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8 Tips to Buying a Smartphone in Ghana


Foster Dompreh | June 27, 2019

The prominence a lot of people ascribe to buy that perfect smartphone or mobile phone in Ghana has seen much growth. In this modern and technologically driven world the phone plays a major role in our lives; either staying in touch with love ones, transacting business,  connecting on social media or capturing memorable moments through the camera has sustained the spiral growth of smartphone usage. It has become a huge asset and finding the perfect one comes with much patience and trying what works or does not work for you.  Even those who have all the means to acquire a phone, are pushing up the boundaries to find that perfect phone model. With much experience in the smartphone world, here are 8 tips you should know and consider before you buy that smartphone.



1. Relevant feature

What do you prefer most in a phone? Smartphones come with many features and good performance, some have great processors faster than your computer 5years ago. However, some of the upgraded features are seldomly used. If you are someone who takes a lot of photos and videos, then Storage space on the phone matters a lot. If you capture a lot of pictures and selfies, then phone with wide lens cameras on the phone is your most important preference. If what matters to you is a bigger size screen phone, then consider the Plus models. If price or budget is what matters to you then considering old models or budget phones is crucial. All Smartphones have internet capabilities 3G or 4G connectivity. However, the new models have higher end processors to make the usage much faster. If you like playing music a lot, then phones with a headphone jack might be your priority, or may be water proofing among others. Let’s take a deeper dive into the issues.



2. Flagship, Mid-range and Old/Budget models

Most phone brands have these three (3) models, the Flagship phone is the most current, highest processor with great performance and all the top features. But, flagship phones are relatively expensive. In Ghana, you will be paying close to GH ₵4,000 – GH ₵5,000 on a flagship phone. However, majority of those features are rarely used. Some of them are; iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9 Plus. Whiles, they have great performance, you might not need it those high end features.


The mid-range phones models are also current model devices, but does not have all the features of Flagship models. However, they have some great features from the flagship phones with averagely lower price comparatively. The Mid – range phones have pretty good cameras with decent performance for a lot less than you expect.  These phones have great capabilities, the price might be in the range of GH ₵2,500 – GH ₵3,500. You can go for mid-range phone if it falls within your budget. Some of these phones are Pixel 2, iPhone 8 , iPhone Xr , Samsung Galaxy S9 and more.


smartphones to buy in Ghana

The third category of the phone range is the old models or budget phones, this is the stage of phone you need to look at first. The old models might be 1-4years old since the year they were released. Trust me, they function well, serves your basic and most needs and far affordable.  The budget phones have the basic and essentials you need including camera. You might need below GH ₵1500 for that.


If you’re literally just using it for calls, texts, email, social media app usage and some web browsing, do yourself a favor and get a budget or old model – the Galaxy S7 rather than the Galaxy S8, for instance, or the iPhone 6s Plus over the iPhone 7 Plus.

I personally use iPhone 6s and I am very cool with it. It has all the basic features I need.



3. Features and Specs

Phone features and specs are much crucial in the decision-making process. Starting with screen size. Currently, smartphones with smaller screen sizes; below 4.0” inches are deprecated or going out of the system. If you want bigger size phones then consider those with screens between 5.5” – 6.5” inches, that is the plus models, some of them are iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL and more older models. However, if medium size screens to serves you well, then consider 4.7” – 5.5” phone screens, everything is visible as well, some of them are Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, iPhone 7 and others. If you are like me who is addicted to smaller phones, migrating to the medium size screen size was a good decision. The medium size phones screens size comes with relatively lower cost rather than its big size models.


smartphone screen sizes


If you consider phones with great battery life, this is relative in many use cases, because depending on your internet usage, battery might last longer or die out eventually within a short time. You don’t want to have a phone which loses it battery power whiles you are out and using it. Check the phone battery capacity from reviews, mostly choose phones with battery above 3500mAh. If you are buying a used phone, kindly go into the settings and check the battery health, in many instances you should choose phones with 80% or more battery health. Avoid smartphones with below 1800mAh. Some of the phones with great battery performance are Moto G7 Power, OnePlus 7, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and see the list of ratings here.


smartphone battery in ghana


Camera technology is so good. Almost every smartphone later than 2013 comes with a 12MP camera. With camera is so dear to a lot of smartphone owners, its crucial to assess that feature. Some phone cameras are good depending on what you use it for and other are not all that great. However, they have good shots. Depending on what kind of shots you want from your camera, if you like selfies a lot then you need to choose a smartphone with a wide lens, hence you could get your background into the shot. What kind of extra shot you might want to take; do you like portrait shot? Depth effect, a lot of selfies. If you use the pictures to sell you items, then you need a camera with good range to capture your items. Some of the phones with great cameras are; iPhone 8 upwards, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus upwards, Huawei P20 Pro. That does mean older model cameras are poor, you could give it a try.


smartphone camera in ghana


Storage capacity on the phone is crucial if you receive a lot of files, take many pictures and shoot videos as well.  To me, a 32GB space on the phone is enough to store most of your personal activities for a long period of time, however choosing 64GB or 256GB space might come with a higher price relatively. Also, you either buy a phone with larger capacity or find a phone which uses micro SD and upgrade the storage. However, with Os offering online storage; iCloud, google drive, dropbox on Android and iOS phones, you have much option on storage. 


smartphone storage in ghana




4. Old or New Smartphones

You don’t need to buy a brand-new phone to get decent performance. With used phones the prices will be much lower comparatively to new ones. But, buying a used phone you will need to check for defects or condition of the battery, wear and tear as well as the camera and make sure it meets your needs. However, in the case of new phones, you are sure of the unused state or condition.



5. Check Reviews

After ascertaining which phone will serve you well, kindly check the reviews or talk to someone who has used that particular phone or brand before. This is very important as one could find the common peculiar problems with the phone you are interested in. You will see the pros and cons of the phone model you are interested to purchase. The most convenient place to check reviews is online; some of them are; GSM Arena, Trusted Reviews, Tech Radar among a few. In Ghana, you could also check phone reviews on Oxglow Trader Blog. Go through the pros and cons of these phones which are released.



6. Ecosystem or Operating System

There are little or no difference in performance between Android or iOS phones. However, If you like flexibility wherever you go and also get into customizing your phone, Android is your fit, because, it gives you an option for extra storage with the micro sd. However, if you are into style design and prestige then iOS is for you. Also, if you have inventory of itunes and apple stuffs, then choose iOS. Android is easily customizable even in terms of file sharing and transferring documents. iOS is much restrictive in that regard.


smartphone ecosystem



7. Where to Buy

Choosing where to buy your phone is a sole prerogative of the user. The stores have much security to purchase a phone. However, If the shops are much expensive visit online marketplaces like Oxglow Trader and a few ones;, and these websites could help. There are great deals on these platform being offered for sale by individual and shops as well. Amidst all the frauds, phones on marketplaces are much lower in price.  Do not opt for phones sold on the streets, like Ring Road Central (Circle, tip-toe lane etc.), but you could find a shop in that area and purchase from. That is where I purchased my third smartphone; iphone 5.


smartphones in ghana



8. When to buy

Do not opt to buy a phone which was just released. There might be some little worrying issues you might be caught  in that. Typical examples which happened on new released phones were iPhone 6 bend gate, Samsung fold gate and a few cases. These might be few exception, but also consider the price when phones are released, they are skyrocketing and economical drains on your finances. Choose phones which were released a year ago whiles the price might have dropped and all issues have been resolved.




To buy that perfect smartphone depends on what you cared about most; do your research, read online reviews and possibly ask those who have used it before. Factor in price and functionalities, there are certain features in a smartphone you might not need, but due to fashion, you might want it. Make sure you are making the right decision. Also, take these tips seriously and you will not go wrong.





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