How to buy a new iPhone or Android phone in 2022: CNET’s top shopping tips

Model new flagship telephones just like the iPhone 13 Professional, Google’s new Pixel 6 Professional or Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely include highly effective efficiency, unbelievable digital camera techniques and a complete wealth of useful options. However additionally they include sky excessive costs which suggests they are not the most suitable choice for everybody. However whether or not you are on the lookout for the most effective telephone in 2022 or in case you’re on the lookout for a extra reasonably priced telephone just like the Pixel 5A 5G, procuring will be troublesome. 

The huge quantity of selection from an enormous number of telephone producers, every with totally different digital camera specs, display sizes, storage capacities and, in fact, value tags hooked up means it is by no means been extra complicated to resolve which telephone is the right one to your wants. 

On this article

That can assist you reduce via a number of the jargon and assist your cash go in the direction of precisely what you want, I’ve put collectively my prime ideas for purchasing a telephone in 2022.

High phone-buying ideas

  • Know what you care about most: Is it display measurement? Digital camera high quality? Battery life? This may assist slim down your decisions. Telephones just like the iPhone 13 Professional, for instance, pack unbelievable cameras that rival the standard you’d get from a DSLR. In case you’re a photographer then spending cash right here is a good suggestion. If not, you may probably save your self a bundle.
  • Do not low cost the midrange: Options of final 12 months’s flagships at all times trickle all the way down to this 12 months’s midrange handsets. You will get an incredible telephone that does nearly the whole lot {that a} premium telephone can do, for a fraction of the worth. Google’s Pixel 6 Professional packs an incredible zoom digital camera, however the base Pixel 6 has many of the identical key specs and comes at a extra cheap value.
  • Store the gross sales: Search for deep reductions and promo offers round main holidays, particularly Amazon’s Prime Day and Black Friday. And discover out your grace interval in case you want a fast return or change.
  • Final 12 months’s telephones: They will usually be an incredible deal, too. Look forward to this 12 months’s launch to get final 12 months’s telephone for much less, when shops and carriers could also be making an attempt to dump their present inventory.
  • Maintain the telephone at a retailer first: You could love or hate the best way it appears to be like and feels in individual.
  • Examine in case you’re already invested: Have you ever already purchased loads of iPhone apps and iTunes films? Follow iPhone in case you nonetheless need entry to them. Likewise, in case you’ve invested in a great deal of Android apps, you will wish to keep on that facet of the fence. In any other case, it is easy sufficient to swap platforms.
  • Purchase a case and display protector: You will defend your telephone from expensive injury, and can improve the telephone’s resale or trade-in worth for while you’re prepared to maneuver on.

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Efficiency vs. price range

Usually, efficiency traces up with value. The very newest, biggest expertise normally comes at a premium. Flagship telephones pack the most effective cameras, essentially the most highly effective processors and should even sport cutting-edge tech like versatile shows. The excessive costs imply that these telephones are solely value contemplating for individuals who need absolutely the newest tech of their pockets.

Not everybody wants such prime tech nevertheless, or could merely be unwilling to spend the normally $1,000 or extra required to get it. Fortunately, the midrange sector of the telephone world has been one of many fiercest battlegrounds for firms to compete, leading to some wonderful telephones that will not break the financial institution. Options like wi-fi charging and cameras with a number of lenses that had been as soon as the area of flagships are actually commonplace on midrange telephones.

Even price range telephones will nonetheless supply respectable digital camera high quality and sufficient energy so that you can take pleasure in all your on a regular basis internet shopping, WhatsApping and Instagramming.

4G or 5G? 

5G is the most recent customary that guarantees lightning-fast cell information speeds while you’re out and about. Like every new expertise, it is largely reserved for higher-end gadgets however it’s already began to trickle all the way down to far more reasonably priced telephones.   


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Protection for 5G is not in every single place but, so it is essential to ask your self whether or not you want 5G speeds in any respect and whether or not they’re out there the place you reside. In case you’re planning on protecting your telephone for not less than a few years, you may safely anticipate 5G to turn out to be extra of the norm in that point. In case you’re on the fence about it now, it could be that in 9 months you will really feel in a different way and may remorse not taking the plunge sooner.

Display measurement

All telephones have gotten steadily greater over the previous few years, with the iPhone 13 Professional Max measuring in at a whopping 6.68 inches and the Galaxy S21 Extremely coming in at 6.8 inches. Small telephones aren’t that widespread anymore however there are a number of choices to contemplate if you do not need an enormous display stretching out your pockets. 

On the iPhone facet, the best choice is the iPhone 13 Mini. At 5.4 inches, its display is lots smaller than its greater brothers, however it nonetheless packs the most recent processors and provides superfast 5G speeds. Alternatively, the iPhone SE is analogous in measurement however has pared-down specs and comes at a extra reasonably priced value. 


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Digital camera efficiency

Digital camera options have been a serious level of bragging rights in latest telephones, with producers at all times wanting a much bigger, extra thrilling quantity, be it numbers of megapixels or numbers of precise digital camera lenses. Three rear cameras is now widespread — an everyday lens, an ultrawide lens and a telephoto lens — with much more budget-focused telephones packing a number of cameras. 

That is nice, as extra lenses imply extra taking pictures choices while you’re out and about. However that does not imply that any multi-lens digital camera is nearly as good as one other. As with processor efficiency, the extra you spend, the higher the outcomes you will usually get, with the best possible cameras round normally being discovered on the costliest flagships. 


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Look out for options like optical (reasonably than digital) zooms, night time mode for higher low mild photographs, and optical picture stabilisation. Typically these options won’t be clear and it is not doable to evaluate a digital camera’s efficiency simply by wanting on the specs. In case you actually care about your telephone’s images abilities then take a while to have a look at the opinions and see how its digital camera performs earlier than you spend your cash.

Battery life

Most telephones, from the price range finish via to elite flagships, can final most of a day on a single cost. Greater telephones may need greater batteries, however additionally they have greater screens and sometimes extra highly effective processors, in order that they suck that additional juice down rapidly. Listed here are some issues to remember:

  • All the time plan on giving your telephone a full cost in a single day.
  • Search for options like quick charging, that enable your telephone to tackle loads of energy in a brief house of time. Examine to see in case your telephone comes with a suitable sooner charger although, as an previous USB plug could not assist it. 
  • Your battery will last more in case you keep away from extra demanding duties reminiscent of gaming or video streaming. Maintaining the display brightness down will assist, too. 

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Processor efficiency

High-end telephones pack highly effective processors together with as much as 12GB of RAM. It is sufficient to make these telephones run any process with out breaking a sweat, however you need not spend flagship stage cash to get nice efficiency. 

Most respectable midrange telephones supply sufficient energy to deal with all your on a regular basis wants. You will nonetheless be capable to play nearly any sport from the Google Play retailer and edit your high-resolution pictures in apps reminiscent of Snapseed. There’s little you might throw at most midrange telephones that they would not be capable to deal with.

As you progress into the price range finish of the spectrum then you definately’ll begin to discover some slowdown with issues like gaming. Extra demanding 3D video games may look extra stuttery and should even unexpectedly stop. Nonetheless, fundamental duties reminiscent of sending emails, listening to Spotify and shopping Instagram should not be an issue. 

How a lot storage do you want? 

Most telephones, even the price range ones, include not less than 32GB of storage, of which 10 could also be taken up by preinstalled apps and the telephone’s working system. In case you do not ever plan on recording any video and gaming is not your factor, 32GB is likely to be sufficient, however in any other case it is best to contemplate 64GB to be a minimal. 


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Increased-end telephones — significantly these that may file prime quality 4K video — supply capacities of 256GB or extra. With that a lot house, you will barely must assume twice about having to filter out previous recordsdata.

If the telephone helps microSD playing cards then it is a totally different matter, as you may choose up 32GB microSD playing cards (or greater) for little or no cash as of late and popping one into your telephone will dramatically improve the quantity of storage you will have entry to.

Bonus options

Many of those options are actually widespread on telephones at varied value factors and are value protecting in thoughts while you’re procuring.

  • Fingerprint scanner or face unlock: A scanner could also be on the again, and even invisibly constructed into the show. Biometric safety, because it’s referred to as, is safer than having to recollect a PIN. 
  • Waterproof: Do you usually take calls within the rain? Search for a telephone with not less than an IP67 score to maintain it protected from water and spilled drinks.
  • Wi-fi charging: That is out there on many telephones, with some now providing sooner wi-fi charging speeds, so long as you utilize a suitable charging pad.

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