#FridayHacks: Factors To Consider When Buying A Mobile Device

Google recently released the second generations for its Pixel phones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, following other mobile devices giants Apple and Samsung that released new phones last month, adding on to a slew of great mobile devices already in existence. All these new phones are great and expensive, and some, not yet available in Zimbabwe and when you have to consider the costs of buying them and shipping them to Zimbabwe, they probably cost an arm and a leg, but do you need any of them and what should you consider before buying them?

Depending on who you are, choosing a phone is a tough decision to make. After all, there are many aspects to consider. To some people, phones are a status symbol, and being seen holding that brand new phone making international waves is something to be proud of, to others, they can’t really be bothered by much, as long as a phone works well for them, that’s good enough to have it.

Mobile device manufactures know that there are basically five aspects that people consider when buying devices and these are, Price, Size, Brand, Interface and Technical Features. But for many Zimbabweans, its really about the cost as they cannot afford more expensive devices which costs even more here than they do overseas considering all the other costs incurred shipping them to Zimbabwe.

But here are a couple of factors you may have to consider before buying a new phone.


Well this is quite obvious, there is no point in you thinking about buying a phone that you cannot afford. The cost of the phone is very important, but it may also affect the quality of the phone you will end up having. You may also have to consider method of payment. Making a small deposit and then paying monthly installments may be the way to go to get the device you want. But be warned, it may take you longer to finish making those payment, meaning that you will be paying for a device that is no longer in style.

The phone’s price isn’t just about the initial purchase, you also have to consider the price of the accessories should you need to replace them later. The battery, charger, hands-free may all need to be replaced later before you change the phone, their price should be considered when making a purchase.


The size of the phone determines a lot, particularly how you are supposed to use your device. While a bigger screen may be a good choice, sometimes walking around, holding that device that cannot fit into your pocket may actually present some problems for you.

There is a trend in Zimbabwe where people don’t use hands-free when calling using their large tablets or phablets, holding the gigantic device on their ears. That just grosses me out. Sometimes, you may be forced to use hands-free when making calls or may actually need a kambudzi phone to make calls while you use your bigger device for other things like browsing the internet and WhatsApp.


While brands are simply tags to identify a product from the others, they mean different in the eyes of people, making some other brands worth more than others. While it may be hard to debate which brand is better than the other, the  iPhone or Samsung, it factors in when making a purchase and determines how much you will be willing to pay for it.

But sometimes the best brands are expensive, making it hard on your budget. For those who love good brands but can’t afford them may have to buy second hand devices. But you have to be very careful who you buy from as some dealers may pull one over you, selling you a broken phone only for you to realise it later


The device interface is the graphical and usually touch-sensitive display on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, that allows the user to interact with the device’s apps, features, content and functions. It determines the ease (or lack thereof) of using a device. Sometimes cheap smartphones compromise on this quality, rending the whole user experience boring and time consuming.

Technical Features

Mobile devices have been getting smarter and smarter offering more functionality and use in our everyday life than they used to. And because of that, the time we spend holding on to our mobile devices has been lengthened.

But not everyone can make use of all the features a phone come with, rendering some of them useless to person buying the device. These features also affect the pricing of the device, meaning you may have to pay for something you won’t get to use, simply because you love other aspects of the phone.

It is very important, because a lot of people tend to buy phones with features they don’t get to use because all they use is the browser (usually opera mini to save data), WhatsApp, camera and a few other applications.

Now look at the device you have, why did you buy it? Was it simply because you could afford it, or that it actually serves a purpose? A lot of people have these flashy phones that they have limited use for, are you one of them?


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