16:59 17th Feb, 2020
Overhyped Smartphone Specs: See What’s Worth And What’s Not
Smartphone brands release one phone after the other these days. But how would you choose wisely? Find out.
The popular saying in Hindi ‘Dikhawe Pe Mat Jao Apni Akal Lagao’ (don’t go by looks, apply your brains) can be apt when it comes to smartphone brands that are always looking for new, exciting specs in their devices, so much so that an average Joe like me gets confused truckload even if the phone was launched a few months back.
This overflow of products helps the brands to stay relevant in the market and create a buzz among the fans. To maintain this, they are often under constant pressure to bring out a new and unique feature every time - frankly in such a fast-paced environment it’s not possible practically.
This directly results in overhyping of features/specifications which otherwise do not improve the user experience at all. We’re talking about including multiple camera sensors, high-end processors, a truckload of RAM etc all of which are overkill.
Let us talk about a few such features which off late are hyped by the brands, influencers and media, which you should definitely not fall for.
Update cycle: There is a common notion among the young users that smartphones do not last for more than a year and they must ‘upgrade’ to the latest one as soon as the new variant is announced. This is nothing but a phenomenon called fear of missing out or FOMO which is created by the brands with the help of high-end marketing techniques.
While Apple smartphones do have a slightly longer life cycle thanks to more than a few years of software updates, Android phones are not far behind. People constantly crib that their phone starts lagging and the performance becomes sluggish after a year or so. Well, the processor, RAM and the storage are all same the only difference is the amount of useless data or cache that isn’t deleted over the period of usage.
The best and most economical solution is to factory reset the phone after a year of usage, in case you really feel the drop in the performance. A new processor in the market does not make the older one slow automatically. Brands have been caught doing so and have been penalized heavily for the same.
Too many cameras: Smartphones have a very less amount of space to cram in DSLR like sensors. It’s all about the image processing software which works wonders for phones. For years, brands like Google and Apple relied on a single or at max a dual-camera setup. It is just last year that Apple introduced a triple camera setup on their iPhone with Google graduated to a dual-camera setup with the Pixel 4 series. Compare this to brands which are putting five or more camera sensors in a phone. Why? Who needs them?
In most cases, it’s nothing but a gimmick to include low capacity sensors in order to market their products. A 2-megapixel sensor will not let you shoot extraordinary macro images nor does a 2-megapixel ‘depth-sensing’ camera add any value to the setup. Accurate depth sensing can be achieved with the help of a decent primary sensor coupled with properly optimized imaging software.
Overkill of specs: Though comparing the RAM on a phone and a laptop isn’t always right, but just to things in perspective, my primary Asus laptop has 4GB of RAM and it works without any lag or jitters. Phones with 10 or 12 GB RAM are nothing but pure overkill. There is no need of such a high amount of RAM in phones.
Brands like OnePlus is a primary example that started the trend including 6GB RAM when there were no apps or games which could utilize it. Taking it a few steps ahead, brands are outracing each other by introducing phones with 10-12GB of RAM. Till date, no game, apps and the Android system need so much RAM. One particular logic, which makes sense is that fact that if the OS optimization has not been done properly, then only you might actually need a massive amount of storage.
The camera sensors are yet another part where you can experience the overkill. Like I mentioned earlier, smartphones are highly dependent on software processing for better images, the recent megapixel war resulted in phones coming out with 48- or 64-megapixel sensors and the upcoming ones will have 108-megapixel sensors. In most cases, these sensors actually use pixel-binning technology and in any case, you need higher megapixel count only when you want to take out large-sized print outs. Most of us rarely take a print out of images. I don’t recollect when I last took a print out of an image. Do you remember?
Summing it up:
An introduction of the new features or specifications does not mean that you have to update your gadgets. Your requirements should be the only parameter based on which you should decide when to switch or upgrade. Brands will continue to come out with new products and enticing new ads and promotions but it is you, the consumer, who needs to take an educated decision before any purchase.
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