You might be finding yourself doing some last minute Christmas shopping and don’t know exactly what to get that special someone in your family. If they happen to be someone you don’t mind spending some dough on, I’ve made a list of some “Shopping Tips” for phones and tablets. I personally don’t think a lot of people buy a new phone for people as a gift (unless it were a very close loved one, such as a spouse or child) but to buy a tablet for a loved one is much more likely. These tips are geared much closer to tablets than phones, but most of it is great advice for both.
One of my soapbox arguments is that Android tends to get a bad reputation from the vast options in hardware available. There are so many to choose from because Android is an open source operating system and Google doesn’t charge anyone anything to use it in their next phone or tablet. This is why there are so many variations. However, in order to get the approval from Google to use their backend services, that manufacture does have to be “approved” by Google. These back end services include some very important parts that give Android that “leading edge” reputation.
Holiday Shopping Tip #1:
Make sure the device supports Google Play Services
It should say so right there on the box as to whether or not it supports Google Play Services, or at least it should say something similar to “access to Google Play Store”. This allows you access to all the apps or games you’ve already purchased on an older device. You would just simply log in with the same Google account. If you buy a device that does not support Google Play Services, you are forced to use another “store” that could have ripped copies of that app (which means it’s possibly a copyright violation) or the device’s manufacturer has their own store which probably doesn’t have anywhere close to the hundreds of thousands of choices.
Holiday Shopping Tip #2:
The device should have sufficient memory space
If you are buying a tablet, chances are you will want to play lots of games or consume lots of media such as movies, pictures, or music. Having a sufficient amount of memory is crucial. I suggest the phone or tablet should have a minimal of 16GB of memory capacity. You might be able to get away with just 8GB, but then I suggest that it must support SD cards up to at least 32GB. Personally, I don’t buy anything with less than 32GB of memory. If you think about it, the operating system and all the apps that come on the device will take up at least 4-5 GB. If you buy an 8 GB tablet, you’re left with 3-4 GB of space for everything you want to do and you will find yourself deleting “wanted” apps in the future.
Holiday Shopping Tip #3:
You get what you pay for
When buying a phone or tablet (off contract) you truly do get what you pay for. If you buy on-contract, then look at the original price to make sense of this tip. That $60 deal on a tablet at Big Lots or Rite-Aid isn’t really a deal. Chances are slim that it will provide a satisfactory user experience. Go to a store that sales electronics. Look for brand names you recognize. If buying online, read the customer reviews; stay away from anything less than 3.5 stars and only 1 reviewer. Use promo codes or coupons if you havethem, but I the starting price needs to be somewhere around $130 or $150. One website (that does not endorse me in any way) is swappa.com. You can find some great deals on some gently used mobile electronics. It’s like eBay in a way where you buy from another consumer, not a store. You might even luck out and find a brand new one. Another great place is eBay Deals. You can find factory approve refurbished devices for about 25% cheaper than the original price.
Holiday Shopping Tip #4:
You want it to respond accordingly
Mobile technology has advanced way beyond single core processors. Quad core is the hype right now. Dual core is still pretty good though. The next year or two will introduce 8-core (octa-core) technology. It moves really fast in the IT world. Don’t buy anything with a single core processor. It’s difficult for single cores to accurately process graphics. It will result in delayed responses from your touch. It will jitter and seem sluggish. It will take what seems to be “forever” to load anything. There are a lot of great processor manufacturers out there, so let’s don’t worry about who made the processor, but do worry about the fact that it should be dual core or quad core.
You may have dismissed these tips because you plan to buy a tablet for a young toddler. Be forewarned, toddlers also get frustrated when things don’t go their way. I witnessed several toddlers use a particularly cheap tablet that was marketed for toddlers, and they were frustrated and throwing them within minutes. They tested the silicon bumpers along the case more than they did the “child friendly experience”. If the processor can’t keep up with the user, the user will get bored.
Holiday Shopping Tip #5:
Protect your investment
If you followed Holiday Shopping Tip #3, now you should follow tip #5 and buy a protective case and a screen protector. If this device is going to a young child, get a thicker case. They make some great ones with thick silicon that can take some major hits. Start with Amazon.com. Again, don’t buy cheap, but you don’t have to get the most expensive either. Screen protectors will really help with resale value. You’ll get less money for a scratched screen. That’s kind of a given. Don’t expect the screen protector to prevent cracks though. Nothing can effectively guarantee to prevent cracking 100% of the time.
Application tip for screen protectors: if something gets stuck under the protective film while applying the screen protector, use scotch tape to remove it. Using your fingers will cause fingerprints in the adhesive underneath and those can never be removed. Using your fingers can also cause the adhesive to peel.
There you have it; five Holiday Shopping tips that BaldyPal uses every time he shops for a new phone or tablet. Whether it’s for a child or an adult, make sure they are going to be happy with the money you spend. No one wants to see their gift tossed aside or even re-gifted. Follow these tips and I’m sure they will love the device you choose for them.
Do you have any additional tips for buying a new phone or tablet? Leave them down in the comments to share with others as we all try to bring good wishes to our friend and family this season.