Tech

Things to consider when buying an Android phone

Except for the iPhone, almost all smartphones run on the Android Operating System, which is a free mobile operating system developed by Google. But not all Android phones are created equal. Below are three factors that will help you decide which device to opt for.

Android Versions

Android Versions
Android Versions

There are currently 14 Android operating system versions out there – from Cupcake to Donut ,and a variety of sweet-sounding names in-between – each one being a more expensive update of its predecessor. If you just want to use your phone for basic functions like sending and receiving calls and texts and taking photos, then you can save money by buying a model with an older android version installed.

But if you are security-conscious or want to install useful apps, then you need a newer version that will remain up-to-date for longer. You can check the Android version on your phone by going to its ‘About’ menu under ‘Settings’.

Also Read: The challengers: Nigeria’s top five mid-range smartphones

Chipset

Sony XperiaXZ2
Sony XperiaXZ2


Mobile phones are essentially mini-PCs, with the chipset in smartphones acting like the CPU in computers in the way it integrates the different components of the phone onto one chip. There are four major chipset types: Snapdragon by Qualcomm, Exynos by Samsung, Kirin by Huawei and A-series by Apple.

The speed and efficiency of the chipset determine the overall capability of the smartphone, and currently, the fastest is the Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810. This chipset is found in phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Sony Xperia XZ2, Google Pixel 3 and HTC U12+ with such phones priced at N300,000 and above.

Memory

android memory
android memory

The Random-Access Memory (RAM) in a device stores data used by the apps on the phone – the bigger the RAM, the more data it can hold at once and the faster the phone works. If you are looking for a smartphone that multitasks smoothly or if you are heavy on gaming, then you need a phone with a lot of RAM.

Also read: The New Nokia 5.3: High Tech on a Low Budget

Usually, the 4GB RAM found in many phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 (N220,000) and the Gionee A1 (N100,000) is more than enough for most people, but heavy users can opt for devices with 6GB RAM like the Infinix Zero 5 (N106,000) or the HTC U11 Plus (N235,000).

Internal memory is also important. For phones with smaller internal memory of 8GB, 16GB or even 32GB, the risk is that the space for data storage and app functionality is soon exhausted. If the phone does not support external memory (SD cards), the user will be forced to uninstall apps and delete files, photos and videos or risk losing everything when the phone crashes. So, for users who need a lot of data on their phones, an internal memory of 64GB and above or phones that support external memory extension would be best.

iPhones typically do not support SD cards, however, the iPhone X, XS and XS Max come with internal memory options of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. The bigger the memory, the bigger the price, so the iPhone XS with 64GB memory retails at N325,000, the 256GB option is N363,000 while one with a 512GB memory costs N490,000.

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