Choosing a great phone at the right price can be a daunting task especially in this age when so many brands are available. A mid-range smartphone in Kenya will cost you anywhere between Sh20,000 and Sh40,000.
Phone brands are often guilty of over-selling their phones which can result in the consumers being underwhelmed. It is therefore important that you know what questions to ask your vendor, and what exactly to look for when purchasing a mobile phone.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to buy an Android or iOS smartphone. The bigger majority of smartphones use an Android operating system while iPhones use iOS.
Compared to Android, iOS is more closed with minimal system permissions. Android is available to more manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Tecno, etc. Users can customize their phones more easily although iOS users find it easier to integrate with other devices.
Ensure that the Android version on your smartphone is the latest. Android has released Android 11, and most phones will be able to update to 1-2 other android versions. Apple products are now on iOS 14, and this year the company will release iOS 15. iOS 14 is supported on various models starting from iPhone 6 upwards.
The next feature you want to look at is the screen size. Your interaction with your phone is primarily on your screen, so you want to select one that fits well on your hand and is comfortable for you to browse through. Choose either an LCD or LED display screen with a high resolution of about 1080×1080 megapixels for crispier texts and sharper images.
Check the refresh rate of the screen. Most manufacturers now offer about 90Hz or 120Hz on mid-range phones.
The phone’s processor is also vital to its performance. There are various processors in the market for different smartphones. Some favourable ones for mid-range phones are SnapDragon 600/700 series, MediaTek G, and MediaTek dimensity series. If you’re looking for 5G support, go for 5G enabled chipsets such as the Dimensity 700 and 800 series and the SnapDragon 765G and 750G.
More apps, images, and software downloads mean we need more internal storage. Running a number of functions, playing games, and accessing resources call for more RAM. To be on the safe side, look for a phone with 128GB and above in internal memory and 6GB/8GB RAM.
More people are using their phones to vlog, create videos and take pictures for Instagram. This means that the phone’s camera is one of the most important features to look for. Many smartphones now offer quad and triple-lens cameras, which is a quality feature. However, you should focus more on the pixels which determine the quality of your photos or videos. Ideally, a great triple-lens camera will have either 48MP or 64MP main camera with an 8MP UltraWide lens.
Any micro/macro lens would have a minimum of 5MP. 2MP on any lens on your phone is a mere marketing gimmick that will serve no value. Your selfie/front camera should have about 8MP for good quality images.
Phone Battery is also very important if you wish to use it for longer. Ideally, your phone should have a 4,500 MHz or 5,000mHz battery for better performance.
Ensure that you also get fast-charging adaptors with 18W or 25W.