7 Things To Consider When Buying a Smartphone in Cameroon

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Buying a smartphone is one of those things I have grown accustomed to. Based on my experience, here are the Key Questions to Ask When Buying a Smartphone in Cameroon

Buying a smartphone is one of those things I have grown accustomed to. I have reviewed and used more than fifty smartphones over the last decade (maybe even hundreds), and there are a few specifications or features in each phone that weigh more when it comes to whether or not it gets a good review or not. This might be really strange when one might consider I am from Cameroon, Africa. In this part of the world, people are known to hang on to their phones a little longer than you would expect. So, it becomes critical to know what type of phone you are getting before you buy one.

Also, it can be stressful buying a new smartphone, especially as prices climb beyond 100000 Francs CFA these days. You do not really need to spend that much money, you just need to know the questions to ask or what to look for before you make a purchase.

Here are the questions you should ask or the things you should pay attention to:

  1. Does the battery last longer?
  2. Is the Display bright and Sharp?
  3. Are the Pictures From the Camera Great?
  4. Is Storage Plenty Enough?
  5. Is the Phone Brand New, Used or Refurbished?
  6. Is the Smartphone Company Reputable?
  7. Are Other Features Available?
Now, let me explain more

1. Does the battery last longer?

Make sure you read reviews or talk to people who have already bought the phone you are interested in buying. You want one that’s going to last all day, if possible. The most typical complaint I get from my family and friends is that their smartphones are “already dead.”  midway through busy days. In Africa, power supply or electricity is hardly constant. So it is crucial to get a smartphone which has a minimum of 4000mAh as battery capacity. If you’re in this category too, consider a smartphone with a fast-charging battery.

Nowadays, most Android smartphone manufacturers add special chargers such as Qualcomm Quick Charge certified or Mediatek Pump Express certified chargers. These chargers can juice up a battery to at least a half charge in about 30 minutes. Some manufactures like Xiaomi have gone to extreme lengths to produce 120W chargers which they claim can charger your phone entirely in less than 17 minutes. However, if you have an iPhone, consider buying an original iPad charger to get more juice in a shorter time.

2. Is the Display bright and Sharp?

If you are like most of us, you are definitely going to spend hours each day staring at your smartphone display. Make sure you are buying a phone that’s bright enough to see outdoors, and sharp enough where the text doesn’t look blurry while you’re browsing on the web.
If you are buying a phone with a large screen, make sure you do not go under a resolution of 1920x1080p (like the one on the Poco F2 Pro) and, if you can afford, look for the sharper 2560 x 1440 Quad HD resolutions.

However, it is common to have 720p displays or even less on most smartphones in Cameroon or in African markets such as Kenya and Nigeria as I have experienced. Furthermore, you should consider the screen size, too. Can your hands easily reach across it? Do you want a humongous display for movies or a smaller one that is easier to hold and less likely to fall off your hands?

3. Are the Pictures From the Camera Great?

If you are the selfie guy or like sharing pictures with friends/family, make sure you are buying a phone with an excellent camera. Most of the more expensive brands (the Galaxy S20, Huawei P40, Xiaomi Mi 10 and the iPhone X) are particularly good at taking pictures in low light, too, which means you’ll still get great photos in a dark place without the flash. However, budget phones don’t usually have great cameras, so you should consider spending a bit more if this is important to you.

4. Is Storage Plenty Enough?

I know plenty of guys try to save money by buying cheaper phones, but often they ship without much storage on board. I recommend buying a smartphone with a minimum of 64GB of storage, or more if you plan to download movies, music or large files. Nowadays, apps are much bigger, and pictures can take a lot of space if you’re not using cloud storage options. Most Android smartphones also offer “microSD” card slots that allow you to increase the storage space. You should make sure the phone you are buying includes that so that you can use the feature if you need it sometime in the future.

5. Is the Phone Brand New, Used or Refurbished?

It can be very tempting to buy a refurbished or an older model of a  smartphone to save some money, but there are a few caveats or things to consider before you do. If it’s too old (usually 2-3 years) it probably will soon stop getting important software updates ( that includes security patches). Also, as apps become more resource demanding, the processor and memory might not provide enough power to run recent games or photo-editing software. If you are just sending texts and checking occasional e-mail, however, a refurbished or older phone could be a perfect fit.

One thing you should note is with regards to fairly used phones is to make sure these phones do not have faults at the time of purchase or these phones have not been stolen. It is widespread to see phones sold over WhatsApp or in Telegram Groups without guarantee. When buying such devices, you should do so at your own risks.

6. Is the Smartphone Company Reputable?

If you can, do some research on the company that makes the smartphone. Generally, Apple, LG, Samsung, LG and most other household names have dominated the smartphone game for many years and can be trusted. Others, like Tecno, Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi which often sell more “affordable” flagship smartphones, have come under fire for various reasons.

These companies have sometimes been accused of leaking or sharing user data. Another thing to consider is warranty support. Brands like Tecno have dominated in Africa because they have after-sale points where devices can be serviced in case they become faulty. Ironically, most of these big brands are yet to set up such hubs in Africa, and this is something you should take note of.

7. Are Other Features Available?

Finally, think of a few other features that might be important to you now or later. Does the device have stereo speakers? High-end phones like the Galaxy S20 and iPhone X do, which means you can hear audio coming from the top and bottom (if you are watching a movie and playing games.) Does the device support wireless charging? Even though in Africa, this is not a widely used feature.
Does it have a 3.5mm headphone jack or will Bluetooth headphones or an adapter with your wired headset be required?

Does it support newer 5G networks? Again this is not an issue to worry about as it might take a decade before such technology becomes widespread across Africa, let alone Cameroon. However, If you want a bit of future-proofing, you should consider that, too.

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Dreampointech - Tech, Business, Health: 7 Things To Consider When Buying a Smartphone in Cameroon
7 Things To Consider When Buying a Smartphone in Cameroon
Buying a smartphone is one of those things I have grown accustomed to. Based on my experience, here are the Key Questions to Ask When Buying a Smartphone in Cameroon
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