As we live in an always-connected world, selecting your next mobile phone is as important a purchase as your next house or car. Smart devices and the internet play a hugely important role in our daily lives, allowing us to forge relationships, remain productive at work, play games (the last two are not necessarily compatible!) and communicate with both our near and dear – and a global audience.
Of course, that’s not to say all of our smartphone usage is identical. Different handsets cater to different needs, and exactly how you use – or intend to use – your mobile phone will, and should, inform your next purchase.
Today, we’ve broken down several subsets of phone users into different categories, and although this is by no means an exhaustive list, you may well find yourself identifying with a particular type of user – and even find a suggestion as to what your next major purchase might be.
For some, staying on top of the latest trends is hugely important. Although there are likely to be more technologically impressive and powerful phones available on the market, many smartphone users are drawn in by the flashier, more stylish handsets out there. Rather than fall into another predefined category of mobile user, the trendsetter is likely to use their mobile for a combination of both light-to-medium productivity and social usage.
Not only do such users care about the most attractive new hardware, but they’re also constantly looking to discover the “next big thing” in terms of innovative and interesting apps, as well. The initial success – and subsequent falling off – of Pokémon Go when it launched last year can be attributed in part to these users, who downloaded the app to see what all the fuss was about before likely moving on to the next hot property.
For the trendsetter, the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone most likely represent the most attractive purchase option this year, allowing them to feel as though they’re ahead of the curve.
The Tech Enthusiast
Meanwhile, there are other users to whom the style of their smartphone may be of undoubted importance – but function and performance ultimately triumphs over design.
Whether a heavy gamer, aspiring photographer, software developer or simply interested in experiencing the latest and greatest in technological developments, the tech enthusiast will look for those phones that offer a high storage capacity, a high quality built-in camera and a powerful architecture under the hood.
Complex apps including powerful video and image editing tools and graphically intensive games require more sophisticated hardware and resources, and, as a result, may have to end up forking out considerably more than other users on their smartphone.
The Casual Gamer
Once considered a rather niche pastime, gaming has been opened up to the masses through the rise and proliferation of smartphones; in 2016, total revenues from mobile gaming topped €12 billion worldwide.
The phenomenon has created an all-new category of gamer – and in turn, mobile user. Although they most likely wouldn’t consider themselves “gamers” in the traditional sense of the word, millions of mobile users worldwide fall into the casual gamer category: those who don’t necessarily commit hours at a time to playing the latest blockbuster titles, but can’t help but jump into the odd match-three or basic strategy title for several minutes at a time, multiple times a day.
Whether it’s playing for fun and virtual items on titles such as Clash of Clans, Candy Crush or similar, or even real money via bingo and gaming sites and apps, those who primarily wish to use their mobile for casual gaming are spoilt for choice. For example, Sun Bingo can be downloaded as a standalone app for both iOS and Android devices, but can also be run directly through the user’s mobile web browser as well. The app includes numerous games for players to enjoy, whether it be mobile slots, bingo or instant-win virtual scratch cards.
The vast majority of Android smartphones and iPhones will be well capable of handling such titles, which are designed more for their accessible, intuitive gameplay rather than impressive graphical feats.
The Social Butterfly
The always-connected nature of smartphones has given rise to another global phenomenon: social media. Making communication more immediate, engaging and wide reaching than ever before, the vast majority of us most likely have at least one social media outlet of preference.
According to the Pew Research Center, some 79 percent of online users in the US now use the largest social network, Facebook. For some of us, our social media usage is a major part of our daily lives, and ensuring that our phones are capable of running Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more simultaneously is a must-have when deciding which new handset to purchase next.
Thankfully, much like casual games, the majority of social media apps are platform-agnostic and aren’t resource-intensive, so as long as your phone is capable of running a recent version of iOS or Android – and contains enough storage space to hold all of those Snapchats – you’ll be set to tweet and share your photos to your heart’s content.
Do you find yourself falling into one of the above categories of mobile users? Perhaps a combination of all of them – or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments section below.