What to look for in a low cost smartphone

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Have you been considering a new smartphone, but find yourself baulking at the price? Well, you’re not alone. As attractive as smartphones are, the high cost has kept many consumers away. But that is starting to change. New technology prices always start high and end low, following consumer demand and increased production. Couple that natural fall of tech prices with the rise of new competitors in the smartphone market, and you have a perfect storm that is putting quality handsets within everyone’s reach, even those on a budget. But as competition in the smartphone market becomes more fierce, what do you need to look for when shopping for your new mobile?

Android and Its Competitors

Android has long been the most widely recognised brand on the smartphone market. But as more and more budget handsets enter the market, Android is facing some stiff competition. Samsung, Blackberry, and even Amazon are giving them a run for their money. Not to be out done, Google will be making its Android operating system available on its own line of budget smartphones. All of this is good news for costs conscious consumers. However, before you leap in the budget smartphone fray, here are few key points you need to consider so that you can be sure you are getting the best mobile for your money.

All Handsets are Not Created Equal

This is an important point to make right from the start. Regardless of operating system, all handsets are not the same. While low prices are always tempting, you want to be certain that you are investing in a quality product. After all, you’re not really saving money if the smartphone you purchase doesn’t meet your expectations. So, before you hand over your hard earned cash, check your potential new smartphone against these simple rules of thumb.

• Screen Quality – Entry level smartphones tend to have smaller screens. Typically only 3 to 4 inches. They also tend to have a lower screen resolution than more expensive models. For the best user experience, look for handsets that feature a screen resolution of 480×800 or better. Anything less, and photo and video features will be compromised.

• Processing Power – Entry level smartphones tend to feature weak, single core, processors. This can make response sluggish, particularly if you are running a number of apps at the same time. Look for models that feature dual-core processors to ensure that all of your smartphone’s features run smoothly.

• Cameras – One of the most attractive features of a smartphone is its camera. Budget priced handsets will not be able to compete with high end models, but you they should at least feature a 5M p camera with an LED flash. Again, anything less may impact your user experience.

• Video Cameras – Smartphones and video go hand in hand. Many low end handsets feature low quality, VGA, resolution. Look for models that offer 720p HD video capability. This still falls short of the more expensive models, but is a happy median point for budget conscious shoppers.

Bonus Pointers

Beyond the hardware, there are a couple of other points to consider when shopping for a budget priced smartphone. First, if it runs Android as its operating system be sure that it can receive timely updates. Some low end smartphones run outdated versions of Android, making them unable to receive the software updates needed to keep them running smoothly. This applies topmost other operating systems as well. Always make sure that you are eligible to receive timely software updates.

Second, whatever smartphone you purchase, remember to consider the operating costs. While you may have found an inexpensive handset, you will still have to pay for carrier costs. That includes data, minutes, and all applicable tariffs. Take the time to compare mobile phone services, and find a price that suits your budget.

The cost of smartphones is beginning to fall, making them an affordable option for many budget conscious consumers. But a low price doesn’t always mean a great deal. Before you buy that new smartphone, be sure to check that it offers the features you want and the customer support you need.

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