processor that can handle your usage demands, such as gaming, multitasking, or running resource-intensive apps. Typically speaking most phone manufacturers provide new iterations of their processors with each new model. Apple is known for making its own dedicated chips (for phones think Apple A series chips). Their chips are known for the seamless flow of processes and power efficiency. Most other companies use Snapdragon chips (Google has its own in-house chip called the Tensor Chip). Samsung typically uses Exynos processors or Snapdragon chips. However, it has been rumoured that Samsung might be creating a new ARM processor in-house.

  • Camera Quality: If photography is important to you, consider the camera capabilities of the phone. Look for features like megapixel count, optical image stabilization, low-light performance, and advanced camera modes like wide viewing angles, zoom options, etc. Typically, phones as of 2023 have 40–50-megapixel cameras if not better.

  • Battery Capacity: A larger battery capacity generally means longer battery life. Consider your typical usage patterns and choose a phone with a battery that can comfortably last throughout the day. You want a battery capacity in the 3,000 to 5,000 mAh range. Also depending on the processor in the phone, more powerful ones might consume more power. Especially if they don’t have power efficiency designed into them. Always remember if the battery capacity isn’t what you have in mind, you can always buy a power bank.

  • Storage Capacity: Evaluate how much storage you'll need for apps, photos, videos, and other files. Look for phones that offer sufficient internal storage or have expandable storage options if needed. Typically speaking phones offer 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even have a whopping 1TB storage! Ideally, users should aim for a 128GB storage capacity. If the device can have expandable storage that is even better.

  • Operating System Compatibility: Determine whether you prefer iOS (iPhone) or Android (various brand iterations) and choose a phone that runs your preferred operating system. Consider the ecosystem, app availability, and user interface that aligns with your preferences.

  • Unique App Features: When choosing a new phone, it's worth considering the unique app features that can enhance your overall user experience. While many apps are available across different platforms on their stores, certain features may be exclusive to specific operating systems or device manufacturers. Here are some notable app features to look out for:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities: Some phones offer advanced AR features that allow you to overlay digital content in the real world through the camera. These features can enhance gaming experiences, provide interactive shopping experiences, or assist with navigation and exploration.

  • AI-Powered Voice Assistants: Voice assistants like Siri (iOS), Google Assistant (Android), or Bixby (Samsung) have become commonplace, but different devices may offer unique integrations and functionalities. Look for phones that provide seamless integration with voice assistants, allowing you to control your device, access information, and perform tasks through voice commands.

  • Multitasking And Split-Screen View: Certain phones offer enhanced multitasking capabilities, allowing you to use multiple apps simultaneously or view multiple windows in a split-screen mode. This feature can be especially useful for productivity, multitasking, and content consumption.

  • Customizable User Interfaces: Some Android phones offer extensive customization options for their user interfaces, allowing you to personalize the look and feel of your device. This includes features like custom themes, icon packs, and advanced settings for tweaking the user experience to your liking.

  • Fitness And Health Tracking Integration: Some phones come with pre-installed fitness and health tracking apps or have integration with popular fitness platforms. These features can help you monitor your physical activity, track workouts, and manage your overall well-being.

  • Collaboration And Productivity Tools: Certain phones offer built-in productivity features or collaboration tools, such as note-taking apps, document scanners, or seamless integration with cloud storage platforms. These tools can enhance your ability to work on the go and stay organized.

Remember to consider the app ecosystem and availability when assessing unique app features, as the availability of certain apps or features may vary based on the operating system or device you choose. It's also worth exploring the app stores to discover any exclusive or innovative apps that can add value to your smartphone experience.

What To Look For When Buying A New Phone

person holding iphone with black case
person holding iphone with black case
black smartphone
black smartphone

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All in all, remember that individual needs and preferences vary, so it's important to prioritize the features that matter most to you when selecting a new phone. Additionally, reading reviews, comparing different models, and considering budget constraints can also help in making an informed decision.

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