Smartphones are part of our lives and there is nothing we can do about it. This small computers are really powerful and have integrated so much into every aspects of our daily lives that we depend solely on them to either communicate with our loved ones or colleagues as well as transact businesses both online and offline.
They’re small meaning they can fit very well and can easily be carried around with us to wherever we want which is why the smartphone is surely eliminating the Personal computers as they’re taking over with full capacity.
Smartphones nowadays now offer immerse capabilities that allows them to be able to handle whatever task being thrown at them. You can play games, watch movies, take pictures, record high resolution videos and share media files on this portable device.
Smartphones seems to be disrupting every industry from the digital camera industry to the personal computers. With modern camera modules which allows this devices to record 4K and even 8K video resolutions, this is just the beginning. One can argue that a single smartphone is all you need and that is true to some extents.
With smartphones ranging from the high-end flagship devices which often come at a premium price points to mid-range smartphones which are much more affordable while offering nearly as close in functionality and capabilities of the high-end devices and down to the entry-level which are much affordable and are often targeted at certain audiences, picking the right device for you might be a tedious task sometimes unless you have all the time in the world to compare each device against the order before concluding which to purchase and that is exactly what we’re going to do in this post.
There are many factors to consider before deciding on which device to pick and make your daily driver as that will enhance your daily lives and productivity as the best phone will be a good companion which you can rely on anytime.
The year is 2020 and things have changed
There are 5G tech now, better displays, cameras and faster processors
Just 10 years ago, no one would expect that smartphones can suddenly become so powerful as they are today. With cutting-edge software and daring hardware designs, we can certainly say that the development of this devices was really rapid and the growth is really immerse.
But as mentioned, the year is 2020 which means a lot of changes in terms of technology and expectations from devices. Nowadays, almost all smartphones are good looking except for some selected few. But if you take Xiaomi’s smartphones as an example, it’s certain that the company had invested a lot in making great looking smartphones which for example the Mi 10 Pro which features a large 6.6-inch with a hole punch camera cut-out hat houses the device’s front-facing selfie camera.
Designs of smartphones have obviously changed over time and more companies now use Matte finish on their flagship devices. This came right after Apple released it’s iPhone 11 series which unlike the previous iPhone XS series, this model had this frosted matte finish to it and then Google Pixel 4 series picked it up as well.
Another great thing about 2020 smartphones is the processor which has now gotten much more faster. Although some mid-rangers features a little lesser-powerful processors such as the Snapdragon 765 series (from Qualcomm) they obviously perform without lagging in any way possible thanks to their large RAM.
One trend which had being going on for a while now is that nearly all mid-range smartphones are catching up with the premium high-end flagship devices in many aspects. But then you might ask yourself what makes a device high-end and what makes a device a mid-ranger and so forth. Let’s first take a quick glance at important things to consider before deciding on whatever smartphone you might want to pick up this year.
How long the battery can last
4500mAh battery are now popular in Android devices
This is another super important thing to consider when thinking about the kind of smartphone to pick. While some smartphones are really designed for the business and corporate users, others are clearly made for Gamers as well as Travelers, Adventurers and so forth.
Each specification of a smartphone determines its battery capability. Most modern smartphones though now feature really powerful battery sizes which range from 4000mAh to 5000mAh and we’ve seen some really extreme large battery devices with 7000mAh but obviously that’s a lot of cells paced into a small device.
While you’re likely to be someone who probably go to work on the daily, just as most people, chances are that your smartphone might never run out of battery because you can easily connect to the power while working but let’s say you have a long trip for some hiking, while a good Powerbank might be one of the important thing to bring along with you during those trips, having a smartphone that can last long enough while doing numerous tasks such as video recording, taking pictures of the awesome nature and so forth are really essential things to consider.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra for example has a large 5000mAh battery which gives it enough power to last you through the day depending on how much you use the device though. But in other cases, the device is surely not for everyone as it’s huge and really expensive. But what about the less expensive Galaxy S20 Plus, yeah you got it. But then we have the new Motorola Edge Plus which also has a large 4500mAh battery.
The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G also features the same capacity which gives the device enough juice to last through the day. Meanwhile the large battery in these devices aren’t really meant to serve as “excessive long hour of continuous usage” instead, one can say that due to the components many of these devices house, it might be a good idea to house really big cells right within the devices.
Take the OnePlus 8 Pro as an example. It has a 6.78-inch display which is big on its own then it has a 90Hz refresh rate on its OLED panel and 1 Billion color. Okay that aside. The device also has support for 5G which isn’t global yet and that alone is one of the things smartphone manufacturers are considering while making devices in order to not get the devices’ batteries drained quickly due to the 5G Modem and radio waves right within these devices.
Fast charging is super essential and unless you work at a job whereby you are busy throughout, chances are that sometimes, you just wasn’t to take a peep at your smartphone for no reason. One bad thing that damages smartphones’ batteries is overcharging them which is why these companies have developed their own smart-charging technologies that allows fast charging mostly at 18W then some at 45W.
Wireless charging too can be really important but it’s not really essential as in many cases, you might not really have the luxury. And in fact most of the devices that comes with this technology are high-end smartphones except that Apple did the unthinkable while adding up this technology to its new iPhone SE which is a mid-range smartphone. And of course, there are other Android smartphones out there that have this same technology despite being affordable.
The Amount you’ve budgeted
Mid-range device pricing vs Premium pricing
As the saying goes, you get what you paid for, that can also be true in the situation of smartphones in some situations. As mentioned earlier, smartphone makers these days sometimes get caught at the center whereby they make great mid-range smartphones and you wonder if the device was mistakenly marketed as one.
Take the Samsung Galaxy A-series as an example. These devices feature everything premium especially interesting features on the high-end Samsung Galaxy S- Series itself. Aside that, another company that dares is Xiaomi which obviously makes really affordable devices despite featuring high-end specifications. For your information, it was a mid-range Xiaomi device that first featured the monstrous 108 Megapixels camera, the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 and ever since then, other high-end devices have followed suit such as the newly announced Motorola Edge+, the Xioami Mi 10 Series and even the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
But where pricing falls in here is that majority of high-end smartphones fall within the region of US$799 and above with many peaking US$ 2000 as with the case of the Huawei Mate X which is a folding smartphone.
Meanwhile a good budget of US$ 500 can get you a pretty decent smartphone and considering the current state of the economy in many countries around the world, it might be a nice thing to simply know how you should spend your money. With a US$ 500, you’ll shop the new iPhone SE (2020) and get an extra US$ 100 change that you can use to pay for other premium services.
But unless you’re an Android enthusiast, chances are that you’re likely in regions where Huawei’s devices are banned which affected it’s sub brand, Honor as the company excels with mid-range smartphones just as with the newly released Honor 30S series.
But then we have RealMe and Redmi both brand are known to be great at what they do while simply offering high-end performances at an affordable price-range.
Processing power of the device
Snapdragon SoC, HiSilicon Kirin, MediaTek, NVIDIA Tegra, Exynos and much more
Almost every smartphones made these days are powerful and can handle whatever task thrown at them conveniently but what if you are the special user and needs some special device with special capability which is why you can consider getting yourself a gaming smartphone if you’re for example a gamer.
Take the new Nubian RedMagic 5G as an example, this device features everything you need from a smartphone and then tops it up with its gaming capability which is obviously one thing that makes the device fascinating. Running on the high-end Snapdragon 865, it has 5G technology, a massive battery and 6GB of RAM…what else…oh did I mention its within the US$500 price-mark as well.
But the difference between the Snapdragon 800-series and 700-series or 600-series aren’t so obvious. There have even been rumors about Google wanting to port it’s devices on he SD 700-series because the high-end 800-series are really much more expensive.
But that’s not the point. The fact is that smartphones most compensate with big storage spaces especially with the RAM and in most cases nowadays, unless you’re running an iOS device, chances are that your smartphone has 4GB of RAM but that number is changing pretty fast as we now have devices with 12GB of RAM which is interesting right definitely these kind of smartphones can handle anything whatsoever that’s being thrown at them.
But then the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset isn’t the only processor powering smartphones up as we already have the likes of HiSilion Kirin from Huawei, Intel Atom, Apple Bionic, NVIDIA Tegra, MediaTek, Samsung’s Exynos and other not-so-popular chip makers out there. The fact is just that Snapdragon hipset seems to be the mainstream and that became what most users seek for in their devices. But other chipsets are powerful as well. Take the HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G for example, it’s what powers the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and the new P40 series and thehse devices are really high-end and super expensive in many respects.
The Smartphone’s form factor
Large devices, Waterfall displays and folding screens
Since 2019, Samsung had dared the world by adding up the Galaxy Fold smartphone up to its line of devices and we were all amazed then Motorola took the baton and Samsung dropped another similar-looking but better Galaxy Z Flip and of course, Huawei did the same with the Mate X, Royole did it’s own FlexPai and yeah, smartphones can now fold but the thing is these kind of devices aren’t yet mainstream so they’re super expensive unless you have budget for that, then go for it.
Foldable smartphones allows you to enjoy that immersive view which you’ll get from a tablet that can easily be converted back right into a smartphone form factor when folded thanks to the flexible OLED panel technology which allows that.
But not only foldable smartphones are essential nowadays, smartphone makers are now continuing a trend which Vivo started last year with its Nex 3 5G smartphone which is the “Waterfall” display whereby the device’s screen curves about 90-degree to the sides of the device making the entire side nearly like a screen.
While Samsung had probably already reversed its decision to having a device look like that back when it first introduced the “Edge” series, the company’s devices in the year 2020 so-far have been flat but other companies still carry on with this extreme curvy design as with the case of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and now the Motorola Edge+ (the name).
Huawei’s P40 series too has this over-flowing display design whereby there are curves at all edges of the display which kind of sounds weird but when looked at, it’s not bad at all.
The form factor is also what you should consider when trying to buy a smartphone as this will determine the elegance as well as functionality of the said device. But don’t be deceived, the beauty sometimes are really costly and that’s why you should look before you leap.
The Cameras are really important
108MP trend and multiple camera systems
Cameras are one of the selling points of smartphones nowadays but that doesn’t mean they come just easy like that but with smartphones now sporting multiple camera setups except of course Apple sometimes as with the case of the new iPhone SE, majority of smartphone makers now bundle their devices with multiple camera systems some even peaking 5 setups.
The 108 Megapixels trend is becoming really popular in the year 2020 with companies like Samsung, Xiaomi and Motorola already incorporating this technology on their devices. But the saying goes “The number of pixels doesn’t amount to result” and that’s true because the iPhone 11 Pro only has a triple 12MP camera setup and it obviously shoots better pictures compared to the Xiaomi’s penta setup with a 108MP primary sensor.
This has to do with image processing in the software of the device and that usually come with the premium devices. Not only the 108MP are really cutting edge because of course the Galaxy S20 Ultra features that big sensor as well and you’d expect it to beat the iPhone 11 Pro by far…it did which boils down to the image processing capability of the device which is part of why high-premium smartphones take much better pictures and record better videos than say mid-rangers.
The current Huawei Mate 30 Pro can record a super slow-mo at 7608 Frames per seconds which is ultra-slow as though the entire time is still. The device also features this 40MP cine camera lens which allows the device to record better videos.
There have been short movies shot on smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro for example, Lady Gaga’s Stupid Love music video was shot entirely on an iPhone 11 Pro. There are also movies shot on Huawei Mate 30 Pro so premium smartphones obviously gets the job done when it comes to shooting videos and taking high quality photographs.
The display size, resolution and technology
OLED VS LCD or 90Hz VS 120Hz
There are devices nowadays with 120Hz refresh rate as well as those with the good old 60Hz refresh rate and 90Hz which is more common these days especially in high end smartphones. But the refresh rate is what eases out the animation and transitions on smartphone’s displays.
But the refresh aside, scren resolutions are really important for media consumption which is what leads to the technology being used. We have OLED panels and LCD Panels but the latter is more common in mid-range and entry-level smartphones except in some minor cases whereby we see an OLED panel being featured on an affordable smartphone.
Take the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 for example, it’s almost like the most perfect mid-range smartphone out there featuring an amazing 6.4-inch display which is of course an OLED panel. Most Samsung mid-rangers from the Note 10 Lite and S10 Lite all feature this technology as well as the upper variants of the A-Series.
But comparing the OLED with LCD, there is not too much difference especially if the LCD display comes with a Full HD+ support which makes the display really bright and ultra detailed. The perks of owning an expensive smartphone all boils down to the display capacity and the refresh rate which is all what makes the device smoother and faster when interacting with the device’s display and so forth.
Let’s talk about size because almost every smartphones out there now have a large display that measures from 6-inch except for Apple’s new iPhone SE (again) which has a tiny 4.7-inch display. But that could also be a blessing to those who simply want a smartphone which fits right well into their palms. But a 6.9-inch display as with Galaxy S20 Ultra is very obvious that this device isn’t for everyone because being unable to use a single hand to access your phone can pose a problem say if you’re standing in the train while traveling home or trying to do something while on the road and you’re carrying something with the other hand.
Although smartphone makers have tried to shrink bezels and make devices really small while squeezing in large displays into their devices, one thing obvious is that the display size still influence what you’d get as for the overall size of the device itself.
Other important technology
5G is one popular trend which smartphone makers are now indulging themselves in but the fact that a smartphone comes with 5G in 2020 doesn’t affect the pricing of the device obviously. These devices usually have the “5G” name written well on them and that’s to signify the inclusion of the technology. But then we all know 5G isn’t just yet everywhere yet which is probably part of the reason companies like Apple and Google aren’t in the rust to adopt the technology just yet on their devices.
Then we have the security technology such as fingerprint scanners which are now moved under the display of many smartphones nowadays. While Apple sticks with the FaceID technology, other companies like Huawei uses 3D Face scanning technology to unlock devices as well as the under-screen fingerprint readers which are also found on Samsung and OnePlus, Xiaomi devices and almost all Android smartphones these days.
The other thing is the water-resistance of the device and that is “just in case” of accidental splashes, many devices can even be submerged for about 30 minutes under water which is another big plus.
The storage matters as well because depending on why you are buying a smartphone, you might be needing a large storage space in order to be able to perform tasks such as video recording and so forth. Considering how large media files such as 8K videos can be, the need to have a really large storage is important.