Android Phones: The Basics
Android refers to the operating system (OS) that many smartphones use. With so many Android smartphones to choose from, you might have trouble picking one--you can find cheap android deals or go all the way up to the latest and greatest smartphones. Let us help you find the best Android deals for you!
Android Phone Brands
Android’s main rival, Apple iOS, only runs on one brand of phone. Many brands use Android OS , making your options plentiful. Here are some popular Android smartphone brands:
- Samsung: The most popular Android OS phone producer, Samsung offers a variety of handsets to choose from — including the popular Galaxy S series. Samsung is frequently releasing new technology, so keep an eye out for deals for old and new devices alike. You can shop specific deals for Samsung devices here .
- Google: Google joined the smartphone game in 2013, and has been making waves ever since. Earlier versions of their Pixel phone utilizes Android OS. However, newer versions operate on Google’s Chrome OS. Shop Google deals here .
- Motorola: Motorola has been a household name in cell phones for decades. These days, Motorola offers unique features known as “ moto mods .” Smartphones are typically sold at a premium, but Motorola offers most of their phones at a very reasonable price. Be sure to browse our Motorola page for brand-specific deals.
- LG: LG’s low prices makes it another budget-friendly smartphone producer to consider. Frequently receiving 4+ star reviews from CNET , LG proves that consumers can have the features they love at a price they can afford. Peruse our LG sales and coupons here .
6 Smartphone Shopping Tips
Beyond simply finding deals on Android phones, shoppers may want to consider different factors to help narrow their choices. We’ve detailed a few of those considerations below:
1. Buy a Phone That’s Compatible With Your Carrier
Before purchasing a phone, it’s important to be sure the phone you’ve selected is compatible with your carrier. If you’re buying your phone directly from your carrier, this is a non-issue. However, if you’re shopping the unlocked phone deals featured on our site, you’ll want to check with your carrier to see if the phone is compatible.
2. Understand Smartphone Camera Specs
Smartphones are designed to do it all. One feature that many shoppers care about is the camera(s). When reviewing camera capabilities, there are a few things you should consider:
- Megapixels (MP): Megapixels are the millions of dots that, after being pieced together, create the image you see after taking a photograph. More pixels generally means greater clarity. Depending on how you wish to use your smartphone camera, you may only need the standard 12MP — even budget Android phones tend to sport at least a 12MP camera these days. For more information, you can check out this article .
- Pixel Size (µm): Possibly more important than megapixels is pixel size. If megapixels describe the entire photo, the individual pixels determine how vivid the photo will be .
- Aperture (f): In photography, aperture is the opening in a lens where light passes into the camera . The lower the aperture number (e.g. f/1.4), the greater the exposure. If you wish to take pictures at night, look for a low number.
- Lens: Most phones now have at least two lenses; typically, you’ll have a front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera. However, modern smartphones have up to five cameras on a single device, each contributing to different types of photography or video.
3. Pick the Right Smartphone Display
Your smartphone display is more than just the size of your screen (measured diagonally). If you plan to use your phone for gaming or streaming videos, it’s important to consider other key display specs:
- Refresh rate (Hz): the number of times your screen updates with new images per second (e.g., 120Hz means the screen updates 120 times per second). The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your picture will be.
- Pixels Per Inch (PPI): describes exactly that, the number of pixels per inch of the screen. This is important in determining the clarity of your picture - it’s important to review this number over screen size because a bigger screen doesn’t always translate to a larger PPI.
4. Be Sure Your Phone Has Enough Memory
Its easy to find a cheap android smartphone and not much attention to memory. But this may not be the place to skimp for everyone. Memory is described in two ways, RAM and storage.
- RAM: Random-access memory is like the short-term memory of your smartphone computer. You utilize RAM when you switch between active apps, for example. The more RAM you have, the faster your device — this is especially important if you typically have multiple apps running in the background.
Storage: Android phone storage can be broken down into three categories: internal, external, and cloud storage.
- Internal Storage - This is the amount of storage your phone has onboard. Many devices are priced according to this onboard storage.
- External storage - Also known as expandable storage, many phones offer the option to increase the storage of a handset through devices like Micro-SD cards.
- Cloud storage - This is storage you can access via the internet and apps. Many times, carriers and/or phone brands will offer a limited amount of cloud storage to their consumers.
5. Explore Extra Smartphone Features
There are plenty of other features you can look at when purchasing your Android phone. Some include security (fingerprint sensors, facial recognition), virtual assistants (Amazon Alexa, Samsung’s Bixby, Google Assistant), and accessibility features (like flash notifications, transcription services, or hearing aid support).
6. Set Up a DealNews Alert
You can set up an email alert or notifications for Android phone deals on your profile page , or by clicking the “Create an Alert” button (located at the bottom of any category or search result page on DealNews).
Frequently Asked Questions
Which brand has the best Android phone deals?
The landscape for Android phones is frequently changing; pricing and deals are always competitive. Be sure to keep an eye on our Android cell phone deals, as well as the Android manufacturer brand pages, such as Samsung , LG , and Motorola .
How do I know which phone to purchase?
Your selection of Android phones is quite large, so choosing a device can be hard. Decide on how you wish to use your phone, and determine which features are most important to you. Then you can review and compare devices on websites such as CNET or PCMag . Once you’ve settled on an Android smartphone, don’t forget to check out DealNews for all the best Android sales.
A Georgia girl with three years of experience in IP Law and grounded in understanding marketing and consumer motives. When she's not working with the fabulous staff of DealNews, you can find her whining at rowing practice and browsing the Hot Deals on the site.