- Like PCs and laptops, smartphones also have chipsets and GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit). Unlike computers however, they are irreplaceable and they degrade faster. Most CPUs today are either quad-core or octa-core, meaning they have four and eight cores each, respectively.
- When looking at the performance, consider their process node (measured in nanometers), clock speed (measured in Gigahertz) and how many cores it has.
- The bigger clock speed, the faster your phone processes graphics and better the performance, however this also costs a lot of battery power so naturally, semiconductor manufacturers tend to find a balance in performance and efficiency, so your phone won’t die as easy.
- The more cores, the better. CPUs (Central Processing Unit) are called the “brain” of a computer because that’s where everything is processed. An octa-core CPU will perform miles better than quad-cores because the CPU has less workload and each process can be processed by individual processors.
- In the mobile space, there are a handful of CPU companies, the most popular being Qualcomm and Mediatek. Qualcomm is known for their Snapdragon series of chipsets, and Mediatek is known for their Helio, P, G and A series of chipsets. Most manufacturers tend to go for Qualcomm for flagships and Mediatek for upper-midrange and budget. Qualcomm chips are more expensive to manufacture than Mediatek chipsets
- A common misconception in the mobile space is that Qualcomm is superior to Mediatek due to their benchmark scores. However, in real-life usage, both of these companies make chipsets that perform equally, if not better than the other. Mediatek focuses mainly on budget and upper midrange while Qualcomm focuses on flagships.
- Companies like Huawei, Samsung and Apple make their own chipsets. Most of the time, they are only used on their own devices. Samsung makes use of their Exynos chipsets, Apple’s Bionic and Huawei’s Kirin. Though their benchmarks may be higher than those of Qualcomm or Mediatek, their real-life usage is different. Apple’s Bionic for instance, is only found on iPhones, which run iOS. Exynos chipsets are used by Samsung to power their phones, even their flagships, same goes for Huawei.
- Consider your phone usage. Are you a gamer? A casual user? A photographer/videographer? Or do you need something just for messaging and calls? You might not need a super high-end phone if you’re a casual user. If you play a game that is quite demanding, such as Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9 or PUBG, then a phone with a good processor is what you should look for.
- Phones today have crisp and clear sound, even the budget ones, to the extent they are indistinguishable to flagships. The deal-breaker here is the type of headset/earphones you are going to use for your phone
- The first step in finding headphones is define how you use them. Are you going to use them while you jog? While inside a vehicle? Find headphones that fit your ears just right so that they don’t fall off. There are many types, from earbuds (similar to Samsung earphones) to earphones (like Apple’s Earpods)
- In-ear headphones are the smallest, and they are often called “earphones”. On-ear headphones rest and lie flat on your ears and Over-ear headphones are the biggest, often seen in gaming communities and cover your entire ears
- Choose between wireless and/or wired. Wireless earphones don’t tangle (because they are wireless obviously) and are connected to Bluetooth but needs to be charged separately and the sound quality depends on the signal of your phone as they can “break” and sometimes no sound can be heard at all when there isn’t any signal. Wired, on the other hand, are connected directly to the phone’s audio port (if it has one) or an audio dongle but they can get tangled and are much easier to break
- Going back to phones, you need to decide how loud your phone is going to be. Some phones have enhanced audio like Dolby Atmos where there is surround sound, making you feel the sound as if you are in the environment. Some phones have stereo speakers, giving a much more clear and crisp sound as opposed to mono speakers.
- When choosing headphones, make sure you choose a trusted brand. There are a lot of headphones out there that have poor-quality sound, or headphones that break easily. There are definitely affordable headphones out there that give a good quality sound, such as Xiaomi’s Mi In-ear Headphones Piston 3, which you could buy from these links: Lazada, Shopee
- A lot of phones today feature a lot of different features, which can be gimmicky to some. For instance, Most of Xiaomi’s Redmi lineup have an Infrared Sensor built on top of them, which you could use to control appliances like TVs, Air Conditioners, Cameras and Cable Boxes.
- The most prominent features smartphones have are Wireless Charging, NFC, Reverse Charging, Fast Charging, In-display/Side-mounted/Back-mounted Fingerprint Sensor, Facial Scanner and sometimes a pen, for taking notes (like the Galaxy Note series).
- Consider your needs. Do you need a replacement remote control? Do you need to pay wirelessly? Are you in a hurry and need to charge your phone to full almost instantly? Do you need to take notes? Consider these before getting those extra features phones have to offer
- NFC is used for things like Google Pay and/or Android Pay so that you pay wirelessly with a single tap. Fast charging is become a daily occurrence as phones nowadays include them, for marketing purposes mostly but also for people who need to charge on-the-go without having to wait for long. Fast Chargers usually measure 18-65W of power.
- A stylus pen is sometimes included in some phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, for those productive users who need to take quick notes, or for artists who want to draw on a large tablet. One example of that purpose is Apple’s iPad Pro where the tablet comes with the Apple Pencil, for drawing and notes
- You need to know your budget when buying a phone, having this final in the list means that, assuming you already have an idea which phone to buy based on our guide, picking a certain price point should be easier for you. To help you buy, each link will redirect you to official sellers.
- For starters, Budget phones usually start at 4,000 php (approx. $80) and below. A Cherry Mobile Aqua S9, for instance, start at 3,999 php which also comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, the perfect phone for casual users who needed a phone badly. Other phones at the same price point include Tecno Spark 6 Go, Redmi 9A and Samsung Galaxy A01 Core
- Budget midrangers usually start at 6000 php to 10,000php. One of the best choices in the market include Poco M3, Poco X3 NFC, Redmi 9T, Realme C15, Cherry Mobile Aqua S9 Max, Realme 6, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s, and Lenovo K12 Note.
- Upper Midrangers start at 11,000 php to 15,000 php. One of the best choices include Samsung Galaxy A31, Huawei Nova 5T, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, Realme 7i, Infinix Zero 8, Vivo S1 Pro, Poco F1 and Realme 7
- Premium Midrangers start at 16,000 to 20,000 php. Prime Examples Include Realme 7 Pro, Oppo Reno 4, Huawei Nova 7 SE and Mi 10T 5G
- Premium Midranger Plus, start at 21,000 to 30,000 php. Examples Include Samsung Galaxy A71, Vivo X50, Huawei Nova 7 5G and Huawei Mate 30
- Flagships start at 31,000 and above. Examples include Samsung Galaxy S21 Family, Apple iPhone 12 Pro and Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G
We hope that our guide helped you decide for your next smartphone. Thank you for reading and get out there and buy yourself a phone.
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