A good smartphone has to be convincing in many disciplines – this not only applies to the technical equipment such as the display, processor or battery, but also to complex aspects such as the operating system, design or update supply. You can read how detailed and objectively CHIP tests cell phones in the description of our cell phone test procedure.
Below are seven useful tips when buying a smartphone in 2021
Display size and resolution
Larger displays provide a better overview but can make operation more difficult. The one-handed operation usually works well up to around 4.5 inches; above this it becomes difficult. When it comes to resolution, you can go to the full, the more pixels, the finer the picture will be. Also, pay attention to the technique. LCDs are usually brighter, AMOLEDs have stronger colors.
Design and workmanship
It is best to check these points on-site at the dealer you trust. After all, whether you perceive a cell phone as a plastic bomber or not is just as much a matter of taste as the styling of the case.
Professional tip: Compare prices when buying a mobile phone
Cell phone prices are constantly changing. When a manufacturer releases a new model, the price of the previous model is usually not insignificantly reduced. Usually, however, the new model also loses significantly in value in the first few months after its release, before the price then remains fixed for some time. Therefore, if you want to buy a relatively new smartphone, you should compare the new price with the price of the used model.
Operating system and app store
By choosing an operating system, you are tied to a provider and its ecosystem at the same time. System changes are becoming more and more difficult. Android and iOS are essentially good and mature systems with a similar range of functions. Android can be found on by far the largest number of devices, and many free or ad-supported apps are available in the Google Play Store. But among them, there is often scrap. At Apple, the quality is generally higher because apps are checked more strictly. Windows Phone isn’t bad, but it can’t keep up in terms of features or the variety of apps.
If you want to install a lot of apps or want to make movies and music with you, you have to pay attention to the size of the integrated memory. 8 gigabytes are only a minimal configuration, and often only 5 gigabytes can be used by the user. A card slot is extremely practical, through which the cell phone memory can be expanded conveniently and inexpensively.
Updates are still a problem with Android. Only the Nexus phones built for Google and some Motorola phones like the Moto G get updates quickly and reliably. The supply at Apple is exemplary, devices are supplied with regular updates over several years. Microsoft also seems to have jumped on the update bandwagon since Windows Phone 8.
There are extreme differences in quality with cell phone cameras. Premium smartphones from Apple, Nokia and Samsung usually have high-resolution and very good cams. The same applies here: Study test reports before buying.