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Buying a new Android Phone? 5 Mostly Unknown Aspects to Look at…

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I am sure the android wave has hit almost everyone by now. Even in the lower segment players like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn are selling the android phones and of course above 8K the big guns fire.

From Galaxy Y and HTC explorer to Galaxy S3, Motorola Razr and HTC One X, android has a treat for everyone. Hence it is no wonder that a person has options to choose from when buying a phone. Especially in the range 15k to 25k the options are immense and the slightest of details have the weirdest of impacts.

Yes, you read it right: Weird.

I am not going to talk about the obvious differences like processing power and ram. Everybody who has ever used a computer or a smart phone knows that.

I am going to talk about things that annoy after the phone has been bought and is with you 6 months into. That is when the true colors of a phone come out. And if you are anything like me, an ordinary Indian buyer, you do not buy it after 6 months. You want it to run at least 1 years and preferably 2 and if it can even more.

I currently have Galaxy Ace, no not Ace plus, plain ordinary Ace which was released last year. But it has taught me things that a high end phone can never teach you. Here you go…

Contents

1. Internal Memory

memory

The high end phones come with internal memory of 16 GB. That is a marathon or buffet compared to a galaxy ace (200MB) or even any other phone like galaxy y or the whole Sony Ericsson series. Even Sony Xperia Neo L has only 300 MB memory.

Now, all these phones come with external storage of 32 GB so we are covered, right? Actually NO… There is a slight caveat.

All the applications that we get from google play need internal memory. Not that it means your NFS needs 200 MB space in phone. Most apps now (after 2.2 Froyo) shift to SD card. But they need a foot print on phone and in such a scenario even an MB of space matters. How? Let me sketch you an imaginary picture…

Assume you have 200MB internal memory it means that much of it is used by OS itself. After that there are applications like Maps that take space in MBs and cannot be transferred. Add to that apps like Whatsapp that do not like SD card for some reason and before we know we are having 20 MB space left. This, by the way, is minimum requirement to be kept in Galaxy Ace to run it smoothly.

This is a problem that I have seen people face in other older phones as well. Deleting apps to make space for new ones or just so that the phone does not slow down.

Thankfully, new phones like Xperia U, P and Galaxy Ace plus tackle this problem well. This though means that now we have a bifurcation in the mid range, good phones with low internal memory or a little less performance oriented phones with good internal memory or increasing the budget. These options are created.

My opinion – Go for higher internal memory if you plan on using the phone for long. It will come in handy.

2. Screen

screen-sizes

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Screen is the biggest improvement in the newer generations of phones (aka smart phones) over feature phones. Of course, the phones OS has changed incredibly but without a screen of 3.5 – 4 inch glorifying the whole set, the OS would be bound by vast limitations.

The screens are of various kinds- SLCD, Super Amoled and what not. By now, you must know that I have none. That though does not mean that the screen of Galaxy Ace is not good, it is better than all phones of its time and better than some of right now as well. It had gorilla glass then.

I could not believe that and checked on multiple sites to ensure (I never had the courage to try it manually, what if it did not have gorilla glass!). The brightness of the screen is good and I can use it in the sun without straining my eyes.

The caveat here is not a phone’s own fault here. It’s the battery.

As soon as the screen goes to its glory battery decides to take the plunge. In my one and a half year of keeping this phone I can count less than 10 days when I kept it on any other setting other than lowest brightness and in all honesty needed the full brightness only for 15 days only. The primary reason for this is to conserve the battery and using android this is something a person learns fast- conserving energy. Thus, when a phone boast of a screen to die for ask yourself this- How many times will you actually use it and will the battery become important at some point? If yes, then spending an extra 5K for just a screen is not a good investment.

3. Flash

camera flash

It is almost redundant now and was a problem in old Galaxy S series. So, I will just say one line. You NEED a flash. A phone does not have good enough ISO to perform in low lights and events do not wait for you to find the switch. The value of camera on phone lies in it being there and it falters without a flash.

4. Upgrades

With the dawn of smart phones came a new era of updating the phones. Feature phones also had firmware upgrades but you could do without it. Now, it seems that it is necessary to upgrade.

The truth is, it is not. Or rather, buy an upgraded phone than a phone that will be upgraded. The two reasons are- It will run smoother than upgrading. Second, it is hassle free. Upgrading is not difficult, still it is a task that needs to be done. So, avoid it if it can be avoided. If two phones are similar and one is on better android, go for it.

5. Service Centre

This is a no brainer.

If you live in a city which does not have a service centre of a particular brand, avoid it even if it is the best deal because if something breaks no one will be there to fix it.

These are the primary secondary points that are rarely sought while buying a phone. Hence, I wanted to bring them in a better spotlight.

No phone is perfect but hopefully these points will help making the relationship between you and your phone less nightmarish and more enjoyable.

[Author Bio– A graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Kunal Prakash’s love for technology was at first sight and everlasting. He is currently enjoying the first stint as a professional after leaving over 20 years of schooling. You can follow him on facebook or visit his blog for my other musings.]

  1. amal says

    Thank you. you made me clear

  2. Khushbu Rege says

    Great post! I am planning to buy an android phone. This will certainly help me make a better choice. :)

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