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Buying the Perfect Smartphone in 2017

Updated on November 24, 2017

Every year we witness some major leap forward in technology and for a normal consumer it is hard to keep up with the pace. A smart phone that looks fine one year may become obsolete in terms of features the next year. However by choosing the right smart phone, a consumer could own a phone that remains fresh over the years. Samsung galaxy s6 edge, I phone 6, HTC M8 are some of the phones that I consider as smart purchases at their time because their successors were just minor upgrades that can be looked over. People have different priorities and what drives one person to a phone may not be the driving factor for another. Below are some features that must be considered before buying a phone in 2017.

Screen to body ratio

This year has seen revolutionary changes in design. Samsung flagged off with its latest flagship S8 and S8 plus followed by LG, Xiaomi, Google, Huawei, One plus and Apple. Screen to body ratios have increased significantly making smart phones look futuristic and fluid. HTC, Nokia, Sony and Motorola are yet to make their official entries and is the reason why their flagships looked less appealing when compared to their bezel less counterparts. In the near future all phones would become bezel less to the extent where smart phones may have 99% screen to body ratios leaving a couple of dots for the front camera and sensors. To those who are on a budget LG V30, Q6 and Honor 7x are attractive options.

Which among the following had the best design ?

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Fingerprint sensor
The wave of fingerprint scanner began with Apple's 2013 flagship I phone 5s. Since then most phones have sported a fingerprint scanner either on the front or back. From the way things are going it seems fingerprint sensors are going to stay for a long time though Apple ditched it this year for an all screen I phone X and because they were too proud to admit the sensor belonged on the back. Earlier fingerprint recognition was not that efficient and often failed to unlock but today things are quite different and most companies have got it right. The sensors have got quicker and smarter, in fact users nowadays don't even remember the last time they used a pattern or pin to unlock their phones.
Water resistance
Most phones nowadays can handle a little splash whether it is waterproof or not and it is not like people are going to give their phone a half an hour bath everyday. However water resistance could prove useful for those interested in taking videos or capturing images underwater. Anyways since most companies are providing water resistant phones with IP67 rating it only seems wise to buy a phone that is water resistant.
Storage Capacity
Long gone are the days when 16 GB storage was enough on a smart phone. Updates have become bigger in size eating a major portion of storage leaving little space for other stuffs. Lack of sufficient space slows down performance and interrupts users while downloading or taking photos with annoying messages to free up storage space. The best option is to purchase a smartphone with at least 64 GB internal storage. Not all phones nowadays have micro SD card slots but if it does, a 32 GB internal would be fine as long as an SD card is also purchased.

Dual Camera

Megapixels used to be my major differentiating factor but over the years I realized its just one of those things that look good only on paper. Dual camera is another trend that has been on the rise this year as many premium phones come with dual cameras even mid range models like Moto G5s plus, Xiaomi A1, Honor 8 pro and One plus 5T sport this feature. You may ask how Google is doing so good without dual cameras, well the answer is dual pixels. The dual pixel technology splits every pixel into two to achieve the broken effects where a subject is focused with blurred background. As of now it is hard to say that dual camera is the way to go for smartphone photographers since apart from google even HTC U11 and Samsung galaxy S8 have single cameras that produce amazing results.

Battery
There are phones nowadays like Lenovo P2, Asus Zenfone 3S Max, Xiomi Note 4, Samsung A9 pro and Moto C plus with huge battery back up of 4000 mAh to 5000 mAh. We all want our phones to last the entire day but the truth is it most likely won't as It all depends on usage i.e a user playing games online or using camera for a long time is most likely to crash half day. Battery efficiency will reduce over time so your initial battery experience would not last long. However any 5 inch phone with more than 3000 mAh battery will do fine but as the screen size increase the more powerful must be the battery.
Service
Consumers often ignore this and go through hell when something goes wrong. I had purchased Sony's Xperia Z3 from Kuwait, after I returned back to India the screen cracked and on approaching the service center I came to know that it can be serviced only in the middle east. Nevertheless I got it repaired from a local repair shop. Apparently Indian Sony service centers do not service phones with IMEI number registered outside India. So the point is to to inquire about the after sales services and warranty conditions at the time of purchase.

Headphone jack

Apple removed the headphone jack, Google mocked Apple last year and then followed Apple's footsteps this year. Many more companies will follow and eventually users will have to learn to live with it. In a way it is good because phones would be more water resistant and no more tangled wires but wireless earphones and headphones cost a lot, not to forget the need to charge them from time to time. So here is the real question, are you ready to spend extra cash on wireless headphones or not

Where do you stand on the removal of headphone jack by manufacturers?

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OS
No smart phone buyer's guide is complete without talking about the operating system. There is no brand that gets software support like Apple as even the 5 year old I phone 5s has received the latest IOS 11 upgrade whereas a 5 year old android phone has been long forgotten. Since the zombie days of Windows are over its between IOS and Android. Android is a lot customize-able and Apple is a lot safer and neat. Both are great and I feel for someone who have used the same OS for over 5 years its a bit confusing at first but quite exciting to make a switch.

CONCLUSION

At the end it all matters down to what features of a smartphone stands out the most to you. Some people want the best design, whereas some are more concerned with the internals than the body. Prioritize and decide what matters more. Nowadays there is a phone available for every budget making it easier to choose a smartphone. However for those of you who want a particular phone but lack the budget, it is always better to wait for a discount or a price fall instead of settling with a lower end model. Sure it requires being patient but at least you will be investing your hard earned money in what you truly desire.

© 2017 Bivin Philip

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