It’s time: you need a new phone for yourself. But whether it’s a long-needed upgrade or a pure desire, the number of models available on the market is guaranteed to make your head spin. There are hundreds of them out there, from the latest iPhones to budget-friendly Android models.
So, which ones will be a great fit for a student like you? And how do you choose which model will be a worthy investment in your particular case? Don’t worry: here’s your guide to buying a phone in 2022.
First Things First: 4 Shopping Criteria to Define Beforehand
Before taking a deep dive into the best smartphones for students out there, let’s be clear: only you can tell which one would be the best for you. And to figure that out, take some time to determine:
- Your budget. This one is obvious. You’re probably thinking anyway, “If I drain my bank account now, what will I do when I need Essaypro to write my paper for me later?” So, define how much you’re willing to put into your new phone – and stick to the defined limit.
- Your preferred OS & brand. Are you looking for an Android phone or an Apple one? Are you more used to iOS or Android? Would you prefer a Samsung, Google, or Nokia model if you’ve picked Android?
- Your priorities. What matters the most for you? Is it the camera quality? Or the device’s performance? You probably can’t have it all, so you’ll need to make compromises. And for that, you should know what you can’t
- Your basic wants. Pinpoint the screen size you’re after, the autonomous battery life that suits your lifestyle, and the storage space you need.
Apple iPhone 13
- Display: 6.1”, 2,532 x 1,170 px
- Weight: 6.14 oz (174 g)
- RAM: 4 GB
- Battery: up to 19 hours of autonomy while playing video
- Storage: 128/256/512 GB
- Camera: dual 12 MP (rear) and 12 MP (front)
- Price: from $799 (before trade-in)
If you’re concerned about your privacy, your next phone has to be an iPhone. And among Apple’s current lineup, iPhone 13 offers the best return on investment in terms of performance, battery life, and camera.
While it’s not a huge upgrade compared to iPhone 12, every detail that impacts performance is improved in this model. So, expect to have a speedy device, all thanks to the A15 bionic chip, if you opt for iPhone 13. Plus, it has a strong battery life – you can forget about carrying a charger everywhere with you.
Apple iPhone SE 2022
- Display: 4.7”, 1,334 x 750 px
- Weight: 5.09 oz (144 g)
- RAM: 4 GB
- Battery: 2,018 mAh
- Storage: 64/128/256 GB
- Camera: 12 MP (rear) and 7 MP (front)
- Price: from $429 (before trade-in)
If your budget is too tight to afford the previous model on the list, worry not: Apple has another one for you. The iPhone SE is the most affordable phone in Apple’s lineup – but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to make huge concessions on features or hardware quality.
The iPhone SE flies – you won’t have it freeze or glitch, all thanks to the same A15 bionic CPU chip that comes with iPhone 13. Plus, it also supports 5G. The only caveats are the screen size (you’ll have to get used to a 4.7” one) and the storage space (if you opt for the least expensive option, of course).
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
- Display: 6.5”, 2,400 x 1,080 px
- Weight: 189 g
- RAM: 6 GB
- Battery: 5,000 mAh
- Storage: 128 GB (expandable to 1 TB)
- Camera: 64 MP (rear) + 32 MP (front)
- Price: from $349.99 (unlocked)
If you’d rather take the side of Android in the eternal Android vs Apple standoff, Samsung has something to offer you. A new arrival, Samsung Galaxy A53 5G can easily rival Apple’s flagship models in terms of tech specs, as you can see above – and it’ll cost you half as much as them.
This model can be described with its three top qualities: long battery life, versatile cameras, and a vivid display. But while they’re getting praised, the model’s performance is deemed “so-so” by reviewers in comparison with iPhone SE.
Google Pixel 5a with 5G
- Display: 6.34”, 2,400 x 1,080 px
- Weight: 183 g
- RAM: 6 GB
- Battery: 4,680 mAh
- Storage: 128 GB
- Camera: 12.2 MP (rear) + 8 MP (front)
- Price: from $449
If you’re looking for a durable midrange model worth its money, consider Google Pixel 5a. Yes, you might think it doesn’t match up with Samsung Galaxy A53 5G. But don’t just consider the numbers.
For one, reviewers at PCMag and TechRadar are happy to report that this model’s camera is among the best in its class. Its battery lasts a full day without a recharge, and its performance is smooth. And on top of that, you can drop Google Pixel 5a all you want – it’s designed to sustain those drops without much damage.
OnePlus 9 5G
- Display: 6.55”, 2,400 x 1,080 px
- Weight: 192 g
- RAM: 8 GB
- Battery: 4,500 mAh
- Storage: 128 GB
- Camera: 50 MP (rear) + 16 MP (front)
- Price: from $599
Looking for a flagship performance to replace your lost phone without breaking the bank? Then the OnePlus 9 is worth your consideration! It matches the performance of top models, all at a relatively low price. And that’s not the only thing you get for your money!
OnePlus 9 also comes with an excellent camera, a highly autonomous battery, and powerful software. You don’t have to worry about the typical bloatware problem that Android phones are known for, either. The phone comes with a clean OS and minimum pre-installed software.
Nokia XR20 5G
- Display: 6.67”, 2,040 x 1,080 px
- Weight: 248 g
- RAM: 6 GB
- Battery: 4,630 mAh
- Storage: 128 GB (microSD support up to 512 GB)
- Camera: 48 MP (rear) + 8 MP (front)
- Price: from $449.99
You can consider Nokia XR20 the company’s comeback to the world of durable, hard-to-destroy-even-if-you-try phones. It’s a rugged device with all-around protections: it’s shockproof, scratch-, water-, and temperature-resistant.
But durability isn’t the only thing Nokia XR20 has to offer for this price tag. The warranties you get with it are outstanding, to say the least. One-year free screen replacement and an extended three-year warranty come at no additional cost. Although, when it comes to performance, it’s not exceptional – but it’s not mediocre, either. In other words, it’s worth the money, still.
Here they are, the six models that are the most likely to become your new favorite phone. All of them come at a price under $1,000. So, you can call them affordable, too. But despite that, they don’t compromise on the performance and hardware and software quality.
Once you make up your mind, you’ll want to get the best deal possible on the model you’ve chosen. (Who likes to be missing out on discounts, right?)
So, here are three quick tips that’ll help you save money when shopping:
- Check for student programs and discounts. For example, Apple offers substantial discounts on some of its products if you have a valid student card.
- See if your carrier offers a good deal. You can spend less if you agree to ‘lock’ your new phone for a specific carrier, for example.
- Shop around. Check the current prices on the brand’s website, first. Then, compare prices with other shops, like Best Buy or Amazon. If this purchase isn’t urgent, you can also set an alert for a price drop and wait for a good deal.