In the last 24 hours, I have written about two powerful new devices, the LG Optimus G and the Motorola RAZR i. Of course, there’s also the iPhone 5. There is a race for more powerful mobile devices. While it is exciting and all, it seems to me that it is mostly hype, as all that extra power is hardly a real need.
Apart from a niche device like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, whose huge display and stylus lend it to graphics design use cases, many modern mobiles seem more than powerful enough. I am not sure how much more productive the extra processing power of a RAZR i, iPhone 5 or Optimus G will make me in the regular day-to-day use cases. I also doubt that there are any new day-to-day tasks available that require all that “Oooomph”.
Before I got the quad-core 1.5GHz HTC One X, I owned a Samsung Galaxy S2, which was a dual-core 1.2 GHz beast. Truth be told, it is the same tasks that I used to execute on the S2 that I run on the One X, and there is minimal (if any) improvement in productivity. The extra processing power is hardly ever called upon.
Benchmark tests are good, but they mostly present results that are obtainable in the most extreme situations. For day-to-day usage, most people will never be able to notice the difference in the performance of a dual-core and a quad-core processor.
On a personal case, I would list a more powerful battery or better battery life as a real need that will impact my everyday usage and/or productivity than more powerful processors. A better camera? Yes. Better audio production? Sure. A better, more responsive display? Yes. This means that a smartphone like the Motorola RAZR MAXX should be of real benefit to me compared to any of these new muscles in the hood because its 3300 mAh battery actually increases my productivity. Perhaps a Lumia 920 too, with its more responsive, more usable display and superior camera.
I know that we homo sapiens enjoy our bragging rights. Perhaps this is all about that? My mobile is more powerful than yours? Or perhaps this is just about the innate human drive to keep pushing the boundary, which in itself qualifies as a real need, but not just for everyday use.
Anyway, your call: What would you put on your list of real needs? Would you include more processing power? On a scale of needs, where would a more powerful processor rank on your list of real needs?