Your guide to buying a new smartphone

Let us take the stress out of buying a new device

Your guide to buying a new smartphone

Samsung S8 phone (PA)

When you walk into a phone shop, you are met with an overwhelming selection of devices to choose from. What device should you go for and how can you ensure you won’t live to regret your decision? 

Here’s a guide for what to consider when buying a new phone and some recommendations.

What to look for:

The way to address this question is by asking yourself, ‘what do I want the phone to do?’

Some people want a phone to take high-quality images and watch hours of Netflix. Others simply want a device to make calls and send texts. There are those who want something in the middle.

Issues such as processor speed and RAM matter if you’re a multi-tasker. Camera quality and speakers should be looked at if you’re after an entertainment device. If you want something that just makes calls and texts, then you’re spoilt for choice.

The important thing is that you find a device that suits your needs. 

What to pay:

This is the big one for many.

When buying a new phone, customers have two options. Firstly, buy the phone outright and either avail of Pay As You Go or a 30-day rolling contract.

Alternatively, customers can sign up to a bill pay plan and receive a phone for free or less than full price. It’s worth noting that mobile networks are run by clever people. Just because you receive a phone at a cheap price, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal. Very often the balance of the cost of the phone is incorporated into the monthly cost of the bill.

Each of the mobile networks offers different deals to entice customers. Very often, they try to 'upsell' customers to more expensive plans but do your research before you buy and avoid this. Use this site to work out what you current use in terms of calls, texts and data and find the plan that's best for you. 

What device: 

Once you've decided what you use your phone for and how much you're willing to spend, look at the device options. Don't be led by the device as you may end up paying more than you need to or buying a device that does not tackle your needs. 

Basic 

If you're looking for a basic phone that will allow you to call and text without any stress, you have a number of options. 

Samsung Keystone 2 €19

This is a basic, no frills phone. It is solid and reliable for making calls and sending texts. The battery life is incredible. 

Huawei Y5II €99

I am a huge fan of Huawei. They make great devices for every price bracket, but this one is a standout for those on a budget. It has an 8MP camera, a decent battery and performs well for basic multitasking. 

Mid-range

The mid-range phone market is a bit bare at the moment. There are options for those who don't want to spend more than €200.

Sony Xperia XA €199

Sony devices have fallen off my radar somewhat recently, but the XA is a great phone. It has an excellent 13MP camera and is a beautiful looking phone. 

HTC Desire 626 €199

This phone is quite similar to the Sony XA, but the interface is different. If you're unsure of which of the two for go to, go to a store and play around with both. See which interface feels better to you as a user. 

High-end

If money is no object or you're happy to go on a billpay plan, you are so many options available to you. 

iPhone 7

Apple unveiled their iPhone 7 and 7+ devices at the end of last year and they impressed many. The camera on the iPhone is hard to beat. They are also powerful for those who want to multi-task. It's worth noting that they have scrapped the 16BG model, which is good news. The minimum storage on an iPhone 7 is 32GB.  

Samsung Galaxy S8

If you're not an Apple fan or want some extra storage space, the Samsung S8 may be the one for you. This phone was unveiled earlier this year and is available in store from April 20th. It's possible to increase the storage on this device using a memory card, which the iPhone 7 does not have. The infinity screen means every inch of the front of the phone is used. 

Huawei P10 

As I've mentioned, I'm a fan of Huawei. They make great products and the new P10 is no exception. The camera is stunning and the battery life is among the best I've seen.