Best budget smartphones that prove you don’t have to spend a fortune for quality

Boss: “Give me an incredible camera with literally hundreds of different filters built in. I want animated emojis, GIF mode, light painting, 3D panoramas, stickers, artist mode, time lapse, HDR, and anything else you can think of, Jenkins.”

Employee: “Aye aye, sir. Anything else we should include?”

Boss: “Nope, just focus on the camera.”

Employee: “Not even a decent home menu to avoid cluttering up the apps?”

Boss: “Just the camera, Jenkins.”

Employee: “Facial recognition?”

Boss: “Sounds expensive. Keep it cheap and slow, focus on those filters.”

Employee: “So just a really great camera and the bare minimum for everything else then, sir?”

Boss: “Exactly! And more filters! By god, we’ll have so many filters that our customers won’t be able to ascertain what their photographs even look like until they leave the camera and open the gallery – it’s genius, Jenkins!”

Employee: “…”

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Frequently asked questions about budget smartphones

What does it mean and why should I care? | A guide to smartphone jargon

There are few strands of consumer technology more stuffed with jargon and nonsense than in smartphones. Manufacturers love to wax lyrical about how great their processors are or talk about the aperture of their cameras. All that’s great if you’re a tech expert, but for the average user, it tends to sound like bluster.

Here’s a guide to some of the most mentioned phone jargon, what it is, and how it’ll affect you when you use the phone.

All day battery: Generally most modern smartphones use a 3330mAh which is fairly bulky but how much you’ll get out of it varies depending on your usage, screen brightness, number of apps, and even things you can control like your phone’s processor. In recent years most phone manufacturers have settled on the term ‘all day battery’ as a catch-all which covers a lot of different things. Certainly none of these batteries will last a full 24 hours with normal usage. It’s really important to look into battery tests before you buy, rather than just taking the manufacturers word for it.

Processor: Sometimes known as the Central Processing Unit or CPU, this is essentially the bit of the phone which decides how fast the phone will load. That’s everything from loading apps to loading video. It’s also about how many apps the phone can have running at once. A better processor means a faster phone, basically.

Water resistance: This is different from waterproofing. Water resistance means the phone can survive being splashed with water, whereas water proof means it can be fully submerged and work underwater. There are different measures of waterproofing too. Most phones that are waterproof can work up to a point, but take them too deep underwater and the pressure will break them.

Screen size: Measured from the top corner to diagonally across the phone to the bottom corner on the other side.

Bezels: This is just a fancy term for the ‘edges’ of the screen which don’t light up and display stuff. Bezels are very unpopular at the moment so most phone manufacturers are fighting to get rid of bezels and have an all-display screen.

Megapixels: A unit of image measurement equivalent to one million pixels. Pixels are the tiny dots on your screen which make up images. A camera with more megapixels can take bigger and higher quality photos. However, megapixels aren’t everything. These days image processing software can make the pictures from a camera with fewer megapixels look better than a device with a higher megapixel count.

RAM: Short for Random Access Memory. This is the space in which your phone will store all the information it needs right now. Essentially, this is how many apps you can have running at once before they slow their phone down. Most phones come with 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

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