Ah, the good Ol’days when phones where just for making calls and sending SMS messages. When you only had to bring out your phone in order to make/receive calls and read or send an SMS. Those were the days of trusty and sturdy phones that could last days on a single charge. I remember the fun I had with my first mobile phone, the Samsung R220. Those were the days when if someone asked you for an apple or a blackberry, you were sure the person was talking about fruits.
But you see, these days, things have gotten so complicated that we yearn and look for features that are totally not necessary or at least not needed to get the job done. That’s why we as consumers allow ourselves to be bedazzled by the manufacturers who refurbish the same old wine in new bottles and then compel ‘unwitting consumers’ to buy them because of improved specifications. Do you really need all the features and processing power that your mobile device professes to possess?
This post was prompted by Chekwas Ojike’s post, N100,000 for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and no FM Radio?, in which he was complaining about his new Samsung Galaxy S4 not having an FM radio receiver. Yes, a freaking radio! Here is a quote from the article in question:
I got a Samsung Galaxy S4 last week and I was so overjoyed that the most celebrated phone lay in my palms. My very own baby! But soon after, I was astounded to discover that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has no FM Radio app installed in it! At first I searched my Play Store app thinking that all the hardware for a FM reception is intact in the GS4. This ended up a fruitless search.
To worsen the situation, I Googled and found out that Samsung thinks that FM Radio app is now outdated and that all mobile users should learn to switch over to Internet Radio live streaming apps!
The Power of Marketing
One of the most successful mobile tech companies in the world today is Apple (at least in terms of revenue). And that’s not because they produce the best hardware or software but because they have redefined marketing into an art. When the iPhone first generation came out in 2007, there were more powerful, more capable devices in the market from the likes of Nokia and Blackberry. But the iPhone sold like hot cakes because Apple created a great marketing campaign around people’s need to want to use the latest and the slickest, no matter how irrelevant it really is. And then they went ahead to use this winning formula with each succeeding iPhones.
Between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S3, there is literally no difference (at least in my opinion) except in the camera and some software enhancements. Yet, people (especially those already owning the S3) are rushing the S4 like it’s the next messiah because of the great PR Samsung has built up around the clarity of the camera on board the S4.
So what next as a consumer?
Before you fork out your money to go and buy that next flashy device, there are some questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Budget: Can I really afford this new device? What will be its effect on my pocket or bank account? Always remember to cut your coat according to your size!
2. Bandwagon effect: Do I really need this new phone? Am I buying because my friends, colleagues and the people are buying it? Never let yourself be swayed unnecessarily into making a potentially bad decision by conforming to what you perceive as trending in order to belong to a particular cliché or niche.
3. Forget the marketing crap: Do I really need the features that this new mobile device professes to have? Can’t my present device handle or do all the needed tasks I throw at it? What’s not broken in the first place, should not be fixed!
There are more questions that you could ask yourself before making any purchase based on personal needs, but these ones are the basics you should really ponder.
In the end it’s not all about the specs/features
It’s not really about the features or specifications that the new device has, it is really about what you really want from your device. As Mister Mobility rightly said in a recent article:
Some areas are grey, but valid all the same. There are those who think that everything is about having a phone with the highest specifications possible – you know, the largest display, most powerful processor and all that. I disagree. In my opinion, a lot more people care about other things apart from the specs sheet.
There are some people who want better battery, while some want better processing power for playing games and some we tell you they just need something to get their work done. Others need large storage space or even just access to more apps. So if a Samsung Galaxy, a Nokia Lumia or a TECNO is what you want, go for it!
Over to you readers! What features do you really want and look for in mobile phone or device before buying one? Are you really overwhelmed by specs and features? Feel free to chime in the comments.