I am always looking for a new phone. Currently I have an LG G6. I love it. It has most of the features I need and I found it at a decent price. I still wish it had more features but it was already at that max price range I would personally spend on a phone.
The way I look for phones is pretty specific. I have a list of features that are critical and some features that are convenient. Here’s my breakdown.
Unlocked. Yes, if you can’t switch carriers because of your phone. That’s a big no no. I switch carriers to save money and if you have to buy a phone in order to switch that’s not saving money. It’s more up front but it’s your phone!
Snapdraon 660+ processor. I wish it was at least an 855 but that’s above my price range. There are some phones that come close but you start losing important features because of that price drop. The 660 handles the apps I use. Although, I can already tell programmers are pushing these processors with more tasks. Does SnapChat really need to be able to find songs playing in the background? NO!
Quick Quality camera. I take a lot of pictures. A LOT. Good cameras are OK but I need one that’s better. Blurry shots are so annoying and a waste of time.
Price. Personally my number is $350-$400. I weigh the specs all the time and it is so difficult to stay in this range. This is just my phone, for the kids and my wife, it’s more in the range of $150-$200.
Expandable Memory. I have a lot of music and take so many pictures. You don’t want that eating into the space where you put your apps. This is tied to how much ROM is available.
32+ ROM. It’s your storage space for apps. You can run apps on the expandable memory but it runs much slower and you don’t want that sluggishness on apps you run all the time. Plus, there are apps that reset passwords if run on the micro SD cards. That is super annoying (soundcloud.)
Bloatware. I’m a fan of AndroidOne phones. No bloatware, clean OS and regular updates from Google. This is ideal, not many options for this though. Bloatware basically takes your ROM and makes an unrecoverable chunk out of it. Sure, you can root your phone but you won’t be able to use NFC because of security reasons.
3+ GB of RAM. The more the better. More apps you can leave open without it having to reload all the time. Happy this number is rising on phones by nature but it’s still pretty costly.
6 inch display. My personal preference. I’m old and my vision isn’t as great. I need a big screen. AMOLED is ideal but again, the price point jumps and you’ll lose other features.
NFC. It has saved me so many times. It’s critical for me to have. So convenient too. You always have your phone out. Just hit the fingerprint and tap to pay. So cool.
Fingerprint scanner. Thank goodness it’s standard on budget phones now. You’ll need this for NFC.
Wireless charging. Most budget phones have tiny batteries that barely last a day if you’re a heavy user. I’m a heavy user and I hate having my phone get to that 10 percent charge at any point. So, I drop it on my wireless charger when I’m sitting on my computer and get that charge up. It’s slow so don’t expect 5 minute fill ups.
Dual speakers. Obviously we’re getting into the non-critical features. I have had a great dual speaker setup on one of my phones and it was a joy. So loud and the music and sound effects were just amazing. As much as I like phones that have dual speaker setups they don’t look that great or are super expensive.
USB-C. It’s the future. It’s faster charging. I have all my cables switched. Going back won’t be pretty. Heads up, Plugging in your phone all the time wears down the connection. On budget phones those are the first to go out. That’s why wireless charging is up on my features list. Having a phone you can’t charge anymore is frustrating. You have to fiddle with the cable to make sure the charging light goes on.
Battery 3000+ mAH. Let’s face it, phone manufacturers like making thin phones. I would give up a thin phone for a larger battery any day. Too bad most thick phones have crappy cameras and slow processors. I’m relegated to just having a wireless charger near me at all times. Oh and this!
Headphone jack. Do I need it, rarely. Should a company put it in! Hell yes, it cost what 20 cents?
IR Sensor. It’s not that important but it’s so fun and useful.
OS. It’s not that important because I install my own launcher. I want my phone to work and look like I want it to look. Phones that have themes and features takes up ROM. They are usually not removable so keep that in mind.
Gestures. I’ve used them but I mostly turn them off to save RAM. The only useful ones I’ve seen are on Motorola phones. Chop to turn on flashlight and twist to turn on camera. That should be standard on all phones.