Digitalk: What phone should I get?

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles

As I’m sure most of you will have seen, the new iPhone was recently announced with an absolutely absurd price tag of up to £1,449.

For that price you could buy an Xbox one X, PS4 Pro, Nintendo Switch, a 50” TV and still have £200 left over for games for each of them.

Many will still get it for the fact it’s the new iPhone, some will get it because they like the features. I however would recommend several of their competitors.

I recently had my phone contract expire and searched for a new phone, so I thought I’d share with you some of the best I found and why I picked the one I went for over the others.

Another point to make is the gradual increase in contract charges we’ve seen over the last few years.

The long and the short of this is that it’s the internet’s fault.

People using the actual phone function of a mobile phone is dying out, meaning that the phone companies are earning less and have to make it up in other ways.

If people do make a call through their phone, a lot of the time it’s through an online communications app such as Whatsapp or Skype which uses internet, not the phoneline.

Data allowance has become the new core of mobile phone contracts. I can’t remember the last time I used even a 10th of the 200mins a month I had on my call allowance or got close to using my texts up, yet I have racked up hours of talking to friends on Whatsapp.

So while looking for contracts on your new phone, pay close attention to the data allowances on them over all others, because topping up your data costs a lot more than getting more as a baseline.

My top 3 choices

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

This is the phone I chose to take home with me and here are the main reasons – It has amazing battery life and rapidly charges in about an hour from empty. That last for 20 hours continuous use or 16 days on standby. I charge mine about once every 4 days on average.

The resolution is incredible at 2244x1080px making everything look super clear, crisp and bright.

The camera is phenomenal, 24MP selfie cam and 3rd Gen Leica Dual Camera, Big Pixel 12MP RGB f1.8 + 20MP BW f1.6, 2x Hybrid Zoom, AIS, dual-tone LED on the back (whatever that all means, adds up to amazing pictures).

Leica has been one of the leaders of the professional camera market for decades. It takes better photos than my SLR camera!

The sound quality is amazing too. Super clear and clean even when turned up. The only downside is that they’ve fallen into the iPhone trap of not having a headphone socket and needing a special pair of headphones or converter (which both are provided).

The OnePlus 6

This was my second choice, similar specifications to the Huawei, but has a slightly more powerful processor and a slightly worse set of cameras. It also has the extraordinary ability to get a full day’s charge from being plugged in for just half an hour.

The main restriction on this phone is the fact that it’s an O2 exclusive. So if you don’t live in an area with good O2 signal (which is pretty rare, they’re one of the best for network coverage) you have to buy the phone outright and jailbreak it.

Even then it comes in at a much cheaper option than the new iPhone, costing just £470.

Samsung Note 9

This is the most expensive of the alternatives to the iPhone I’d recommend. Depending on the spec, you could spend up to £1000.

The most powerful of the lot, and the largest, making it one of the best around to watch videos and play mobile games on etc. Its battery life is superb and it’s the only one of the 3 phones I’ve talked about whose front camera and earpiece isn’t notched into the display area.

Its cameras, while the lowest in MP resolution of the 3 phones, is the cleverest of the lot with a myriad of clever automated functions to make your pictures perfect.

It’s also the only one of the 3 phones which supports a stylus, which works with a wide range of functions from recognising handwriting for easy messaging to drawing and general use.

Each phone has its pro’s and cons, depending on what you’re looking for. The Huawei has the best camera, the One plus has the best all-round functionality and the Note 9 is the best for gaming and media. All of them make excellent everyday use phones.