- How to choose a phone for the Internet: what to look for
- Options for selecting phones for the Internet
- What tariff to choose for the Internet
- The best manufacturing companies
How to choose a phone for the Internet: what to look for
The main criteria to consider when choosing a phone for the Internet are:
- Supported mobile communication standards (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-A);
- Screen diagonal;
- Processor model and amount of RAM;
- Battery capacity;
- Operating system.
- The manufacturer of the device is also important.
Options for selecting phones for the Internet
All selection parameters can be conditionally divided into technical and operational. The technical specifications include smartphone specifications, while the operational ones include features that determine the usability (for example, screen size).
Supported mobile communication standards
Supported standards determine the speed of data transfer over a mobile network. Distinguish:
- 2G (GPRS, EDGE) are the slowest standards but consume the least battery power. The maximum data transfer rate is up to 128 kbps. Suitable only for communication in resource-efficient messengers like Telegram and ICQ. Browse web pages, videos, listen to music online, use social networks on EDGE will not work;
- 3G (UMTS, HSPA) – standards with an average data transfer rate. The limit is 2 Mbps. Suitable for browsing the web, chatting in instant messengers and social networks. You can watch online video, listen to music, make video calls over 3G only in low or medium quality;
- 4G (LTE) is a high speed data transfer standard. The limit is 326.4 Mbps. Suitable for browsing the web, using any instant messengers, communicating on social networks, playing videos, streaming music in high (up to FHD) quality, making video calls. The disadvantage is high energy consumption;
- LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) is the fastest standard. The speed is the same, but the smartphone can use a dual-band connection to increase it. Suitable for all of the above. Videos can be played without preloading in resolutions up to 4K, and music can be streamed up to Hi-Fi.
The most suitable for everyday use are the standards 3G and 4G LTE. But their maximum speed does not always correspond to the actual one due to several factors – operator restrictions, distance to the base station, quality of the coverage area, congestion of the reception area with “screens”, weather phenomena and much more.
However, it is smartphones with 3G and 4G that are recommended for selection. Models without LTE support may not provide a sufficiently comfortable web surfing experience.
Screen size and other parameters
The amount of information that a screen can hold is influenced by its three parameters – diagonal, actual resolution (PPI) and software resolution (DPI). It is clear that when surfing the web, the more text and pictures fit on the display, the better. However, this content should not be extremely small either – otherwise it becomes difficult to read and use various controls.
The optimal screen for a smartphone that you plan to use for web surfing is 5-inch, 1920×1080 pixels. For a 4-inch display, the optimal resolution is 1280×720 pixels. If you plan to purchase a smartphone with a screen diagonal of more than 5.5 inches, it is worth considering that its resolution should not be less than 1920 × 1080 pixels – otherwise the controls will be too large, as well as the content on the screen.
Operating system Android 7 Nougat allows you to independently set the programmatic screen resolution, making controls and content larger and smaller. Therefore, the actual screen resolution for smartphones that run it does not really matter.
Processor model and amount of RAM
These parameters determine the speed of the smartphone, including the Internet. In addition, the speed of the device on the Internet depends on the processor model. For example, each new chip from Qualcomm has more sophisticated modem models, and therefore the quality of the network connection, as well as the data transfer rate, are getting better.
Similarly, with smartphones based on MediaTek processors. The only “but” is that this company rarely changes modems in its chips, as a result of which there are no noticeable differences in speed and connection quality.
The ideal solution for the Internet would be to buy a smartphone on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6XX or 8XX processor (where XX is any numbers), or on MediaTek Helio.
The amount of RAM determines the number of applications and web pages that the smartphone can keep open in the background. The minimum optimal value for an “Internet smartphone” is 2 GB, the recommended value is 3 GB.
The higher the battery capacity, the longer the smartphone can work on a single charge. So, devices equipped with batteries of 2800 mAh or more will “live” for about 8-10 hours of mixed use. However, smartphones with a 2500 mAh battery or less will require recharging after 6 hours of mixed use.
The operating system determines the usability of smartphones. In addition, modern versions of Android and iOS support the most up-to-date app releases.
Thus, smartphones with the most current versions of the operating system are recommended for purchase. For Android, these are 6.0 / 6.1 Marshmallow and 7.0 / 7.1 Nougat (as well as 8.0 / 8.1 Oreo, but it is not yet available on all devices), for iOS – 9, 10 and 11.
An important advantage of modern operating systems is the correct work with background applications. Programs such as social networking or messenger clients do not run in real time, but are hibernated – and only certain parts of them are active to receive notifications. This allows you to increase the battery life of the device in mixed use.
What tariff to choose for the Internet
Almost all mobile operators in 2017 offer peculiar tariffs for accessing the Internet. The subscription fee of such plans includes unlimited access to certain services and a limited amount of GB for other needs.
Usually, unlimited traffic is offered to such “economical” services as instant messengers and social networks. In rare cases, the operator includes in the subscription fee unlimited access to streaming music services like Boom from Vkontakte or Yandex.Music. The rest of the traffic – for example, through a browser, email client, etc. – is limited and can be charged separately or included in the tariff package.
The best way to determine what tariff is needed for the Internet is to purchase one for 1 month, and then analyze traffic usage statistics using the operating system. For example, in Android, the relevant information is located directly in the mobile networks settings. After evaluating which applications consume the most traffic, you can choose the ideal tariff for the Internet – so, if instant messengers turned out to be the most “gluttonous”, then you should choose a tariff plan with unlimited traffic for them. But if the browser turned out to be the leader of the statistics, then you should pay attention to packages with the necessary and sufficient amount of “additional” GB.
The following selection method will also be optimal:
- If you use infrequently, only social networks, instant messengers and a little bit of web browsers, up to 4 GB of traffic is enough;
- If you plan to listen to music online, but infrequently, make voice calls via Viber or WhatsApp, then up to 10 GB is enough;
- If you plan to watch videos, including movies, but not every day – from 20 GB;
- For active use of the Internet, daily movie watching, etc. – from 30 GB.
Of course, the more traffic included in the tariff, the more expensive it is.
The best manufacturing companies
The best manufacturers of smartphones for the Internet are:
- Apple, Samsung – in the top price segment;
- Sony, LG, Huawei, OnePlus – in the middle price segment;
- Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu – in the budget price segment.
- You can also highlight Nokia, which has recently returned to the smartphone market, and Google – but it is represented only in the “ultra-top” price segment.
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