If you are not tech savvy and don’t follow Smartphone blogs regularly, It is rather easy to take a misstep while deciding your next smartphones. It’s indeed not that simple. There are so many variables and factors involved that it is almost impossible to label any phone as ‘the best smartphone’. Different things matter differently to different people, and thus ultimately, you will have to take a calculated decision for yourself. Here we point out some points where you could go wrong.

How Many Cores Do You Need?

You will be hard-pressed finding any decent dual core phone (except for all iPhones) but that doesn’t mean more cores are better. There is a reason for why Smartphone processors are called System-on-Chips or SoCs. There is more to a ‘processor’ than just the number of cores. (Like GPS Antena, Modem, ISP, DSP, GPU, etc. )

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As a general rule, quality of cores is more important. Having said that, almost all budget and mid-range processors today are using 64 Bit Cortex A53 cores, directly licensed from ARM. So, now that quality of all cores is same, is having 8 cores better than 4? Nope, not necessarily. Unless you are an avid gamer (or even then), you don’t need 8 cores.

BUT, in present market, octa-core chips are generally clocked higher, and thus render better performance. Still confused? Here are some safe, tried and tested options listed below.

Budget Androids – Snapdragon 410, MT6732, MT6735

Mid-range – MT6752, Snapdragon 615, MT6795T (Midrange)

High-end – Snapdragon 810 (2nd Gen), Snapdragon 808

Best of last generation like Snapdragon 800, 801, 805 are still around and still make sense for mid-range buyers.

More RAM Might Not Improve Performance

RAM in your Android phone works a bit differently than on your PC. All your recent apps are cached in RAM, which implies that more RAM will let you switch between more Apps quickly. This also means that if your usage requires, say, 2GB RAM, then 3GB on-board won’t make things run faster for you. So, as alluring as it might be, more RAM doesn’t translate to faster performance, but durable performance in some cases.

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Most basic users with 64 bit chip should aspire for at-least 2GB RAM. If the smartphone has a heavily customized UI, like MIUI 6 or if you are into experimenting and keeping several apps on your phone, you should opt for more RAM, since not all Android apps use your RAM judiciously.

High Megapixels Count doesn’t mean better camera performance

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A 13MP camera is not necessarily better than an 8MP shooter. Number of pixels is important, and add more details to your shots, but, believe you us, there are some god-awful 13MP shooters out there. Unfortunately, you will have to rely on user or other camera reviews in case first-hand experience isn’t an option. The camera quality depends on a number of hardware and software factors, but if we were to point just one which makes the most difference, it would be the size of camera sensor (usually denoted in Inches).

Storage

Internal storage or NAND flash storage is again critical to your smartphone performance. More of it is always a good things. Many buyers don’t give enough credit to the storage present, especially if there is a MicroSD card slot. It is imperative that you inquire more.

You must know how much of storage is free at user end (8GB storage doesn’t mean you will have access to complete 8GB, around 4 to 5 GB will only be available at your end), Is the storage split in Internal storage and phone storage (Most phones don’t have split storage, but that is something you must avoid), and if Apps are transferable to SD card or not. Answer to these questions might matter a lot based on how you plan on using your phone.

Display Resolution

Again, not all HD displays are equal. Despite high resolution and high pixel per inch value, you could land with a mediocre, bland LCD. Color reproduction, brightness and sunlight visibility are some other things which you should consider.

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Also important is to know and realize the difference between AMOLED and IPS LCD displays. To be extremely precise, AMOLED screens are characterized with deep contrasts, awesome blacks and a bit oversaturated colors. They have predominant blue tinge. IPS LCD displays are generally brighter with great viewing angles and better sunlight visibility. You should try getting experience with both kinds before you decide which one suits you better.

4G LTE

Airtel is the sole service provider for 4G LTE in India as of now, and if you are looking forward to experiencing blazing fast internet speeds, you should first check with Airtel experience store near your home if they provide APN settings and support for a particular handset you are planning to buy.

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Though all popular brands are supported, you need to be cautious while going for a lesser known and relatively new brand. Also, there are several phones still selling in India, like Honor 6, which don’t support Airtel’s TDD LTE Bands (2300MHz). Eventualy, Reliance and other telecom players will provide 4G LTE support across FDD LTE  bands too.

Battery

High mAh rating in no way means better battery life. If software isn’t well optimized and if other hardware is more power guzzling, overall backup is likely to fall short of your expectations. It’s the other way round too. First generation Android one phones managed to deliver reasonably better battery backup then most other budget contemporaries back then with a meager 1700mAh power unit.

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Your mileage may vary depending on how you use your phone, how much power hungry the display is, how long you have LTE enabled on your phone, and how efficiently your software handles CPU cores.

Software

Every year Google introduces a new Android version. Unfortunately, It takes an entire year before it becomes popular and readily available across all prices. Platform exclusive apps generally began showing up a year later.

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Before buying a phone, you should consider about future proofing, if you like experimenting with new apps. For instance, we won’t advice anyone buying Android KitKat as of today, since it is already dated and could be a problem one year down the line. Even if the OEM is good with updates, you should go for at least a Lollipop based ROM, if you are a moderate or heavy user.

Compare Prices

Around 90 percent shoppers pay more without comparing prices. Well, while buying smartphones, you can always check the cheapest price across all major online stores on our comparison portal.

Inquire about return policy

If you have no prior experience of what you are buying, make sure that you have the option to unconditionally return it with a full refund, in case you don’t like it. All avid online vouchers will vouch for how good return policy can be life saver at times. Make sure to check for official seller, return and replacement periods before checking out.

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