On a recent trip to a mall, I overheard someone saying, “I wish I had chosen a phone with a better selfie camera.” The geek in me wanted to have a quick chat with the person but I controlled my emotions and moved on. I keep hearing from my readers about the wrong choices they make when buying a phone. I always tell them smartphone buying can be a tiresome process for many. The whole process of narrowing down to the phone of your choice, hunting for deals, looking for cashbacks, calculating EMIs, etc can be a daunting task for some. However, if your priorities are set, the process will just go like a breeze. Here are the five mistakes to avoid while buying a smartphone.
Do not fall into the trap of the Android vs iPhone debate
This is a dilemma faced by many people as they get confused between an Android smartphone and an iPhone. Both are platforms with different foundations. The iPhone is all about simplicity and privacy, whereas the Android is about choice and control. A friend recently picked up a phone simply because of its 128GB storage and fast-charging support. Asked what made him choose a OnePlus phone, he said: “I didn’t want to live in Apple’s ecosystem, hence I went with OnePlus.” The point is the freedom to choose form factors, customisable options, and different price points is something you only get with Android.
Know your requirements
Before buying a smartphone, just think about your requirements. It’s an absolute must and shouldn’t be skipped. List down the features you want in a smartphone. I recently recommended the iPhone 13 Pro to someone who designs shoes and now wants to set up a YouTube channel. A high-quality camera is a prerequisite for photoshoots or live streaming. Always question yourself if the phone you end up buying adds any value to your work or life or is it just a piece to show off.
Consumers often pick up the wrong phone, when their priorities are not clear. If I want to buy a phone for my father, I may consider a Redmi 9A over a phone with a 120Hz refresh rate screen or multiple cameras. The goal here is to get a phone that supports WhatsApp and has a screen large enough to watch YouTube. And for that, you can buy any low-end or mid-range smartphone that fulfills your needs without breaking the bank.
Look for EXPERIENCE over how expensive a phone is
No matter what brands say, it’s the experience that ultimately decides whether the phone is worth buying or not. I heard from a reader recently who said he regrets paying Rs 45,000 for a phone that keeps on hanging. Some are fine paying over a lakh for a phone. Others don’t. But there is no correlation between the happiness you get using a phone that costs under Rs 20,000 and the phones that cost Rs 50,000. In other words, high-end phones don’t necessarily satisfy everyone. You can get a phone for Rs 25,000 and have the best experience based on your requirements, it’s a decision for you to make.
Not knowing the best time to buy a smartphone
Although brands launch new smartphones throughout the year, there is a right time to buy them. Confused? Let me clarify. Apple, for instance, launches new iPhones in September. So it’s a bad time to buy a new iPhone between July and August, given new models are coming soon and the existing models will either get discontinued or sell at a discounted price. However, if you want older models of the iPhone, Apple sells them at deep discounts once the new iPhone is out in the market. Year-end and festive seasons are among the best times when there are big discounts being offered by manufacturers and retailers. So make sure you choose the right time when you are buying a new smartphone, who knows you might land up with a pretty decent discount.
Do not ignore the LONGEVITY of a smartphone
Software updates are a factor to keep in mind while buying a new smartphone. If you plan to keep your phone around for 4-5 years, consider a phone or a brand that is committed to providing OS-level updates and monthly security patches for years. So far, most Android device makers have done an embarrassingly bad job at providing software updates to their devices. Barring a few, and most recently Samsung now pledges a full four years of support for security updates on its Galaxy smartphones. It’s a positive move that will increase the longevity of Samsung phones. The same does not go for other Android manufacturers. Apple still offers the best update plan in the industry, with iOS 15 support going all the way back to the iPhone 6S, a phone released in 2015. Therefore, choose the right brand that is consistent with software updates.