Buying a smartphone is an inevitable and undebatable need. Even my school-going sister who probably needs one for no reason at all has one. Thus, we won’t even try discussing whether needs a smartphone or not, I’ll leave that to you. However, we all accept we do face problems choosing the right smartphone for ourselves because there’s a lot to decide. And, if you aren’t an expert yourself, you need someone to tell you the smartphone you’re planning to buy is a smart choice. Thus, here’s what I think about buying a smartphone and what people (as per me) should consider while buying one for themselves.
Find out features available at a specific price range
First and foremost is to decide the budget – and features you would get in that price range. For instance, there was a time when 1GB RAM under 10k in a smartphone was really a big thing. But, look where we are now and how easy it is to get a smartphone with 4GB RAM within 10k.
Honestly, it won’t be wrong to say technology is getting cheaper with the competition amongst smartphone brands taking a whole new level. First, it started with Micromax making really efficient budget smartphones and then came in Xiaomi. Thus, all you have to ask something and wait for it to be available at a price you are willing to pay for it. Though you need to be patient and reasonable.
Coming back to the primary subject of discussion, get on to e-commerce stores such as Flipkart or Amazon and type ‘smartphones under 10, 000’ or ‘smartphones under 15, 000’ etc.
Once you’re on one of these websites and you have the list of options in front of you, create a list of features in smartphone available under Rs 10, 000 and Rs 15, 000. For instance, talking about smartphones under 15, 000, the features you might get are:-
- 4/6 GB RAM
- 64/ 128 GB of internal storage or ROM
- 5.5-inches to 6-inches of display
- 3000 mAh to 5000 mAh battery
- A dual-front and a dual-rear camera
- Kirin 659 to 710 Octa-Core to Snapdragon 636 processor
- Fingerprint sensor and face unlock
The features are more or less the same for smartphones under 10, 000 but it’s understandable the numbers will be on a lower side.
Contemplate your usage and list features you need
“The budget should be decided based on features one needs rather than doing it the other way round.” This is what I really believe and I personally follow. When you decide the budget first instead of features you need, you end up making compromises. It shouldn’t happen in an era when every other smartphone seller is offering EMI financing. In fact, there are No-Cost EMI cards which literally don’t charge you anything more than the actual cost of a product you buy. Thus, in my opinion, people should buy a smartphone based on their needs rather than their budget.
Carrying an expensive, huge, 6.5 inches display smartphone which can also click awesome smartphone makes no sense if you don’t even use those features. Maybe you didn’t even care if these features weren’t actually there as long as your preferred feature was available. For instance, If I was buying a smartphone again, I would use the Flipkart filters and tick all the features from specific category dropdowns to narrow down the list until I find what I want. For example, I always look for smartphones with at least 4GB RAM because I really like playing games and multitask using my phone. But, I don’t want to spend too much for that feature. So, I find out the lowest I have to pay for 4GB RAM and then compare it with other options to see if it is really suitable.
It really drives me crazy when people spend thousands over buying a smartphone with some really premium features when all their needs with a smartphone are limited to making phone calls. Thus, take out time and list all the features you need. Once you’re done with listing features, decide your budget accordingly. You can use Flipkart smart filters for the same.
For instance, if you’re just an average smartphone user like me, you need at least 3GB – 4GB RAM, a good display, 4G connectivity, good camera combination so you can click good pictures while you’re roaming out, and an efficient processor – chipset combination. The last but not the least to mention, a long-lasting battery.
While having said that, features vary according to the price you’re willing to pay for it, and thus, you need to be reasonable. To give you a gist, a Snapdragon 635 processor is the best you can get if your budget is around 15k. You increase your budget, you get a better and more efficient feature.
Don’t spend extra for a feature you probably might not need.
For instance, apart from the similar, price-specific bells and features, two smartphones are likely to have one additional feature that would make them unique or would be limited to their brand smartphones. In case you’re planning to buy a smartphone and pay an extra amount just for that feature, stop! Find out if you really need it.
A similar analogy would be that of Oppo Realme 1 and other smartphones available at the same cost. Oppo realme 1 became the buzz of tech town since it was the only smartphone available within Rs 12k to offer 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. That took people by storm and smartphone enthusiast went all gaga about the phone. This somehow managed to overlap the cons of the phone such as the average camera, a not-so-good design, and lack of fingerprint sensor. The fact is, 6GB RAM is way more than what a modern day smartphone user would call ‘enough’. In the end, a 4GB RAM is more than enough to use WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram while playing a heavy game on your phone at the same time.
Spending extra just because of additional GBs would have made sense if the buyer was a hardcore gamer who likes to play really, really heavy games on his smartphone. Besides, how can someone undermine the absence of fingerprint sensor in this era wherein the face unlock feature is still not effective and even a simple hacker can open your password protected phone!?
Buy a mobile insurance
Lastly, I would like to say that people buying a smartphone, irrespective of how carefully they handle their phones, should buy insurance as well. With smartphones becoming cheaper, they also have become more fragile and you need to handle them with real care. If you can’t do that, just buy mobile insurance.
I recently ran my bike over my Redmi Note 5 Pro and I need not mention getting it repaired cost me around Rs 5000 (including GST). This was one time I really felt bad spending Rs 5, 000 over a smartphone which costs only Rs 15, 000. That said, the cost of getting your phone repaired ain’t getting cheaper any soon and thus. It’s better we have one mobile insurance in place.
To conclude this blog, I would say use an EMI card to purchase anything rather than paying the entire cost in cash. Doing so will ensure you have enough cash to manage your other needs and your credit score keeps improving at the same time.