My smartphone must be able to identify chicken and buy it, deliver it home, skin it, cut it up, boil and fry, and then serve it. My brother-in-law just wants a smartphone for the most basic activities. We are two very different kinds of smartphone users.

What kind of smartphone user are you? Stress-free, advanced, or complicated?

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.

Oppo f11 pro hands on review


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.

Nokia 3.2 hands-on review

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.

what kind of smartphone user are you?
What kind of smartphone user are you?

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

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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.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I am not very particular myself and not loyal to a particular brand but there are a few things I must have on your phone.

    The first thing is the screen size as I will never use a phone that is below 6 inches.

    The second one is an awesome battery life.

    The third thing is the legibility in sunlight.

    All in that order.

    Of course, it must be Android.

    So, choosing a phone.. for me.. is very easy… once those things are taken care of.

  2. A colleague reminded me of this recently. I looked at her phone and recognised the model instantly. She previously had a Samsung Galaxy S3 mini – seriously – and said she just wanted it to make calls, send texts and maybe play Candy Crush. She had never used the camera on her previous phone or even considered using it, she just got the model recommended to her.

    She’s not alone but similar to so many other people I’ve met. They don’t care about upgrades, camera, processor speed, or RAM, so long as it does what they want.

  3. I am a power user. If it’s a smart phone, then it must be smart.

    My phone should be able to take all the apps there is, open multiple web pages and apps at same time and still run smoothly. Energy consumption should be reasonable too.

    I consider bigger screen size, bigger ram, camera quality, internal storage memory must be good, battery must be 4,000amh and supports fast charge.

    I am brand loyalist too. There are brands I wouldn’t go for no matter the frenzy and hype.

    My phone should be able to do all that laptop could do.

  4. I am a power user who is transitioning to your brother-in-law’s category. Many years ago I sold my desk top pc to get a windows mobile device and practically did everything on that device. Today, it is the opposite, I do most things on my pc and use the phone just for calls, navigation and light browsing/social networking( when on the move). At home and office, the smartphone is linked to the laptop for messaging (whatsapp, sms, email).

    So my choice of mobile devices should be: compact, light weight with just basic smartphone features.

    I held the Nokia 1 Plus yesterday and loved the compactness and weight. Now I contemplating selling my Samsung A40 to get it and and use “the change” to buy a 10 inch windows tablet.

  5. I have to say that our generation has made me advanced, that is the way it is and will be if i must survive in this high tech era.

  6. As technology improves my needs from a phone also changes. I remember in 2018 I was to buy another phone. I listed my ideal phone as one with:
    (1.) FullScreen
    (2.) Android Oreo 8
    (3.) 4G LTE
    (4.)Battery >= 4000mAh
    (5.) Memory >= 3GB.
    And I ruled out any phone missing any of these criteria
    Camera is never my own criteria though phones camera are always improving anyway.

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