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8 potentially misleading smartphone features that you shouldn't instantly fall for

Posted: , by Chris P.

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8 potentially misleading smartphone features that you shouldn't instantly fall for
On the business side of things, it's a cutthroat world out there. A large number of smartphone manufacturers are literally grasping at straws, trying to stay relevant, and even the big boys are known to sometimes step over the line to achieve the same. With such a terrific variety of smartphone devices on the market, most of which not much different from one another, it comes down to companies' respective marketing divisions to drive interest in its products and, ultimately, sales.

This has led to a situation where we often caution family and friends against blindly believing everything phone makers tell them in promotional materials. Obviously, outright lies are extremely rare and most vendors conduct themselves just fine, but that doesn't mean that stretching the truth, so to speak, is at all an unexplored territory for them. In many cases, we're just talking about a presentation of actual facts that can be misleading if you're not a geek and know the difference. So we decided to compile a list of smartphone features that sound good, but may not necessarily be what you'd expect.

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posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:13 7

1. istitch (Posts: 181; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)

no.8 doesnt apply to sony devices

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:15 3

18. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Because they have a bigger footprint to compensate for thinness.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 15:41

42. faptastic (Posts: 65; Member since: 19 Aug 2014)

Yes and 5. doesn't apply to Lumia's as they can install EVERYTHING on the SD card. Unlike Android, WP has found a way to make it work securely. By just encrypting the app files. Then again WP's been defaulting to encryption for most of the device (like iOS8 finally did) since it was released quite a few years before iOS8.

6. doesn't apply to Lumia's either. They use special sunlight and polarization filters to make sure screens are readable.

And neither does 7. because Lumia's all use the same leds. Some use a configuration with double leds, but those are just doubled the same leds the other devices use.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:16 2

2. engineer-1701d (unregistered)

all i can say is duhhhhhhhhhh

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:17

3. Sid91 (unregistered)

256 core processor lol, More cores doesn't always mean better but they sure do help than single or dual core and the main thing I believe that helps in day to day snappy performance is ram, (eg- More tabs for your browser)

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 10:41 2

29. adrewfryman (Posts: 44; Member since: 09 Aug 2014)

i think the iphones prooved that devices dont need to be quad or octa core to run at a decent speed. my 4s did everything my s3 and s4 could do and my 5s only trails my s5 by a hair

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:18 2

4. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1116; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

I love how they say megapixels don't matter but sensor size does but then say the Galaxy Note 4 is a better shooter than the Z3 despite the Z3 having a bigger sensor lmao

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:30 1

6. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

"All things being equal". :)

posted on 04 Feb 2015, 08:09 1

45. buccob (Posts: 2564; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

MP do matter to a point, and you have to consider every other aspect of the camera.

Even though the Note gives better results than my Z3 Compact, there are certain situations that the later can beat the Note... Low Light, Night Scene and Lossless zoom.

More MP allows for zooming in the image and still get a high resolution picture from the crop.

I am preparing some test pictures for uploading and showing some advantages of the Z3 Compact camera that most tech sites ignore or simply won't cover.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:31 3

7. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

They forgot to mention that algorithms mean as much as sensor size...

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 04:25 2

10. amasog (Posts: 346; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)

if megapixels don't matter, then why smartphonemakers are using even up to 16MP or 20MP camera on their phones?

if MP really does not matter, then they should just use 2MP or to save cost, 1.2MP. afterall, according to whoever he/she is, MP doest not matter.

Logic please,,,, or a simple common sense?

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:03 4

14. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

MP matters to a certain level, depending on usage. If one never views one's photos any other way than on social networks like Facebook or on standard size prints, anything above 5 MP is waisted. However, if you want to print to poster size, a much higher pixel count is necessary. In addition, the extra MP can be used for oversampling (Nokia/MS Pureview style) to weed out blur, noise and artifacts to produce higher quality low MP pictures. Also, taking high MP shots means you'll be able to crop a photo considerably and still get a worthwhile result.

Translated, this means the average Joe won't have much use of the higher pixel count (unless he owns a high end Lumia).

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:04 2

15. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

...wasted. :-D

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:05

16. polybius (Posts: 32; Member since: 03 Feb 2015)

Marketing hype. Since photos above 3.6 megapixels are indiscernible on Quad-HD screens, which haven't even become the standard on smartphones yet, there is no tangible benefit of having a 20 MP sensor (Cropping and Printing aside).

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:37

19. nooraldeen (Posts: 49; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)

The MP does matter but the pixle size matters more i will try to make this as simple as possible... bigger sensor with for example a 16MP produces better looking image than a smaller sensor with 20MP ,the main reason is do to pixle size ,bigger pixle means more info and more light being absorbed by that pixle thus creating clearer brighter images,but that doesnt mean MP doesnt matter ,example if u have a DOOR size sensor with only 1MP u will get the worst image possible ... But in recent years the MP count doesnt matter cuz there r already enough amount of pixles to produce a good image so even if they add more MP it woudlnt matter if they dont change the sensor size

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 12:17

31. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

This is true. My 16mp note 4 take better pictures than my 41mp nokia 808... infact 5mp and 8mp pureview mode is better than full size 41mp(38mp effective). I will disagree about sensor size because if only bigger sensor mean better pictures than 808 should be blowing note 4 out of the water but thats not the case. I think better algorithm and better optimization is also very important

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 13:48

36. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

No, it doesn't. Not if you know how to take proper shots and happen to like natural colours instead of overblown colours. The 808 still rules. And it has a powerful xenon flash to top it off, so it can actually take pictures inside, unlike every LED equipped smartphone on the market...

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 14:25

39. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Natural colors or little washed out colors(or little coldish)? Do you have a time to manually adjust settings on 808 every time you want to take pictures? Sometime in some scenarios you have to increase sharpness, contrast or saturation on 808 to make it spot on the real colors instead of bit coldish colors. In general scenarios e.g. parties, conferences, company's meetings, majority of people stick to automatic settings(including me) and in general situations, note 4 blow 808 out of the water. And for your info, using flash makes photos look uglier most of the time on any phone(regardless of xenon or led).

By the way, do you own 808? Or just commenting based on your own assumption? Well, I own both 808 and note 4 and I am a photography lover who try each n every setting of the camera and I found note 4 as a better shooter in almost all situations.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 13:41

35. Dr.Hye (Posts: 95; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Ya I'm with you on this. No matter what anyone says Maga pixels do make a major difference. For example I have a gs5 and my cuzin has a iphone 5s. We both take pictures and my phone always provides better picture quality. With the iPhone only the visuals for pictures look good other than that the details either suck or just not there.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 13:37

34. Dr.Hye (Posts: 95; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Ya i realized that to and i was like what???

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:25

5. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

No. 5: Get a Windows phone, and put everything except the OS on the SD card. It'll be slower than built-in, but if like me you've got 60+ gb worth of music, internal storage isn't really an option... Yet! Sooo looking forward to 128 built-in!

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 04:47

11. brrunopt (Posts: 742; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

Just get a fast microSD card ...

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:11

17. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

Yeah, but still not at the same level when transferring large amounts of data, like HD movies, or when your music app insists on chewing through your 60 GB collection each time you fire it up...

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 03:34

8. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2887; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

Under cores there's a typo: smarpthone

Also while you can't install an app on the SD card, new api's under Lollipop does allow for an app to store it's data there. Which can be handy for things like nav apps, but also game data.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 13:53

38. Dr.Hye (Posts: 95; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

I don't understand why some people are experiencing this I have a samsung galaxy s5 and it always has that option for me in the app Management settings. Or is it because I have an s5.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 04:22 2

9. amasog (Posts: 346; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)

"higher megapixel counts for your camera do not equal better image quality"

stupidity at its finest!! LOL!

i with agree with the author if he says:

"higher megapixel counts for your camera do not ALWAYS equal better image quality.


"higher megapixel counts ALONE for your camera do not equal better image quality

NL1020 & PV808 has higher MP count but it produces better image quality.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 12:26

32. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

"nl1020 & pv808 has higher mp count but it produces better image quality"...

better image quality but better than which phone? if you'll say "better than many phones" then I will totally agree with you. But if you will say better than all phones then I will totally disagree with you. I will not say anything about 1020 but pv808 is not better than note 4 in any respect, related to mobile photography(808 only holds some advantage while graphic editing on computer)

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 13:51 1

37. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

No, the 808 is easily the best smartphone for photography on the market, unless extreme macros are your thing, or you happen to love unnatural gaudy colours. Plus nothing gets close for indoors or nighttime photos...

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 14:37

40. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Nothing gets close for indoors or night time photos? are you sure? do you own 808? well, I think note 4 comes pretty close and sometime surpase it(sometime fall behind).

808 has a great camera but in 2015 it start to fall behind than some new contenders in the market, note 4 is the one I know so far... may be if microsoft will bother to optimize the software of 808 then it will surely out shine note 4 again

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 04:53 2

12. Boybawang (Posts: 105; Member since: 02 Jun 2013)

How about screen resolutions?? Above 1080p on a smartphone only wastes battery.

posted on 04 Feb 2015, 12:18

46. adrewfryman (Posts: 44; Member since: 09 Aug 2014)

not to everyone. going from the galaxy s4 to iphone 6+ then to a note 4(i got a good deal trading the 6+ for the note 4) and i can easily tell how much nicer the screen on my note 4 is compared to the 6+ and s4

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 04:55 2

13. ishan.heru (Posts: 69; Member since: 31 Aug 2014)

there are few things that i noticed in this articles. all the phones shown in the pics is an android phone. there is other platform as well that could have been there like cough.... cough.... ios.... :). i wont mention windows or bb or any other os coz for most of the people the two os that is leading in this world is android or ios.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 09:59

28. TerryTerius (Posts: 1778; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)

That's because you have multiple options when buying an Android phone, so they wanted to help you understand the differences between what marketers are telling you and what reality is. With iOS there is no option, and thus no need to try and show what market differentiation means because there is only one way to have a device running iOS.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 05:45 2

20. Nathillien (Posts: 210; Member since: 05 Oct 2014)

you guys skipped one - retina bs

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 06:35

21. speckledapple (Posts: 892; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

Number 5 is the one that gets me the most. There is nothing I find more irritating than the limited storage nonsense that is pushed on customers by companies. Google with its Nexus nonsense drives me nuts. Would be a solid device if it did not have that drawback of no microSD because they want you to pay more for nternal storage even though its cheap as hell and use their cloud services because you will run out of space quickly. I think as far as Android goes it is one of the biggest cons to owning a device with the OS. And many times as a customer you are further limited by carriers who do not want to order the larger models. I will always prefer my microSD over anything and will never buy a phone without it.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 06:59 1

22. willywanta (Posts: 283; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)

One main reason why i don not want to buy an iPhone is the absence of external memory slot. I'm not an app hoarder but i want to be able to switch gadgets easily together with my music, video, and photo library

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 07:18

23. Symon_Fleece (Posts: 335; Member since: 30 May 2014)

Single LED Flash is better than dual LED flash??

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 07:26

24. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

The point is that it could be. So no, not necessarily, but quite possibly.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 08:08

27. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)

From personal experience, the author's right. I use the torch light every week (don't ask why), and the single LED flash on my Redmi 1S is actually brighter than the dual LED flash on my OnePlusOne

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 07:26

25. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Seems like a damage piece on Android.

Two speakers, no matter where mounted are still stereo. Better then some that make it look like two speaker ports, aka fashion phone no?

You cite a Maxwell GPU shader core setup, when talking about CPU, an mock it as the core shaders numbers don't matter?
That is misleading an damaging IMO to folks that don't know better, now they will look an see high shader/core count an assume its just marketing.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 15:50 1

43. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

Two speakers do not necessarily mean stereo sound. And even if they did, it matters a ton how they're placed. People want stereo speakers in order to get stereophonic sound, and you won't get that with, say, the OnePlus One (last I checked, its speakers weren't even stereo, by the way).

As for the slide on processor, it actually has nothing to do with Nvidia whatsoever.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 07:46 1

26. Settings (Posts: 1591; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

9. Benchmark Results

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 14:58

41. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

True... in benchmark you will get different results but in real life usage you will hardly notice the difference. I used note 4 sd805 for one and a half month and now using exynos 5433 note 4 from more than 10 days. I havent feel any performance difference yet(except sound quality). Those who feel the difference are may be extra sesitive or have implanted some special sensor in their head.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 11:10

30. Planterz (Posts: 2069; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

I really want a sandwich now.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 12:35

33. GalaxyS5 (banned) (Posts: 430; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

Nice article, the part about the internal storage is an interesting one, and manufacturers should stop making 4 gb smartphones, 8gb ones are dreadful enough.

posted on 04 Feb 2015, 00:29 1

44. aksa123 (Posts: 320; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

10. The more expensive doesn't mean the better...

posted on 04 Feb 2015, 15:57

47. shahrooz (Posts: 738; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)

how come being thin makes heat dissipation harder? as far as I know it helps it. yes the phone will feel hotter but it means better heat dissipation. however we don't like hot phones.

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