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5 of the best smartphones for college students

is Samsung s20 Ultra worth buying

Smartphones are an essential thing in today’s world. And for college students, it is even more imperative. You can download various tools like a scientific calculator, barometer, tape measure, etc. The problem is there is a bunch of smartphones at your disposal and confused about what to go with. To clear some of your confusion, we have written this article on which is the best smartphone for college students. Let’s dive in.

the best smartphone for college students
credits: Asus

5 best smartphone for college students

An iPhone

Display of an iPhone 12

isn’t it strange for you when I mentioned ‘an iPhone’? Truth is, it is strange for us as well. Because each iPhone model is priced at a different price bracket but they do what is intended for them to do. 

For the comparison, I am gonna choose the iPhone 11. Meanwhile, you can check if iPhone XR is worth buying in 2022, here. or even is an iPhone 12 worth buying?

iPhone 11 is launched in September 2019. Don’t feel bad that it is an old phone. Its performance of it will kill any mid-tier androids by a long shot. Ever since its launch, it is selling like a hot cake. There are numerous reasons for it. Apple has been famous for its products, ‘that just work.’ Indeed. Apple supported the iPhone 5s for over 5 years and that in itself is a testimony.

iPhone 11 has got one of the finest cameras. The photos taken by it are gorgeous. Like the new iPhone 13, it does have good night mode. The Phone has a dual camera system. That itself is completely fair for its price. It not only takes better photos but also faster photos. For college students, it matters. From lecture notes to making projects, it is incredible. This is one reason why iPhone 11 is a great phone for college students. It process even HDR images faster, thanks to its potent processor.

The phone has a face id which is faster and adds security to the device. It has an IP 68 rating that accidental splash of water means nothing to the phone. The interface is nice and familiar. With iOS 15, you get to put widgets on the app screen and much more. Trust me it’s more fun to have.

Now, let’s speak about the specs.

Let’s start with Ram. It has only 4 GB of memory. Android guys might say, “It’s way too less”. It is true for android phones with 4 gigs of RAM. But for iPhone users, it’s the last thing you need to know about your phone. iPhone is simply not at all memory-hungry, unlike androids where more memory means better. Any app be it a game or utility app, run faster with no stutters.

The screen might be the only disappointment in terms of resolution. It measures 6.1 inches IPS LCD at a resolution of 1792×828 pixels. It has a PPI of 326. Basically, it is a 720p display with a true tone display. Trust me, specs don’t tell how good this display is. Like all iPhones, it is sharp, beautiful, and accurate. Forget about the spec. You can even edit your professional photos on your iPhone with ease.

The processor is Apple’s own A13 with Hex-core with 2 cores at 2.65 GHz speed and 4 cores at 1.8 GHz speed. It is made with a 7nm+ process hence it is power efficient too. The GPU is made by apple too and it is a 4-core GPU. Be it gaming or rendering, it is faster. It comes in three variants. 64GB with 4GB RAM, 128GB with 4GB RAM, 256GB with 4GB RAM.

The battery is a non-removable type with LI-ion 3110 mah capacity. It supports wireless charging. And, telling you, it is one of the battery champions. You can end a day without killing your phone even with moderate to heavy usage.

The main camera has 12MP at f/1.8 wide aperture, Phase detection autofocus, and optical image stabilization. It supports HDR, and panorama, and also has a quad-LED flash. It can take videos up to 4k @ 24/30/60 fps. The selfie camera is a 12 MP, f2/2 camera and it supports HDR as well. You can also do video at 4k resolution both from main and selfie cameras. Slow motion is also supported.

But, comparing an iPhone with an android based on specs is like comparing candies with cookies based on appearance. If you have an iPhone, it just works. I would simply say, iPhone 11 is the best smartphone for college students in terms of overall value.

Pros
  • Fast performance
  • Brand value
  • Much more stable than the Android counterpart
Cons
  • The display is LCD and not OLED in cheaper models
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Check the Price on Amazon.com

Google Pixel 6a

Pixel phones are from google itself, the giant which makes android software. Incredible stuff. The phone has an average spec. But why is it incredible and why has it made it up to the list? I will let you know in a moment.

The phone has a 6.1-inch OLED display with full HD resolution. The screen itself is color accurate. The screen is guarded by gorilla glass 3. You will get a Google Tensor processor with it. It is made with an 5nm process.

Tensor is for google like how the A series and M series are for apple devices.

The device has 6 GB ram and starts at128-GB. You can put only one sim inside. The second sim is an esim. It has stereo speakers which are good. The battery is 4410 mAh. It comes with an 18 W fast charger. The main camera is a 12.2-megapixel shooter with oil and an aperture value of f/1.7. The front camera is also a 12 mp sensor.

Pretty medium-range specs. Right? You might wonder why this phone makes it to the list. There are two reasons. The software, hardware and the camera. 

The software comes along with it is the stock android. No bloatware. No extras. Like apple, it just works. Stock Android has another advantage. Updates! Yes, you will receive timely updates straight from google. If Google releases a new OS, You with pixel devices will be first in line to receive the updates. Not just OS but also the security patches too gets updated frequently. This is one of the best features of a pixel device.

As far as hardware goes, this Tensor chip is the best any android phone could get. This chip is manufactured using a 5nm process and therefore the chip has good efficiency. Also, the performance is very good too. Tensor chips are made especially for pixel devices and it is a plus. Overall, this phone has a great performance-efficiency ratio for an android phone and it just works.

A lot can be told about the camera. You will get one of the best cameras in the market today. It is just a Dual lens setup. But, it is more than enough. It simply outperforms almost all phones with a camera in this price range and shakes the phones up in the ladder. Google’s photo algorithm is one of the, if not, the best in the market. It can take beautiful photos, can create creamy bokeh, etc. The night mode is awesome. With artificial intelligence, the digital zoom function is breathtakingly impressive. The front camera selfie is equally impressive.

Pros
  • Great camera
  • Great software
  • Stock android
  • Regular updates
Cons
  • Nothing
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Samsung Note S 21 FE-5G

Coming from the iPhone, it is a different beast altogether. Samsung makes one of the best android phones in the world. Their ‘S’ series is popular for college students. We will talk about it shortly.

The phone has good build quality. The colors look gorgeous for a phone. Let’s look at the specs now.

It houses a 6.4-inch full HD AMOLED display which has every bit of gorgeousness in it. The phone has 6/8 GB of RAM. The phone comes with 128/256 GB of inbuilt storage that cannot be extended with an sd card slot. The phone is powered by an Octa-core Exynos 2100 made with a 5nm process. It has a sim card slot where you can put two sim cards.

You will also get good triple rear cameras on this mobile. The main camera is a 12 Mp sensor at f/1.8. The secondary camera is an ultra-wide 12 Mp sensor. There is also a telephoto lens with a 3X zoom on the main camera. The selfie camera is an 8 MP sensor. Needless to say that the cameras are fantastic on this phone. The main camera has an OIS feature that counteracts the shaky shooting conditions giving the picture its own sharpness and fidelity.

The battery is excellent too. It comes with a 4500 Mah battery. It will last for a day or more on normal usage. The phone comes with a 25W fast charger and it works effortlessly.

Pros
  • battery life
  • 5G
  • Screen
  • Brand image
  • Camera
Cons
  • Should have given two sim and one sd card slots.
Check the Price on Amazon India

Check the Price on Amazon.com

Redmi Note 10 Pro

Note 10 is one of the phones from Redmi owned by Xiaomi. It is an all-rounder. It is the best smartphone for college students for cheap because of the features available within it. Read more to know why it made it to our list

The phone has a 6.67 inch full HD LCD with a punch hole for the camera. The display is of very good quality and the viewing angles are great. It is a 120hz display. It is more than enough at this price range. The front and back have gorilla glass 5 for added protection.

The display is AMOLED and it supports HDR natively. WIth 120 Hz in place, it is one of the best displays around irrespective of the price.

The main camera of it is a 48mp sensor at f 1.8. The quality of the pictures is nice. It takes really good pictures for the price. It also has a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera for bokeh effects. The front has a 16 mp camera for selfies. Your selfies will look better as there are no issues with the camera in this price range.

A humongous 5020 mah battery is provided on this phone. It is quite mammoth that even with heavy usage, it will last for a day easily. The screen is a 1080p panel and it too reduces battery load on it a lot. It comes with an 33W fast charger.

The performance is very good for the price and even higher. It has a Snapdragon 732g processor which is essentially an octa-core CPU. The phone comes in many variants, a 6 Gb ram 64GB, 128 GB storage or 8 Gb ram and 128 Gb storage are the choices. It is better to go with the higher-spec phone as the difference in price is minimal.

The phone comes with a triple-slot sim tray. You can use two sim cards and still there is a slot for an sd card. The phone runs on Android 10. The MIUI 11 runs on top of the android. Thankfully, the phone has a headphone jack and also an IR Blaster, which is a good thing. This phone can simply be the best smartphone for college students at this time.

Pros
  • Ir blaster
  • Headphone jack
  • Big screen
  • 5000 mah battery
  • AMOLED screen
  • 120 Hz screen.
Cons
  • Nothing

Check out the detailed review and prices here.

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Check the Price on Amazon.com

Asus ROG phone 3

Now we are talking about a real budget flagship. Asus is one of the companies that make bleeding-edge technology yet at an affordable price with not many compromises. Rog phones are similar. Rog stands for the Republic of gamers. As the full form of ROG is, the phone is mainly aimed at gamers. But, what makes this phone the best smartphone for college students? Read on

You see, when we rate a phone for what it is, we find a bunch of categories where the phone fits in. Look at the specs, it has flagship specs. It has 5g, Front and back are glasses from gorilla glass 6 and gorilla glass 3 respectively. It supports dual sims, it has air triggers that can be used for gaming.

The display is fantastic. The display is made up of AMOLED, supports 1B colors, and a refresh rate of 144Hz. The display has 650 nits of brightness and supports HDR10+. The screen is 6.59 inches diagonally and boasts a resolution of 1080 X 2340 pixels at a pixel density of 391. The aspect ratio is 19.5:9. What else can you ask for the price tag that comes along with it? 

The display can be run at 60Hz, 90Hz, 120 Hz, and 144 Hz. There is a huge difference between 60 Hz and 144hz. The motion is silky smooth and games that work with this refresh rate is awesome to play on.

The phone houses a powerful Snapdragon 865+ processor. It is made with a 7nm+ process. It is an 

Octacore processor, where 4 cores are clocked at 1.8 GHz, 3 cores are clocked at 2.42 GHz and one 1 Core clocked 3.1 GHz. All this ensures better performance. Adreno 650 comes as the GPU. It comes in 8 to 16 GB of ram based on the configuration chosen. This ram is plenty enough for everything. The internal storage is in UFS 3.1 format. The inbuilt storage is available from 128 GB to 512 GB based on the variant chosen.

The phone has a triple camera setup. The main camera is a 64MP at f/1.8 aperture. The focal length is 26mm. The ultra-wide camera is a 13 MP at an aperture of f/2.4. There is also a macro camera available in 5 MP configuration at an aperture of f/2.0. The camera supports HDR and Panorama. The camera can also take 8k video at 30fps, 4k @ 30 – 120 fps, 1080P at 30 – 240fps and 720p at 480 fps. 

Another great hardware that comes with it is the humongous battery. Rated at 6000mah, it is simply massive. At normal usage, it can last for two days. Even with heavy usage, it is hard to kill the battery in one day at a 60fps screen refresh rate.

The reason why this phone is the best smartphone for college students is its specs. It simply trumps anything in its price range. You can do multiple tasks at once, use mobile-based modeling software like a cakewalk. Editing and exporting a video will be an easy task. If it weren’t for the camera, it is simply best at everything.

Pros
  • Battery
  • Screen
  • Refresh rate
  • Game mode
  • Air trigger
  • Processor
  • Ram and storage
Cons
  • No sd card slot
  • Mediocre camera.
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Conclusion

It is always good to have a phone with good specifications in the long run. That not only saves money but time as well. For college students, time and timing are crucial. A phone should respond well while using it. The calculations, simulations need more power and a snappier phone will be the best bet. If possible go with an iPhone. If not Google Pixel 6a is an equally nice phone to own. If the budget isn’t permitting for these, go with Redmi note 10 pros. Thanks for reading.

Vignesh sathiaraj

Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to audio gears. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.

2 thoughts on “5 of the best smartphones for college students”

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