Android Phone-Buying Tips - dummies

By Dan Gookin

When buying an Android phone, first look at a cellular provider, and then determine which phones are available and suit your purpose. Finding a cellular provider is all about coverage: Can you get a signal everywhere you need one?

Despite the boasts, not every cellular provider offers full data coverage. The true test is to ask people who frequent your same locations which services they use and whether they’re happy with the coverage.

All Android phones offer similar features and a vast array of apps. Start looking for a phone by finding ones that feel good in your hands. Some people like smaller, compact phones that fit easily in a pocket or purse. Others prefer the large-format (phablet) phones, which offer larger screens.

Check the phone’s display, not by reviewing the fancy technical jargon but by looking at it with your own eyes. View some photos on the phone to see how good they look.

Phones come with varying quantities of storage, from 8GB on up to 128GB and more. Some phones might still offer removable storage in the form of a microSD, though this feature is becoming rather rare.

Camera resolution isn’t vital, but if your Android phone is your only digital camera, getting a high-resolution rear camera is a plus.

Beyond these basic items, most Android phones are drearily similar. Ensure that your phone uses the Android operating system and can access and use Google Play, the online Android store, where you obtain apps, music, video, and books. Some low-price, bargain phones restrict your purchases to the manufacturer’s own app store. That’s not a good thing.