Photo: File
Photo: File

How to choose the right smart device for you

By Opinion Time of article published Jun 25, 2021

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Mobile phones and devices are playing a larger role in peoples’ lives than ever before.

The Covid-19 outbreak has increased our reliance on smart devices, which can now be used to conduct almost every daily activity – from finding entertainment to organising meetings and schedules to keeping in touch with friends and family. This has also resulted in exponential increases in demand for data and internet access.

The smartphone is like a pocket-sized personal computer. It travels with us wherever we go, and facilitates access to information, and important services like banking, healthcare and education. Smart devices and internet access have become a critical component of the modern world; nowadays, everyone needs to be connected to participate in an increasingly interconnected world.

There are various considerations to make ahead of purchasing a device or entering into a contract. It might be worth thinking about your top uses for the device, as this will help guide your selection process.

Decide on what best suits your budget

First, decide how much you are willing to spend to purchase the device – this could be as a once-off payment, or through instalments. iPhones tend to be more expensive relative to many Android phones. However, a cheaper iPhone SE for around R399 per month over 24 months or R8 999 once-off may be an option for those on a budget but who are looking for a phone that operates on the iOS platform.

Samsung is another relatively high-priced brand but there are certain models that sit on the lower end of the price scale. Those who are really on a tight budget might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy A02S, which can be paid off over two years for R119 per month. The ZTE Blade L210, which also operates off the Android, is another low-cost model that goes for R1 399. There is also the option to pay it off in instalments of R59 per month for 24 months.

However, as a business owner or a student, who may conduct the majority of their daily activities virtually, owning a tablet might be a consideration as it offers the best of both worlds – phones and laptops.

Figure out your preferred operating system

If you are buying a new smartphone today, it is very likely that the device will run on one of two operating systems: Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. The two platforms have been around for some time now and both are user-friendly and support a wide variety of apps and games. Ultimately, selecting the platform comes down to you and your individual preference.

Some might be more invested in Apple and its ecosystem than others and will prefer to stick to it – especially if they own various Apple devices that can be synced up with one another. Apple has designed a multitude of features that allow you to carry over work and data from one of its devices to another, and these features can save you time.

It is, however, no secret that iPhones are on the higher end of the price range, particularly those models that have just come onto the market. Whereas you can find a more affordable Android device that fits your budget and still offers the features you might be after. Some of the best features of Android include the ability to customise multiple home screens with useful apps that give you quicker, easier access to the most important functions to you.

Do your homework to find the best deal

With so many different cellphone contracts deals on the market today, potential users can be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the decision. It is advisable to do your homework, and to take some time to shop around to find the best deal. If you want to save some money, consider looking at deals that will offer additional value, apply discounts, or provide a reward for your loyalty or spend.

Lee Ramsden, head of sales and distribution of Standard Bank Mobile

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites


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