It can often seem like smartphones are all the same nowadays – monochromatic slabs of glass and metal, with all the same specs made by all the same companies, with the only discernible choice being an iPhone or something else.
It’s also a competitive, fast-moving marketplace, with flagship phones from the biggest manufacturers being released every year claiming bigger and better features so even keeping up can be hard at times.
However once you start breaking down the key features of each phone (more on that later), it’s easy to work out which ones are the best for you, and which ones offer the best value.
Just want to know which phone is the best? Read our full guide to the Best Phones for 2021
Phone Specs Explained
There’s a lot of jargon when it comes to choosing a smartphone, which can take a lot of the fun out of your buying decision. Fortunately, each phone feature can easily be explained in simple terms to help you choose.
So, what are the main features to consider when choosing a phone?
- Phone Cameras – Top-of-the-line phones now have two (or even three) rear-facing cameras for superior photo quality
- Phone Storage Space – The amount of built-in storage, measured in GB, dictates how many apps, photos and files you can save on your phone.
- Memory Card Slot – Lots of Android phones (but no iPhones) let you expand the built-in storage by inserting a microSD memory card. It’s a cheap way to get more space for your photos.
- Phone Screen Size – Bigger can be better (think 5.5-inches across and up) when browsing the web or watching videos, but be aware large screens can feel uncomfortable if you have smaller hands, plus make the whole phone less portable.
- Phone Screen Quality – Everything you do on the phone requires interaction with its screen, so you should try and find a good one. Look for pixels, resolution and screen tech.
- iOS vs Android – The most divisive debate in the phones market. iOS is Apple’s OS, and offers great security and integration. Android is Google’s which gives more choice and control.
- Phone Battery Life – Everyone seems to moan about their phone’s battery life, but some are better than others. Look for ones with higher mAh figures.