How to choose a phone that suits your lifestyle

Looking to upgrade or fancy trying out a new phone but need help figuring out where to start? With so many smartphone models to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one for you, that's why we're here to show you how to choose a phone perfectly suited to your needs!

From phone feature must-haves to your personal budget, here's what to look for when buying a phone.

In this blog:

Things to consider before buying:


Before starting your smartphone search, you'll need to know how much money you can afford to spend. As we all know, smartphones aren't the cheapest to purchase, so it will help you narrow down your pool of smartphone options. Once you have a budget range in mind, you'll be able to start browsing models.

Necessary features

You'll want to pin down your must-have features, as this will help you with your phone purchasing decisions. As smartphones have so many handy features, making a list of the features you need can help you find the perfect device for you. Try to find a phone with everything on your must-have list or as many must-have features as possible.

Phone usage


Is your current phone unable to keep up with you? When looking at how to choose a phone, you should consider your current usage. If you use your phone a lot, you'll need a device that's up to the challenge, both performance and battery-wise. If you're more of a casual user, you'll be able to pick a phone with a smaller battery or one with an average performance rating.

Phone features to choose from:

Operating system

The first thing to decide on is what operating system you'll want to use on your smartphone. There are two major operating systems to choose from: iOS and Android.

iOS phones are known for their ease of use and are great for first-time smartphone users. The only phones that use iOS are Apple iPhone models and while this narrows your brand options, it makes upgrading and transferring your phone information easier.

Android is designed by Google and is used by many smartphone brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Google and OnePlus. This operating system offers more hardware options and is easy to customise, with options to change your default browser, texting app and interface.

Camera capabilities

A good camera has become an increasingly desired smartphone feature over the years. Most new smartphones offer a great range of camera capabilities, but not everyone will care for impressive camera specs or want to pay big bucks for the feature.

If you can't get enough of snapping pictures and recording videos, you'll want to look for a phone with an excellent camera. For those that take a couple of photos here and there, it might be worth focussing on other features and settling for an average camera.

Screen size

When figuring out how to choose a phone for you, screen size is a big feature to think about. Screen sizes tend to vary from phone to phone, so it's important to decide how big or small you want your display to be.

Those who enjoy streaming movies and TV programmes may want a big screen to enhance their streaming experience. If you're more concerned about having a phone that fits in your pocket and that you can use with just one hand, a smaller display sounds like the choice for you.

Battery life

In the past couple of years, most phones have been given a battery upgrade, so you should get a full day or near to a full day of battery with standard phone usage. However, it's still something to consider if you're an above-average phone user.

There are phone models with exceptionally long-lasting batteries, so if you use your phone a lot and don't fancy charging it throughout the day, you should look for a phone with an improved battery.

Phone age and condition

If you've got a tight budget but don't want to miss out on a newer phone model, opting for a refurbished phone is a good solution. Here at musicMagpie, we have plenty of certified refurbished smartphones up for grabs, including refurbished iPhone models and refurbished Samsung devices!

We grade our phones based on their cosmetic condition, offering three different grades which will help to determine the price of your device:

  • Pristine: A pristine device is the closest you can get to a new phone without paying the price!
  • Very good: A very good condition device will only show light signs of wear and tear, but overall, it'll be in really good cosmetic condition.
  • Good: A good condition device will have moderate signs of wear and tear but will still be in perfect working order.

Going for an older model could be worth considering if you don't care for the latest phone and would rather save some money. As long as it ticks all your boxes, an older model could be everything you want and need in your next phone upgrade!

Now that you're ready to choose your next phone, browse the musicMagpie Store to get great deals on refurbished phones and get the phone upgrade you've always wanted! We have plenty of cheap used iPhone models to choose from, including cheap iPhone 11,  refurbished iPhone 12, refurbished iPhone 13 and refurbished iPhone 14 models. Plus, you can also buy other tech with us too like refurbished iPad and MacBook models! 

Wondering "where can I sell my phone for quick cash?" Look no further than musicMagpie! We offer iPhone trade in and Samsung trade in options, along with trade in options for a whole range of other tech items.