Britons reject smartphone 'gimmicks'

6 August 2014
LONDON: 3D graphics, eye-tracking technology and voice control features may appeal to some smartphone owners, but a new survey has shown that the majority of British users are more interested in functionality, reliability and good design.

Price comparison site uSwitch.com said ease of use is the top priority for almost one-third (29%) of UK smartphone owners, followed by call reception (19%) and battery life (also 19%), Moneywise reported.

Mobile apps are the main concern for one-in-ten, but only 3% believe unique or "quirky" features are important.

Furthermore, when it comes to what would encourage them to buy a smartphone, a huge 89% refer to a long battery life, while waterproof phones appeal to 67%, followed by a decent camera (66%).

Regarding special features – such as Samsung's eye-tracking technology on its Galaxy S5 – three-quarters (75%) say this would make no difference to their purchase choice, a view shared by 69% about voice recognition, and 62% about 3D graphics.

Among those who do have special features on their smartphones, two-thirds (66%) never use eyeball tracking, 55% never use voice control, and finger-print scanning is never used by almost a third (32%) of users, the Telegraph reported.

"It's becoming increasingly hard for smartphone makers to differentiate their handsets from those of their rivals," said Ernest Doku, product relations manager at uSwitch.com.

"They hope that flash features like fingerprint ID on the iPhone 5s, or Amazon's Fire Phone and its 'Dynamic Perspective' display, will give their phones the edge," he said.

"However, our research shows that many Brits can spot a gimmick from a mile away. It's actually the basics that affect the everyday user experience – like long battery life and a robust design – that people really care about."

Data sourced from Moneywise, Telegraph; additional content by Warc
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