Smartphones have become indispensable sidekicks to
many of us. They are information tools, media
consumption devices, and our mobile offices. In some
cases, they have outgrown being just computing tools
and are evolving into our personal assistants. As such, it
is safe to say that buying a smartphone is not exercise to
be left to impulse.
As with most other major shopping activities, it is
important to have a checklist when shopping for a new
smartphone. The idea is to get the most value for your
money, whatever your budget is. Jumia Travel shares a
checklist of items to look out for when shopping for a
The Operating System
When your budget for a new smartphone is able to get
you either an iPhone running iOS, or a smartphone
running Android OS, the burden is then about which of
the two to choose. Some people say the iOS is better
than the Android OS. In reality, it depends on you, the
iOS is easy to use and you can be sure of getting the
hottest and best apps in most cases. Your iPhone will
also get timely software updates, tight security and very
few issues with malware. However, it is more restrictive
in how it interacts with other gadgets.
Android OS gives you more hardware choice and more
control over your user experience. You can change and
customise almost anything you want on your smartphone.
File transfer and interactivity with other gadgets is also
easier on Android OS.
There is also Windows OS, which is a good choice if you
are looking for an OS with good performance because
it’s tailored to offer better performance than iOS and
Android OS. However, you won’t find as many apps as
the other two offer.
The Screen Size
Smartphones with screen size below 5 inches are great if
one-hand use is important to you and you are looking for
a portable smartphone you can perform quick tasks with.
However, if you use your phone mainly for media
consumption (especially video), a smartphone with a
large screen size (above 5 inches) is better for you.
This is unarguably the most important smartphone
feature for most smartphone buyers. When buying a
smartphone, consider the camera specs like megapixels
(the larger the better), aperture (the lower the better)
and, if it’s within your budget, try to get one with Optical
Image Stabilization (OIS). If you are unable to get one
with OIS, that’s fine. Simply consider mainly the
megapixels and aperture of the camera.
The RAM And Processor
For CPU results, speedier operations and better multi-
tasking on your smartphone, you should consider both
the RAM and processor of the smartphone. For example,
a good RAM and processor will reduce, if not completely
eliminate, the incidence of your smartphone ‘hanging’
while in use. However these days RAM is becoming a
more reliable indicator of a phone’s performance than
the processor, because sometimes a dual-core processor
can be far more powerful than an eight-core processor.
Smartphones with 2GB RAM and above are
recommended. Smartphones with very limited RAM are
the cause of rudimentary performance problems. 1GB
and 1.5GB RAM can lead to performance problems on
your smartphone. However, if 1GB and 1.5GB RAM
smartphones are the ones within your budget, you can
make the best of this by downloading very few apps and
refraining from opening multiple apps at the same time.
You should close every app you open the moment you
are done using them.
Multi-core processors like the dual-core, quad-core,
hexa-core and octa-core processors are recommended
when sourcing for a good smartphone. But be careful,
powerful processors tend to drain the battery of your
smartphone. If you will only perform simple tasks with
your phone like communicating through text messages,
making calls, checking emails or browsing the internet, a
smartphone with a low but reasonable processing power,
like the dual-core or quad-core processor, is good for
When buying a new smartphone you have to make sure
the smartphone has good battery life. Usually,
smartphones with a 3000 mAh battery are recommended
if durability is important to you. You can settle for one
above 2000 mAh, but avoid going for one lower than
If buying a smartphone with a huge battery, one with fast
charge is a good idea, so that you can charge up your
Most budget smartphones come with 4 GB to 64 GB
internal storage. 16 GB internal storage and above is
what we recommend though, if you can afford one.
However, if that is outside your budget, you can settle for
an 8 GB smartphone with an external memory card slot,
so you can add extra memory with a card.