Electronics are becoming indispensable for every one of us. We all choose to have one and more importantly, we see one as a necessity and we try to do all in our power to get the best, latest and highest quality electronics in order to satisfy our needs.
We all do this, me, you and everyone that works with an electronic product. Yet you have to wonder how you can purchase electronics in a good and professional manner. You will see that most of the time purchasing an electronic product can be challenging, as there are many similar items on the market so picking the right one is really hard.
But that doesn’t mean it will take ages to decide. With a good buying guide, you always have the ability to better understand what you need to look out for and what you should focus on the most. We want to help you here, which is why here you can find a list with general, important things that you should look out for when you buy electronics and detailed info for those times when you want to get your own electronics.
Why did we create the list? To make sure that you pick the right electronics for you without spending too much. Each electronic device comes with its own set of challenges, so finding the right one for you can be very rewarding and exciting.
General features and information you should focus on
Release date/manufacturing year
This can either make or break any electronic. Why? Because all electronics get outdated very fast. Sure, you might be enticed about a phone that was created 4-5 years ago because it was cheap, but it does lack the latest features.
The same goes with a computer, as in 5 years just about any component is outdated. And the list goes on, just about everything gets outdated really fast nowadays. If you want to keep up with the times, you need to purchase an electronic that’s at most 1-2 years old. If you can get something released this year, then that’s even better.
Why should you do that? Because it will last a longer period of time and you never have to worry about upgrades. Plus, older electronics and more specifically smart devices might lack security updates and compatibility issues, so getting newer ones does help a lot.
The right resolution
Most electronics have a way to interface with us. This comes in the form of a dedicated display and each device tends to have one. Usually, the larger the display size you get, the better the value for your money. Of course, this does come with its own set of ups and downs. You shouldn’t just focus on the size of the display, but also the quality that it provides.
Size can be crucial for TVs and tablets so you need to focus on that. Yet it’s the display quality, number of colors and pixels that can also matter. So try to make sure that this is one of your main concerns if possible.
Quality and durability
When you get an electronic product, your main focus should always be on the quality that it provides. Since you are sharing your hard-earned money, you want to get the best value for your money. Checking online reviews and personal stories that include your targeted product is a very good idea, so try to think about that.
Durability can also be increased via a case, so you might want to opt for that as well. But for larger units like TVs for example, the build quality can either make or break the system. The idea here is that you want to purchase a product that can withstand dropping, as issues like this can and will appear all the time. You just need to try and address them to the best of your capabilities.
Ease of use
Although it might seem redundant, you do need to focus on ease of use. There are many electronics that don’t come with a good instructions manual, many of them have convoluted interfaces and they just don’t look that great to begin with. You will certainly want to purchase an electronic product which is very easy to use, one which has a simple set of guidelines and an integrated instructions manual.
Obviously, originality is another big deal for electronic. You can find thousands of fakes on the market and these fakes are sold at a price similar to the original product. It’s a good idea to avoid second hand sellers which deliver a slightly cheaper product.
Instead, opt for a certified partner of the said company, as this way you know you can actually purchase an original product. It can be a very good idea to purchase online from the manufacturer if you can, so you should definitely do that.
Not everyone cares about warranty these days and that’s ok. People are more focused on getting a new product instead of replacing the old one. But warranty is and always will be important. You should always receive the proper warranty for your product, as that’s included in the price. Plus, you can always return the product and have a new one shared for free, which makes the experience even more worth it.
Getting it online from the local store
This is all up to you. Either option works very well, it all comes down to you to pick the best option that suits your needs. The idea to see where it’s cheaper and to verify that you do get the real deal, the original product. As long as the product is original, you should not have anything to worry about, so try to keep that in mind.
New or refurbished
Some people opt for refurbished because it’s cheaper. Basically, the refurbished products are older products that had a few issues, which were returned by customers and which were repaired by the manufacturer. Usually, they work like a new model but they are cheaper.
A new model will obviously be more expensive and it will not have the history of a refurbished product. While both options are ok, getting a new model is always a good idea. But if you can’t, then a refurbished one works just as well.
Return and exchange policy
Some stores allow you to return your old electronics when you want to purchase a new one. This is really helpful if you want to get rid of the older model and get some money off the purchase of a new one.
You should try and see if the store does have such a policy. This usually works for multiple types of electronics, so try to check with the store to see what type of service they offer in this regard.
Test before you buy
The offers seem very enticing all the time. But how can you know if a product is suitable for you without actually testing it? This is why the best way to see whether a product is suitable for your needs or not is to actually test it. Give it a shot, see how well it works and make sure that it fulfills your needs. At the end of the day, this is how you get the best value!
Individual buying guide for specific electronics
As you can imagine, each type of electronic device does come with its own set of demands and requirements. This is why we took some of the most popular electronic devices on the market and tried to identify the best things to focus on when you purchase that type of item.
- See what you want to use that product for. If you just want it for browsing, you don’t need that much power for it, so a cheaper product will work just as well. Make sure that you identify what you need it for at first.
- See if you want to opt for Mac OS, Windows and Linux. Depending on the operating system you need, you will be limited to a certain price range and computer.
- Check the battery life, some laptops deliver up to 10 hours of battery while others barely provide 2. Make sure that you check the battery life before opting for one certain model.
- The processing power is important. A good processor is always recommended, around 4-8GB of RAM should be good and make sure that you have a good graphics card on it too. You also have to think about storage, usually 500GB or 1TB can be good. Also, remember that you can use an SSD for the OS partition to speed up your computer.
- Size and weight is crucial for a laptop, so take your time and find a light product if that matters for you. If you don’t care about size, you can opt for powerful models.
- Make sure that you pick a budget and stick to it. Based on that budget you will be restricted to certain models.
- Resolution and screen size is important, but usually people opt for 15 or 17 inch for the modern day laptop. Some go with the 13 inch models as they are easier to store. Resolution-wise, you can get full HD most of the time!
- Ports and an optical drive can be something to focus on. SD card slots, USB and HDMI connectivity can also be important. Optical drives are optional nowadays.
- Security features like fingerprint scanners aren’t used on all models nowadays, but they can be a nice addition. They aren’t a mandatory one though!
These should be the most important things you should be on the lookout for when you purchase a new set of electronics. Remember that you should try and focus on those things which are essential to you, because that’s how you get the best value for your money!
- Pick the right screen size. This is one of those things that will restrict you to a specific set of models, but you have to understand that some value portability, others just want a very large screen size. This also influences the screen resolution and quality.
- Does it have a camera? Can it replace your point and shoot camera? How many MP does it have? It’s a very good idea to ask yourself all of these questions when you get a new phone. It can be important especially if you plan to take a lot of photos.
- The operating system can also limit you to specific models and prices. You can opt for either iOS or Android as well as other, less popular operating systems. Most of the time, these will be the 2 options that can be found on the market.
- Battery life can either make or break your experience. However, smartphone batteries don’t last more than a day or two max, so you should keep your expectations low here. Yet the more battery life you get, the better.
- Performance-related things like processing power and memory is also important. The better the processor and the more memory you have, the better!
- Storage is very important. Since apps are very large nowadays, you should opt for a model that has at least 32 GB of storage.
- Design and build quality as well as durability matters as well. These will help you figure out how durable the device is in the first place and if it’s worth a purchase.
- Waterproof models do exist nowadays, so if you travel a lot or just need this feature you should focus on getting a model that is capable to help here.
- Accessories can either make or break a device like this, so try to see what type of accessories can you get for the model you want.
- When you buy a 4K TV, you need to see if the TV station is actually 4K or not. There are many TVs that upscale the resolution to 4K but it’s not native 4K.
- If you can, make sure that your TV is UHD premium, as this will give the best quality on the market for a 4K TV.
- HDR support can be great, so check if the TV has it.
- Make sure that you get a 10-bit model. The older models are 8-bit and they have a smaller range of colors.
- Decide if you need LED or OLED
- Check the refresh rate and the input lag
- See if you want a curved or flat 4K TV
- See if it’s compatible with your phone. Some smartwatches are compatible only with certain phones, so you have to check compatibility first. You will also have to check for a certain OS, so try to keep that in mind.
- The display can also be different from one model to the other. You will usually have to pick between e-ink or LCD. The best option would be LCD, but it’s more expensive.
- Buttons or touch? Usually you want touch but then again buttons can give your device more of an old school look, so it’s up to you to pick the desired option here.
- Design and personalization is important, so try to see what accessories you can get
- Performance is important, so check reviews before you buy it.
- See it the device can share notifications and alerts, as it will help you stay on track with your schedule.
- Special features like heart rate monitoring, voice, fitness capabilities and others can also come in handy. But they will come with an extra cost, so make sure that you actually need them if you opt for this.
Video game console
- Processing power is crucial for a video game console, so try to focus on making the most out of your money. The PS4 has a slight advantage here and you can even opt for the PS4 Pro at this time. But the Xbox One S also delivers great features too.
- Size is important, which is why you have slim models in case you feel the size of such a device is too large to begin with.
- Pricing is usually at $300-$400, but there are bundles which also include games and they come at even lower prices. So, try to check multiple deals and settle for the one with the best games and the lowest price.
- Exclusives: the more exclusives the platform has, the better. Just remember that these games are limited to each platform, so check all exclusives and see which ones work better for you!
- Controllers and extras can also be very expensive, so make sure that you opt for a model that has multiple accessories already included in the best price if possible.
- Online services are important, so try to see if you get online services with your device or you have to pay extra for that as well.
As you can see, buying electronics can be quite challenging, at least in the beginning. But with right approach and commitment you will see that getting the best possible model will not be that much of a problem. Take your time, study the market and make sure that you focus on getting the best results for your money.
Don’t rush just because you see a deal, study the deal first and see if it’s worth your money or not. You should never buy a product just because it’s on sale and that’s it. See if it fulfills your needs, if it can help you in any way and if it’s original. Use this electronics buying guide as the best way to identify whether the product you want suits your needs or not. It will not be easy, but that’s why you have to take your time.
Wait and see what deals might appear and focus on the best quality. After all, you want a unit that will last for a long time and which can indeed provide you with an amazing quality. As long as you focus on that, results can be very well worth it!