As much as some of us may hate to admit it, Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, and even to those of us old enough to remember life before the Smartphone revolution, it can seem like a lifetime ago.
Love them or hate them, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live our lives without being constantly connected to them, or through them to the wider internet. For many people, they have replaced our cameras, our computers and even our wallets. With every new feature they become more important, and often more expensive it would seem if you were to glance at the ever-growing list prices of the latest top-of-the-range phones.
With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to see how our members feel about their phones, and so this week we put out a survey to help us understand a bit more about what features you value most and how much you spend on your phones.
Firstly, we decided to find out how you pay for your phones, in terms of whether they are pay monthly (including the cost of the device), sim only, or pay as you go. Pay monthly (including device cost) was still the most popular (43%), despite the cost of new devices pushing monthly bills higher over the last few years. Sim only came in a close second at 41% with pay as you go at 17%.
Those on pay as you tend to pay the least for their credit, with a whopping 80% paying £10 or less per month for their credit – impressive stuff! Sim only still tends to be pretty reasonable though, with 55% reporting that they pay £10 or less per month. Of course, those on pay as you go or sim only will have to purchase their devices separately but will have the most flexibility, while those who pay monthly for their device pay the most on average, with 70% paying £20 or more, and 10% paying a whopping £50 or more each month.
In terms of brand popularity, unsurprisingly Samsung (37%) and Apple (35%) continue to reign supreme. Huawei is still holding strong in 3rd place with 10% despite the ban on Huawei using Google apps/services. It will be interesting to see if Huawei drop in popularity over the coming year or two due to this as people’s contracts finish, or they look to upgrade.
Every two years (43%) remains the most popular upgrade cycle for changing phone, while a growing number of people (22%) are holding on a bit longer for every three years. We also have a decent number of members (17%) who are keen to hold on to their phones until they are no longer economical to repair, which was interesting to see.
Mid-range phones (66%) are easily the top pick for our members vs. top of the range (23%) and budget (11%), which is really no surprise, considering that the latest flagships are pushing well into four figures now at launch, and that mid-range phones now offer an almost flagship experience for a more competitive price.
When it comes to what features you are most interested in when shopping for a new smartphone, it is clear that battery life is the most important, with 82% of you selecting this option. Storage capacity is second with 63%, with camera quality just behind in third at 58%. It doesn’t seem that long ago when people were constantly charging their phones and running out of storage, so perhaps a few years of lacklustre performance from flagship phones in this area has finally driven consumers and manufacturers to prioritise the basics over fancier things. For example, premium design ranked lowest with just 10% picking it, and the latest connectivity (e.g. 5G) didn’t fare much better with 14% - sorry networks!
What’s most important to you when it comes to your smart phone these days? Do you agree with the results of our survey? Let us know in the comments – we love reading what you have to say.