With the continuous ongoing evolution of technology, smartphones have developed and reached such a high it is now difficult to imagine what’s next.Now as the number of smartphones releasing per year is increasing every year it is very difficult for a buyer to decide which one to buy.
Price is also a big factor and the highest price of a flagship is way beyond reach of a normal user.But with the high end budget increasing the good thing that has happened is the number of options have increased in the mid-range or budget sections.
Human psychology almost forces an average person to crave for the unattainable.So a buyer who cannot afford a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra searches for a budget phone with as much top end specs.Here lies the purpose of this post.You may have watched some YouTube videos highlighting how smartphone companies are fooling you by advertising attractive specs that are unnecessary or they are putting things in a different way so that you are getting fooled.
I personally agree that the companies are advertising things in such ways that you are getting bamboozled.But I disagree to the use of the word”fooling”.If you were a seller your target will be selling and it is upon the buyer to judge the product before buying.That is the case of modern day smartphones.If you have budget constraints you need to decide what essentials you are looking for in a phone.
I will try to point out what features or specifications are absolutely necessary and which ones are luxuries that you can compromise with for the sake of price.
Inevitably high end phones will have glass backs protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and an aluminium frame.This is good but is not a necessity though I cannot put it in luxury section also.But plastic built phones have less chance of getting shattered on falling from a height.The necessity is a Corning Gorilla Glass protected front i.e the display.
Now I come to luxury in this section and that is IP rating for water and dust resistance.IP certification needs a price and I believe nobody willingly drops their phone in water.Modern day phones often advertise splash resistance or water repellant which actually means the phone can handle an accidental spill of water which is a necessity.
Amoled vs LCD has been a topic of debate for many years and Amoled has always been the hands down winner due to the true vivid colours an Amoled display offers.But Amoled is costlier and most low budget phones still house IPS LCD displays and they are more than good enough.So Amoled can be treated as a luxury but a luxury which doesn’t increase the price by a lot.
The luxury in this section is the high refresh rate displays.In the last year or so 90Hz and 120Hz displays have increased.Realme 6 offers a 90Hz display at the Rs.15000 mark but remember it houses a LCD display.It makes your swiping, touching experience better but 60Hz which is the default rate is enough.So a 90 or 120 or 144Hz Amoled display is a luxury.
Another luxury is QHD(2560×1440) resolution.FHD(1080×2400) is more than good enough.Here I should mention that gaming is better with high resolution but then again most games even PUB G doesn’t support such high resolutions.
Two features which Samsung brought into light with their flagships are curved edged displays and an always on display.Obviously when you have to curve the display panel over the edges it has a cost.That is the reason you generally find them in high end phones nowadays while many including Samsung are coming back to the flat screen to get rid of the accidental touches.
Always on display is a software matter but still curved displays and always on are luxuries you can compromise.
RAM AND STORAGE
Nowadays with Android versions growing in size RAM has to be big in size with a minimum of 4GB.6GB is very good and the more you move upwards from 8GB is a luxury.4GB is an absolute necessity nowadays.Moreover RAM management is a big issue and in that aspect premium phones are better I have to confess.
Apple phones can do with whatever RAM they provide because they have a complete control over their software and hardware and they can manage RAM accordingly.
For similar reasons mentioned above 64 GB onboard storage is a must.Most smartphones are coming with no option of expandable storage and so more the onboard storage more it is better.But 128GB onwards the price also jumps up and hence you have to decide on a particular variant.
This is a very tough subject to comment on.Different users have different purposes of buying a phone.Gamers should obviously go for the latest and best processors available to get a lag free smooth experience while playing the high graphics games.At this moment Apple’s A13 bionic chipset is the best but the price of an Apple iPhone makes it a luxury.
Android supported smartphones have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 as the best one and the recently launched Asus ROG Phone 3 a gaming phone houses the Snapdragon 865+. But all phones with this SoC are costly.So a gamer can opt for phones with previous years flagship processor to get the best experience at a lower price.
Processor also gives the option of 5G connectivity and the Snapdragon 865 has it.If you don’t want to invest more but get a phone with 5G enabled then you can look for phones with Snapdragon 765G for example the OnePlus Nord or the Realme X50 Pro 5G.
I should mention that 5G phones at this moment is not a necessity as 5G is far off from coming soon to the world scenario.
The commonest mistake most users do is buying a phone for its bigger megapixel camera.Please listen high megapixel counts doesn’t mean good camera quality.The 12MP camera of iPhone 11 series and even the iPhone SE is better than most of the mobile cameras available in the market.
Image processing which largely depends on software and processors is a big factor and hence good photos are a necessity not high megapixel cameras.
Another aspect which the companies are resolving to nowadays is the number of cameras in a phone.Quad camera module has become a common factor and some phones even come with dual selfie shooters.More often than not you will find the last two cameras of a quad camera set-up to be a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor which to put it bluntly are worse cameras.You absolutely don’t need them.
OnePlus8 a flagship phone captures good portraits and doesn’t have a depth sensor.The same phone has a macro sensor.But if you crop into an image after shooting with the main camera close to the object it is better than the image from the dedicated macro sensor.The following images will clarify my point.Just zoom in on the first image.
So macro and depth sensors are not a necessity but they are not luxuries as well because they don’t make a phone expensive.What I am trying to say is that if a phone doesn’t feature those sensors doesn’t imply that the phone is not good.
Luxury is 8K videos.Inevitably the top flagships not all support 8K and actually you don’t need it.4K is superb.
Again as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra showed that 100X zoom is possible digitally but it remains a luxury.You don’t need to buy a 1500$ phone for 108MP camera and 100X zoom.
Fingerprint sensor is a necessity nowadays for your biometric way of unlocking your phone.It can be rear mounted, side mounted,under display optical and the recently included under display ultrasonic.The first two methods can be termed as necessity but the latter are luxuries as they are more often than not unavailable in low budget smartphones.
Face unlock with front cameras is also a good option but 3D face unlock found in iphones are a luxury though a very secure way of unlocking your phone.
The more the better.Most of us have become addicted to our smartphones and with more usage we need more battery and fast charging.So a minimum of 4000mAH is a necessity.Luxury is wireless charging.You don’t need a wireless charger unless you are in a profession where the phone is in use every moment and you don’t have time to plug it in.
Premium smartphones offer you premium features no doubt but at the expense of high price.If you don’t have a budget constraint you should always buy a flagship device for the best experience.But for daily use or if budget is an issue go for phones which satisfy your needs and compromises on the luxuries.
Remember one thing though some luxuries are required just to give you the satisfaction of buying a new phone.As I said earlier options in the budget section has increased and you have to choose wisely.I personally look into the processor and the camera quality first.
Anyways do you think of anything else in this regard.Please let me know in comments.