Once you know you want a new smartphone, nothing can stop you. But, it's not a good idea to jump in head first and buy the first phone that catches your eye. To help you make the big decision, here are seven things you should avoid when picking a new smartphone.
Don't fall for the advertisements
There it is, in the newspaper you're reading or in the commercial break of your favorite TV show. A perfect shot of a beautiful smartphone spinning in great lighting. Choreographed dancers, celebrities and everyday people fawning over the device in every scene. Ads are here to manipulate you.
By only showing you a device in the best possible light, you don't know what it will look like once it has been covered with fingerprints, if you can play your favorite games on it or if the battery is long lasting. In the end, ads can only make you aware of a device, and not teach you much about it.
Don't fall for the sales pitch
If you're a salesperson, try not to be offended, as we wouldn't want to paint all of you with the same brush. There are some sales representatives at carriers who are well-intentioned and know what they're talking about. But, the vast majority care more about their sales targets, commissions and bonuses than helping you choose the right device for your needs.
So, it's important to be careful, especially if you don't know much about technology. If that's the case, bring a knowledgeable friend who can help ask the right questions and keep the salespeople from pushing you into what "sells more" or what "everyone is buying". Don't fall into the trap or let anyone pressure you.
Don't buy from the first shop you go to
By all means, go into a store and try out some phones to help you pick the one that fits your price range, performance needs and design wants. But, if you find a winner, don't buy it there! Even if you need a new phone urgently, you should do an hour of internet research and price comparison first.
Buying from a carrier store is very likely to make you lose money. You have to check both online and in-store to compare prices and plans. Doing this, even just briefly, could save you hundreds of dollars.
Don't pick the most expensive or the cheapest
The iPhone X costs the most, so it must be the best, right? Don't run out and buy it. You don't want to spend a lot of money, so buying the cheapest phone is fine, right? Think again. Neither option is a good idea, you'll throw away money by choosing either one.
You can lose money by even buying the cheapest option. How is this possible? The device could break much earlier than expected and have to be replaced. Cheap is expensive, as they say. Of course, on the other hand, it's more obvious that you would lose money by picking the most expensive option. Less expensive phones can get the job done just the same, maybe with less cool factor.
In addition, price has a lot to do with branding and exclusivity. So, more expensive definitely doesn't mean better. The best way to go is just shopping based on your needs.
Don't choose based on brand loyalty
We can all list the most famous brands in the world: Apple, Samsung, Huawei and so on. Obviously, they all produce great smartphones with the latest technology, but you shouldn't stick to just one brand you love. Keep an open mind, and even think of lesser known brands which could pleasantly surprise you.
There are a ton of smaller brands you don't hear about as much, and even more Chinese brands you've probably never heard of. With these manufacturers, you can get a more affordable phone that fits all your needs, and maybe also packs some unique features. Don't overlook these alternative brands in your search!
Don't rule out last year's models
It's not only the latest that can be the greatest. Not all new phones can outshine their predecessors. Smartphones like the Galaxy S7 are still here and kicking, despite not being shown off in shop windows anymore. You can find older smartphones online instead, and at a great price.
You can pay way less than a smartphone cost when it came out and still get all the features you want. It can really pay off to get an older flagship instead of a brand new mid-range smartphone.
Don't shop without knowing your priorities
Finally, here's the most important point. Even if you ignore all the previous tips, listen to this one.You can buy the cheapest, the most expensive, the newest or the one from the TV commercial. But, only do it if it's the one you need.
If you're a keen photographer, don't buy a smartphone with a lackluster camera. If you spend your day out and about with no charger, don't get a phone with poor battery life. If you're a big gamer, a small display or weak processor will only leave you disappointed. The best advice we can give you is to think about what matters most to you. What do you want to do with the smartphone? Only by identifying your priorities will you get what you really want and need.
What do you think about when buying a smartphone? Is there anything in particular that you avoid?