How to choose a smartphone – expert reviews

When choosing a smartphone, it is worth starting from planned use of the device.

how to choose a smartphone


  1. How to choose a smartphone: what to look for
  2. The main criteria for choosing smartphones
  3. How to choose a smartphone on Android ?
  4. How to choose a powerful smartphone
  5. Which processor to choose a smartphone
  6. How to choose a smartphone with 2 SIM cards
  7. Choosing a smartphone for the Internet
  8. How to choose a smartphone with a good camera
  9. What diagonal smartphone to choose
  10. How to choose a smartphone with a good battery
  11. How to choose an inexpensive smartphone (up to 10,000 rubles)
  12. The best smartphone manufacturers
  13. Smartphone selection video

How to choose a smartphone: what to look for

The main criteria for choosing smartphones are:

  1. Operating system;

  2. CPU and RAM;

  3. Read-only memory;

  4. The number of SIM cards, their mode of operation and supported standards Internet

  5. Screen;

  6. Camera;

  7. Battery capacity.

  8. The device manufacturer is also important.

The main criteria for choosing smartphones

Smartphones are multifunctional devices. Therefore their technical characteristics indirectly determine specific specification. So, a smartphone with a good camera will do not only for mobile shooting, but for everything else.

operating system

Smartphone operating system

The main operating systems used in smartphones are are Android, iOS , and Windows Mobile. Other firmware like Sailfish, Tizen, Ubuntu, Plasma occupy too little market share, designed for enthusiasts and therefore hardly worthy consideration.


Android is the most popular mobile operating system. Almost 70% of smartphones on the market are equipped by her. However, it is worth considering that it exists not only in in its pure form, but also in numerous variations like MIUI (in Xiaomi devices), EMUI (Huawei) or Flume (Meizu). Besides, the vast majority of manufacturers (Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.) make their own changes to Android by changing it to some cases beyond recognition.

However, modifications, and third-party interfaces, and pure Android offer roughly the same features and similar user experience.

Despite the disadvantages, with careful use Android operating system shows sufficient functionality and practicality.


  • As part of the Google infrastructure, it offers access to many Google services completely free (including cloud storage of user settings, contacts, photos and etc.);

    A huge number of applications in a special Google store Play, the vast majority of which are completely free;

  • Ability to deeply customize and customize the work, interface etc. (however, for some independent modifications special knowledge will be required);

  • Similar user experience simplifying the transition from one smartphone to another, even if they are completely released different manufacturers;


  • Fragmentation (dozens of versions and generations exist simultaneously OS), limited manufacturer support (some smartphones never receive updates);

  • The emergence of a huge amount of software “garbage” during operation. Therefore, after some time using the smartphone starts to slow down, it ends the internal memory and etc. “Treated” by flashing;

  • A huge amount of bloatware out of the box (pre-installed programs from Google and the manufacturer, which in some cases duplicate each other, what Samsung smartphones especially sin on they are sometimes installed in three programs with the same functions);

  • Vulnerability for viruses and malware (some applications may steal user data, including SMS from banks, applications with administrator rights receive full device control);


iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system. It is proprietary and therefore available only on smartphones Apple The lack of fragmentation makes it enough optimized on any mobile device from this manufacturer, so it works smoothly both old and new iPhones.

Optimization, good protection and ease of use makes iOS suitable for most users – especially those who does not like experiments with the interface and other components OS


  • Highest level of security, expressed in the absence of loopholes for malware;

  • Virtually missing bloatware;

  • Ready to work out of the box – for most use smartphone features do not need to install third-party software;

  • Deep optimization for hardware, thanks to which the operating the system runs smoothly even on 1.5-2 GB of RAM;

  • A wide range of third-party software in Apple AppStore


  • The inability to customize and configure the interface “under yourself “;

  • Newer versions of iOS do not work well on older iPhones, however updating to them occurs in “almost forced” order;

  • Lack of access to internal memory for storing files without special software for synchronization (iTunes);

  • The presence of regional restrictions that cannot be circumvented;

  • Failure to remove preinstalled software providing even with Jailbreak (one of the iOS hack methods);

  • IOS 11 has another drawback. Due to the fact that many preinstalled applications are optimized for use with iPhone X, on other smartphones they have a completely non-usable an interface with a window title, which in some cases takes up to quarters of the screen.

Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile – the third most popular mobile operating system. Despite the fact that Microsoft stopped its support in September 2017, smartphones with it still can be found on sale – from HTC, Nokia, HP and some other manufacturers.

The operating system Windows 10 Mobile is quite convenient for use and therefore well suited for budget (up to 10 thousand rubles) smartphones.


  • Excellent level of optimization (works well even on weak processors and devices with less than 1 GB of RAM);

  • Included in the Windows ecosystem, making data synchronized between smartphone or computer;

  • High level of protection (viruses for this operating systems no longer exist);


  • Very few applications in the Windows brand store Store

  • The impossibility of customization;

  • Lack of developer support;

  • Various problems periodically appear during operation. (for example, with synchronization);

  • Custom user experience;

How to choose a smartphone on Android?

Android Smartphone

Android operating system with each new version becomes all is better. She has useful functions, increases autonomy, work with a large number at the same time improves running applications.

Therefore, choosing a smartphone, it is worth giving preference to devices with the latest version of Android. It:

  1. Android 6.0 Marshmallow;

  2. Android 7.0 / 7.1 Nougat;

  3. Android 8.0 / 8.1 Oreo.

  4. Smartphones running Android 5.0 / 5.1 Lollipop and the “ancient” not recommended for purchase.

In addition, it is desirable that the operating system be “clean” without installed software from manufacturer or deep modifications. Unfortunately, such an OS only smartphones from Nokia, Google and some Chinese are equipped manufacturers. Samsung and LG make quite profound changes interface, and Sony – not very (but tangible).

Of third-party Android firmware, a good level optimizations can only boast of EMUI (Huawei smartphones) and Flume OS (Meizu smartphones). MIUI, the most famous “mod” “Android”, not too optimized and therefore on budget smartphones can slow down and lag.


The processor and RAM are the brains of the device. Exactly its performance in a variety of cases depends on them. So, a powerful processor allows you to run demanding applications like 3D or even AR-games, and a large amount of RAM – allows work with a large number of programs at the same time.

In 2017, the optimal processor configuration value is 4 cores and about 2.0 GHz clock frequency, and operational memory – from 2 GB.

How to choose a powerful smartphone

Powerful Xiaomi smartphone

The most productive processor line is the series Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. And the most powerful at the moment (November 2017) – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. An alternative to it is MediaTek Helio X35 (or P35, they are about the same). Therefore, if the smartphone requires maximum performance, it costs choose models equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon series processors 800, MediaTek Helio X and MediaTek Helio P.

The amount of RAM is at least 2 GB. Better of course more. The standard in the flagships for 2017 is 4 GB – exactly So much RAM installed in the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google Pixel 2 and LG G6. On some smartphones – Samsung Galaxy 8+, OnePlus 5 – can be installed even more operational memory: 6 or 8 GB.

However, the core of the Android operating system cannot adequately use more than 4 GB of RAM, even though Transition to 64-bit architecture starting with Android 7.0 Nougat. Therefore, when buying a smartphone with 8 GB of RAM, you will need to reflash custom kernel, which included support for so many “RAM”.

Which processor to choose a smartphone

If the maximum power from the smartphone is not required, you can pay attention to other, less productive – and at the same time less expensive processors. These are, for example, the series Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and MediaTek MTK67XX line.

Thus, the method of choosing a processor for a smartphone following:

  1. If you need the highest performance, then: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 830, 825, MediaTek Helio X35, X30, X35, P35;

  2. If high performance is required: Qualcomm Snapdragon 825, 820, MediaTek Helio from X15 and from P15;

  3. If you need enough performance: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 810, 815, MediaTek Helio any, Qualcomm Snapdragon Any 600 series, MediaTek MTK6700 any series.

Smartphones on other processors of these lines are not recommended for purchase, as well as on Intel Atom.

On Kirin or Exynos can be taken – they provide sufficient performance up to date or previous flagships.

Persistent memory

The amount of permanent memory determines the number of user data that can fit in a smartphone. Also on the internal drive hosts the Android operating system and installed applications.

  1. As a result, the higher the amount of permanent memory, the better. IN 2017, its minimum adequate volume is 16 GB. On such all user applications will fit the internal drive, and there will also be room for a couple of three music albums in Loseless-quality or even movie.

  2. The optimal amount of permanent memory is 32 GB. Besides custom applications on such a drive is capable of accommodate an entire season of 13 episodes of any series in HD quality.

  3. 64 GB or more will only be required for those users who used to carry a whole music library, video library and etc.

With a small amount of internal memory (32 GB or less) for storing user data can use a flash card. If you plan to carry movies and other “heavy” content with you, It is recommended to take a smartphone with a microSD slot.

The number of SIM-cards, their modes of operation, supported standards mobile internet

Native (built-in, without “crutches” from third-party developers) Support for 2 SIM cards appeared only in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Of course, smartphones with several GSM modules were produced before of this, however, the quality of the networks in them left much to be desired. So, for example, mobile Internet was available only on one SIM card, and the second was used exclusively for calls and SMS

Therefore, if you plan to purchase a smartphone with two SIM cards, you should make sure that it works on Android 6.0 or newer.

SIM cards in smartphones can work in one of three modes:

  1. Simultaneous. If a call is made on one SIM card, on the second one can also be accepted;

  2. Expectations If a call is made on one SIM card, person, the caller will hear something like “This caller talking on the second line “;

  3. Alternating. If a call is made on one SIM card, the person calling the second will hear “Subscriber out of range network. ”

In this case, the simultaneous operation of two SIM cards leads to intensive discharge of the battery, expectations – to a smaller, and alternating – to the minimum.

Supported Mobile Internet Standards Also Available by the following:

  1. 2G is the slowest, up to 128 kbps. Suitable for communication in some instant messengers;

  2. 3G is the most optimal. Suitable for web surfing, chatting in social networks, listening to music and watching movies online

  3. 4G is the fastest. Suitable for watching movies online in high quality, video calls, file downloads;

  4. LTE-A is an extended 4G version that supports more threads to maintain speed when used actively channel.

Each subsequent standard includes support for all previous ones – that is, smartphones with a 4G module can work in 3G and 2G networks.

How to choose a smartphone with 2 SIM cards

smartphone for 2 sim cards

When choosing a smartphone with 2 SIM cards, you should pay attention to following parameters:

  1. Android operating system version – the fresher, the better;

  2. SIM mode (simultaneous, standby or alternating);

SIM card slots. In most modern smartphones a combined connector is used, in which you can insert or 2 SIM cards, or 1 SIM card and memory card. If you want to use 2 SIM cards and a memory card at the same time pay attention to models with “spaced” connectors.

Choosing a smartphone for the Internet

When choosing a smartphone for the Internet, you should pay attention to Supported mobile standard. Important also has a RAM capacity (the higher it is, the lower the risk uploading a web page or application).


The photographic abilities of a smartphone are affected by resolution. cameras, sensor model, processor model, camera optics and others specifications.

Camera Resolution – The actual number of pixels on the sensor. Most smartphones use modules designed for 5, 8, 13 or 20 MP. For mobile shooting, 13 or 20 is enough megapixels.

The sensor model largely determines the quality of focusing, color and saturation of the picture. Than it is “fresher”, the better. The most commonly used sensors from Sony are called IMX. After This letter code is digitally dialed. Higher the three-digit number – the “fresher” sensor.

Camera optics determine saturation and lightness (exposure) image. For most users, enough Sony stock optics, but if necessary, you can pay attention on models with lenses from Leica – for example, Huawei Mate 9 or 10.

Among other characteristics, a diaphragm (aperture) can be distinguished sensor (the lower it is, the better), the number of sensors (in smartphones of the middle and flagship classes two camera modules shoot better than one) and the presence of additional features (HDR + support, quality improvement software technologies, two-color flash).

How to choose a smartphone with a good camera

choose a phone with a good camera

Pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. Sensor model (it is desirable that this be the IMX300 series. For example, in OnePlus 3T, IMX333 is installed);

  2. Actual resolution (13-20 megapixels is enough);

  3. Optics (preference should be given to Leica optics);

  4. The processor (the more powerful it is – the faster the pictures will be obtained and the more beautiful they will be);

  5. Type of focusing (laser is better for macro and portrait shooting, contrasting – for landscape and urban).


When choosing a screen, it’s worth considering three characteristics – the diagonal, resolution and manufacturing technology.

  1. Diagonal is the actual screen size. Measured from angle to angle (for example, from lower left to upper right). Defines the convenience of using a smartphone.

  2. Screen resolution – the actual number of pixels on the matrix display. Determines the “smoothness” of the picture. On the other hand, than it higher – the more energy the screen consumes.

Manufacturing technology – a structural solution, according to which smartphone screen is being made. Distinguish the following technology:

  1. TN. Has low contrast, low saturation, small angles review. It is found only in the cheapest smartphones;

  2. IPS It has good color reproduction, wide viewing angles. Power consumption directly depends on the brightness of the backlight. Display untrue black. Found in almost all smartphones middle and some devices of the top price range;

  3. AMOLED. It has excellent color reproduction, good viewing angles, excellent contrast. Energy consumption depends on saturation of the picture. The disadvantage is that it fades over time. It is found only in flagship smartphones;

  4. IGZO. It has the maximum resolution, optimal power consumption, optimum contrast and color rendition. It is found in a very limited number of smartphones.

Smartphones on IPS or AMOLED are recommended for purchase.

What diagonal smartphone to choose


Optimal diagonal values:

  1. 4 inches – this smartphone will be convenient to use one by hand;

  2. 5 inches – some people with miniature palms will not be able to use the smartphone with one hand;

  3. From 6 inches – in any case, two hands are required for use a smartphone.

The best diagonal value is 5 inches (or about Togo).

The optimal resolution is for 4 inches 1280 × 720 pixels, for 5 inches and more 1920 × 1080 pixels.

Battery capacity

The battery life largely depends on the battery capacity work. The optimal value of this parameter is from 2800 mAh A smartphone equipped with such a battery will “live” about 8-10 hours of mixed use.

How to choose a smartphone with a good battery

Battery capacity

If high smartphone autonomy is required, it is worth considering following criteria:

  1. Battery capacity. The higher the better;

  2. Type of display. More preferably AMOLED or IGZO;

  3. CPU. It is recommended to choose the models with the smallest process technology (up to 16-20 nm). You can find out the value of this parameter from specifications for a specific chip;

  4. Operating system. The fresher the better.

However, accurately determining the battery life is very difficult, because it is influenced by many factors – from the type use the smartphone to the quality of the coverage of the cellular network.

How to choose an inexpensive smartphone (up to 10,000 rubles)

When choosing low-cost smartphones, you will have to go to compromise. But the optimal parameter values ​​are as follows:

  1. The operating system – the “fresher” the better;

  2. RAM – not less than 1.5-2 GB;

  3. Permanent memory – at least 8 GB, memory card slot required;

  4. Camera – from 5 MP;

  5. Screen – IPS;

  6. Battery capacity – from 2000 mAh.

Good budget smartphones are: Meizu m5, Huawei Honor 6A, Xiaomi Redmi 4X and some other models.

The best smartphone manufacturers

The best smartphone manufacturers are:

  1. Apple Releases iPhone lineup;

  2. Samsung Produce devices of all price segments;

  3. Nokia Recently returned to the smartphone market with interesting devices;

  4. LG. Constantly receiving support from Google;

  5. Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu – Chinese manufacturers who you can definitely trust.

  6. It is also worth mentioning the company OnePlus, which produces flagship smartphones at a relatively low price.

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a phone with a good camera and the secrets of choosing Chinese a smartphone.

Smartphone selection video

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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