Choosing your next phone can be an overwhelming task, particularly if you’re not a tech expert. Should you opt for a top-of-the-range flagship device or something that will be kinder on your wallet? What do all those camera specs actually mean? How much storage do you need?
If you find it all a little confusing, don’t worry. We’re here to cut through the noise and provide a jargon-free guide to choosing your next phone. The right phone for you will be the device that meets your personal criteria, so ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea of what you want from your next phone.
How much am I willing to spend on a phone?
Before you even start looking at handsets, you need to set yourself a budget. Whether buying a phone outright or entering into a monthly contract, it’s important to be realistic about how much you can spend. You don’t want your new phone to become a burden on your bank account.
Many phones come with pretty hefty price tags these days, particularly the top-end flagship devices, but there are also some great, affordable options out there. They might not have all the bells and whistles the premium devices have, but they’ll still do everything you need.
If you’ve got your heart set on one of the more expensive models but know your budget won’t stretch to it, consider buying a refurbished version. For example, you can pick up a refurbished iPhone 13 Pro Max from the Mazuma Shop for a much lower price than buying brand new. You can even get some cash toward your next device if you sell an iPhone 12 to us. Don’t forget, you can also trade in your old phone for cash to increase your budget for your new mobile.
What operating system do I want?
Choosing between iOS and Android is one of the fundamental questions you should ask yourself before browsing for a new phone. It’ll help narrow down your options considerably as iOS only runs on Apple devices. Let’s take a look at the perks and drawbacks of each system.
- Exclusive to iPhones
- Simple, easy-to-use design but limited customizability to the look and feel of the interface
- Uses Apple apps (Apple Music, FaceTime, Safari)
- Apps are downloaded from the Apple App Store
- 5GB of free iCloud Storage
- Syncs well with other Apple products (iPad, MacBooks, Apple TV)
- Runs on most other devices that aren’t iPhones (Samsung, Google, Oppo, to name a few), offering a wider choice of brands at different price points
- A much higher level of interface customisation is available
- Will come with Google Apps installed (Google Maps, Chrome, Google Drive)
- Apps are downloaded from the Google Play Store
- Comes with 15GB of Google Drive storage with your Google account
- Depending on the manufacturer, it may come with unnecessary bloatware (pre-installed apps you don’t need that take up storage space)
The right operating system for you will depend on your personal preferences, and you may already be familiar with one or the other. If you’re looking to switch to iOS because you’ve not enjoyed using Android on your Samsung, remember you can get some cash for your next phone if you sell a Galaxy S21 or S20 to us.
Do I want 5G?
5G is the newest way to access the internet on your phone. Most of the latest flagship devices offer it; however, mid-tier and lower-tier phones will still be running 4G. A phone with 5G will download things faster and give you a more stable internet connection.
That said, 5G isn’t currently available everywhere in the UK and is still in the process of being rolled out. So depending on where you live, you might want to strike this off as a must for your next phone and wait until 5G is available in your area. Also, if you don’t use your phone to access the internet that much (for example, you don’t watch films or videos on your phone), then you probably don’t need to worry about getting a 5G device yet.
Do I want a phone with a good camera?
Phone cameras have become one of the top features used to compare devices, with every new generation pushing the boundaries of what it’s possible to fit into a smartphone. If you use your current phone to take a lot of photos, then it stands to reason you’ll want your next phone to have an even better camera and supporting software.
Smartphone camera specifications can be incredibly confusing, with a lot of technical terms being thrown around. Here’s a little breakdown of what some of the main features mean to help you decide whether they’re useful to you:
- Ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses will fit more into the frame, which is great for taking landscape pictures
- 4K or 8K video is a must for anyone who shoots a lot of videos. You’ll get crystal clear, sharp footage, even when zoomed in
- Night Mode for taking great photos in low light and without a flash
- Telephoto means you’ll be able to zoom in without compromising on quality
For the best of the best when it comes to phone cameras, you’ll be looking at the higher end of the big-name flagship series like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
How much internal storage do I need?
Phones have two types of storage; internal and cloud storage. Internal storage is the amount of space in your physical phone and ranges anywhere from 8GB to 512GB. Internal storage impacts the price of a phone, so if you store a lot of movies and big files on your phone, you’ll probably want something with a lot of internal storage.
For the average user, 64GB and 128GB phones provide more than enough space for photos, apps, games and podcasts. A good way to figure out the right storage size for you is to check how much internal storage your current device has. If you haven’t run out of space, you can likely go for the same amount again. However, if you’ve found yourself running out, it might be time to look for something with more internal storage.
What screen size do I want?
Phone screens have increased in size over the years. The reasoning behind this can largely be attributed to how much media we consume on our phones. A big screen is great for watching YouTube videos, TV shows, TikToks, and even movies; the drawback is that the device no longer fits comfortably in one hand.
If you know you use your phone for watching a lot of videos, or if you work on it a lot and it’s the one piece of tech you do absolutely everything on, then a big screen is the way to go. However, opt for a smaller screen size if you want something a little more compact that’s easy to carry around and will fit nicely into your hand.
If you’ve got a phone that you like the interface of, like the iPhone 13, why not trade it in and use the cash to buy something smaller? Sell your iPhone 13 and put the money towards the more compact iPhone 13 Mini, which you can pick up a refurbished version of from the Mazuma Shop. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better; it’s about finding what works for you.
Thinking about all these things will help you decide on your next phone. When you’ve found the one, see if you can get it at a reduced price by checking the Mazuma Shop for a refurbished version, and don’t forget to sell your old phone to us once you’re done with it.