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5 Things to Consider When Buying a New Phone

rocket scientist

Whether you need a new phone because your old one broke or you’re simply a phone nerd like me and love testing out and trying new phones at every chance you can, there are a few things you may want to consider when buying a new phone. 


These things are usually not thought of in typical smartphone reviews, so they are perhaps things you may not think about for yourself either. The trouble is, these small things can often make the biggest effect on your experience with a new phone, so it’s important to take them into consideration when buying a new phone. 


Is It Comfortable to Hold? 


There are quite a few phones out there that look pretty nice, but are ridiculously uncomfortable to hold. This is something that comes down to preference though, as I’ve noticed that some phones I find uncomfortable are the perfect fit for others. You’re going to be holding your smartphone most of the time, so you’re going to want something that is a great fit in your hands. 




If you have small hands, perhaps a smaller sized device will be better for you, but if you have bigger hands, small phones or phones with small bezels may prove to be too small for you. 


The most expensive phones are, well, expensive, so don’t waste your money on something you won’t be comfortable with. Make sure to do your research and try to test a device before putting any money down. 


Does it Fit Into My Work/Play Environment? 


This can be a pretty important one. If you spend most of your smartphone time indoors at home, then a larger screened device may fit perfectly in your life. However, if you’re more active or work in a hands-on environment, a phablet or large smartphone may end up getting in the way a little too much. 




There are also certain smartphones that have a bit more “bulk” to them - phones such as the Sony Xperia flagship range or the Galaxy S4 Active have been made to be resistant to damage, although it’d still be sensible to purchase a case for these devices if you spend a lot of your time in an active environment. 


You really don’t want to go through the hassle of breaking your smartphone, so think about how your average everyday living may impact your usage, and take that into consideration when picking out a new device. 

Are The Communication Features on It Suffice? 

The three main things you’ll be using your smartphone for are most likely text messaging, web browsing, and making calls, so it’s important that these three features don’t frustrate you on your new device. 


As an example, I purchased the Galaxy S4 last year, but I kept getting fed up with the flaws in its messaging system. It would tell me when I had a message, but I would have to go into the messaging screen to see who sent it and what they sent me. The menu also took way too many key presses to get to where I wanted, and for me this was a step back from my previously used HTC One X. 


Sometimes, it’s the little things that get on your nerves the most, and you’ll end up regretting it if you don’t take a smartphone for a test drive before buying. 


Does It Have Enough Performance Power To Do The Tasks I Want Done?




This could actually help you save a lot of money. Depending on what you use your smartphone for; you may not need to buy the biggest, best smartphone on the market. It’s typically a better choice to buy cheaper flagships from the previous year than it is to buy “mini” devices, because you can still get good performance out of them at a decent value. 


If you only ever use your smartphone for texting and making calls, you aren’t really going to need to splash out £400 for a smartphone that can play HD videos and graphically intensive 3D mobile games. If you do need a phone that can do this, there are plenty out there to choose - just try not to waste money on unneeded features. 


Do I Actually Need This Right Now? 


Another good money-saving tip and this may prove to be harder for those who enjoy playing around with new smartphones a lot. The truth is, unless you really need a new smartphone, the few hundred pounds you’ll be putting into a new device or new contract could end up going to something more valuable - going places with friends or with your family can often prove to be a better way to spend that extra money, so make sure you truly do need a smartphone at that exact point in time. 




If you’re patient, you can usually pick up flagship devices for a couple hundred cheaper a few months down the line. There are many great refurbished retailers out there that offer like-new handsets for decent prices. You can read a great piece by kenlo here on the giffgaff blog for tips about buying refurbished phones.


You could also sell your old mobile phones to help fund new purchases. Although the value of a smartphone drops pretty rapidly, you could still find a place to sell your mobile for a decent sum, especially if your phone is only 1-2 years old. Shadylady wrote a blog to give you tips on finding the best places to sell your old mobiles, you can read about that here.


Hopefully these few tips will help you to be a bit wiser when it comes to smartphone purchasing decisions. Smartphones are expensive pieces of technology, so it’s important you look at your choices before getting out your wallets. 


I would like to get a Nexus 5 to replace my Galaxy s3 but I've read that if dropped, the Nexus has a tendency to break / shatter quite easily and as my phones take regular nose dives, toughness is quite important. Would a cover help do you think, or are they just for scratches?
Great blog review, especially as I'm going to upgrade my phone later on this year. I'm exactly the same as @mollymogs I'm wanting to upgrade to a 4G ready phone, the nexus 5 is currently in the lead. A solid case is necessary, but it depends on the type of fall really (and luck). Let's see how good the Samsung galaxy S5 is. :-)
If you want a Nexus 5 Carphone Warehouse have just discounted the 16GB model to £240. The screen is the most expensive part to repair on it so I'd recommend getting a case. There are a variety to choose from and they offer varying degrees of protection. Generally speaking the more protection that they offer the bulkier they become. Have a look at the Spigen range on Amazon. Not cheap but good quality.
The S5's 5.2" screen is putting me off
grand master

Very nice blog to help those who are considering getting a new phone! Smiley Happy


Good blog, covering the important points and issues.



Useful review for me (and I read the links too).


I would like a new phone as my old one seems to be 'losing its marbles' a bit.  Its okay but well its the usual complaint of poor battery life if i use the phone and also not enough device memory even although I rooted the phone.


If I'm honest with myself I dont actually need a new phone.  I bought a cheap tablet and that does most things my phone doesnt.  But it does need wifi, which to be fair, is usually available somewhere.


Its really a case of trying to justify the cost of a new phone to myself.  The refurbished option is something I might look at further.


Anyway good blog.



lol good blog
rocket scientist

The Nexus range has always been a great buy, but with any phone, it's best to get a decent case if you plan on having it with you whilst you're out and about.


I've dropped a lot of phones and have been fairly lucky really, but I know there's always that chance your phone could break, and it's always best to avoid that chance! Smiley Very Happy

Two additional factors which I consider for my next smartphone are: replaceable battery and external SD card. Samsung is the only major handset maker that really pushes replaceable batteries on all their phones, while external SD cards are more common.


I definitely agree that putting off the replacement handset purchase is the best tip of the blog! You might as well use your smartphone til its dead and you have no other choice but to replace it!