Step 1: Get real.

It might sound strange, but the first thing you should do to buy a phone is to walk right into the arms of the marketing people trying to win the affection of you and your wallet.

To put it simply, make your way to a mobile phone store and look at the choices available to you. You don’t have to be seriously about buying one that very day, and as usual, might be browsing. Just go into one and see the sort of phone that you might be interested in.

Ask yourself questions:

Do I want a big phone? Do I want a small phone?

What’s important to me: camera quality, battery life, or unusual features like water resistance and a pen to replace paper?

These questions are the very things that will help you decide whether it’s worth buying something.

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Step 2: Get physical.

Once you’re ready to spend, make your way back to the store and do the physical things: hold them, touch them, feel them.

You might think that this is a minor thing that doesn’t need to be done, but now that smartphones are getting bigger and harder to carry, how one feels is super important.

Pick up your choices and try them in different grips, up to your ear, and feel what they’re like in your pocket or handbag. If the shop throws up resistance to you doing this, ask the retailer or shop assistant if you can use the dummy phones. You’re trying to get the general feeling of a device before you plonk down cash, no different to when someone auditions speakers or a TV.

Narrow down your choices to three. That’s a maximum, by the way, because any more and you’ll probably confuse yourself, and make it difficult to work out which is best for you.

Seriously, pick three phones you like the feel of, and either head home or to the nearest place where you can read some reviews before you plonk down money, because it’s time to get that research sorted.

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Step 3: Get advice.

Getting advice from reviewers is one of the most important parts of mobile phone selection.

Remember that reviewers are getting paid by their publishers to write news, the odd how-to, and quite a few reviews on the topic of mobile phones. It’s their job to understand a smartphone inside and out, and so they tend to know the area well.

More than that, the reviews will tell you the ins and outs of a device, so if you’re worried about it not being able to do something, a local review will cover the pros and the cons in a detailed way.

Here at Pickr, we suggest comparing products to see if they match your needs, and if you have three phones you want to compare, you can add them to a comparison list and find out which is better in specific areas.

Once you’ve found the phone that matches your needs, that’s the one you should go with.

 

 

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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