A recent statistic states an average person checks their cell phone 110 times a day. 50 percent of young people admit cellphone addiction. The other 50 percent do not admit. It has become more important to us than going to the dentist once a year or flushing the toilet once a day at the office. A cellphone is our lifeline to the world, a projection of our social representation and a pacifier to our need to be mindlessly entertained. But choosing the perfect phone is not ONLY about throwing a fistful of money. Here's why:
Pick your OS
The eternal fight between Android and Apple's iOS. One gives you easy customising options with hundreds of phones to choose from. Unfortunately, Android updates are only instantly available for a select few brands like Google, OnePlus and any Android One supported phones like Xiaomi's Mi A1, Inifinix Note 5 and a bunch of new Nokias.
Apple iOS gives you ease of use and a well-curated app store with an option to choose only 2-3 new phones year. But all their updates are instantly available all through the range and allow easy syncing between all Apple products.
What happens when you pick one for the other? It allows you to laugh at your friend who has the OTHER operating system. Because friendship depends solely on our being able to make fun of the other person without being mean. Want to watch people fight? Ask a large group which operating system is better.
Is bigger really better?
40 percent people use their phones in the toilet. That includes sending emails, watching cat videos and 'hearting' Instagram pictures of shapely celebrities. This constitutes heavy users that cannot live a moment without their device. A large portion of this group watches videos which means screen size is top priority. Except, large, high resolution displays eat up battery charge like Pacman loves those white balls. Take for instance the new Samsung S9. To make sure it lasts the whole day, you need to throttle down screen resolution to something every other peasant has. You are no longer king (or queen). Sadness follows but at least your phone won't die out. If watching movies is a priority, look for large screens with lesser resolution or sleep near a power outlet.
Shoot to kill
The camera is the second most important feature on a phone these days. The world population stands at 7.6 billion. More than 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram from its start in 2010 till now. Almost all of those pictures are group shots where one friend is upset because he or she wasn't ready.
Do not be fooled by megapixels. Megapixel count does not make a good camera; the quality of the lens is more important. That said, do not be fooled by sample photos BY THE MANUFACTURERS. Huawei was caught at least twice using professional quality DSLRs to take photos and passing that off as images out of their flagship smartphones. Look for independent reviews where people post pictures of their dogs and cats and bananas. For now, Google Pixel still takes some of the best photos while Samsung S9 and Note 9 are trying to leave it behind. Close contenders are the iPhone X and the Huawei P20 Pro (despite all that fakery). Or for a budget device with great photos, the Motorola G6.
Are you a parent? (storage)
You really, really need storage. If you are a new parent of either a human baby or a cat, you will likely be taking thousands of pictures. Upon review, all the images will be deemed too good to throw away although each roll of 10-15 of the same images are, well, the same. 32GB will get you somewhat through. But 64 and 128 is where it's at. Keep in mind, some phones like the OnePlus, amazing as it is, do not have expandable storage.
Is the newest thing the 'bestest'?
New flagship phones are like sports cars in Dhaka. You have a lot of power and potential, but you will never have the roads or the Fast and Furious style explosions to make it worth it. Flagship phones offer lots of power that you will never need before the next two phones are out. What's the best option? Buy last year's flagship at half the price. They still offer blazing performance and terrific cameras. Only downside being your Facebook post regarding the new purchase won't be as jealously 'Liked' as a current device crossing one lakh taka.
How clumsy are you?
Are you that person in the friends group who is never allowed to hold a baby? Have you dropped more objects from your hands than Donald Trump has dropped racial slurs in his term as president? You need to buy something that is known to last. Beautiful curved edge screens are a NO-NO. Those things are cosmically attracted to land on the hardest, pointiest part of any surface. And are expensive to replace. What you really need is a Nokia 1100 from 15 years ago. You are also a grandparent.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all-round car guy, model car builder, and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology), and Next Step (career) of The Daily Star.