Having a conversation with my sister this morning, I asked her whether her husband was enjoying his new smartphone. He had recently asked me to recommend a phone for him and I did. Her reply painted a picture of one of the most common kinds of smartphone users around: “He has no preference really, as long as he makes calls and can browse.”
That response was a reminder that there are all sorts of kinds of smartphone users out there in the world. While we techie people tend to be power users – we want the smartphone with the most powerful processor, biggest RAM, best camera, greatest battery life, and largest storage space, most people are not techies or power users.
Which is why no matter the criticisms techie types level against a phone model, there are hundreds of thousands of people – sometimes millions – who will buy that very phone and live happily with it without any complaints.
Those who are regular readers of my reviews will have observed how I am careful to not issue conclusions that cover only the techie-power user angle. This is the reason why. There are many different kinds of mobile users. Most people in the world are not smartphone power users. They do not care about the processing power or multitasking and all the other cool stuff we have orgasms over.
Mrs. Mo is one of such people. She uses whatever phone she buys (or gets) without complaints – and I have used some of them briefly and know I would find some a bit limiting to use. But she? No problemo. RAM is no issue. processor – what’s that? As long as she can call, WhatsApp and Facebook and Instagram, all is well with the world.
I replied my sister’s comment with a statement: “Your husband is one of those stress-free smartphone users”. He is a high-flying executive at a multinational, but his smartphone needs are modest. Me? My smartphones have to be able to shop, differentiate between chicken and turkey, deliver the goods home, skin the chicken, cut it up, boil and fry it, and then serve it on the dining table for me to eat. My brother-in-law just wants a smartphone for the most basic activities.
There are people who just want a good camera and decent battery life. Not much else matters to them. They do not want to use Office documents, transfer files, or download videos. Yet, there are others who only want a phone that shows some class or taste. Performance is nothing to them, as they do everything else on their laptop.
Some want a smartphone for multimedia consumption – audio and video. Others just want to use social media – Instagram, Facebook and the like. It isn’t that they don’t make calls or indulge in other activities; it is that those activities are not high up on their priorities list.
We would need to do a lot more detailed research to create valid categories in which to fit every kind of smartphone user. As a matter of fact, I doubt if there is an exhaustive list of categories.
People are simply different, and so are their needs. Which is why having multitudes of phone models with varying mixes and matches of performance, looks, and capabilities from different manufacturers works well. No matter how much one person says he dislikes this brand or that brand, or Xyz phone, there are many more people who like it and will embrace it.
When my brother-in-law asked me for a phone recommendation months ago, he told me he just wanted a good phone and wasn’t particular about anything. When I am shopping for a phone, I am particular about size, sunlight legibility, battery life, loudspeaker volume and quality, 4G LTE bands, performance, RAM for multitasking, internal storage, camera performance, and software updates.
We are two ends of a very wide spectrum – two very different kinds of smartphone users. In between our two positions are perhaps hundreds of mixes and matches that millions of users worldwide fit into. It is a wonderful world with lots of variety. What kind of smartphone user are you?
PS: I am on Twitter as @Moverick
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.