How to choose a smartphone

How to choose a smartphone in 2021: Best Ultimate Guide

How to choose a smartphone in 2021: Quickly take a photo, pay for purchases in a store, transfer money to a friend through a mobile application, write to family and friends in the messenger – all this can be done using a smartphone. It’s hard to imagine everyday life without it.

How to choose a smartphone in 2021

New smartphones appear in stores every year. It is not so easy to understand how new items differ from old models. We explain what to look for when choosing a smartphone, so as not to overpay for the capabilities of the gadget you do not need.


The battery capacity determines the operating time of the smartphone without recharging. The higher this indicator, the longer the smartphone will hold a charge. True, over time, all batteries begin to fail and hold a charge worse.

Smartphones with a 2000–3000 mAh battery are enough for about 12 hours of not very active use. If you take out your smartphone just for a couple of calls a day and a rare Internet connection, that’s enough. If you are used to taking a lot of pictures, playing games and always being online in social networks, you need a smartphone with a more powerful battery.

The optimal battery capacity is from 3500 mAh. Such gadgets may well last a day without recharging. It must be understood that the battery life of a smartphone largely depends on the mode of use. Even a device with a large battery can drain quickly if you use the camera continuously or play productive games.

Operating system

The two most popular operating systems today are Android and iOS. The debate about which one is better will probably never end, because there is simply no definite answer to this question.

There are a lot of Android devices – you can find a gadget for your budget. This is one of the main advantages. The memory of Android smartphones is expandable – they often have an additional memory card slot. Many Android gadgets allow the installation of two SIM cards.

IOS smartphones are made only by Apple, and they are not cheap. The memory cannot be expanded – when buying, you must immediately decide how much memory you need. The more memory, the more expensive the smartphone is. On the plus side, iOS is considered a safer system in terms of protection against fraudsters and privacy of personal data. 

To make the right choice, you should test several gadgets right in the store and choose the one whose system seems more convenient.


When choosing a screen, you should pay attention to three parameters: diagonal, matrix type and resolution.
The larger the diagonal, the larger the smartphone itself. There is no perfect screen size – everyone has their own request. It is convenient to watch videos, type text, play games and read on the large screen. The disadvantage is the large body of the smartphone itself.

Most often, gadgets with a large screen do not even fit into the pocket of your trousers; moreover, you have to hold such a smartphone with two hands at once. When choosing, you should hold the smartphone in your hands in order to understand whether it will be convenient for you to use it every day.

Attention is paid to the type of matrix not so often: in almost any new smartphone more expensive than 10,000 rubles, the screen will be bright and contrasting.

IPS is the most common type of matrix. IPS screens are quite bright, comfortable for the eye and easy to manufacture, so smartphones with them are not very expensive.

Screens with AMOLED matrix are installed on expensive flagship smartphones. It is believed that such screens convey deeper and more saturated colors, but if this is not so important to you, you can choose a screen with an IPS matrix.

Screen resolution is directly related to image quality. Most smartphones with a diagonal of up to 5.5 inches are sufficient in Full HD resolution, that is, 1920 × 1080 pixels. You can find smartphones with a higher screen resolution on sale, but you most likely will not notice any difference between Full HD and 4K: on a standard smartphone screen, the pixels will be equally invisible, and the image will be equally clear.

The principle “the more the better” does not work here, so there is no point in overpaying for a higher resolution in most cases.


Cameras in smartphones are one of the first things that manufacturers are constantly improving. Almost all new flagships are powerful camera phones. Two, three, four or even five cameras on the back have been a trend in recent years.

When choosing a camera, many people pay attention to the resolution. It seems that the larger it is, the better the pictures will be, but this is not entirely true. The quality directly depends on the camera matrix. With an identical camera resolution, it will be better to shoot the one with the larger matrix.

The fact is that a large matrix allows you to get more light and, due to this, reduce the level of noise in the picture. An inexpensive smartphone will take pictures well even with a 12 MP camera resolution, if the matrix size in it is at least 1/3 inch. In flagship smartphones, the matrix size reaches 1 / 1.7 inches.

The number of cameras directly affects the quality of the images. Additional lenses have two tasks at once: to improve the quality and expand the possibilities of mobile photography. Additional cameras allow you to take pictures with different focal lengths, are responsible for blurring the background when shooting a portrait, help to take more detailed photos, provide a wide angle of view and a greater depth of field.

Cameras work in tandem: they all participate in creating every picture, making it better. More cameras – better image quality and more shooting possibilities.

It should be borne in mind that the quality of photos also depends on the software. It is difficult to guess here – each manufacturer finds its own solutions to improve the image. Before buying, you should look at the reviews of the smartphone and pay attention to the test photos in order to understand which pictures you like best.


The amount of memory required depends on how you use your smartphone.

If you don’t install many applications, take little pictures and rarely shoot videos, you can buy a smartphone with a small amount of memory: for example, 16 or 32 GB. If desired, it can be expanded with an additional memory card, if the device has a slot for it.

When choosing a smartphone with a memory card slot, you need to pay attention to how much card you can insert. It happens that the manufacturer limits the maximum volume.

Those who are accustomed to storing a lot of data in a smartphone should take a closer look at devices with a memory capacity of 64, 128 and 256 GB. It is especially important to decide in advance on the required volume if you buy a smartphone from Apple – you cannot insert a memory card into it.


The performance of the smartphone depends on the processor, that is, the speed of its operation under different loads. A powerful processor, for example, allows you to play demanding games with good graphics.

It is not entirely correct to compare smartphones based on this characteristic alone. The real performance is influenced by a large number of factors, including the number of processor cores and production technology.

To determine the performance of smartphones, they came up with synthetic tests – benchmarks. If you do not know which smartphone to choose, you should search the Internet for the results of these particular tests – they are given in the form of points. The more points a smartphone has according to the test results, the more productive it is.

Additional features

If your smartphone has an NFC module, you can bind a bank card to the gadget and use it to pay for purchases in any store. There are models with NFC that do not support contactless payments. There are not many of them, but they are there, so when buying, you need to clarify whether this function is available.

Smartphones with simultaneous support for two SIM cards allow you to use the possibilities of mobile communication from different operators. This is especially convenient if you often travel abroad or to regions where it is more convenient to use the services of local telecom operators.

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Gadgets with fast charging function charge faster than usual: in half an hour, such a smartphone can charge about 50%. Some smartphones support wireless charging: they can be charged not directly from the outlet via a wire, but through a charging station – for this you just need to put the gadget on it.

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Protecting your smartphone from water will not be superfluous. Gadgets are protected according to IP67 and IP68 standards. No standard means that a smartphone can be safely bathed in a bath for a couple of hours.

IP67 assumes that the smartphone will not break from short immersion in water. That is, if you dropped it in the sink and pulled it out quickly, it should be fine. These smartphones can be washed gently.

IP68 – more serious protection. If the smartphone is protected according to this standard, you can submerge it for a short time under water to a depth of one meter. This is how some beautiful photos and videos are taken underwater, for example.