Smartphones are our lifeline – we use them to connect us to just about everything and everyone in our world. But when was the last time you upgraded your phone? If it’s been more than two years, you may be missing out on some of the latest tech upgrades. Here are five must-have features to consider when shopping for a new smartphone:
• Battery Life: When it comes to battery life, you may not realize what you’ve been missing out on until you start using your new phone. A decade ago, smartphone battery capacity ranged from 1560mAh to 3200mAh, according to findings from Android Authority. Today, that capacity typically ranges from 4000mAh to 5000mAh, with some batteries as large as 6000mAh. And, the latest development of USB-C ports has allowed for faster charging capabilities, charging a near dead phone in just 30 minutes. Look for phones with fast charging technology, from 15W to 20W, and wireless charging options.
• Phone Storage: Storage matters, especially if you’re a business owner, gaming enthusiast or social media influencer. Read-Only Memory (ROM), the internal main storage on your phone, allows you to store media, files and games, and ranges anywhere from 64GB to 128GB, even 256GB and higher in some of the latest models. Random Access Memory (RAM) is used for short-term data like apps, photos and videos. The more RAM you have, the more multitasking you can do. When purchasing a new phone, look for at least 6GB to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM.
• Camera: Phones have nearly replaced traditional cameras, with 90% of people using only their smartphones to take photos versus digital cameras, according to 3D Insider. If you’re an avid photo taker, make sure your new phone features editing software, a variety of camera lenses, like ultra-wide and telephoto, and special functions like night mode to optimize lighting.
• Network: How you stay connected is an important decision. The latest deals can help you select a phone and wireless provider. For example, Samsung just unveiled its latest Galaxy S23 lineup, and T-Mobile is the only provider that can light up 5G standalone three-carrier aggregation, unleashing faster speeds and better responsiveness for some of the newest 5G smartphones – 16% faster speeds on average than phones without it. And switching to what studies have shown is America's largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network comes with perks.
• Security: Gone are the days of remembering a PIN or typing in a password to safely access your phone’s data. Biometric security features like fingerprint, facial or voice recognition are crucial for keeping your private data secure. Most new smartphones feature in-display fingerprint screening and facial recognition, and more institutions like online banking apps are using this method now over passwords.
Other important deciding factors include overall phone display, size and water resistance. Priorities may vary from person to person, but selecting what’s important for your new smartphone is something only you can determine.