With advances in mobile technology, including hardware and software, your phone can become obsolete quickly if you are not careful
Just the other day, I was discussing new and upcoming mobile handsets with my friends, especially in the below-Rs15,000 range. While chatting, I realised, how some of the handsets would be obsolete soon. For example, while a smartphone with 2GB RAM was supposed to be a good bet a few months back in the next few months, newer handsets with 3GB RAM will be available. The same applies to processor power and screen resolutions. I am not looking at the camera feature because, over the past several months or even few years, the camera is stuck at 13mp (megapixel), with a few exceptions. But, then again, you can hardly spot any difference with the naked eye in a photo captured by a 13mp camera and 5mp camera.
Another example is the launch of devices below the Rs15,000 range. Le Eco 1s, at Rs10,999, has definitely taken the lead followed by Redmi Note3. Both these devices have metal unibody and powerful chipsets. Lenovo, which is trying to make an inroad in the Indian market, has been launching new handsets almost every few days. Lenovo’s K3 Note has received a good response from customers. To build upon the success, Lenovo has launched Vibe K4 Note with better features. Unfortunately, it faces stiff competition from Le Eco 1s and Redmi Note3, which boasts a metal body.
Clearly, while buying a new mobile handset, one needs to be aware of upcoming devices as well as their features. On the e-commerce platform, make it a habit to read customer reviews. I would suggest refrain from asking your friends, who are using the same handset, from giving opinions. One who bought the device is unlikely to accept that he (may have) made a mistake.
Another point to keep in mind is changes in mobile services. Many operators are now promoting 4G services, irrespective of whether the subscriber actually gets the desired speed or not. Reliance Jio is also waiting in the wings to launch its 4G services. Given the strong backing from its promoter, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), R-Jio has the capacity to disrupt the mobile market, both in terms of tariff and handsets. If you want your handset to remain relevant buy one which supports 4G.
Talking about the operating systems, Android Marshmallow is yet to be rolled out on most devices. In fact, I am wondering why new handsets are still being launched with Android 5.1 or Lollypop instead of Android 6 or Marshmallow. To be future-ready, check if your new handset comes preloaded with Marshmallow or Lollypop. If it is Android 5.1, do check the possibility of software upgrades. If not, simply avoid this device. There are some good devices being launched by Microsoft based on its Windows 10 mobile OS.
Earlier, in December 2015, Apple released a new version of its iOS. The latest iOS 9.2 dedicates about 1.3GB of the device’s flash memory for itself. It supports iPhone 4s and, later, iPad 2 and iPad Pro, all models of iPad Mini and fifth-gen iPod Touch to follow. In addition, Apple has reportedly reduced prices of its iPhone 5s drastically. So if you are an Apple fan or die-hard user, take a look at this offer.
While buying a new mobile handset, buy into the future. This is because, the statutory warning used on financial products, ‘Past performance is no guarantee of future…’, holds true for mobile devices as well. This is the only way to keep pace with ever-changing technology and save your device from becoming obsolete in a few months after buying.