Ease of use most prized mobile phone attribute

5 August 2014

British consumers are more concerned with the basics when it comes to their mobile phone rather than flash technology, research has found.

While the latest smartphones might contain sophisticated technology like voice recognition, 3D graphics and fingerprint security, Brits want functionality over the latest high-tech features according to Uswitch.com.

It asked what smartphone owners care about the most in a handset and found that the top priority was its ease of use (29%). A fifth (19%) said call reception was their most important priority, while another 19% said decent battery life was what they looked for in a phone. Only 3% said unique and quirky technological features were the most important feature.

Uswitch also asked consumers what would make them buy a phone. A massive 89% said a long battery life would make them more likely to buy a smartphone, while 67% said a waterproof phone would encourage them to buy, followed by a decent camera (66%).

In contrast, three-quarters (75%) said high-end features like eye-ball tracking technology as seen on the Samsung Galaxy S5 would make no difference to what phone they chose to buy. More than two-thirds (69%) said voice recognition wouldn't make a difference, while 62% said 3D graphics wouldn't persuade them to make a purchase.

Of those who do have the features on their smartphones, almost two-thirds (66%) never use eyeball tracking and more than half (55%) never use voice control. Some 32% who have fingerprint-scanning security never actually use it.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said that British consumers can spot a gimmick and smartphone manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate their handsets from their rivals.

"It's actually the basics that affect the every day user experience - like long battery life and a robust design - that people really care about," he said.

"Entry-level smartphones can cost from as little as £7.50 per month including a 'free' handset. If you're not a self-confessed 'early adopter' and you don't care about the bells and whistles, like 3D screens or ultrapixel cameras, you can pick up a decent internet-connected handset very cheaply."

He warned: "Just keep an eye on your mobile data usage on your bill to make sure you're not going over your limit each month."

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