By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
With consumer prices rising at an astronomical rate because of the various circumstances that you probably know are ongoing, the price to pay for the latest devices and gadgets that we use in our everyday lives is also taking part in the climb. In such a situation, you would want the tech that you invest in to last as long as possible, before you would have to shell out cash for a replacement. This is where the term ‘futureproof’ would become relevant. You’ve probably heard of this term before and know that buying something futureproof means that it will retain its value for a longer time period before becoming obsolete.
Those who use Apple products need not worry about these, since almost all Apple products are guaranteed to last you for quite some time thanks to the incredible levels of optimisation their products have. But do read on to be informed regardless. Not everyone wants to, nor has the money to be able to cycle through a new device each year, and so, if you are in the need of purchasing either a smartphone or a computer, here are some important points that you should have in mind in order to get the best value for money, and make sure that your investment can last in the long run.
Let’s address the elephant in the room before all else. Needless to say, when it comes to any device, choosing the right processor is going to be crucial. No one wants to have a newly bought smartphone or laptop that overheats and starts to lag after a year of use. Depending on your price point, you’ll have differing levels of performance. Many companies would use flashy advertising to show that the latest processors are their best, but just remember that the latest doesn’t always add up to the greatest. In smartphones, you’ll most likely have to choose between a Snapdragon 700 series, found in mid-range phones or Snapdragon 800 series chips from flagship models.
Don’t even think of getting a smartphone with a lower-tier processor if you want it to last more than a couple of years before starting to sputter with moderately heavy use. Usually, a mid-range smartphone processor would perform equal to a flagship chip several years ago. Cutting-edge tech is usually expensive and with time, it trickles down to more affordable models and prices. In this theory, the aim is to get the best processor possible and smartphones such as the Poco F3 have great value for money. Although it has an overclocked processor from the last generation’s flagship models, it will easily match any midrange chip’s performance for the next four years or more.
In computers, it might get a little more complicated. You’ll have to consider both how much power is sent to the processor and how much heat the processor can withstand before slowing down. For example, in most laptops, the latest Core i5 processor often outperforms the Core i7 models because of overheating issues. However, it would be smarter to not use intel processors anyway. Currently, AMD’s Ryzen processors are light-years ahead of what Intel has to offer when it comes to affordable prices, and higher performance, but they are hard to find just because of how high consumer demand is.
RAM and storage
There’s no point in having a good processor if you don’t have enough RAM and storage that can keep up the pace. The more, the faster, the better is a good motto here. For smartphones, having more than GB of RAM and the latest UFS technology would guarantee your device will last for many years without a hitch. However, things are different in the world of computers. The more the merrier is also the motif here, but you’ll have to be aware of both RAM speed and RAM density. A RAM with a higher clock speed will always perform better. And make sure to pair two identical RAM cards because dual-channel memory gives a huge performance leap. Linus Tech Tips on YouTube has a very informative video if you want to learn more. As for storage, you would already know that using an SSD will give you a huge advantage over a traditional hard drive.
Of course, all the best hardware is not worth anything without proper software. If you wonder why modern iPhones can last up to five years-worth of use if you take care of it, it’s because of how optimised and light the software is for the amazing hardware it runs on. And don’t even get me started on the new M1 Macbooks. Sadly, this is a different story for those who aren’t part of the Apple ecosystem. But there are a few things that can help you. For smartphones, you’ll have to consider whether your manufacturer uses custom software on top of the Android OS.
The closer a phone’s OS is to stock Android, the less your phone’s hardware has to work, meaning more resources can be used for productivity. That’s why Nokia phones run so smoothly even with terrible hardware. Of course, if your phone has a bloated ROM, you could easily install stock Android to your phone, at your own risk. But it can make a massive difference to your phone’s performance. As for Windows users, try to keep your PC bloatware-free as possible. Limit the use of background apps, use only trusted sources when installing software and don’t let your computer run too hot. There are of course a few other things you can do but that’s for another time. There are some other tips you can use as well, but sticking to these basic tips will easily help you make the best purchase to get more mileage from your devices.