Smartphones and students: What to buy?

On Sept. 10, Apple held their annual keynote event which showcased their upcoming devices and services.

Just as the sun rises and sets, Apple steps into the spotlight every September to unveil their new and shiny technology ranging from the newest iPhones to iPads to Macbooks to Watches.

For technology lovers, it’s like an early Christmas, but for most, it’s a question of “how much will this cost me?”

It’s no secret that while we would love to have the newest and prettiest devices, companies like Apple don’t exactly offer new phones for friendly prices. If you’re looking for a new phone for the school year, or in general, let’s take a look at what the market has to offer!


We may as well begin with the company making news right now. The iPhone 11 was just announced and it was met with lukewarm responses. To compare, I’m going to look at the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone Xs Max. Both phones have a 6.5″ display screen but the 11 Pro Max has a super retina XDR display as opposed to the super retina HD display on the Xs Max. The Xs Max has a 12MP Wide and Telephoto Lens, however the 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto Lens with a night mode on the 11 Pro Max.

If you’re looking to record video, the Xs Max has a 7MP TrueDepth camera which can record 1080p HD video up to 60fps while the 11 Pro Max as a 12MP TrueDepth camera with 4K video recording up to 60fps. The Xs Max’s battery lasts 1.5hrs longer than the iPhone X and the 11 Pro Max lasts 5hrs longer than the Xs Max.

If you’re the type to drop your phone in water (which I don’t recommend regardless of build) the Xs Max is water-resistant to a depth of 2 metres for up to 30min and the 11 Pro Max is water-resistant to a depth of 4 meters for the same length of time.

Truth be told, unless you are planning to invest heavily in your career as a social media icon on Instagram and need the highest end camera, the iPhone X and Xs models offer better bang for your buck. I myself just bought an Xs Max back at the beginning of Aug. and it has served every purpose thus far.

If the above text is a bit too much jargon for you, you can follow this link and scroll down to select and compare iPhone models for yourself to better see what version offers what. You can preorder an 11 Pro Max from Apple’s main site for $1,499.99 (which will be unlocked and not restricted to a carrier)

If you’re not an Apple fan, let’s take a look at some other options that won’t break the bank.


The Huawei P30 runs on a 2.6GHz Octa-Core processing chip and comes with 6GB of built-in RAM plus 128gb for data storage.

The front camera has 32MP and on the rear is a 40MP camera with features like optical zoom, auto flash, face detection and touch to focus.

Of course the big concern with Huawei is the fact that the phones have been known to send user information to the Chinese Government, but how much you buy into that and how much that bothers you will vary from person to person.

The P30 runs for a retail price of $940 without a contract.


Samsung is the leading smartphone company (as far as units produced and sold worldwide) and that’s because their products are more affordable. The latest device is the Samsung Galaxy A70.

The phone comes equipped with a 2.7GHz Octa-Core processor, 6.7″ super AMOLED display, 32.0MP camera equipped with UHD 4K video recording at 30fps. The phone itself will cost $629.99 which is a massive step down from Apple and Huawei’s asking price.

Now for those of you who are, in fact, looking for something more fancy and can afford to shell out the extra cash – Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is expected to launch in February 2020. It’s a wide phone that will have a folding screen to become more compact. It features a 7.3″ QXGA+ dynamic AMOLED display and a 16MP ultra wide angle rear camera. The phone itself comes at no easy price with a tag of $1,980.00.

So – what do I buy?

In the end, it can’t hurt to look at Samsung or older models of Apple iPhones such as the X, Xs Max; or even 8 and 8 plus. Gone are the days where Apple’s latest devices are the must-have mobile devices as soon as preorders go live on the website. The iPhones are far from terrible smartphones, despite the constant internet bickering between fanbases, but overpriced is the correct term in any case.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly device, of the 3 listed companies and devices above, Samsung is the best option which is a win-win for you, the buyer – it’s the cheapest option and eco-friendly.

In the end – choose the device that’s best for you. Nobody knows what you need better than you do!

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