13 Qualities to Look for When ...


13 Qualities to Look for When Buying a Budget Smartphone

Budget Smartphone
The Silicon Review
03 August, 2023

Though you likely won’t get the same high-end features as you would on the latest models, finding your next budget smartphone shouldn’t mean compromising on quality or letting yourself go completely without certain amenities. If you live in a country like Singapore, which is a hub of technological advancement and trade, it won’t be hard to find a wide range of budget-friendly smartphones that will offer you exceptional features and value for money.

But what separates a truly good budget smartphone from a dud that you’ll want to upgrade as soon as you possibly can? This article will serve as your ultimate guide to finding the perfect budget mobile phone to suit your needs and preferences, all without leaving a deep hole in your pocket.

Here are thirteen qualities you should look for when shopping for your next budget mobile phone unit:

1) A Sensible Price that Meets Your Budget

When buying cheap mobile phones in Singapore, the very first step you should take is to determine your budget range. It’s important to set a realistic amount that you’ll be willing to spend and that you can actually afford.

Buy a phone that sports a reasonable price relative to your personal budget, and avoid overspending on features you may not need. This is how you’ll best achieve the ideal balance between performance and price.

2) A Phone Being Sold at an Excellent Deal or Discount

Next, explore online marketplaces and visit authorised retailers to get a phone that’s sold on a good deal. You can also take advantage of seasonal promotions and bundle offers from telecom service providers so you that you can get an awesome smartphone at a heavily subsidised price.

3) Your Ideal Operating System: Android vs. iOS

You’ll also want to make your decision according to your ideal operating system or OS, as it influences your overall smartphone experience. The two most popular players out there in terms of OS are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Between the two, Android is known to offer versatility and a vast range of compatible smartphone options. Moreover, its open-source nature allows phone manufacturers to customise their devices. The result is a more diverse selection of models for different phone users.

Meanwhile, iOS, which was developed by Apple, is celebrated for its seamless ecosystem across Apple devices. If you already own other Apple products like an iPad or MacBook, you might find the integration between them and your iPhone convenient. In addition, Apple provides regular software updates and strong customer support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience.

Apple’s phones may not strictly be within the budget range, but you may be able to find good deals on earlier models or get a phone subsidised by your mobile plan provider. Go for either of these options if they fit your budgetary constraints.

4) A Powerful Processor

Though most budget smartphones may not have the same processing power of high-end devices, you don't have to settle for a sluggish performance just because you’re not paying as much money. Aim for a device with a capable processor and at least 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM to ensure smooth multitasking and satisfactory app performance.

5) More than Enough Storage, with Options for Expandability

You’ll also want enough storage for all your apps, photos, and files. Look for a mobile phone with sufficient internal storage (typically 64 GB or more), opt for models that support expandable storage via microSD cards, or get a phone that will be connected to a cloud platform you trust.  

Expandable storage allows you to add more memory space whenever you need it. This could be extremely helpful for you, especially if you rely heavily on your phone for its camera features. You can also tap cloud storage solutions, as they can keep your data safe without occupying space on your phone’s memory or card.

One type of phone may require you to purchase expandable storage while another will necessitate that you use cloud storage, so choose according to your preference.

6) Ample Battery Life

Long-lasting battery life is essential for an uninterrupted smartphone experience. To avoid buyer’s remorse for your new phone, check user reviews or battery life tests to ensure that the smartphone can keep up with your daily usage without needing frequent charges.

7) The Latest Connectivity and Network Technologies

You should also ensure that the smartphone supports the necessary cellular bands in Singapore. Check for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and near-field communication (NFC) features for seamless connectivity. In addition, choose a budget mobile phone that carries 5G technology so that you can enjoy the fastest data speeds on the go.

8) Clear and Crisp Display Quality

A high-quality display will truly enhance your experience with your new smartphone, even if it was bought on a budget. You should consider factors like your ideal screen size, resolution, and display technology (LCD, OLED, or AMOLED) to ensure optimal viewing for media consumption, gaming, and reading.

9) High-Quality Camera Capabilities

Budget smartphone cameras have come a long way from their predecessors. Today they come with serviceable megapixel definition as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and software enhancements that can improve the actual camera's capabilities.

If you’re the type who anticipates taking a lot of photos and videos with your smartphone, you’ll definitely want to choose one that can keep up with your video or photography requirements. For example, if you plan to use your smartphone for vlogging or photography, consider models with multiple camera lenses. Many budget smartphones now come with dual or even triple camera setups, which will allow you to experiment with various shooting modes and take both stunning photos and vibrant videos.

10) Solid Build Quality and Design

A well-built budget smartphone will be able to withstand everyday wear and tear. While cheaper smartphones might not sport premium materials like glass or metal, several top budget smartphone manufacturers have managed to create devices with solid build quality.

Consider the materials used and the overall design to find a device that combines your desired aesthetics with your ideal level of functionality. Other features to consider are the phone’s water and dust resistance. These may be high priority for those who lead an active lifestyle or work in environments where exposure to the elements is a concern.

11) Compatibility with Software Updates

A more affordable mobile phone can still promise its user longevity if it can undergo regular software updates. Regular updates guarantee that the smartphone will benefit from the latest security patches, bug fixes, and software enhancements.

Knowing that, be sure to do your research on brands that have a track record of supporting their budget devices, as timely updates contribute to the device's lifespan. Android devices usually receive updates from both the device manufacturer and Google, while Apple provides iOS updates directly to all compatible iPhones.

12) Impeccable Brand Reputation and Customer Support

Reputable brands are known for offering reliable budget smartphones. If you don’t already have a particular brand in mind, do your research or ask friends and family members for recommendations of brands they’ve had positive experiences with. You should also ensure that the brand guarantees you the most responsive customer support, as it can be crucial in case of any issues with your device.

13) Extra Features and Innovations

Lastly, remember that even budget mobile phones can offer exciting new features like fingerprint sensors, facial recognition, or impressive audio capabilities. Choose the extras that matter most to you and that fall within your budget constraints.

With tips like these, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when buying a more affordable smartphone in Singapore. Remember that you don’t have to compromise on the smartphone’s quality just because of your budget; in a mobile and tech marketplace like Singapore’s, you’ll be spoilt for your choice when it comes to available smartphone models. Simply do your homework on what you can expect out of a particular budget smartphone, and shop around for the best deals.