How to choose the right smartphone?

Is it better to choose an Android smartphone or an iPhone? Entry and mid-range, is it good? Or do I absolutely need a high-end one? How to judge the autonomy of the device? Is everyone taking good pictures in 2024?

Of course, these are just some of the most frequently asked questions by our readers. However, we will try to help you make the best possible choice as we write these lines!

What is a good smartphone in 2024: our identity

Before we continue with more specific advice, let's take a look together at what a good smartphone looks like in 2024. This will make it easier to judge the strengths and weaknesses of the reports available on the market.

Display and Design

A good smartphone in 2024 offers a high-quality display, offering a minimum resolution of Full HD+ for a clear and detailed visual experience. OLED or AMOLED technologies are favored for high contrast and deep blacks. In the mid-to-high range, even now in the entry-level range, the significantly inferior LCD/IPS technology falls behind – to the point where we recommend avoiding smartphones with such a display.

Beyond that, the trend is towards screens with a refresh rate of 120 Hz or more, which guarantees excellent fluidity in scrolling and animations (classic screens are limited to 60 Hz or 90 Hz). The design is stylish and functional, with thin bezels and a robust build, often accompanied by certification for water and dust resistance.

Representations

The heart of a good smartphone is its processor, capable of handling demanding tasks without slowing down. In 2024, a last-generation chip that offers good power management and sufficient power for gaming, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence applications is a must.

Advanced etch thinness, typically around 5nm or less, is an indicator of a processor's ability to deliver exceptional performance while remaining efficient. At the high level, there are mainly three main reports:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Series: The Snapdragon 8 series is traditionally reserved for high-end devices, offering the best performance for gaming, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The models in this series are designed to provide a premium user experience with optimal energy efficiency. The latest version available is the Snapdragon 8 Series 3.

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  • Samsung Exynos high-end: Samsung also develops its own Exynos chips for its high-end Galaxy smartphones. These processors are designed to compete with Qualcomm and Apple's offerings, providing strong performance and advanced features such as image processing and artificial intelligence. Some of the latest Samsung Galaxy S24s are powered by an Exynos 2400 chip – the performance of which is similar to that of the latest Snapdragon 8 chips.
  • Apple A Series: Apple continues to update its line of iPhone processors, with the latest model offering unparalleled processing and graphics performance. These chips are known for their optimal integration with Apple hardware and software, providing a smooth and efficient experience. To date, we're on the Apple A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

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In the mid-range, the Snapdragon 7 series chips are rather good choices, combining an excellent compromise between performance and comprehensive services. Let's also mention the MediaTek Dimensity chips that provide access to, among other things, 5G at low prices. At the entry level, we ideally find a Snapdragon 6 Series chip or a MediaTek Helio chip. Chinese reports, notably Huawei, are using Kirin chips from HiSilicon.

Battery life

Autonomy is critical. A good smartphone should guarantee at least a day of intensive use thanks to a high-capacity battery, usually more than 4,000 mAh. Fast charging, wired and wireless, has become standard, allowing the phone to recharge quickly when needed.

In general, the larger your selection, the more generous the battery will be (and the battery life will often be better).

camera

Mobile photography is still a defining factor. A good 2024 smartphone incorporates a versatile camera system with at least one high-resolution main sensor capable of capturing fine details and performing in low-light conditions.

The presence of additional lenses, such as an ultra-wide-angle and a telephoto lens, enriches the shooting possibilities. Artificial intelligence plays a key role in improving photography, providing functions such as scene recognition and automatic image correction.

Connectivity and software

In terms of connectivity, a good smartphone supports 5G, Wi-Fi 6 (or later) and Bluetooth 5 (or later), ensuring fast data transfer speeds and stable connectivity.

The operating system, whether Android or iOS, should be smooth, secure and regularly updated. The focus is on privacy and ease of use, with an intuitive user interface and customizable features (if you use Android) or, for example, the length of support (up to 7 years on Apple) depending on the generation of iPhone you like.

Android vs. iPhone: the great debate

Choosing between Android and iPhone is often the first dilemma buyers face. iPhones, with their iOS operating system, are renowned for their built-in ecosystem, security and ease of use. In contrast, Android offers greater flexibility, deep customization, and a wide range of device options.

The two big advantages, in our opinion, of Android smartphones:

  • Customization: With Android, users have the freedom to customize the interface and user experience to a much greater extent.
  • Diverse options: Android offers a wider range of smartphones, covering all price segments and technical specifications.

The advantages of iPhones:

  • Integrated Ecosystem: Apple provides a consistent and integrated user experience across all of its devices.
  • Regular updates: iPhones benefit from regular updates for a longer period of time, up to 7 years.

Note that the iPhone ecosystem is now much more open, thanks to new antitrust laws in Europe. Apple now supports alternative app stores and sideloading apps outside of the regular App Store, which is a step in the right direction for those who want to not be limited by one manufacturer's options.

From iPhone to Android smartphone (and vice versa): smooth transition

For those considering switching from iPhone to Android, choosing a device that offers a “clean” experience can make the transition easier. Google's Pixel smartphones, for example, offer a bare-bones version of Android that's very close to what Apple offers in terms of simplicity and fluidity.

Samsung's high-end devices like the Galaxy S24 series are also great options, with their advanced features and well-developed ecosystem.

If, on the other hand, you're switching from Android to iPhone, the choice will generally be simpler and will really depend on your budget and what you're looking for with this new device. All the latest iPhones are powerful and there is no entry or mid-range from Apple.

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However, we don't recommend going for the latest available iPhone SE, which, in our opinion, already represented the past in the iPhone series with its LCD screen (!!!) huge bezels and interface so… iPhone X. All for a price that some will undoubtedly find a bit excessive.

Its only advantage in our opinion is its chip, which is still in the game in 2024, especially for video games.

Which chip, storage and amount of RAM should I choose?

In 2024, smartphone processors continue to evolve, with significant improvements in performance and energy efficiency. The thinness of chip etching is a key indicator of this development, with manufacturers pushing the limits to reach 5nm and beyond.

The latest high-end chips, such as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Series 3 or Apple's A16 Bionic or A17 Pro, offer excellent performance for games, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. If you choose the entry or mid-range, make sure the smartphone has at least the latest generation of MediaTek or HiSilicon chips available.

In 2024, a mid-range smartphone should have at least 6-8GB of RAM to ensure a smooth multitasking experience. High-end devices may offer 12 GB of RAM or more, useful for more demanding applications and games.

The minimum recommended storage space is 128 GB, especially if you take a lot of photos and videos. The 256GB or 512GB options are preferable for those who don't want to worry about running out of space. Additionally, check if the device supports memory expansion via a microSD card.

On the iPhone, memory-poor users can also rely on iCloud storage – with automated internal memory management that can make a device with little internal memory very useful. Note that in this case, a permanent internet connection is necessary to access files and applications that you rarely consult.

Conclusion: how to choose your next smartphone?

Making your decision about a smartphone remains, in 2024, influenced by a multitude of technical, personal and financial factors. Consumers are faced with a dizzying array of choices, with each device equipped with specifications and features designed to meet various needs and preferences.

Deciding between Android and iOS is one of the most important decisions. Those around you and what they use on a daily basis can clearly influence this choice. If many of your loved ones are on iPhones, being able to take advantage of FaceTime and iMessage's advanced features can seal the deal.

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Whether the device is high-end, mid-range or entry-level, the chip is at the heart of the user experience, as it is what dictates the fluidity of the interface, the speed of applications and the ability to perform demanding tasks.

The latest developments in this field, particularly in the fineness of etching, show significant advances in performance and power. Therefore, we advise you to always check that the smartphone you buy has the latest generation of chips in this price range.

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This will allow you to benefit from a faster, more efficient smartphone capable of handling increasingly sophisticated applications while maintaining optimal battery life.

Finally, choosing a smartphone in 2024 isn't just limited to technical specifications. It also includes broader issues such as sustainability, data security, support for software updates and the environmental impact of device manufacturing and recycling.

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Enough to invite us to go into detail about brands, especially in the Android ecosystem, as not all of them have the same policy in this area. Sometimes, it is better to choose a smartphone that is slightly more expensive, but that respects your data more.

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