How do I choose a smartphone? 6 top features that make a great smartphone

January 05, 2016 News Reviews Tip

What should you look for?

Nowadays a new stunning smartphone with extraordinary features that really captures your attention appears in the market almost every month. We’ve reviewed the top newcomers recently such as iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium, Blackberry Priv. The list isn’t even full. No wonder consumers have a lot to choose from – too much to choose from, in fact. So we decided to prepare this feature guide that will help you decide how your personal needs should be met exactly. Those features below are based on in-depth analysis and personal accounts from consumers.

Beating heart of a smartphone

Even if you are not extremely familiar with the way modern gadgets work, you are still aware that the processor, or CPU, is the beating heart of your smartphone. A fast processor provides for a smooth overall performance, running applications and tasks multi-functioning. Most commonly processors are judged by the gigahertz (GHz) listed in the specifications. These days a chip's architecture, specifically how many computing cores it has, is becoming a more reliable predictor.

Shooting experience

It’s a way too narrow approach to judge whether a camera in a smartphone is good or bad by megapixels solely. As if to prove that we came across quite a few good 13-megapixels cameras that take better photos than a bad 20-megapixels one. We’d say that camera’s quality depends significantly on a wide range of factors that should be reviewed together.

One significant factor in a camera’s performance is the lens quality, which could aid the sensor by exposing it to more light. The sensor itself might also offer a lower pixel count, but be more sensitive to illumination, resulting in better performance in low-light conditions.

Front camera performance is of growing significance lately too. You just need selfies for social networks, don’t you? The manufacturers are meeting that need by both increasing topside cameras’ resolution and concentrating on more software dedicated to the art of selfies.

One more factor you want to pay attention to in a smartphone camera is the optical stabilization, which provides for steadier, clearer photos. You are also sure to feel the benefits of having it implemented in your smartphone while making the videos.

Battery performance

Surprisingly, all the manufacturers have been putting considerable efforts into creating stunning displays, boosting smartphones performance by adding great cameras and outstanding software, but it is only now, this year, that the issue of battery life has finally started to be addressed.

Typical batteries start from around 1,700mAhand can go all the way up to 4,000mAh. More great news is that this year a few stunning technologies to prolong the battery life of your smartphone are emerging. Huawei presented its two prototype removable lithium-ion batteries that can recharge in minutes. Even though still under development, seems like next year will boost the great battery news.

For now, while choosing a smartphone, simply pay attention to battery performance specifications for a certain model (talk time, standby time, video and music playing time).

Go AMOLED or stay LCD?

Today's smartphone LCD panels offer HD resolutions of up to 2,560x1,440 pixels, with the exception of Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, which has a 3,840x2,160-pixel resolution (or 4K) display. Active matrix organic light-emitting diode displays (AMOLED) use organic chemicals as the material that generates light. Since they don't rely on backlights for illumination, AMOLED screens tend to have higher contrast and more vibrant colors than LCDs. While LCDs are known to appear more natural.

Operating system

Well, this one is undoubtedly only about your preferences. You are sure to go for iOS in a new iPhone. if you’re already a happy owner of a Mac, an iPad or iPod. The latest version available is iOS9.

Android is flexible, exciting, a platform for true tinkerers. The latest OS version is Android 6.0 Marshmallow presented this fall in Google Nexus 5X and 6P.

Then there's Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft's OS. It has a simple, appealing interface, though users still may not find it quite as deep or as flexible as Android. Still, it has strong integration with Office and with Microsoft's other services.

BlackBerry, in a move to adapt to the increasingly limited OS market, released the Priv. The newcomer runs Google Android.

Cool features to have


NFC enables fast data exchanges between devices over short distances, just by tapping handsets together. It's also used to quickly pair phones to Bluetooth devices, like speakers.

Wireless charging

Finally in smartphones too! Wireless charging is integrated into the phone or an external case, or can be achieved through a plug-in dongle.

Fingerprint scanning

Apple popularized fingerprint scanning for unlocking the phone, but it's made its way into other smartphones since.

Heart-rate monitor

New great feature that both Samsung and Apple provide in their new models and is most likely to get widely spread.

Curved screens

Why curve a smartphone screen? Simply because it’s possible. Does it significantly change your experience as a user? Rather not. But it looks pretty amazing, doesn’t it?