Buying a smartphone is never easy; are you buying it for the exceptional camera, the storage space, the editing features, whether it matches with your other gadgets, or the price and value the phone holds. And, in the world of advertising, tech companies like Apple and Samsung will always aim to outdo each other in showcasing their product as the best possible option; and sifting through the bulk of information can be confusing, tedious and possibly endless.
So we’ve put together a list of smartphone features that might be deal-breakers for some, but are not always as vital as they’re made out to be. Have a read and go buy your next phone as well-informed as you’ll ever be!
It’s not (always) about powerful processors
First things first, stronger processors usually make a compelling case for better phones, but raw stats and specs look good on paper, but how do they compare to other more affordable options? It always depends on what you’re going to be using the phone for: if it’s editing videos and photos you take out in the wild, then the latest iPhone might be your best bet. If it’s checking e-mails, playing games or catching up on the latest updates on social media, a mid-range Android phone that costs no more than €300 buys you a phone with a decent camera, affable storage space and a screen size large and sharp enough to enjoy the video content on your favourite social media channels.
Bigger battery doesn’t always mean better
Just because a phone has a bigger battery capacity only means that it can store more charge. It’s then the phone’s software that determines how that charge is used…so if the phone’s software requires more juice to function at its best, then the charge will be drained faster anyway. In a practical example, the Google Pixel 6 Pro comes with a massive 5003 mAh battery that’s 15% larger than the iPhone Pro Max, but the latter has better battery performance when performing the same tasks. And a difference of 30% better battery life for the same functions on the iPhone 13 means that, by this metric, the iPhone is a better option despite Google’s larger battery.
The point is, again, don’t just look at raw data without interpreting how it works and how efficient it is.
Explaining the camera myth
With each new flagship smartphone released, we’re always treated to cameras of ever-increasing quality, with the information you truly want getting lost in the cacophony of megapixels, sensors, zooming capabilities and more. Having more megapixels does not always translate to better photos and videos; the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra might have a 108MP sensor, but it’ll probably resort to taking 12MP photos, the term being “pixel binning”. Basically, if you have a camera with a 50-100MP sensor, you’ll probably end up with a photo of equal quality.
And the same can be said of the iPhone 13 Pro’s Macro Mode. It’s pretty cool for close-up shots but is it worth spending that amount of money for the type of shot you’ll take twice a year that’ll earn you a couple of extra likes on Facebook or Instagram but little else. So, yeah, great shot, but probably not worth the extra €270 unless you intend (and know how) to monetize the feature properly.
Is wireless charging worth more?
Wireless charging has been quite the rage and rightfully so; anything that lessens the dependency on wired chargers is welcomed. However, despite it being a great feature to have, it’s still a technology in its relative infancy, meaning wireless charging is nowhere near as fast, efficient or reliable as wired charging (for now). So, don’t let that be a determining factor as to whether you choose one phone or not.
The IS something in a name
Sometimes we’ll think there’s nothing in a name, but the truth is that there’s plenty. Words like “Ultra” or “Pro” elevate phones to another level, so if you were to say that “the iPhone 13 Pro Max (two fancy words in there) comes with 3x optical zoom”, it’ll sound great. The truth is that so does the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, despite the approximate €300 difference in price. That’s not to say that Samsung is not guilty of doing this. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S22 lineup doesn’t offer Micro SD card memory expansion, but their cheaper devices do. Don’t search for logic here, for you will not find it.
So there they are, five tips that you shouldn’t allow to sway your decision, no matter how important manufacturers will make things sound. Do your research when and where possible, and if you’re still not sure, just give us a shout and we’ll see how we can help!