When there’s a new smartphone launched every other week and every device maker shows off their device as the latest and greatest, finding the right one can be tough.
With the plethora of Android phones released recently and Apple gearing up to hold their Far Out event this 7 September (1 am Malaysian time) and probably announce the iPhone 14 series and Apple Watch 8 series, we are spoiled for choice.
So, to help us pick our next daily pocket-sized companion, let’s consider some features of a device that we often don’t think about (but we should) that would help us, at the very least, make our decisions easier.
How Easy Is It To Get Repaired?
When a smartphone, no matter how capable it is, is only good if it is functioning, customer service is important. It doesn’t matter how long the warranty period is if getting the device fixed is more trouble than it’s worth.
Before picking a brand, scout around and see if there is a customer service centre for that brand near you. Ask what you have to do if you need your phone fixed.
For example, most Apple authorised stores in Malaysia are not only showrooms, but they can provide customer service and some of them are Apple Service Centres as well.
How’s The Software Support?
A smartphone will only last as long as its software. They can build them tough, they can build them repairable, but more often than not, when a new model comes out the previous one is abandoned.
When a device is not getting the latest security and OS updates with all the new software features, it might as well be obsolete.
Android phone users often face this problem. So much so that a lot of phone makers are touting years of continuous support as a feature recently, but with no guarantees as to when and how soon users will get the updates when Google releases it.
On the other hand, the iPhone 8, which was released about five years ago, will get iOS16 just like all the other devices that came after it when the update is released.
Is It The Best Though?
Picking the right Android phone is tough. Even if you have a favourite brand, you have to cut past the marketing, look at the specification, and compare to see what you’re getting.
The variety of processors, storage, memory, and cameras, makes the prices of Android devices diverse.
However, Apple now has the habit of putting the same top-of-the-line processors across all of their iPhones, from the affordable SE to the professional level Pro Max. This means that not only picking one that fits your budget is easier, but you can be sure the performance (including picture quality) is both the best and relatively the same across the board.
How Does It All Work Together?
If you’re already into a brand, this won’t matter much, but if you are planning to switch to another, you probably should think about this.
Samsung probably has the best ecosystem amongst all the Android smartphones. Their accessories and appliances work well with their smart devices. It also helps that they make all of them as well.
It’s pretty great how almost everything Samsung makes can work together.
But all of that is slightly pale in comparison with Apple’s iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and iCloud devices. Not only are they all working together, it feels like they are all a part of a cohesive system.
It’s simple things like being able to enter tech on the Apple TV using an iPhone, control lights from the Apple TV and pasting text from an iPhone to an iPad, that make the whole ecosystem feels synergistic.
How’s The Resale Value?
Sure, we don’t buy a new device just to sell it off again. But admit it, some of us put all that protective covering on our device and even keep the original box so that the device retains its maximum resale value.
It’s a smart move, especially if you plan to upgrade soon. As smart devices become must-haves they’re also a commodity.
Although not an investment, a device that’s only old by name, can still run the latest apps and is compatible with some of the latest features, could still fetch a good price in the second-hand market, making upgrading easier on the pocket.
So keeping this in mind now could help you in your next purchase in the future.