Buying a new smartphone in Uganda these days is pretty easy. There are lots of stores to choose from and the sales people are helpful. However, it can get tricky if you are not very keen of what you’re buying.
One mistake and you could be paying good money for a fake smartphone. If you have gone to one of those shops downtown that display phones in glass tables and the sales person has called you all sorts of sweet things just to get you into their shop, then you should be a bit worried.
For the techies, it can be easy to look beyond the plethora of words and get the best deal. However, for the average buyer it is easy to get lost in the charming words these sales girls and guys throw at you which makes the chances of getting the wrong product high.
I have been asked by friends and family which phones are good to buy and also listened to these people try to sell me a phone. I felt it would be only right to shed some light on this and offer some tips people should look out for when buying a smartphone as there are things that most, if not all of them say while trying to get you to buy a phone. It’s like they all went to the same smartphone sales school.
Here are the five common sales traps you should look out for;
1. This one does WhatsApp and Facebook
This is the official cliché of clichés used by most sales people around downtown Kampala. About 8 out of 10 or more will say that when a person chooses to buy a smartphone they are looking to use for social media.
However, it is important to note that just because a phone has a Facebook and WhatsApp icon on the screen, it doesn’t necessary mean it is a good product. There are lots of those ‘Chinese’ made phones that look like smartphones, but are very far from the real thing even if they possess a label of a major smartphone manufacturer.
2. It takes good pictures
One of the qualities of a good smartphone that I consider are decent camera and many people make purchase decisions based on this.
However, unless that phone is a genuine iPhone or a flagship brand let’s say Samsung, Sony or LG, you need to be smart and do not plainly believe what the sales people tell you. Many times, they know just the right angle to use to get the best image out of a camera when they test it so as to convince you that the camera is good yet it’s not.
If possible, you need to try taking pictures in low light before you buy the phone. The results could be eye opening.
3. Battery will last a week
Ok, maybe not a week, but we have heard these sales guys give some hard to believe figures when it comes to battery strength of a smartphone.
It is more or less an industry standard that smartphone batteries don’t last very long. Some manufacturers like Tecno have made strides to create phones with strong batteries that can last a little over a day on one charge.
If a smartphone does a day and a half on one charge, then that is really pushing the envelope. Anything more than that is probably a lie. As phone manufacturers are working to increase battery capacity, many have invested in fast charging for their products.
As a user, instead of just asking about the mAh (milliamp Hour, a unit that measures electric power over time) figures, one should look at things like standby and talk time. The longer the standby and talk time a phone can have, the higher the chances that the battery is strong and vice versa.
4. This one is original
When a sales person tries hard to convince you that a phone is original, then something is definitely wrong. The originality of a smartphone usually speaks for itself and can be seen in things like build quality (does the phone feel solid in the hand?), screen picture quality (if the image on the screen is blurry and not crystal clear, it might be a fake).
We could go on and on about qualities that make a good phone and never end, but you get the point. Just because the sales person said it is original, doesn’t always mean that it is. You need to check it out before you buy.
For instance, you can access the settings of the phone under the ‘about’ phone section, look at the device information option and make sure the make and model of the phone a clearly stated. This is one way of proving if the smartphone is the right one.
5. The Price
It is human to bargain when buying items, and getting a good product at a lower price carries a wonderful feeling. However, sometimes the smartphone you got at a bargain may not always the best.
Good smartphones are not usually cheap and that is the truth. If a sales person convinces you of all the good a particular phone can do and yet the price is a bargain compared to its features, you have a reason to question its originality.
Do you have any other tips you would like to share about your buying experience? Then, feel free to hit that comment button.
Author: Daniel Odaka
Daniel is a writer and communications expert with a love for tech, science and cars. He believes technology is the doorway to improving how we live though to many, it is a complex and very difficult matter.