Top 10 Features to look for when buying a Smartphone: Part 2

Yet Another Feature List! This time we start with the remaining five features that we left behind in our Part 1 of the series. Read it here.

As discussed earlier, choosing a smartphone with the right features is not about luck; it requires thorough knowledge about smartphones and the tricks that companies play to sell their phone to us.

Let’s not waste much time and start with the rest 5 features that you should keep in mind before buying a smartphone.

6. Software Platform

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Software let us do more than we can ever imagine. There are currently three major players in the mobile OS department; Google Android, Microsoft Windows and Apple iOS. All of them, carry a sense of ownership over the other. This clearly means that all of them has some advantages and disadvantages.

There are other players in the market that may entice you. They include BlackBerry, Tizen, Firefox OS and many more. The whole concept of the “best OS” is highly debatable. Let’s not quibble over it.

The first thing that you should look out for is if the OS is “vanilla” or customized by the manufacturer. Vanilla OS means that the core OS is being loaded with no customization at all. They are best and rarely have bugs in them. On the other hands, manufacturer likes to customize the OS for reasons like branding, UI improvement and more.

Whatever may be the reason, it is advised to go for Vanilla OS if you are not sure about which one to get.

Android OS currently is the king of the mobile OS. It brings customization and amazing functionality to users. Just make sure which version of the OS you are getting, vanilla or customized.

If you are choosing Windows Phone, make sure that you are getting the latest version of the OS. Customization on the OS is developer friendly and doesn’t contain bugs compared to Android customized versions. Once you decide to get a Windows phone, it’s wise to know that the Windows apps ecosystem is weak compared to its rival OS, Android and iPhone.

Choosing Apple’s iOS is the easiest of the all. It provides app support and simple interface to work with.

7. Updates

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Phone updates are tricky feature to worry about. As it depends on the buyer whether he/she worry about updates or not. Generally, the vanilla software platforms are easier to update than the customized OS platforms out there.

The main black spot in this category is Android, as Google tends to delay the release of the updates. The reason behind the delay is the sole reason of porting all their updates to different manufacturers, who have their customized android devices in the market. This can lead to much pain for the Android users(specially geeks) who enjoy keeping their phones up-to-date.

So, it is advised to get a vanilla android phone from one of these manufacturers; Nexus, Moto X, HTC One Google Play Edition or Samsung, Prestigio, Gigabyte etc. fits the bill perfectly.

Coming to Microsoft phones, they are very frequent in the update category. But the real concern is the release of their major OS updates like transiting from Win 7 to 8 and finally to 9(10?). They do not offer the new OS as updates, you need to get a new phone to test how it feels to use the latest OS from them.

Finally, Apple is the best in this category, providing constant updates that are streamed directly to their phone upon release.

8. Performance

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Who wants a smartphone that scores a ton in all the feature-set and is incredibly slow? No one! Performance is the most important feature in any phone you are planning to buy. No other feature can substitute slow performance; which can easily lead to bad user experience.

Budget smartphone/phone segment gets the most hits from the feature. Budget phone generally excel in all other features; only making you get disappointed later on with its performance. Whatever may be the reason, always test the phone before purchasing.

Generally it is wise to look for a smartphone that has at least 1 or 2 GB of RAM, a powerful dual-core processor. Try to find a trade-off keeping performance in mind. To be sure about the performance, read independent reviews on the internet.

9. Camera Quality

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Camera is an integral part of any smartphone out there. This feature depends on the usage of the consumer. If you are carrying a high-quality camera then don’t get bothered with the camera of your new phone. Otherwise, it is wise to look for a decent camera of 5 megapixel. The megapixel confuses consumers, as they think the higher the number the better the camera is. But, the reality is far away from what is being shown in the specification.

The low budget phone are majorly hit by bad cameras, so keep the distance from them. But, if you your budget is low, its recommended to go with a smartphone that has other features.

As usual, it’s recommended to read a review before buying the smartphone.

10. Customizability and Flexibility

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Customizability has its own cons and pros. Simplistic users would not want to change much in their phone, but advanced users would like to change almost all the default options according to their own taste.

Not all smartphones have same customizability option and that can hinder the experience for the users.

Out of the three mobile OS, Android offers the most flexibility followed by Android and Microsoft.