There is a school of thought that seeks to propagate the idea that smartphone specs are not important, especially to the everyday user (who make up the bulk of the market). We are told that because the iPhone is an example of how specs do not matter (sic), that nobody needs really care about specs.
Some reasons why smartphone specs are important
When people push such ideas, they conveniently forget a few things:
- specs tell users that an iPhone does not support microSD card, lacks USB mass storage, and needs iTunes to synchronise and store media
- it is specs that tell us everything else that the iPhone is capable and incapable of compared to other smartphones
- smartphone specs tell us that one camera phone offers 4k video and another VGA (and there is no way that the latter will produce better videos than the former)
- specs tell me that one smartphone can do TV-out, and another cannot
- it is because of specs that the buyer looking for superior performance knows to avoid a 512 MB Android smartphone
The issue is not that specs are unnecessary. The problem is often that of trying to compare specs between oranges and apples. And that is an effort in futility. Specifications in themselves give us an overview of what to expect from different smartphones.
Smartphone specs are not just about manufacturers trying to score points. Specs serve a very useful purpose. Of course, like any good thing, anyone can abuse and hype it to further their goals. But specs matter. A lot.
In everything else in life, specs matter: processed foods, drinks, housing, aircraft, automobiles, computers, home electronics, clothing, etc, etc. Specs will always matter, because people have specific needs, and not all products within a product category will meet those needs.
A comparison of specifications may not always give an accurate picture of how two competing smartphones perform, but specs will help prospective buyers determine upfront whether the phone they are contemplating purchasing is likely to meet their needs. Whether it meets the specific needs better than a competing phone is a different question entirely.
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