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How to buy a new smart phone

You know you really need a new one!

It's a given: our smartphones get old quite fast. While some people only change them when they break, others use a more scientific approach. Well, I've got a confession to make: I own a five years old phone. Yes, it was a flagship phone back in the day, but now it's so old I could call it "grandpa" by today's standards. So, bear this in mind if you want to buy a smart phone right now. Would you rather get a very expensive phone and keep it for several years, or purchase two or three less expensive phones instead?

If you drive a Ferrari, this article isn't for you, of course. Because you, sir, must be the proud owner of the newest phone the minute it is released on the market. Therefore, let's get back to the common folk; that's you and me, son. How should you pick a new smart phone? Cause I'll make sure to keep mine for another year or so ;)

First, write down a list with the top five most wanted phone features. Don't keep them in your head; put it all on paper! Here's my list:

- Huge display;

- Good battery life;

- Large storage capacity;

- Top security features;

- Removable battery. By the way, that's how my phone has managed to reach its venerable age. I changed its battery twice!

Then, determine if it's important to have a great phone camera or not. As you see, it's not on my top priorities list, because I'm not the kind of guy who spends his time taking pictures of his friends' meals, cats, flowers, and so on. For you, camera may be much more important, though, and phone manufacturers strive (and actually manage) to pack high quality cameras into those really thin, modern looking phones.

If you like the idea of taking pictures and recording movies on the go, you should also pick a phone that has plenty of storage space. If you prefer an iPhone, be sure to choose one that's got at least 128 GB of space. Most Android phones support external SD cards, though, so space won't be an issue if you choose a model that utilizes the Android O.S.

By the way, what operating system are you interested in using? Will you go for Apple's iOS, Google's Android or Windows Phone? If you are a power Windows user, you will appreciate the convenience of exchanging files you've edited on the phone with your desktop PC, for example.

Are you interested in using a particular set of apps? Some people use their smart phones to create music on the go, for example. Apple's store is known for its huge number of high quality applications, but I'd say that Google's Play Store is catching up quite fast. So, examine each store, and then pick a phone that allows you to install and use the needed apps right away. You can't tell if/when a certain program will be available in the "other" application store.

I guess that you saw that coming: budget is important as well. It's easy to get a good phone if you've got a grand at your disposal. Still, most of us can't afford to buy those expensive phones. As a general rule, you will get more bang for your buck in the Android world. LG is known for its high quality, less expensive phones; here's an article that may give you some ideas. There is also the option of getting a contract-based phone, but often times you'll end up paying more on the long run.

These are just some of the criteria that matter when it comes to purchasing a new smart phone. So, start writing down that needed feature list today. Then, visit several stores and play with the models that match your list and fit your budget. Take a good look at the display, because you'll be staring into it all day long. Good luck!