Christmas season is always a good time for a tech upgrade. Phone manufacturers usually release their best bets towards the end of the year, special offers and promos are everywhere, and of course, it’s a time when people can feel extra generous, especially to themselves.
Aside from being a good reward to oneself for a year’s worth of good work, a smartphone is also an investment. When choosing your next phone, make sure you get your money’s worth by buying a model that’s future-proof so you can enjoy its features and maximize its power for a longer time. Here are some pointers to consider when deciding on an acquisition that you will be using every single day, for the next year or two.
- Go for LTE.LTE is currently the most advanced mobile network technology that’s available commercially. Operators worldwide are continuously rolling out their expanded LTE-network. Here in the Philippines, LTE is expected to be more pervasive – with Smart Communications completing its LTE expansion in Metro Davao, and currently doing the same in Metro Cebu, Metro Manila and other areas in the country. This network improvement program will go on until end of 2018, when Smart’s LTE network will eventually cover 95% of the Philippines’ cities and municipalities.
Even phone manufacturers are going for the LTE shift, that’s why there are now different types of LTE phones in the market today to cater to all segments, including the entry-level market. Smart just recently offered the O+ Presto 700 LTE which retails at P2,188, a good choice for those who want to shift from 3G (or even 2G) to LTE without breaking the bank.
- Be 700MHz-ready.3G devices are still excellent but LTE devices are designed to perform even better than their 3G counterparts. And for an even better mobile experience, get the LTE devices that are capable of working on the 700MHz frequency. In connection with the LTE rollout plans mentioned above, Smart has been firing up its LTE base stations that utilize the 700MHz frequency. Smart recently explained this move saying LTE on 700MHz frequency covers a much wider area and is capable of providing better indoor signals, making LTE stronger in enclosed areas such as homes, offices, establishments, and schools.
It’s easy to check whether the smartphone you are eyeing is 700MHz-ready or not. You can check the full phone/network specifications in the manufacturer’s website, or you can do an online search of the device’s name + full specifications, then check the network section. You may also check this link which has a list that’s being updated from time to time.
- Mind the RAM.As we enter the LTE phase, we can expect more data-driven, digital services to become more widely used. We will be using data, paired with our hardware’s resources, to enjoy connectivity, entertainment, mobile gaming, shopping, banking, availing of various services and other emerging technologies like virtual and augmented reality. We would normally use these apps and services simultaneously, and a lot of time will be sent switching from app to app.
It is important for your phone to be able to cope with all these demands so your phone needs RAM that will be able to handle multiple apps running simultaneously. So choose a model with a higher RAM if you want a device that can perform well as you multi-task in the LTE world.
- Assess your storage needs. This part is a little flexible and it depends entirely on your usage habits. Some smartphone users require a larger storage capacity since they take a lot of high quality pictures and videos or they store a large collection of multimedia files that they can access when needed.
But adding some more storage space can bump up the cost of the device for a couple of thousands more. If you’re concerned about your budget, you can allow yourself to relax a little on this aspect since our data-driven future aided by LTE will allow a faster and more seamless experience when storing files in the cloud. No need to fill your phone to the brim. You can let your internal storage and extra memory cards breathe, while having the option to securely access your files even when you switch devices.
- Pack more power. Of course, a good smartphone should have a battery that can stay alive for a longer time, to better cope with and respond to the demands of your lifestyle. With the advent of the LTE-services, more engaging and smarter services will be available and your device need more juice especially when you need it to multitask or run continuously for minutes (or hours!)
The average power storage of today’s good smartphone batteries is somewhere around 2000 to 2500 mAh. When you find a model that offers 3000 mAh and above, that should last you for at least one waking day without having to run to the nearest outlet or endure the hassles of dangling power banks.
Have you found the right smartphone for you? Let us know your best. Let us know your choice and share some more smartphone shopping tips in the comments.