Finding the Best Unlocked Cell Phone for Your Needs
There are many top unlocked cell phones available, from the biggest names in the business, like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and LG. Huawei phones, though not as well-known as some others, are growing in popularity.
You may find that checking current cell phone deals is a great way to get started as you navigate the various phone styles, designs, and compatibility options.
iOS is easier to use; Android gives you more choice. If you're torn between iOS and Android, opt for an iPhone if you want something that's easy to use and gets both the hottest apps first and timeliest software updates. Android is better if you want more hardware choice and more affordable options.
Get the right size screen. Buy a phone with a screen smaller than 5.5 inches if one-hand use is important to you or if you have smaller hands. Get a bigger-screen phone if you like to watch a lot of videos, play games or want to take advantage of the multi-window mode in Android Nougat. Still, phone-makers are starting to focus on ways to make even big-screen phones, such as the 5.7-inch LG G6, fit comfortably in one hand.
For a phone’s display, color quality and brightness matter more than resolution. A 4K screen on a phone is nice to have but kind of overkill. Pay more attention to how bright the display is, so it will be easy to see outdoors, and how colorful the panel is (AMOLED is better than LCD in this regard). The very latest phones offer high dynamic range (HDR) for displaying even more colors.
Ignore camera megapixels. Along with battery life, the camera has become the most important smartphone feature. Pay attention to specs such as aperture (lower numbers are better) and special features such as dual lenses. Ignore the megapixels.
The processor matters less than it used to. Even midrange phones now offer good-enough performance for most users. But if you want the most power for games and virtual reality, buy an Android phone with a Snapdragon 821 chip or the very latest Snapdragon 835 mobile platform. A Snapdragon 600 series chip is fine for midtier Android phones. The A10 processor in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is very speedy.
Don’t settle for a smartphone with a battery capacity of less than 3,000 mAh.
Get at least 32GB of storage. Phones with 16GB are a rip-off, and thankfully, they’re becoming rarer among flagship phones, which generally start at 32GB of storage. If you plan to download lots of games or shoot 4K video, opt for 64GB or more. A microSD card slot is nice to have for expanding storage, but it’s only available on certain Android phones.