The Smart phone Buying Guide

Flagship phones today are what Italian sports cars and luxury sedans were to the 60’s. A beauty you could own. They screamed theirs and their owner’s personality even when tucked neatly in someone’s driveway. It was all very expressive of style and taste, whilst serving a purpose. It was strictly the opposite of what you would call utilitarians.

Though it made the kids in the street drool, the adults, however, faced some harsh truths that came with owning such a beast. The price, the implication of it being impractical (at times) and again, the price. That’s probably why many of those who could even afford something so radical instead ended up merely putting up a poster on the wall rather than buying the car itself. They kept their dreams of owning one of these for the day the won the lotto. A sensible choice, I must say.

This is where you come in. The “sensible” consumer. Sure the shiny new note 8 and iPhone 8/10 is the way to go when you have that sort of money burning a hole in your pocket, after all, we’re not talking about something as significant as a car anymore, so such a leap is at the very least, plausible. But here at MyGerrys we understand that not everyone wants to set aside as large a budget as what one of the cellphones above would cost. For something that you might drop, break, or lose, it is perceivable that many consumers don’t want to cough up exuberantly large amounts each year to satisfy their smartphone needs.
There are customers in every price bracket, and we’ve noticed that most vendors offer little to no help to those that don’t want to choose to go the flagship route. With the help of this article, we hope to change that.

At times customers looking to make a purchase are under the impression that anything other than the latest and greatest of what the big brand companies have to offer is going to be an unworthy purchase. We’re here to justify it’s not. Value, the bang-for-buck factor at play with some of the mid-tier smartphones has even the most devout tech-heads questioning whether the higher end models can even begin to justify their asking price.
As the interval between models shrinks, the technology from the previous generation of smartphones becomes more affordable and more likely to trickle down to the mid-tier range. This can happen with camera sensors, display panels, processors, and at times even the build materials. Which is what many companies exploit to offer their customers a more premium offering at lower prices.

However, the mid-tier range isn’t completely dependent on this strategy. Many smartphone manufacturers opt to build a more reasonable spec’d handset from the ground up. Which is something that works flawlessly with reasonably demanding day to day usage one could expect from it!

If you don’t wish to fall victim to the top of the line offerings, you could try to look at the matter from a different perspective. Instead of being offered two standard flavors of ice-cream, Vanilla and Chocolate,
which would be your iPhones and your Galaxy’s, you’re being given the opportunity to venture beyond and taste whatever you like.
– Maybe you want some Tutti-Frutti with marshmallows swirling with bits of nougats? It’s your choice to make. This is where the vast number of options available to purchase become less overwhelming and more fun. Go nuts.
You should know that….

Know what you’re craving for. Everyone’s needs vary drastically. The feature of emphasis is for you to hunt down, emphasize and cross check with the product you’re getting. Some folks favor camera quality, some fixate on battery life, and many dwell on the raw processing oomph that they can whirl up within.

Once you have this identified, keep it at the top of your list. Now it’s time to hunt down the second most desired must-have. And then the third, and then the fourth. It’s best to have some clarity regarding what you want your smartphone to be able to accomplish, ranging from the most important spec to the least. Doing so will determine if yours is a double scoop of strawberry sorbet or a nutty peanut butter caramel cone. No demand is bizarre, it’s your money on the line and you’re entitled to receive something close to, if not exactly what you crave.

You should also…

Be reasonable with your demands. More so, be realistic. You can’t have galaxy s8 specs for a fraction of the cost. In a few years from the initial launch of said specs? Maybe. But this is where things get interesting. At times people over-estimate their requirements, which pushes them to over-spend on their smartphone of choice. And all of that is before the manufacturers’ bombardment of marketing and advertising comes in. After that, you end up almost convinced that you absolutely need a 21-megapixel camera, with 8 gigs of ram, 512 gigabytes of storage, and a genie embedded within. You don’t. Trust us, most of us don’t.

Most of us just want something that works smoothly day to day and can run a plethora of the social apps that keep us connected to our friends and family, with a little bit of casual photography and gaming here and there. Believe it or not, most of your applications can’t, won’t and don’t utilize the full potential of processing power vested in cellphones these days. Unless you’re a film-maker editing sequences in Adobe Premiere on the fly for some reason.

This post is more aimed towards the regular folk. The masses. The people that can be considered the majority. Just in case someone starts to complain that 2gb Ram is incapable of shuffling about FL-Studio audio sequences. There’s always one, sigh.

A few pointers on each important component/spec.

Camera.The Smart phone Buying Guide

 

Rule of thumb time; Camera lenses universally depend on a little-known thing called the F-stop.
The lower the number, the more amount of light that passes through to the sensor, which in turn results in better low-light performance. If photos are your thing, this is definitely something to look out for.

In videos, noting how many FPS (Frames per second) a camera can record video is something to lend your attention towards. 30 fps is fine, as the most video is usually calibrated closer to our eye’s native perception of fps (which would be 24/25) but 60 is the goal for that buttery smooth camcorder effect.
Any more than that is largely used for slow motion, which isn’t something that we perceive to be on everyone’s checklist of phone-hunting. Once again, look for what you need, not what’s possible these days. A feature you paid for and did not utilize is a waste. And that’s not what sensible consumers do. Or do you?

And then there’s resolution. Most current smartphones offer 720-1080 resolutions. It probably goes without saying that the higher the resolution, the crispier the image captured. Some smartphones may even go beyond the norm of yesteryears and offer up 4k video recording, but you really shouldn’t be concerning yourself with that unless you have a peripheral to view 4k content on.

Higher megapixels is probably as effective as the “.99” idea of marketers and advertisers alike. Trust us when we tell you, more megapixels do not mean better image quality. A 12-megapixel camera with a better sensor (the component responsible for forming the image) will outperform a sensor with twice as many megapixels in sheer quality. Because at some point, the perceivable difference between megapixels lessens for the naked eye. Unless you crop in or zoom into the photos a lot, don’t really read too much into the m-pix count. Anything above 8 should be nice enough for most to enjoy.

– Ever wonder why Samsung and iPhones didn’t cross the 12-megapixel barrier year after year? This is probably why.

Those that did, Sony for example with their line of Xperia smartphones, can’t seem to be able to compete with the performance of these “lesser” cameras even whilst boasting almost twice the megapixels. Smartphones are not dedicated picture processing devices and don’t share enough power to take doctor each pixel as well as modern-day DSLR’s and Mirrorless cameras can. So you see why checking reviews and general photo quality on the internet is your best bet, rather than concerning yourself with the number of things.

Materials.

The Smart phone Buying GuideMaterials and form factor is something we think customers should rank higher up in their wants checklist when shopping for their new smartphone to be. A metal with scratch-resistant glass approach is the norm these days and it’s something you shouldn’t be missing out on. It feels significantly more premium than phones with plastic housings, and for a handheld device that you use more than any other gadgetry daily, it’s important that it “feels” nice above all else. Almost every manufacturer has a phone in the middling price bracket that comes with some iteration of protected glass and metal chassis. Pick the size that suits you the most, and roll with it. A fair bit of warning though, once you have adhered to the feel of metal and oleophobic glass, it is difficult to back-track from there.

Battery

The Smart phone Buying GuideEvery piece of tech you own has a battery that is flat, going flat, or going to go flat in a little bit. It becomes nagging. Making a selection with a beefier offering in this department is our most recommended suggestion yet. How do you gauge that you ask?

Worry not. It’s pretty straightforward.
Batteries are rated in mAh’s. The larger the rating, the more juice it can hold per charge.
But at times these figures are meaningless. A well-optimized smartphone battery with under 3k mAh at its disposal is going to end up holding up its own better than a smartphone with poorly optimized 4k mAh listed as its golden feature.

Many review sites will offer an Endurance rating determining how long a phone can make phone calls for, keep its screen on, or browse the web for before it shuts down. Taking a peek at those ratings and comparing It to other shortlisted smartphones to buy is recommended. This will aid in what you can expect from your shiny new smartphone.

ScreensThe Smart phone Buying Guide

These are usually rated in either resolution or PPI (Pixel per inch) as with most ratings, the higher the number the better the clarity. But it’s important to keep in mind that one of the most successful smartphone makers of the world, Apple, stuck with the 1080p resolution for the longest time as lesser pixel count accounts for the lesser strain on the processing components of the smartphone, which automatically translates to better battery endurance.

Rest assured, a 1080p 400+ PPI display is nothing to scoff at. On anything less than 5.5 inches, it is perfectly sharp and satisfactory. Mid-tier smartphone hunters shouldn’t be hunting for anything more than this, at least in the price bracket of 30k and below.

Storage

The Smart phone Buying GuideLet us make this woefully clear: 16gb smartphones are not for you if you use your smartphone for anything other than a few social applications. Most new adapters in the market take the consideration of this spec a little too lightly. The argument they make isn’t flawed, that they have (usually) a micro SD card slot for expansion. True, but it isn’t all that simple. Most applications use a split between your internal and external memory to share the load. In our experience, it’s usually a ruckus and a bad experience all in all. Even with experienced Android users, migrating data from one place to the other can be a pain, and…and…and…it just doesn’t cut it in 2017. We’re technologically beyond that. And we’d recommend everyone to steer clear of such offerings if they plan on enjoying their smartphone experience even a little bit.

 

Processing powerThe Smart phone Buying Guide

Another tool at the hands of big budget companies and small ones like to make you think more is actually better. A hex-quadruple-mega-xyz-core processor isn’t needed. Not by you, the sensible consumer. Not at all. Day to day tasks run perfectly fine on a reputable quad-core offering or above from a decent manufacturer ie: QUALCOMM, MediaTek, or Kirin (Huawei)
Each offers a particular series depending on the price bracket of the smartphone you’re opting for, and most, if not all do a decent job of managing your multitasking and media hogging activities on the daily.

The first and last in the three names stated above would be our picks if it came down to preference, as their production processes have been refined greatly over the years, gaining them sizable prestige in benchmark test performance and efficiency of battery usage.

If we had to identify a sweet spot at this price (Rs. 18000-30000) we’d most definitely recommend anything from the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 series. A perfect balance of performance vs optimization in our books.

As far as Ram goes, 2 to 3 gigabytes of it is enough. Whilst 1.5 is the least suggestable amount of it to be had. It all depends on the end-user, but we find that in most cases, 3 gigabytes keeps you flying above, hurdles, and inconsistencies across the user experience spectrum.

Smartphone achievements are really pushing the envelope these days. Things are getting cutting-edge, literally, with the introduction of bezel-less displays and such (pun-intended) but trust us to guide you not to play into the hype. In a year’s time, all of it will become the norm, and you can enjoy it then when you don’t have to pay the premium for the latest and the greatest. (Lg’s already offering a low-spec smartphone with the same bezels as the g6 abroad)

In our experience, as the honeymoon phase of the smartphone simmers down, it all feels a bit gimmicky. What ends up really mattering is day-to-day performance, battery endurance, and general likeability. All three of these birds can be hit with one stone. if you make the right choice if you pick the flavor that suits you the most. Not to mention at half the price of flagship offerings.

We at Mygerrys welcome you to an era of a better-informed customer. We welcome you to the world of better decision-making.
Who said sense and style can never meet? When what we’ve done is met you, here.

Honorable Mentions ;

A particular manufacturer on the Hush and Hush of vendors and retailers alike whilst simultaneously making a big splash is Xiaomi. Particularly, the Xiaomi Note 4. Sales of this smartphone vouch for themselves, surpassing 5 million units sold in India alone, all well-within 45 days of initial local launch.

For an up-and-coming manufacturer that’s quite a benchmark, as we’ve seldom seen any newcomer take the world by such storm. We have a couple of these in-house, and our experience with them has earned them a special mention in this post. We face no hesitance urging you to pick one up today. It begs to be deemed one of the most balanced handsets spec-wise.

– A little fact; Google, owners, and flourishers of Android were so impressed with what Xiaomi was up to these days that they’ve started working collaboratively hand-in-hand with them, revealing a joint venture dubbed the Xiaomi A1.

…And now you know why we mentioned that our hesitance has been silenced.

One plus, the company that gave birth to one of the most over-used phrases in smartphone history…
“The flagship killer” has us all very impressed as well. Even with their latest offering climbing up the pricing scale, the specs embedded within has us all baffled at what this little company has been able to do over the years. We do believe that competing the industry giants must have been no joke for Oneplus, and for doing so, and succeeding at it, we’re obliged to give them a shout out as a potential candidate for your smartphone to own choice list.

Happy decision-making,

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