So we were recently asked to review the Samsung Galaxy S5 upon its launch and our tinkering led us into a discussion of what features are supposed to be valued the most from smartphones. First of all, we’ll start by covering what a smartphone is.
What is a smartphone?
These days you hear the word being tossed around left, right, and centre and may have taken it for granted to think that it is just a phone which connects you to the internet. According to Google, a smartphone is actually a mobile phone that is able to perform many of the functions of a computer, typically having a relatively large screen and an operating system capable of running general-purpose applications.
Megapixels are becoming a thing of the past
Before you panic. We admit that smartphone cameras are becoming more powerful by the day than before. The 16 megapixels packing Samsung Galaxy S5 is not a joke. That is what most high-end DSLR cameras also carry. However, the HTC One M8 only has a 4 megapixels rear-facing camera and 5 megapixels for the front. Do you remember those days when we were all just happy to have a VGA camera on our phones, heck nobody even paid attention to pixels by then. Pixels at the time were only relevant when you had a digital camera. Anyway, I digress.
The HTC One M8 is a serious contender on the Android battle front. So far, it’s got the best front-facing camera at 5 megapixels while the rear is only 4 megapixels. Imagine that, 4 versus 16!!! The One M8 has also got 4G LTE networking, a memory card slot, Stereo FM Radio, a sick processor at 2.3 GHz, the latest KitKat and an insane battery which could last up to 20 hours! Let me not get started on user-interface (UI) because that’s a post for another day.
Which smartphone would you rather pick?
If you’d like to know how the other Android smartphones compare with each other check out our previous post doing a side-by-side comparison in a simplified table.
How to choose a smartphone
When deciding what smartphone you want to buy it is imperative to check out the phone specifications (specs). Just like when choosing a computer, doing this gives one a general idea of what to expect from their phone in terms of performance and usability. Specifications are a full description of the phone’s physical and technical endowment.
Usually, the specs which first pop out of the list are; operating system (OS), screen size, storage (memory), camera, processor, weight and battery sometimes. Very recently, Zambians are now also paying attention to networking specs to check for 4G LTE connectivity and speeds allocation.
Camera Versus Other Specs
With the waging battle of the Android beasts, the question of how much a role does the camera play in aiding smartphone buyers to reach their decision has risen. This question is prompted by the fact that there are now so many photo enhancing applications available for free that the number of pixels a phone cam has are negligible. Or are they?
The dilemma that most Zambian users are facing right now is whether to upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the S5. There is a burning desire to know whether it is worth it or not, especially for those who only bought their phones last year.
Airtel Zambia is currently busy trying to make that decision easier for you with enticing offers to pre-order the S5 and receive 1GB of free data for four months. The pre-order price is K4945. That is actually cheaper than the price of the S4 when it was launched at K4,999. On the other hand, MTN Zambia and Zamtel are preoccupied with non-smartphone related campaigns for Fantastic Fridays and Yagemuka, respectively.
Just how much do you value taking pictures over any other specification that your phone has to empty your pockets over a smartphone. Let’s be realistic here, smartphones are not cheap. Therefore, making the decision to buy one is not an easy one. usually it entails forfeiting some other item on a wishlist of sensible things. For instance, would you choose to buy a smartphone or over buying a piece of land?