Finding a Smartphone That Fits Your Lifestyle

With every new generation of smartphone, they’re pushing devices that are bigger, brighter, shinier, faster and more powerful than before. But as fun as these phablets can be, they’re not for everyone. We don’t all need or want a giant phone with tons of storage and processing power. We all have different lives, different styles… different lifestyles. There’s a phone for everybody, and we don’t all need to choose between Phone A or Phone B. Different people use their phones in different ways, so it doesn’t make sense to limit our options. We put together a little list of different types of smartphone users and the phones that’ll best fit their lifestyle.


The Person Who Just Wants the Phone With the Best Camera

Your smartphone interactions revolve around photography—taking photos, posting photos, looking at photos, liking photos. So, it makes sense that you look at the camera specs over everything else. We’re not gonna weigh on which phone has the best camera. There’s already a firestorm of online debate over which phones take the best pics. But, it is worth noting that you need to think about what kind of photos you are going to take. If you take a ton of photos of your kids and family inside your house, you want a camera that performs well with low light. The iPhone 11 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10 take great pics even when it’s a bit dark. If you’re mostly taking pics outdoors and shooting artistic landscapes, the Pixel 3 is super impressive. It’s also worth noting that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to screen size and camera quality. That is, smaller phones often have the same exact camera as the XL model that costs a couple hundred dollars more. So, check your specs before simply buying the latest, biggest phone on offer. You also need to remember that it’s not all about counting megapixels when taking great pics, and that’s why we actually wrote two great blogs about how to take better pictures with your smartphone camera.

The Person Who Doesn’t Want Ruin Their Outfit

So, you’re the person with that ridiculously huge phone that doesn’t really fit anywhere, and this becomes especially annoying on nights out. There’s no room for it in your weekend clutch. It doesn’t fit comfortably in any of your jean pockets. So, when you’re out and about with your friends, you end up holding it for most of the night. You’re always setting it down on tables and you’ve nearly lost (let’s say, misplaced) it about 14 times tonight. Plus, in every photo from the night, your giant phone is right there in your hands—not exactly the most stylish accessory. A giant phone will weigh you down, ruin your outfit, and give you constant anxiety about losing it on a night out. Some will wear a smartwatch on a night out, but it can clash with your outfit and it doesn’t have a camera. What’s a good night out without a few photos of the evening shenanigans? A small phone like Palm is just the size of a credit card and has two nice little cameras, so you can tuck it into pretty much any pocket and snap all the pictures you want.

The Streamer

So, you’re the person who is on YouTube and Netflix all day. Watching sports highlights while your friends get ready. Catching up on your favorite show during your lunch break (with headphones on please). Perching it on your nightstand as you fall asleep to The Office every night. Heck, you’re watching the best clips from last weekend’s SNL as you wait in line for your morning coffee. You’ve taken the term cable cutter to the next level. So, you need a big phone. You use every inch of that giant screen, so why not? A Pixel XL or Galaxy Note 10+ will give you all the streaming power you can handle. The only drawback is that these giant screens are usually the most expensive phones in any lineup, but you get your money’s worth in the end.

The 8 Year Old

She’s eight. She wants a phone. She knows how to use a phone. Her friends have phones.

But, you’re the parent. You like knowing where she is at all times. You want to be able to contact each other in case of an emergency. And, there’s a ton of kid-friendly phones that could work for her. But, you know that if she has a phone 99% of the battery life will be devoted to YouTube and games. Maybe the answer isn’t a phone at all (yet). Kid-friendly smartwatches are great for children under 10 because they give you GPS, texting, calling capabilities and a bunch of safety features that any parent will love. And with the reliability of a wearable like Verizon’s GizmoWatch, she is less likely to lose or damage a smartwatch. As she gets older and actually needs something more capable than a smartwatch, you can easily transition into a small and sturdy phone, like the kid-friendly Palm.

The Habitual Dropper

Your big phone doesn’t fit anywhere. Even the back pocket of your jeans can’t contain that phablet. You’re always moving it from pocket to pocket, but it can’t seem to find a comfortable home. Your shirt pocket is the biggest problem area because every time you bend over it slips right out and crashes onto the ground. So, you’re that person who always (seriously, always) has a cracked screen. You’re a habitual dropper. Even when you went out and got the biggest and most protective case, you started dropping your phone even more because now it really doesn’t fit into any of your pockets. You know you need a smaller phone but you’re always tempted by the flashy specs of the giant new phone being advertised everywhere. But, don’t forget that, if your phone model name ends with XL, Plus, or Max, there is probably a smaller version of your phone that has almost the exact same specs. Not only will it do everything your super-sized phone does, it’ll be cheaper and it’ll fit nicely into that back pocket. Fewer drops guaranteed. 

The Casual User

We all have that one friend who doesn’t really care about tech. They have a smartphone, but they really only use it to check the same five apps, send a few texts and make some calls. They aren’t addicted to their screens and they might not even be on social media. For utility users like this, it doesn’t really make sense to go drop a $1000 on a huge smartphone. Luckily there are some functional and affordable modern phones equipped with just the essentials. You don’t need to bust out the old flip phone from 2005 if you want a simpler phone. Light Phone and Nokia 3310 (and of course, Palm) are great examples of no-frills phones. They’re reliable, affordable, and easy to use. They don’t do everything, but that’s kind of the point.

The Athlete Who Is All About Tracking Their Performance

You workout as much as possible and you’ve become reliant on your phone to enhance your sessions. Smartphones have completely changed the way we work out. On the plus side, we can track our progression and push ourselves during pretty much any physical activity—whether we’re mapping a bike ride or timing our sprints. On the negative side, we’ve all been in a gym session where we’re surrounded by people who seem more intent on getting a selfie of their muscles or new workout gear, rather than actually doing any working out. This is why so many athletes are opting for wearables when they workout. Fitbit and Garmin make fitness wearables that can be used for just about any type of physical activity. You won’t be weighed down or distracted by a gigantic phone, but you’ll still be able to use tech to take your workouts to the next level. But, if you like having all the features of a fully functioning phone during your workouts, something small like Palm is a great alternative.

Whatever You Choose, Don’t Sell Yourself Short.

As you can see, when it comes to finding the right phone, you might have to look beyond the latest and the greatest because there are plenty of other options to choose from. There is no “best” phone, there is only the “right” phone for you.

If you’re in the Bay Area on Saturday, March 7th, be sure to stop by the event we are hosting at Dolores Park to celebrate National Day of Unplugging. We’ll be set up from 2-4pm giving out free ice cream and swag. More importantly, we’ll be enjoying the chance to just unplug on a (hopefully) sunny spring day in SF. Join us!