People use smartphones in every aspect of their life. Smartphone users reach for their devices whether they need to look up reference information or track their workouts on their favorite fitness apps. Since the smartphone is so essential, consumers shop around for the phone with the essential features they prefer. You may prefer an iPhone 7 or a Galaxy S7 depending on which features you need.
Trail Blazing Features Discerning Smartphone Users Expect
Some people think the iPhone and Blackberry were the first modern smartphones. However, the “Simon” debuted 15 years earlier than the first iPhone. The Simon allowed users to call people, check their email, send a FAX or even run third party programs or apps. At eight inches long and weighing over one pound, the Simon was hardly the pocket sized powerhouse people carry today.
Today’s smartphone offers more computing power than all of NASA’s computers in the 1960s. The smartphone evolved as developers add trailblazing features and increased processing power. Some of these innovative features became mainstream.
Smartphone Security Grows More Important
Recent news raised consumer awareness of security risks including malware, viruses and phishing. People trust their personal, medical and financial information to their devices. Users seek phones with built-in security options.
Many adults do not follow basic recommendations to secure their smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The survey results indicate that 28 percent do not use their lock screen and 14 percent said they never update their phone’s operating system.
Many Android and now iPhones come with a built in Virtual Private Network (VPN) for increased safety and security while using public Wi-Fi. Other features like fingerprint scanners offer a convenient security alternative to the 28 percent who don’t set a password lock screen.
Fun Fact: While many associate the Apple iPhone with the debut of the fingerprint scanner, the Motorola ATRIX was the original phone featuring a fingerprint scanner in 2011.
Water Resistant and Lifeproof
Water damage is one of the biggest dangers a smartphone faces. Water damage may be a thing of the past; manufacturers developed water and dust resistant smartphones.
Fun Fact: The Samsung Galaxy S7 is water and dust resistant. According to Samsung, the design repels splashes and spills. It may even survive dunks into the sink or toilet.
Improved Camera Quality Makes Smartphone the Camera of Choice
The smartphone doubles as a camera. The popularity of social image sharing networks like Instagram and Snapchat confirm that the smartphone is the camera of choice for many people. Many photographers love the convenience but lament the limitations of a smartphone camera.
“Consumer Reports” noted that some smartphones feature a selfie camera on the front and two rear-mounted cameras. The extra rear camera usually functions as a zoom lens or a wide angle lens. The combination of cameras creates a range of special effects.
Fun Fact: The LG Optimus 3D was the first smartphone to feature dual rear cameras in February 2011. The original intention was to embrace the 3D video and image trend.
Smartphone users typically stream Netflix, YouTube, or other video content on their device. In face, a Google commissioned Nielsen study indicates that more 18 to 49 year old adults watch YouTube during “prime time” than any television network. Display quality is a highly sought-after feature.
Fun Fact: The first “retina display” smartphone was the iPhone 4 with 300 pixels per inch. The effect isn’t just due to the pixel density; the distance users view the screen is a major factor. Since the debut of the Retina Display, other smartphones also stepped up the display game.
Longer Battery Life
Smartphone users often complain about battery life. According to Pew Research, smartphone users are dependent on their devices throughout the day. Over 28 percent reported using their smartphone during their job search, over 51 percent of consumers shop online using their phone, and at least 12 percent of the United States population only have internet access through their smartphone.
All that shopping and research uses battery life. Also, the smartphone serves as a camera, music player and mini-television. Battery life is a key consideration for many consumers.
“Consumer Reports” magazine ranked the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus top in battery life. The S8 battery lasts for 26 hours of talk time and 13 hours on Wi-Fi. In the competitive smartphone industry, manufacturers develop new features as they continue to improve the basics like battery life and screen display.