While cellphones continue to improve in a variety of ways, not all of the new capabilities are as useful as you may assume. Let’s take a closer look.
Smartphones have come a long way in terms of innovation. Many chores that used to necessitate separate computing devices can now be completed using only your smartphone, which corporations love to boast about in their advertisements and launch events.
But, as cool as it is to have all those cutting-edge hardware and functions packed into a portable gadget, do you really need them? Is it true that they make a difference?
Let’s look at six overhyped features to avoid when purchasing a new phone.
1. 8K Video Recording
For a little more than a decade, cellphones have been capable of recording 4K video (3840 x 2160 pixels). To put things in perspective, the Galaxy S5 was one of the first Samsung phones to receive the feature in 2014 (do you feel old yet?).
Back then, 4K video capture was largely worthless due to poor image quality, and it was solely used as a marketing ploy. 4K video is now available on all flagship phones, the majority of mid-range phones, and even some inexpensive phones.
This makes logical given how frequently we watch videos on our phones, tablets, laptops, and other similar-sized devices. Their screens are large enough that the difference between 1080p and 4K footage can be seen.
However, when it comes to 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels), the difference is insignificant. Professional gaming is one of the few circumstances where 8K resolution makes sense, but it’s a definite overkill for mobile filmmaking.
2. 108MP Camera
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: more megapixels don’t necessarily imply better image quality. Smartphone manufacturers love to boast about their cameras’ megapixel count, but it doesn’t guarantee their photos are superior.
The more megapixels you have, the higher the resolution of your photo will be. As a result, you can simply zoom in and crop your photos without sacrificing any detail. However, because the file size is larger due to the increased resolution, it consumes more storage.
There are two key reasons why a 108MP camera isn’t required. One, today’s smartphones are equipped with a zoom lens for taking photos of distant objects. Two, you don’t need so much resolution for regular shots to assure clarity in your images.
3. QHD Display
Quad HD (QHD), often known as 1440p resolution screens (2560 x 1440 pixels), are very widespread in flagship phones, and we’ve had them since 2014. To be fair, QHD displays are substantially sharper than Full HD (FHD), also known as 1080p resolution displays (1920 x 1080 pixels).
The issue is that QHD screens use more energy to operate. During a full day of use, compared to FHD screens, you can lose roughly 10% more battery life. Furthermore, the former is a feature found exclusively in flagship phones, so if you want that resolution, you’ll have to spend more than $700.
4. 144Hz Refresh Rate
Until recently, practically all smartphones were restricted to a 60Hz refresh rate (with a few exceptions). The tech sector, on the other hand, hasn’t looked back since the debut of the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019. In what seemed like an instant, we moved from 60Hz to 90Hz to 120Hz. The Razer Phone was the first phone to run at 120Hz, and it was released in 2017!
Up until 2020, 120Hz displays were only available on flagship and mid-range phones; today, we’re seeing inexpensive phones with the same capability. High refresh rate displays went from being a trend to becoming commonplace in just two years.
While we are grateful for this innovation, each frequency higher than 120Hz produces diminishing returns. The first gaming phone with a 165Hz refresh rate has already been released, which is just excessive. When put side by side, it’s impossible to distinguish the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz. Many people would struggle to distinguish 90Hz from 120Hz in a blind test.
The issue is that squandering so much battery life for these insignificant changes that don’t add much to the overall user experience is inexcusable. Furthermore, most mobile games do not support 120Hz, rendering the feature obsolete.
5. 16GB RAM
16GB of RAM is another another excess. The amount of RAM a smartphone should have is determined by your needs. For most people, 6GB RAM is plenty for daily tasks such as web browsing, light gaming, music and video streaming, social media, and other similar activities. Your phone will be future-proofed for the next three to five years with 6GB of RAM.
8GB RAM is sufficient for power users and gamers to run all mobile apps and games, while 12GB RAM ensures that even the most demanding games operate smoothly. Anything more is pointless because you won’t be running that many apps in the background at the same time anyway.
6. Wireless Charging
Wireless charging still stinks and shouldn’t be a priority if you’re in the market for a new phone, despite the fact that the technology is slowly improving. It is inefficient and generates a great deal of heat.
Not to mention that wireless charging isn’t truly wireless because your phone must be charged in a single fixed location. True wireless charging, on the other hand, will take at least three years to become even remotely usable.
Wired charging, on the other hand, is faster, cheaper, more efficient, more durable, doesn’t overheat, and produces less waste in the manufacturing process, making it less environmentally friendly. A USB-C cable is also quite beneficial because it is a worldwide standard that can be plugged into practically any modern electronic device.
Look for value rather than overrated features.
It’s always fascinating for us as tech nerds to watch companies pushing the boundaries with their cutting-edge technology. However, admiring new technologies and making a buying decision are not the same thing. Just because your phone has a high-end feature doesn’t imply you need it.
Most of the features described in this list are extremely likely to become popular in the future years. But until then, it’s pointless to pay a premium for a device you’re not going to use very often.
The following characteristics are best suited for an enthusiast, a dedicated gamer, or someone who works closely with technology on a daily basis. These characteristics should not be considered while purchasing a new phone unless you are one of those people.