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5 features to look for in a new smartphone in 2021

The mobile device market is evolving rapidly and if you are looking for a new smartphone in 2021, these are the components, factors, and features to look for. For those looking for the best on a phone, these are our recommendations.

These are the features that will guarantee the best possible experience when buying a new flagship or flagship. Follow our recommendations based on the many years of experience, contact, and study of the mobile market.

1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor

Performance. For those looking for the best performance in 2021, the Snapdragon 888 processor is the SoC to take into account since it uses the lithography or construction process at 5 nm. This brings great performance improvements and energy savings.

More specifically, Qualcomm points to a 25% improvement in the performance of the Snapdragon 888 compared to Snapdragon 865, the top model in 2020. The improvements are even more significant in the GPU with an increase of 35% , great for games.

Qualcomm thus equates the Apple alternative with the A14 Bionic, Huawei with the Kirin 9000, in addition to Samsung with its Exynos 2100. Having said that, the previously mentioned processors are in themselves valid alternatives to the Snapdragon 888.

By the way, see the phones with the best processors with products from different manufacturers.

2. Powerful cameras on the smartphone

The smartphone has become the best easily transportable photo camera available to consumers. In 2021, this premise is equally true and remains one of the greatest vectors of innovation and intergenerational improvements.

This means that smartphone cameras have never been as good as they are now. Moreover, it is here that manufacturers invest more resources, and this is also the attribute that differentiates smartphones top of the range from other phones.

This applies to both Android and iOS smartphones, with the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max differing above all in their photographic capabilities and video capture. The same applies to the new Samsung Galaxy S21, with the S21 Ultra having the best camera, with an emphasis on optical zoom and maximum magnification capacity up to 30 times – Space Zoom.

It is, in effect, the camera that makes an expensive smartphone, which defines it as flagship or true top of the range. It is here that manufacturers fight to win the preference of consumers, whether with more cameras, or higher resolution.

Therefore, we advise the reader to look for a smartphone with at least three main cameras. This is so that you can enjoy the ( 1 ) ultra-wide-angle lens – great for panoramas, nature photos and groups; ( 2 ) a telephoto lens, so you can get closer to the point of interest, the object to focus on thanks to the camera’s magnification capabilities; and at least one ( 3 ) third camera – usually wide-angle – that stands out in night photography, the Night Mode.

Fulfilling these three premises – ultra-wide angle, telephoto and good performance when the light is scarce, you will have a smartphone capable of responding to virtually any scenarios that arise in everyday life.

By the way, see the best phones for photography, according to the DxOMark ranking.

3. Wireless charging and fast battery charging

Each and every smartphone will have to be recharged every one or two days of reasonable use. Among the factors that contribute to better or worse battery life are ( 1 ) battery capacity, a value expressed in mAh-; ( 2 ) the pattern of use of the smartphone; ( 3 ) processor type and architecture, as well as ( 4 ) phone software, operating system and interface.

There are four factors that influence the frequency with which we will have to charge the devices. It is therefore a reality that we cannot escape from, but there are two technologies that greatly simplify this inevitable procedure – wireless charging, fast battery charging technologies and patterns.

When choosing a new smartphone in 2021, we therefore recommend that you give preference to phones that already support wireless charging . It is an extremely comfortable way to charge your phone, freeing you from cables.

At the same time, you should pay attention and look for the smartphone with the fastest charge pattern . You will find the buzzword “fast battery charging” from 15 W, but there are exponentially faster solutions like the standard used by OPPO at 65 W, dubbed Super VOOC.

The nomenclature of the fast charge standard will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but pay attention to the declared values ​​- usually indicated in Watts (W).

Finally, you can also take advantage of reverse wireless charging. This technology allows you, for example, to charge Bluetooth headsets with your smartphone battery, providing power to gadgets that support wireless charging.

Wireless reverse charging is not a priority, but in certain situations, it can prove useful. It is therefore an added value to consider when buying a new high-end phone.

By the way, see the best USB chargers , with options for every need.

4. Gorilla Glass Victus glass and IP68 certification

As the price of new phones increases, it is only natural that we want to preserve our investment. The durability of the smartphone is thus an important vector to take into account before investing in a mobile device.

Especially for the screen, the most sensitive component, with which we interact most and which can shatter with a bad fall, or scratch if thrown into the pocket without protection. Now, this is where the importance of a good protective glass is revealed.

Among the different brands, none inspires more confidence than Corning with its Gorilla Glass. It is important to pay attention, however, to the generation of this glass since there are several in circulation. The best – most robust – was nicknamed Gorilla Glass Victus.

It is important to emphasize that resistant glass is not unbreakable or unbeatable glass. Any and all glass will scratch and break, but at best its degree of resistance is considerably great. To protect your investment, look for a phone protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus glass, but be aware that it too has its limits.

Resistance to the elements is another aspect to be taken into account in order to maximize its useful life. To this end, certifications such as IPxx indicate the dust and water resistance of a mobile device, although it is not an infallible indicator.

In any case, it is advisable to give preference to a phone that has IP67 or IP68 resistance to a similar one that does not have such certification. On the other hand, we warn that you should never immerse your smartphone in salt water, do not take it into sea water and that even in freshwater, the waterproofing of the device becomes less effective with the age of the same.

The integrity of the rubbers, adhesives, and other compounds used in waterproofing a smartphone is degraded with use, with the heat generated by them, with possible falls, and with the natural wear and tear of the mobile device.

5. Software and security updates

The life span of a new smartphone can be as much better as the software updates it receives. Therefore, when choosing a new phone, it gives priority to manufacturers with a good history of software updates so that it remains useful.

The updates bring security enhancements, inseparable from the user’s privacy and the integrity of their data, in addition to adding new features, or improving the functioning of the purchased Device.

As a rule, Android manufacturers provide two years of software updates and three years of security updates. It is the new standard in 2021, applying to high-end mobile devices. Unfortunately, other mid-range or entry-level smartphones are often overlooked by companies well before they complete two years on the market.

On the other hand, Apple is the manufacturer with the best update history for its iDevices . As a rule, the Cupertino giant provides up to five years of software updates – the iOS operating system – for its iPhone.

It should be noted that Android manufacturers have improved in this regard, but remain behind Apple.

Extra. Support for 5G connection

In 2021, support for the fifth generation of mobile networks is nothing more than a marketing buzzword. However, when buying a new high-end smartphone we want to be prepared for the future, hence the reference to 5G.

The fifth generation of mobile networks brings with it new standards of speed in data download and upload, as well as low latencies. This will unlock a new set of opportunities for users and their mobile devices.

Although we are still far from being able to take advantage of this new standard in Portugal, its support is already common in most high-end smartphones.

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