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Monday, 29 December 2014

Buying a phone guide - 5 ways to futureproof your next android phone

As we enter 2015, there might be a few of us really need a new shiny phone to replace the old one. With the introduction of Android Lollipop, the Android landscape has changed significantly as Lollipop can now support 64 bit and that will required a new set of devices.For those who can wait until the second half of the 2015, you will be getting your new phone pre-loaded with Lollipop or at least Lollipop ready.

For those who can't wait for whatever reason, we will try to assist you on your next purchase so that you would not feel outdated just 6 months after your last purchase. To continue our "Buying a phone Guide", Here is 5 things you should be looking out for

1. 64 bit SoC devices
Since ARM introduce ARMv8 64 bit architecture and Apple started rolling out in their iphone 5S, it is just a matter of time before Android catches up to the 64bit bandwagon. Lollipop will be the first Android version that will support 64 bit processor and your new phone should be too. There is a few options of SoC currently available in the market that support 64 bit with some phone manufacturer already implemented it their latest mobile phones. The downside of this new 64 bit SoC is that it is only available in the low to mid tier territory (Cortex A53).

Here are the list of currently available 64 bit SoC that you should be looking for (source : Wikipedia)

Manufacturer SOC model Tier Mobile Phones
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Low (4 Core) Huawei G621, Alcatel OneTouch Pop 2, Lenovo A805e, Samsung Galaxy A3, Samsung Galaxy A5, Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 SM-G7508Q, HTC Desire 510, Huawei Ascend G7, Lenovo Vibe Z2, Huawei Ascend G620S, Huawei Ascend Y550, Huawei Honor Play 4, Vivo Y13L, Vivo Y27, HTC Desire 820q, Samsung Galaxy Ace Style LTE, LG F60, ZTE Q802D, Huawei Honor 4 Play, TCL P520L, Cubot Zorro 001, Samsung Galaxy Core Max, ZTE V5 Max, ZTE V5S, Lenovo Sisley S90 BQ Aquaris E5 4G

Snapdragon 615 Mid (8 Core) HTC Desire 820, Archos 50 Diamond, Oppo R5 Coolpad F2 LTE, Micromax Yureka, Samsung Galaxy A7
Mediatek Mediatek 6732 Low (4 Core) Unistar X8, Bluboo X8 4G, Bluboo X6, Elephone P6000

Mediatek 6752 Mid (8 Core) Meizu M1 Note

Mediatek 6795 High (8 Core) HTC Desire 850
Hisilicon Kirin 620 Mid (8 Core) Honor 4x

2. Find a manufacturer with history of version upgrade
It will be a big waste if your shiny new 64 bit SoC are loaded with KitKat (4.4) as it would not be able to use the extra processing power available. Try to find a reputable phone manufacturer with at least one version upgrade available to their mid tier phones (Jellybean to KitKat), we must emphasis here that the upgrade history must be at a mid tier phone model as these current available phone are not your flagship level.

3. GPE model or Nexus
If you really want the upgrade as soon as it is available, try buying the GPE model (Google Play Edition) or any Nexus devices. These devices will be getting updates as soon as it is launched but the downside (if you can say it as downside) of this is that you will be getting the plain vanilla stock Android as what Google intended. There will be no fancy feature like HTC's sense or Samsung TouchWiz and for some it is a big sacrifice to make.

4. 2 GB of RAM minimum
Even though Android Lollipop will be more efficient with RAM, you might not be getting Lollipop so soon and would still live with KitKat for a long period of time. The extra RAM space would definitely help in the mean time and if you upgraded to Lollipop, 64 bit processor would be better with bigger RAM.

5. LTE connectivity
There is no denying that LTE is essential going into 2015 as more and more available network would be expanded throughout 2015. If you dont know what is and which LTE to look for, you can read our previous article on it here.

There you go, 5 things you should be looking for if you need to buy an Android phone within this few months. Don't expect any 64 bit flagship available yet as each manufacturer would try to wait and see what their competitors doing before they will unveil their next flagship and most flagship phone is still less then a year old.

If you think we left out any other important detail, please do leave a comment below.

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