Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives. Over the past 10 years, the importance of smartphones has become increasingly overwhelming and has completely redefined how we see mobile, smartphone features, and what we expect new phones to be capable of.
But in spite of the number of smartphones released yearly or the kind of specs they appear to come with, most Nigerian users only care about a few important features. So irrespective of how expensive a device is, or how “fine” it looks, these are some of the more important features users look out for before making a purchase.
Years before the coming of Android when Java phones reigned supreme, moving around with more than one battery was normal because most phone batteries had an incredibly low capacity. At best these batteries could last only half a day for those who could stay away from their phones for lengthy periods. I for one had about 5 batteries for my Nokia 5130 XpressMusic.
in 2005 the smartest thing my phone did was mp3 and Java games. Good times, battery didn't sucked
— Renato Laporte (@_Rena_Chan_) January 28, 2017
Things have changed however with the emergence of mobile technology which gave phones more functions. This, in turn, meant phone batteries needed to be sturdy and longer-lasting. The situation wasn’t helped by phone makers favouring batteries that are not detachable as this represents a new problem for customers. The main solution to this new problem is for phones to come with batteries that last longer.
Thus, most Nigerian smartphone users choose devices with stronger batteries. If a smartphone boasts marginal battery capacity, anything less than 3000MaH, many people won’t consider it. This is a key consumer factor.
Personally, I think phones with back cameras of less than 13MP are not real smartphones. And this is a huge judgement call Nigerian users make because a lot of them feel the same way I do or close.
A decade ago, BlackBerry devices came with cameras packed with interesting photography features like image stabilization, red-eye removal, face recognition, nose filtering among others. This and the Messenger feature made BlackBerry one of the most popular brands in the market.
But Android and iOS have pretty much gone past these and focus is now on MegaPixels. Nobody wants to use a camera in 2018 that produces images reminiscent of analogue camera ages. Smartphone cameras matter!
Have you ever tried to play FIFA 2018 on a phone with a RAM of 512MB? Have you ever tried to multitask Twitter, Facebook, and Chrome on a 1GB RAM device? I tell you, neither of these experiences will be pleasant.
My android phone is SO slow-apps are inserting themselves into my RAM. Short of deleting apps, I don't know what to do. AFTER 'task killer': pic.twitter.com/fpmc2PwHkD
— tjmpb (@milo__rambaldi) August 9, 2017
Okay maybe if this was 2014, you wouldn’t mind but in 2018, Nigerian smartphone users want more RAM. Not just because these users are feature crazy, but because apps these days consume more and more resources.
If users could replace their RAMs like it’s done with laptops, they wouldn’t think twice about it. But they can’t, so they are stuck with whatever the manufacturer ships.
And with that comes a crucial smartphone decision.
In case you didn’t notice, phone companies no longer ship memory cards with new phones. You have to buy SD cards separately. The companies gave an explanation for these sometime back, but I digress. In 2018, the lowest internal storage Nigerian smartphone users want is 16GB, not 8GB! Not half!
Let’s also not forget that smartphone OS takes a huge chunk of memory by default and those annoying stock apps swallow a lot of memory.
To offset this, Nigerian smartphone users want devices with higher storage without feeling the rush to buy an SD card too soon.
The durability of the OS Version
Operating System (OS) versions or versions they support is a huge decider for Nigerian smartphone users. As of 2018, the Android 4.4 KitKat is the least supported Android version Google Chrome says it will support. Apple makes regular updates to its iOS versions, sometimes restricting upgrades to certain models.
So expect your Android 6.0 to become outdated soon. Too late, Android 9.0 is already here. But most phone manufacturers never include software update as an essential phone feature.
Recently, I wrote that unlike before, most smartphone users have become quite clingy to their devices. They rarely feel the need to upgrade due to cost constraints and similarities between devices.
So when Nigerian users make their choices about which phones to acquire, they factor in the durability of the device’s OS. Or at best, check to see if the device supports software upgrades.
Aside from the afore-mentioned smartphone features, there are others some users might care about too. These include screen sizes, NFC support, connectivity (4G), and fast charging.
So, as a smartphone user, what features do you consider more important? Drop your opinions in the comment section.
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