Smartphone Buying Guide 2022

Buying a Smartphone has never been a piece of cake. If you want to buy a smartphone, you must know why you want to buy, for whom you want to buy one and the most important thing is the budget you have decided to buy a phone. In this article, we will be focusing on all the aspects of buying a mobile.

smartphone-buying-guide

Let’s say if you’re a person looking for a budget smartphone, or if you are a person who is looking for a mid-range device, or even if you are looking for a higher flagship device this guide is surely going to help you.

Nowadays, budget smartphones are more popular than a high-end flagship device for an iPhone level of price. Smartphones ranging between 15k to 30k are more trendy than an 80k or 100k android phone. At this price point people often go for an iPhone or a Samsung’s S and flip/fold series mobile phones.

We will be talking about processor, camera, Storage, Ram, and some other points.

PROCESSOR:

The processor of a phone or laptop decides the performance of a device, the better the processor better will be the performance of the device.

Nowadays especially since the last two years, there are various good performing processors one can get on a smartphone.
These are mostly from the house of Snapdragon and MediaTek. Although Samsung makes chipsets however they are exclusively for Samsung mobile phones.

Whatever smartphone we buy in a market they are now putting good chipsets/processors that are a plus point for consumers.

For a budget phone under 13K, I would suggest you go with MediaTek processors rather than going for an old Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 series processor. I have noticed that MediaTek Helio P60, P70, and G70 performs better than Snapdragon 439, 450, and 460. But the latest launches of Snapdragon 400 series includes 480, 490 and 495. From which some of them are 5G ready processors performs better as compared to the MediaTek processors.

Let’s move on to our midrange devices and let’s divide this category into further two more categories. First one is lower midrange for those whose budget ranges between 13k to 20k. In the second upper midrange for which the budget can range from 20k to 30k. Now, this is the most interesting segment of smartphones. The reason I said interesting is that you get to experience some features of flagship phones on these mobiles.

Lower-midrange :

A Snapdragon 600 series and above can be seen in this range of smartphones. 

Tip: Never buy a smartphone having a processor older than 1 year unless you can afford the next phone by next year.

List of MediaTek Processor under 16k

  • Helio G90
  • Helio G90T
  • Helio G95

but the best one is Dimensity 700 which is again a 5G processor with better performance.

List of Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor under 16K

  • Snapdragon 720G
  • Snapdragon 730
  • Snapdragon 730G
  • Snapdragon 690

Upper-midrange (17k – 30k):

Many smartphones in this range have processors like the snapdragon 720G, 730G, and 732 which were quite popular last year in 2021 but for 2022 there are newer chipsets that you may consider.

Most of them at this pricepoint launching this year will be a 5G phone. 

Snapdragon Chipset to consider:

  • Snapdragon 860 (4G chipset)
  • Snapdragon 870
  • Snapdragon 765
  • Snapdragon 768
  • Snapdragon 780/780G

There will be many devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon 780/780G this year because this is one of the stable chipsets without any heating issues.

MediaTek Chipset to consider:

  • Dimensity 1000
  • Dimensity 800U
  • Dimensity 1000+
  • Dimensity 1200

FLAGSHIP:

And now let us move on to our flagships devices, 2021 flagship devices had Qualcomm Snapdragon 888/888+ which was one of the powerful chipsets of 2021 and we can expect some phones with the same processor in 2022 but Snapdragon has taken the game to the next level by introducing Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is the most robust chipset

And of course, for the flagship devices, gen 1 processors will be the first preference.

Samsung launches its lineup of chipsets under Exynos you can check them out if you are interested in Samsung,

Last year’s flagship from Samsung which is Samsung Galaxy S21 had Exynos 2100 chipset.
And this years flagship phone Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra have Exynos 2200 chipset.

Apple has its chipsets which are only present in Apple iPhones, last year it was Apple A15 Bionic which was in Apple iPhone 13 lineup.

Every year Apple launches a new and improved version of chipsets so this time we can expect the Apple A16 Bionic chip with Apple iPhone 14 lineup. 

CAMERAS:

Higher the Megapixel better the picture quality -myth

This is one of the myths about the camera of a smartphone.
Higher megapixels do not mean a better camera, picture quality depends upon how the camera is optimized with software and quality depends on Post Image processing by the software (software optimization) of the smartphone.

Even if the mobile has 108 MP if post-processing is not done properly by the software, it is of no use.

Apple’s iPhone has a 12MP camera but it produces one of the best photos one can take from a mobile phone. likewise, pixel phones from google are the best for photos with a clean android experience they also use a 12 MP camera, their photos are best because they have optimized their software and post-image processing to get the desired result.

Smartphones come with 3 cameras or 4 cameras even 5 cameras.

The first camera is the Main Camera (Wide-angle camera) the second one is an Ultra-wide camera and the third camera is a Telephoto lens

these are all important cameras you should look for a meaningless 2MP macro camera is not at all required you can take macro shots with a Telephoto lens.

There are lots of cameras but we hardly use other cameras other than the main camera.

If a smartphone camera has Optical image stabilization then it is useful.

Pro Tip: Do not fall for the megapixel race.

STORAGE:

Now moving to storage, I would suggest to for at least 64 GB, you can go for 32GB storage but it is no more recommended in 2022.
You will find 32GB Storage in the phones which are entry-level if you are on a tight budget you can for sure go for it but before buying one research well.

Even though, If you are buying a budget smartphone nowadays companies offer a 64GB variant of the same phone having 128GB.

Latest Android phones come with newer animations newer features and much more, that takes more storage on your device, some part of your storage is always reserved with android files, these files can take up to 10 to 15 GB in your smartphones, an android with the latest update gives more features so more space is required, if you buy a smartphone with 32GB storage you won’t be able to store your photos or videos or maybe your music.

Nowadays mobile cameras are capturing higher resolution pictures which again takes lots of storage. A single picture taken from a 48 or 64 MP camera can take up to 10MB of storage for a single photo. And if you buy a smartphone with 32 GB storage you will likely run out of space in no time. And then your mobile will hang, lag, give various problems. Then you will have to change again so it’s better to take a good amount of storage.

When you are taking a mid-range phone you will definitely play some games. Some of the latest games like Genshin Impact takes 10GB then Asphalt 9 which would be around 2.5 to 3 GB. Then if you play PUBG it would take at least 4 to 5 GB after downloading all high graphic resources. And then COD which again would take 10 GB.

Besides gaming, many applications take really large space, like WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram.

Storage recommendation:

Your Photos your videos your favorite Series all these will take additional storage. For all these reasons I would recommend you to go for at least 64 or 128 GB Storage, now flagship devices have more storage options 128 Gb / 256 GB even 512GB and 1 TB.

I know you can expand storage with a micro SD card but trust me guys they are not as fast as the phone storage and many flagship devices do not have micro SD card options.

Especially iPhone does not support external storage, so you need to choose the best iPhone storage size

Whatever storage variant 64GB or 128 or 256GB you select should have a UFS 2.1 storage type below UFS 2.1 there is no good storage type, additionally, if you get UFS 3.0 or 3.1 it has a fast read and write speed. Flagship phones generally have UFS 3.0 or 3.1.

RAM:

Talking about the RAM, when you have a good amount of ram you will be able to perform tasks quickly. It will help you multitask, you will be able to play high-end mobile games of course if your processor allows.

Bigger RAM means faster Multitasking performance

Latest phones even budget phones nowadays come with a good amount of RAM. Mobiles with 4 GB RAM should be the minimum requirement. Mostly you can get 6 GB minimum RAM for a decent price, most of the phones launching 2022 is having at least 6 GB RAM, which is again a plus point.

As time passes smartphones are getting better and better. And with smartphones, their applications and games are also becoming better, to load games faster you need better RAM.

Playing a AAA title game on a smartphone demands a lot of resources, a good example is the Genshin Impact.

And of course, this game will demand a higher RAM and good CPU on your smartphones so that you can enjoy the game smoothly.

And you can expect many awesome games coming in 2022, so your smartphones need to be ready to tackle them.
So, if you buy any midrange phone it should have at least 6 GB RAM. 4 GB RAM should not be considered for a midrange phone, for a flagship device, you must have at least 8 GB RAM. Some do offer 12 GB RAM you can consider them but 8 GB would be enough.
Many game-centric mobiles even have 16GB and 18GB RAM which is incredible.

DISPLAY:

Display size is a personal preference, some likes big and some likes compact phones. But companies nowadays don’t make compact phones except Apple which have an iPhone mini every year which is a small-sized design phone.

Whatever may be the screen size, screen quality should be good for any smartphone.

Even for a budget smartphone, you will get an HD display 

in a smartphone that is 720 * 1280 pixels.

For a midrange phone, you should always look for a Full HD display that is 1080 * 1920 pixels.

Prefer AMOLED display if available, Amoled displays produce punchy colors and are more color accurate, Amoled displays can even save battery if you are using a dark theme.

5G:

Do you need a smartphone with 5G in 2022?

It’s 2022, there was a lot of hype about 5G in 2021. But in many regions, 5G was not released in India, no network provider supports 5G but almost all the phones are in the upper-midrange and the premium segment had 5G.

Now, in 2022 you can expect 5G networks in India as per the Rumors.

So, my recommendation will be to get a 5G smartphone it will be more capable in terms of other things like processors and other things also.

If it was 2021 I would have recommended you not to focus on 5G. But now 5G is available in the rest of the world.

So if entry-level smartphones do not give 5G it’s ok. But if you are going to spend 17 or 20k then 5G is a must and you will easily get one most of the phones launching this year will have 5G support.

BATTERY:

In terms of battery, most of the midrange smartphones perform better than a Flagship. I have a valid point why I am saying this. 2020, 2021 had some phones with 7,000mAh batteries, 6,000 mAh batteries and they perform well. But they are bulky and flagship phones don’t want to get too heavy for a user. So, they have 4,000 to 5,000mAh battery capacity only.

4000mAh battery is already good, in 2022 don’t buy a smartphone that offers less than 4,000mAh battery even on an entry-level smartphone, except iPhones.

CHARGING:

In 2021 we have already seen the evolution of charging technology. There are already 33W, 67W, and even 120W charger that charges smartphones in just 15 to 20 minutes.
Fast charging is new normal, to charge 4000mAh or 6000mAh batteries. Of course, we need a speedy charging solution to charge them quickly. Don’t even think to buy a smartphone with 5W or 10W charging. Charging a 4000mAh battery with 5W or even 10W charger will take more than 3 hours. And no one got that much time to wait for their mobile phone charging.
Entry-level smartphones should also have at least 15W charging support. So a midrange smartphone must have at least a 25w or the 27w charger that can charge your phone within an hour.
Xiaomi has already launched a smartphone with 120W charging that charges the smartphone within 20 minutes, isn’t it incredible.

BUILT:

The built quality of a smartphone is what most people neglect. But it is a factor you should consider when buying a smartphone. If a smartphone has Gorilla Glass protection it can handle a small slip from hand.

Here we are not considering the from which material back is made because almost every person uses their favourite cover on the back of smartphones so the back is always protected.

Smartphones in 2022 should have USB Type-C charging, micro USB is old now, most of the smartphone accessories also do have Type-C charging, I don’t think you should carry a different charger for your mobile and different for your headphones and other related stuff.

SOME More POINTS TO CONSIDER

Apart from all the above points, you should also consider the earpiece quality and haptic feedback of the phone.

Some Problems

I have noticed that phones are being launched over time that does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Big giants like Samsung and Xiaomi removed 3.5mm headphone jack so that people buy wireless headphones.
After apple removed Charger from their Upcoming phones many other brands followed that. Saying it is eco-friendly, but think upon this buying mobile and charger separately does this make any sense.

Computer Engineer by profession, Loves to talk about latest technical stuff


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