As technology progresses, our options increase. Nowhere is this more evident than in the smartphone market. Today choosing an ideal smartphone for oneself could give you physical pain in the head such is the number of options in the market.
Being an avid tech enthusiast and having used Android smartphones since the 2010 I have gained enough knowledge of the jungle that the android ecosystem is. SO here I am trying my wee bit to help you on your new smartphone journey. This article lists the things that should be kept in mind while searching for a new smartphone and works as a new smartphone buying guide.
It would also zero in on the ideal smartphone for you!
Probably the most important part of a smartphone is its processor. It is the powerhouse of the smartphone and it is greatly responsible for the smoothness of the operating system. Today’s mobile processors have come a long way since the days of yesteryears when a 600mhz single-core processor was tasked with running everything on a smartphone.
Today, processors like 8 gen 1 could reach up to 3ghz of clock speed with 8 cores inside them. These mobile processors are now capable of doing tasks like 4K video editing and heavy graphic intense work.
Today’s smartphones are faster than the average PC from just a couple of years ago such has been the rise in the processing power of these devices.
An average smartphone user however does not need this much power in their smartphone as it would never get used to its highest potential ever. Moreover, there are other less powerful processors as well which are perfectly capable of handling any task thrown at their way.
For an average user, an ideal processor would be anyone higher than the Snapdragon 778 and Midiatek Dimensity 920. The best processors are usually the top end processors from last year. For example processors like the Snapdragon 870 is still the best Snapdragon processor today, since its successor the 888 has been found to overheat.
Similarly, the 8 gen 1 is in nascent stages and needs time to be perfected. In conclusion, the ideal smartphone would need to have enough processing power to run most games and apps smoothly but should not be a heat-generating oven.
The smartphone screen is the window to great things. Since it’s is through the screen that we interact with the phone it needs to be of good quality. One thing however I’m very surprised and somewhat happy about is that smartphones companies have stopped going crazy for the screen resolution as they did with everything else.
For example, in the 2010s there was a war between these companies to one-up the other with a higher resolution screen in their phones. companies like LG and Samsung used to come up with screens with a resolution higher than 1080p. Some companies like the Sony Erricson even launched phones with 4k screens.
The craziest of the bunch was the Sony Z5 Premium Dual with a resolution of 2160X3840 on a screen of 5.5″. This was a whole another level of insanity! The processors at that time (Snapdragon 810) could hardly manage the load of these 4k screens. Moreover, these screens did not offer anything over the regular 1080 screen as it was indistinguishable from those from normal viewing distances.
Soon every smartphone company decided that the 1080 screen was enough resolution for phones to have and focussed on other aspects of the screen. Today, even the flagships have a 1080p screen and they look incredible.
Smartphone companies have now shifted their attention to refresh rates with companies offering as high as 144hz on their screen. An ideal smartphone screen however just needs 120hz with AMOLED and LTPO to save energy.
Every flagship smartphone these days comes with these features. Even the mid-range ones have AMOLED 120hz screens now.
The camera is one such area in which the battles are being fought in. The likes of Samsung, Google, Apple etc are trying to outmatch the other by offering great cameras. So far the Apple iPhone is the clear winner when it comes to video recording but the Pixel 6 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra claw back the lead.
If you’re an average user though you can make do with an average camera as the photos from these eventually end up on social media and look the same when there. If you’re like me i.e. not a professional photographer then you can live with cameras from a couple of years ago and do not need an array of 5 on the back of your smartphone to take better photos.
An ideal smartphone camera is something that takes decent social media-worthy pictures.
The battery is one area that has also seen massive improvements. The improvements have not come in in terms of physical size but the charging speeds and efficiency. I remember I have a smartphone with a 5000mah battery and it took more than 2.5 hours to charge. My current phone with the same battery capacity takes just 35 minutes.
An ideal smartphone would need a battery capacity of more than 4500mah and charging speeds of over 45w so it charges in under 45 minutes.
However good your smartphone hardware is, if the Operating System running on it is lacklustre then the whole experience is degraded. Most Chinese smartphones suffer from this approach. Smartphones like the Xiaomi 12 Pro, Realme GT 2Pro, Vivo X70 Pro+ etc have hardware of the highest order but their software experience is laden with ads.
This makes the smartphone experience way worse than it should and could be. If you’re a tech-savvy person you can go ahead and switch off all the ads and user programs. You can also remove the bloatware from them but an average user cannot do that.
This is why I would suggest phones from Samsung, Apple, Google and other smartphones that do not show ads or not as much as some of the mid-range Chinese smartphones.
One should also pay huge attention to the update promise that these companies make. Companies like Apple, Samsung and Google lead in terms of Android updates. Samsung promises 4 years of Android updates with Google promising 3.
These are though way behind Apple’s 5 to 7 years of software update. Chinese companies like Realme and Xiaomi are also upping their game but only their flagships get updated for a longer period of time.
At least a 3-year update assurance is enough for an ideal smartphone in 2022.
These are all the criteria that one should look at while choosing a new smartphone. Based on all of the above criteria, the best smartphone for an average user would be the following:-
Best Flagship smartphone for 2022
- Apple iPhone 13
- Samsung Galaxy S22+
- Google Pixel 6 Pro
- Realme GT 2 Pro
- One Plus 9
Best mid-range smartphone 2022
- Realme GT2 Neo
- Samsung A52/ 53
- Google Pixel 6
Best highest-end phone
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max