Buying A Smartphone? Here The 6 Key Factors To Consider

The first thing I would do before buying any product is to define it before looking at its features and the cost. Buying a Smartphone should take the same course to avoid confusing them with advanced feature phones. Briefly, every smartphone has an Operating System, Processor and a large display screen to enable it carry out advanced computing, connectivity, and multimedia tasks.

Now, this post aims at guiding you  on your journey to own the best phone for your needs. However, before we list the top rated tips, it is important to make certain thins clear.

For starters you are should be sure that you really need a smartphone. Buying this kind of a phone for sake of it may not be a wise economic move on your end. Be that as it may, the purchase of the smarter cellular is never difficult. Here is a list of top aspects you should look at to buy the right gadget.

1. Choose the right Operating System (OS)

As mentioned earlier, an operating system is needed to run the advanced applications and connectivity aspects of smartphones. So, you will have to choose between the popular mobile OS such as:

  • Android – Currently at version 4.4 (KitKat 4.4.) and owned by Google, Android is the most popular mobile OS. It is not only customizable and flexible but also has the largest app store. The fact that it allows the phone manufactures to tweak it further has made Android the OS of choice for most phone makers. For instance, Sony Xperia Z1 and Lg G2 both run on Android. It is also the OS in Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One.  
  • iOS – That apple’s iOS platform is the most intuitive is not up for debate. Though it is only used in iPhone (e.g. iPhone 5s), its iTunes has some of the best apps in the market. To enjoy the latest iOS 7, you need an iPhone 5 or later. 
  • Windows Phone – Windows OS offers a superior interface. Its benefits are not just limited to Office and Outlook integration; you have games and thousands of apps to download. This platform also offers the same customization you could experience with Android OS. Some popular smartphones running on Windows Phone 8.1 include Nokia Lumia Icon, Huawei W1, Samsung ATIV S Neo and Windows Phone 8XT by HTC.   
  • Blackberry OS – Like the iOS, Blackberry OS is limited to Blackberry phones. Now, people do not love this Operating System for no reason; it has unmatched connectivity and email support. In fact, the on screen or physical keyboard is tailored to make typing on phones enjoyable. Blackberry Z30 phone runs on version 10.2 (the latest) and is very fast. 
  • Firefox OS – This could go as the new kid on the block and as an alternative to the big four. While Firefox OS is not going to give you anything closer to Android let alone iOS, it is the best choice if you are on low budget. LG and ZTE have already released Firefox phones (i.e. ZTE Open and LG Fireweb)

2. Check the specifications

Before you buy a smartphone, you should check on the following specs:


An Android or Windows phone using the latest Snapdragon 805  chip should give you the speed and reliability needed. On the other hand, the A7 chip from Apple will give you the best iPhone experience. One of the fastest processors is 4 cores at speeds of 2.3GHz found in Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xpereia Z2 and LG Nexus 5


The size of RAM affects the overall performance of a smartphone; so, you need to look for phones with memories not below 1GB. For the best experience (which is also costly), buy phones with a RAM of 3GB like the Galaxy Note 3.


An internal storage of not less than 16GB is considered fine, more so if it has 50GB cloud storage to complement. If you have the money, though, you should pick the 64GB of internal memory found in iPhone 5s and other high-end smartphones.


Decide on the type of display as well as size. Now, most smartphones have a touchscreens and or QWERTY keyboard. You therefore need to choose the type of touch technology that will suit you. For instance, there are Resistive and Capacitive screen. The former is less sensitive and stylus dependent while the later is more receptive.


If you are interested in cheaper phones then prepare to meet Resistive touch technology. Otherwise, get the best experience with capacitive touchscreen. You also have lots display types to choose from:

  • TFT LCD (Thin Film Transistor) – Common in feature phones and some smartphones.  Compared to LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) they have better resolutions. Sadly, TFT screens have poor visibility and narrow viewing angles against direct sunlight. This option is only good if you are looking for cheap phones. It is used in phones like HTC Desire C. 
  • IPS LCD (In-Place Switching LCD) – Also known as Retina Display, this display is more advanced than TFT LCD. So, you should expect some of the sharpest and brilliant display not to mention longer battery life. The backlit LED display is costlier. iPhone 4 is an example of a phone using IPS LCD display. 
  • OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) – Is a relatively new technology that focuses on better color reproduction and brighter display. The display is superior to TFT or LCD in terms of responsiveness, viewing angles, and (as mentioned before) color reproduction. The best example in this case is Samsung Galaxy Round.  
  • AMOLED (Active –matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) – May go as an update of the OLED technology to achieve better display. AMOLED is the common screen technology in most high-end phones. Obviously, it gives better display but more expensive. An example of an AMOLED phone would be Nokia Lumia Icon
  • Super AMOLED – This is mostly used by Samsung in their latest flagship phones like Samsung S5. The technology goal is to support High Definition display using the thinnest screen in the market. It s image quality is better than the types discussed so far. However, this high quality also means you have to dig deeper into your pocket.

3. Consider the Camera

Camera should not just be about the megapixels abut quality and resolution. Most smartphone camera features are dependent on the Operating systems. For instance:

  • Windows phone will give you some of the best photography experience and higher mega pixel. In fact, Nokia Lumia 1020 boast of a whooping 42MP rear camera with filter effects, panorama modes with ability to record Full HD videos
  • Android phones offer the widest variety. Not only can you take 360-degree panorama photos but also record 4K videos using phones like Acer Liquid S2. Dual shot modes and better sensors can be found within the android family too. In fact, phones like Sony Xperia Z1 has up to 20.7 megapixel camera with Full HD capabilities. 
  • If you are just interested in normal photography with standard photo-editing abilities then Blackberry phones are what you need. The latest release like Blackberry Z30 has stable rear and frontal camera plus the amazing ‘Time Shift’ feature (i.e. ability to take many photos with the shortest time possible).
  • If you want the best camera for low light photography then Apple’s iPhone 5s is your best bet. In fact, the camera is stable and gives quality irrespective of the lighting. 

4. Choose the longest battery life.

Smartphones can only be fun if they have stable power supply. You should go for phones with proven longer battery life, therefore. I would suggest LG G2 for the longest battery life. Otherwise, you should ask friends for personal experience with the phone(s) you intend to buy.

5. Choose wisely the carrier and upgrade plan

Most phones are on contract i.e. you pay a monthly fee over an agreed period. Unlocked versions are therefore more expensive. So, unless you are buying an unlocked smartphone, pick a carrier that offers the most flexible plan and quality network. I would suggest you go for the 4G LTE Network to enjoy faster connectivity and internet browsing. 

Was this post guide helpful? It is my believe that it was. Now, you can walk into any shop and buy a phone of your choice. Let me know what your thoughts are via the comment box. 

Loved the post? Share it
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Gadgets Kenya