At the end of October 2019, we decided to find out which smartphone would be optimal for most people. To do this, we created three series of polls: first we asked our readers about the appearance of
gadgets, then we were interested in the most important characteristics of the
devices, and at the final stage we asked about the cameras of
smartphones. The results were very interesting: sometimes people almost unanimously chose one option, and sometimes their preferences radically differed.
We are sure that the results of our small study are of interest not only to the community (since they will affect the criteria for choosing devices when writing different collections of smartphones), but also to you, readers of Treshbox. Therefore, we made the analysis of the polls open. A short summary is written at the end of the article.
Most people (45%) believe that the display diagonal of a modern smartphone should be at least 5.5 inches. But not everyone likes too large devices - only 27% of the participants voted for devices of 6.2 inches or more. However, lovers of compact gadgets were also found - for 28% of readers, smartphones with a screen diagonal of 5 inches are ideal.
As for the type of display, most people (44%) do not care about it - the main thing is that the screen is well calibrated. 30% believe that putting IPS in 2019-2020 devices is a shame, and 26% prefer this type of panel, at least due to the lack of PWM.
Regarding the location of the front sensors, everything is ambiguous. 19% consider the appearance of a "bang" a good trend; 21% are sure that the “drop” is better; 27% think that they haven’t come up with anything better than traveling cameras; and 33% do not like any of the above - they would gladly use a smartphone with a classic black stripe above the display.
Speaking about the case of devices, the vast majority (52%) prefer aluminum devices - they are durable and time-tested. Only 12% of respondents consider glass cases to be the best solution on the market. A fifth of readers like glass, but they recognize its main drawback - fragility. Surprisingly, a relatively large number of people (16%) prefer smartphones with plastic cases - largely because they are lightweight.
Surprisingly, the majority (43%) prefer the classic colors of smartphones: either black or white. Bright monotonous colors, like colorful gradient colors, are liked only by 15% of people. The remaining 27% of respondents prefer gradients of restrained colors.
Many of our readers (29%) are impressed by smartphones with processors from Qualcomm. 14% of people are sure that the more cores and GHz, the better, and 13% of respondents rate chipsets by the number of nanometers. Most of the participants (28%) do not pay attention to the characteristics and manufacturer of a single-chip system - the main thing is that the processor copes with everyday tasks and games. Some people (16%) do not care about the processor at all - the only criterion for choosing this component is that the system is not buggy.
With the amount of RAM, everything is also ambiguous. 42% believe that 6 GB of RAM has become the norm, and even for the mid-budget price segment. But almost as many readers of our portal (38%) are sure that 4 GB is ideal (and not a little, and not an overpayment). Only 5% of people choose smartphones exclusively with RAM from 8 GB, and 11% of respondents act completely different - they are satisfied with 3 GB. The remaining 4% of readers do not pay attention to the amount of RAM when choosing a device.
With the choice of storage, the situation is almost exactly the same. 38% are sure that 128 GB of memory should be in any smartphone; 35% are sure that the best option is 64 GB; 10% choose gadgets with storage of 256 and 512 GB; 12% are satisfied with 32 GB; 5% is still on the amount of ROM.
But with the battery capacity, everything is more obvious. The vast majority of respondents (57%) choose smartphones only with batteries of 4,000 mAh or more. Batteries with a capacity of 3,000 mAh or more are suitable for almost a quarter of people (24%). 17% of people only care that the gadget survives until the evening without recharging. Some (2%) do not care about the autonomy of the device, since they are always near power outlets or a bank.
Choosing a smartphone by battery capacity, you can not ignore the charging speed. 30% do not agree with this statement - they do not care about it, because they charge smartphones only at night. 32% want the adapter to energize their device up to 50% in just half an hour, and 20% consider a full charge, carried out in no more than 90 minutes, a good indicator. Only 18% of respondents choose smartphones for the maximum supported charging power (from 20 W and above).
With wireless charging, everything is easier: 73% consider it a pleasant bonus and nothing more, 22% absolutely do not care about it because of low speed, and only 5% choose smartphones exclusively with support for wireless energy recharge.
Despite all the efforts of manufacturers, the majority (36%) of people consider classic fingerprint scanners on the back panel the best and most convenient solution. 17% of readers are sure that there is nothing better than on-screen scanners; they still share the same opinion, but they believe that the speed of such models should be increased. 15% prefer fingerprint sensors on the side (in the lock button). Face scanners are less popular - only 9% of participants want a sophisticated camera system, and the remaining 6% are satisfied with the function of determining the user by face, working only through the front camera.
Surprisingly, the presence of an NFC chip in a smartphone is fundamentally important only for 32% of people. 58% will buy a good smartphone without it, and 10% even think that the contactless payment function is unsafe.
The most popular question about cameras is how many megapixels to choose. Exactly half of the respondents do not pay attention to this issue, believing that the number of megapixels does not characterize the photo capabilities of the device. 18% choose smartphones with a camera of 12 MP or higher; 14% believe that 48MP sensors have become the norm; for 11% of the matrix at 20 megapixels - that's it; 7% believe that the more megapixels, the better (with the same sensor size).
Speaking about the number of main cameras, the majority (73%) do not care about this indicator - the main thing for them is how she / they shoot (Pixel smartphones had only one camera to demonstrate advanced photo capabilities). 18% believe that in a modern device there should be at least three cameras: the main one, an over-wide camera and a telephoto camera. 8% are sure that two main cameras are acceptable. Only 1% of people choose gadgets by the number of cameras.
We specifically made one trick question in order to understand the approximate level of knowledge of our readers about cameras in smartphones - we asked what type of aperture the mobile device module they would choose. 56% voted for the “correct” option - f / 1.7. 28% honestly admitted: they do not know what it is. 10% of people chose f / 2.2 (the largest number of all the proposed options), and 6% chose f / 2.0. We doubt very much that when choosing f / 2.0 and f / 2.2, many people meant the best quality of images with enough lighting.
Voting for the additional module of the main camera, almost half (48%) chose the "super wide". The fifth part (21%) preferred “telephoto”, and 31% of people said that they almost never use additional cameras.
The vast majority of participants (63%) admire shooting with night mode - they want a new smartphone (or have already bought it) just because of this innovation. 26% are sure that the night mode is interesting, but is nothing more than a toy for two times. 11% do not see the point in it, because night shots should show night, not day.
Talking about video shooting, many (46%) consider 4K resolution as marketing, since 1080p has always been enough. A slightly smaller number of people (38%) are sure that 4K is still needed, but shooting at 30 frames per second is enough. 12% do not consider a smartphone if it does not know how to shoot in 4K @ 60, and 4% of the respondents did not understand what the question was about.
Almost all readers of our portal (78%) are sure that the second matrix of the front camera is nothing more than a marketing ploy. The remaining 22% believe that two selfie cameras are better than one.
There are several smartphones on the market with a PTZ camera, which is used for both regular shooting and selfie shots. We asked the survey participants about it: the vast majority (66%) liked the idea of such a camera, but they doubt the reliability of such a design; 16% do not understand why manufacturers practically do not release devices with such a solution; 18% are sure that the main cameras are not suitable for shooting at close range.
We also conducted one survey on social networks, asking subscribers if they would be ready to purchase a smartphone 35% cheaper than the usual cost if it did not have a front camera. Many (75%) would definitely be ready, because they take selfies from strength a couple of times a year. 12%, most likely, would have bought, but they would have missed the front camera. 9% regularly take selfies and would not go to such a deal, and 4% would buy a smartphone without a front camera and for the full price, because they believe that devices without it are much more beautiful. In fairness, it is worth noting that specifically in this survey, the number of fair sexes was only 4%.
Bottom line: the best smartphone - what is it?
- Appearance: aluminum case in black or white; few people like glass and plastic options - if they are considered, they are also in classic colors or, in extreme cases, with restrained gradient colors.
- Display: medium size (from 5.5 to 6.2 inches) without a cutout for the front camera (at worst, with a point or drop-shaped cutout); the type of matrix (IPS or AMOLED) is not important - the main thing is that the screen is well calibrated.
- Processor: the main thing is to cope with everyday tasks and games; preferably manufactured by Qualcomm; on the number of cores, frequency and nanometers, the vast majority does not care.
- RAM: 6 GB or, if you need to save, 4 GB (no less); 8 GB and no longer needed.
- Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB. A smaller volume will not be enough, and a larger one is a waste of money.
- Battery: 4,000 mAh or more; with fast charging, which recharges the battery up to 50% in half an hour or completely replenishes energy in a maximum of one and a half hours; Wireless charging is a nice bonus, but nothing more.
- Biometric identification: the most convenient option is the classic fingerprint scanner on the rear panel; the scanner in the display is also not bad, but not everyone is happy with its speed; almost no one needs a face scanner.
- NFC: a necessary thing for 90% of respondents, but most of them are ready to buy a good smartphone and without the contactless payment function.
- Main camera: at least 12 megapixels, but it makes no sense to chase megapixels; the presence of additional camera modules is optional, but if you choose one, then this is an "over-wide"; almost half of the respondents do not understand the characteristics of the camera - the main thing is that it takes high-quality pictures; the presence of a night mode is fundamentally important for the vast majority - many want a new smartphone or have already bought it mainly because of this innovation; you can live with recording video in 1080p, 4K @ 30 will not be superfluous, and 4K @ 60 almost no one needs.
- Front camera: one module is enough; smartphones with a PTZ camera are interesting, but the reliability of their design is doubtful; many people use the front camera extremely rarely - if manufacturers decide to worsen its capabilities for the sake of disguise under the display, this will suit most buyers.
Which models can be considered optimal
Based on the results of the survey, we tried to find smartphone models that satisfy the demand of most people. Surprisingly, only three gadgets are suitable for the given criteria (if you do not consider the products of little-known Chinese companies). The fact is that almost all manufacturers switched to glass cases, and if any of them saved by equipping the smartphone with a plastic cover, the situation is “spoiled” by a large display (with a diagonal of 6.21 inches). In the end, many models dropped out due to the small battery.
Smartphones suitable for the above criteria are very old (by the standards of mobile devices) - all were announced in the first half of 2018.
|Model||Nokia 7 Plus||ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1||Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro|
|Display||6 ", IPS,|
2160 × 1080
2160 × 1080
2160 × 1080
4 × 2.2 GHz,
4 × 1.8 GHz
4 × 1.8 GHz,
4 × 1.6 GHz
4 × 1.8 GHz,
4 × 1.6 GHz
|RAM||4 or 6 GB||3, 4 or 6 GB||4 or 6 GB|
|Storage||64 GB||32, 64 or 128 GB||64 GB|
|Main camera||12 MP (f / 1.8)|
13 MP (f / 2.6, optical zoom × 2)
2160p @ 30, 1080p @ 30
|13 MP (f / 2.2)|
5 MP (f / 2.4, depth sensor)
16 MP (f / 2.0)
5 MP (f / 2.4, depth sensor)
(in version with 6 GB of RAM)
2160p @ 30, 1080p @ 60
|12 MP (f / 2.2)|
5 MP (f / 2.0, depth sensor)
1080p @ 30
|Front-camera||16 MP (f / 2.0)||16 MP (f / 2.2)|
16 MP (f / 2.2)
(in version with 6 GB of RAM)
|20 MP (f / 2.2)|
|Nfc||there is||there is||not|
|Battery||3 800 mAh, 18 W||5,000 mAh, 10 W||4,000 mAh, 18 W|
|Biometrics||fingerprint scanner on the back cover||fingerprint scanner on the back cover||fingerprint scanner on the back cover|
|Housing||aluminum (6,000 series)||aluminum||aluminum|
|Colors||black and white, white and gold||gray, black||black, blue, gold, pink|