Do you need some help choosing your next phone? Here are some handy tips to consider before you upgrade.
How’s your current phone?
Our top tip is to stick with what you know. If, for example, you have a Samsung Galaxy and love it, it makes sense to get the latest model. You’ll be familiar with how it works and generally be more comfortable with your new phone. Whatever phone you have, there’s always a new replacement.
If you fancy a change though, look out for these things when you’re searching through the huge choice of smartphones.
What’s the difference between iOS, Android and Windows?
The operating system (OS) on your smartphone is probably its most important spec as it defines how you can use the phone. These are the differences between the three most popular - iOS, Android and Windows.
This OS is found on iPhones and iPads. It’s known for being easy to use and the look is clean, clear and easy to understand.
Most phones use Android, the OS made by Google. It’s very customisable, letting you change how it looks and alter lots of settings. It also has the biggest app store.
Windows is found on Microsoft Lumia phones. It’s very colourful and customisable, letting you create homepage shortcuts for your favourite apps. It’s also great for business thanks to Microsoft’s Office apps.
4G or 3G?
When shopping for a new smartphone these days, you should only be considering ones with 4G connectivity. It’s up to five times faster than 3G, and it’s more reliable. That makes it perfect for streaming videos and music.
Here are a few things to look out for if you want...
...a great camera phone
A great camera phone has a lot more going for it than just a high megapixel count. You need to look for high-quality, branded lenses, optical image stabilisation, great camera sensors and powerful image processors. Check out our article on what makes a top camera, and then have a look at our pick of the best camera phones.
...to watch loads of videos
Make sure you get a phone with a big, high resolution screen. We recommend a screen size over 5-inches for watching movies, while a Quad HD or even 4K resolution is a must if you want to see every detail. Take a look at the difference a high resolution screen makes.
...to play lots of games
For playing fast games with lots of details, look for processors with more cores – four or eight are ideal. You’ll also want a high GHz number, the measure of the processor’s speed. Between 1.5GHz and 2.0GHz will do the trick.
RAM is important too as it ensures you can open games more quickly. Look for at least 2GB in your new phone.
...a good battery
Look at the mAh of a phone’s battery. This is a measure of how large the battery is, and how much power it stores. Generally, the higher the mAh figure, the longer a phone’s battery will last. But remember that a bigger, higher resolution screen and a more powerful processor will drain your battery faster.
To give you an idea, a decent smartphone's battery is usually between 2,000 - 3,000mAh, while tablets are more around the 5,000mAh mark.
If you’re ready to shop for your next phone, start with our phone finder. It has all our phones in one place. Using the tabs on the left, you can select the type of contract or pay as you go deal you want, as well as the types of phone.