3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing your next phone

Pickup the perfect phone for you

iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

So you want a new phone? Well, much like finding the right wand in the world of Harry Potter, choosing a new phone is a delicate business. Ask yourself what are you looking for. It's easy to just plump for the latest and greatest, but what do you actually want? 

Consider this page a kind of gauntlet, designed to help you eliminate unworthy handsets and help you enlighten yourself to making the right choice. Here are 3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing your next phone. 

1. Ignoring the operating system

Journal app for iPhone

(Image credit: Apple)

Now at first glance, this looks as simple as Android or iOS, but don't be fooled. Older iPhones may be cheaper but won't be supported with new versions of iOS for as long. Anything older than an iPhone XS/XS Max won't be able to run iOS 17 but if you want any kind of longevity from your device, you'll need to consider the iPhone 12 the earliest you'll go. It will be supported with iOS updates until 2027.

When it comes to the best Android phones, the choice can get a little complicated. Although there is a more standardised Android, manufacturers do like to put their own twist on it. Samsung for example has its own One UI, OnePlus its Oxygen OS and Nothing has the NothingOS. These are all largely similar but worth familiarising yourself with before a large outlay. 

If you're after the purest form of Android then Google is the obvious choice. The creators of the platform know it inside out and Google's Pixel phones often get the latest features first. The most recent, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will also both receive 8 years of updates.

2. Not considering the purpose 

A photo of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and Redmagic 8 Pro

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

A lot phones are pretty good all rounders but if you need something a bit more specialist, it's worth a little more thought. Perhaps you're a big mobile gamer? Well you'll need something with enough power under the hood for a start but also good battery life and cooling, try the best gaming phones

It's important however to also think about what you're not using your phone for. What does that mean? Well, if you never take pictures with your phone, you don't really need a top snapper do you? Save yourself a few pennies and get something affordable but still capable, like the Honor 90 which actually has a great 200MP main camera but doesn't have all the AI tricks and extensive settings of more expensive handsets. 

3. Not thinking about the everyday

The Asus Zenfone 10 in green, on a wooden background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

We're as guilty as the next person for a bit of tech vanity, but when it comes to phones, we use them so much that you need something that won't let you down.

One of the biggest gripes of a lot of people these days is that phones are getting bigger and bigger. The likes of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra are basically mini tablets at this point. They have large and lush displays but that works two ways. Would you be comfortable fitting something of that size in your pocket every day? Can you use it easily or are your hands too small? Be honest. 

If not, that's fine. Perhaps check out the best small phones for a pocket powerhouse instead. Perhaps foldable phones could even offer a solution, we're big fans of the Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 and its compact mirror-style design. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.