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What features do smartphone buyers look at to determine which phone to buy?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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What features do smartphone buyers look at to determine which phone to buy?
A lot of different factors go into determining what kind of phone a person ultimately purchases. Battery life was the number one feature that buyers look at whether they buy an Android, iOS or Android phone. 56% of those buying an Android flavored handset said that battery life was important to them, something repeated by 49% of  iOS buyers and 53% of Window Phone purchasers.

Not surprisingly, screen size is not as important to iPhone buyers. Only 22% of them cited the size of the screen as a reason for buying a particular model. 37% of Android buyers and 34% of Windows Phone buyers used the screen size as a criteria for making a specific purchase.

Those who say that iPhone buyers purchase the phone merely because it says Apple on it, here are some stats to back you up. Nearly a third of iPhone buyers said that the brand name was a factor behind their purchase. That was true for a quarter of both Android and Windows Phone buyers.

What other factors are important to Android, iOS and Windows Phone buyers? Check the chart below to find out.

The top ten features used by smartphone buyers to determine which phone to buy

The top ten features used by smartphone buyers to determine which phone to buy


source: @fjeronimo via WMPoweruser

38 Comments
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posted on 21 May 2014, 20:26 2

1. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3092; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


An all in one great device with quality and the very best of everything

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:00 2

13. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


You just described the OnePlus One device...

posted on 21 May 2014, 23:18

21. Ashoaib (Posts: 1215; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Definitely not out dated specs put in a premium shell and for sure not at all stupid 1 billion dollar worth slide to unlock... no no to kids size screen as well...
For me Deal makers are screen size+resolution, battery, camera, audio quality along with an OS in which I dont ever need to plug/sync my phone to the computer for everything

posted on 22 May 2014, 00:35

27. Doakie (Posts: 1105; Member since: 06 May 2009)


You just described my Note 3! Thanks!

posted on 22 May 2014, 06:55 1

29. buccob (Posts: 1307; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I wonder why there isn't a "sturdiness" reason... Since that is at least one of my priorities.

Accidents happen... And the main damage reasons for phones are not cover by warranty...
Broken screen and damage by liquids... My phone is very good at surviving those 2

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:32 1

2. gigaraga (Posts: 495; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Well I guess there can't be just ONE thing that changes the decision of buyers, like good battery but poor screen would be bad...the survey seems as if though buyers only look at one element of the phone to decide where to buy it or not...

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:13

16. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I am sure the people surveyed got to pick more than one aspect of what goes into a buying decision...at least, I would hope so.
For me it is screen quality (type, res), cost, device specs, and looks (somewhat) that factor into whether or not I get the device, and in no particular order...
Thus, I did not get the LG G FLEX because of the low screen res and somewhat high cost. Happy with my 412 ppi screen with Gorilla Glass 3 on the Coolpad 9976A (under 400.00). It LOOKS like an oversized Note 3 - nothing special, but decent looking.
I guess my fifth aspect would be how it feels in the hand...

posted on 22 May 2014, 08:16

30. elitewolverine (Posts: 1166; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


That model you gave us has a Pixel Density of 323ppi not 412. Unless you managed to swap out the 1920x1200 resolution

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:34 2

3. galanoth (Posts: 283; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


Only 30ish percent people care if it's touchscreen?
That's 100% for me.
Can't use a non touch screen phone anymore.

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:40

4. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3092; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


The Apple iPhone covers all aspects

The survey is for typical users and average joes

posted on 23 May 2014, 06:43

37. Cyborg21 (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 May 2014)


Yeah not nerds (This creates a very different effect when you look at that point of view isn't it?)

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:42

5. toyboyz (Posts: 57; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)


First thing I see is size and shape of the device and screen dimensions.

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:48 3

6. vikingsfootball09 (Posts: 41; Member since: 02 Oct 2013)


according to apple and its laywers, its the SWIPE TO UNLOCK feature.
for me, its mainly screen size and that it does what i need it to do, not really a fan of any one oem and dont need the best most recent tech specs...and sorry apple, SWIPE TO UNLOCK never did, never will be part of my buying decision.

posted on 21 May 2014, 20:59

7. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2045; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


This survey doesn't even make sense. Just how many smartphones are there without touch screen?

Web browsing speed and type of network (carrier) are dependent, so that makes the data difficult to interpret.

One could go on, but this company is obviously not competent to make surveys.

posted on 22 May 2014, 08:17

31. elitewolverine (Posts: 1166; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Or the people they surveyed.....are gasp.....not people who visit PA all hours of the day...

posted on 21 May 2014, 21:01 1

8. apiskula (Posts: 544; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


Not being a Junkberry or Iphone

posted on 21 May 2014, 21:04 1

9. ihavenoname (Posts: 1260; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


BS. "Brand" should be very high on Windows, because mostly people have WP 'cause it's Nokia

posted on 21 May 2014, 21:22 1

10. NOSrawesome (Posts: 22; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Most people just get the iPhone no matter what other iPhone there are. They don't know what they're missing

posted on 21 May 2014, 21:23 1

11. NOSrawesome (Posts: 22; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


No matter what phones. Typo

posted on 22 May 2014, 18:45

36. marcski07 (Posts: 200; Member since: 25 Apr 2014)


IMO, they are really easy to use, I still find android some what complicated, but willing to buy it because of vast ecosystem and bang for a buck deals, but IF iphone is not overpriced, i'll buy it in a heart beat.. iOS is not crap. it is user friendly after nokia gone WP, seeing WP, it looks complicated for me.

an average JOE here, those root and overclocking, it's not a thing for us, we just need a smartphone that can do the job and a best camera. so iOS is perfect for them.. but the deal breaker for me to apple besides it is way too expensive is it cannot share photos/music to other devices via Bluetooth.

posted on 21 May 2014, 21:46 5

12. WillieFDiaz (Posts: 36; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


They forgot to add the "I'm a sheeeep, I want what my friends have" or "I give up, I'll just get an iPhone" categories. Because NONE of the reasons above are the reasons why my friends have iPhones. The main reasons are: Everyone else has one, so everything they wanna do, their friends can do, its all universal for them (except when they hang out with me). And the next reason is that they feel its just easier owning an iPhone because its choices are easier (16, 32 or 64GB - White, black or gold). Meaning, if their minds are that limited, why are they my friends?

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:15 1

17. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I just think whatever you choose, you know what its downside is and be prepared to live with it. For me, if I had an iPhone, its downside(s) would be small size screen and high cost of device and accessories. I can jailbreak it, so that satisfies the modster in me....lol...
I bought a DRoid RAZR a while back - cool looking phone - downside was its locked bootloader and slow updates, but with what the mods cooked up, I could flash a ROM by creating a separate partition using SafeStrap.

posted on 21 May 2014, 23:33 1

22. Ashoaib (Posts: 1215; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Wow... what a solid reason... my iphone owner friends and colleagues have more or less the same logic that iphone is easy... why its easy? bcoz it has nothing to offer so no need to go in long hasty list of features...
When I ask them iphone has none functional bluetooth, they say who use blue tooth? When I say you have to plugin and sync with itunes for some important updates, they answer yes its convenient to plug your phone into the computer instead of doing everything on the phone... when I ask if customer wants to give you important design or pdf drawing, they cant simply share with you. They answer, well we ask them to give us a flash drive or email us later...
WTF... isheeeps are really dumb and full of each an every istupid reasoning

posted on 22 May 2014, 08:18

32. elitewolverine (Posts: 1166; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


You know that is how droid became popular right? You know how many times a sales associate i catch not meeting a customers request because they feel that since they have it, everyone should....welcome to follow me i know whats best, mentality in all.

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:03 2

14. Federated (Posts: 152; Member since: 06 Mar 2010)


Brand. If it's Samsung I'll avoid it whatever it takes.

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:17

19. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Battery life for me would fall under brand because Moto usually does good in that dept. My main factors tho are battery life and reception. Again...Moto.

But I agree....for phones I avoid Samsung.

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:10 2

15. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The following is from the source article:
Windows Phones are a clear minority OS, but in a massive survey of 50,000 participants in 25 countries, the IDC discovered that many of the Windows Phone buyers purchased their device specifically because they ran Windows Phone.

In the survey 40% of buyers felt their phone running Windows Phone was important to them, vs 32% for iOS or 37% of Android.

Of course other elements were also important, with battery life topping the list at 53%, with OS choice taking second place.

Next most important was ease of use at 38% and the touch screen at 37%, with screen size at 34% rounding out the top 5.

Interestingly apps did not make the top 10 for any of the operating systems.

It appears many Windows Phone users consciously go out looking for Windows Phones, vs just grabbing the cheapest handset, which should be encouraging to Microsoft. They are also looking for an easy to use phone, something Microsoft has been striving to achieve for some time.

It would be noted that battery life has in multiple surveys been deemed the most important feature however, and in that Windows Phone us much closer to Android than iOS. Windows Phone 8.1 DP has certainly not helped the reputation of the OS, and it is clear that this area should remain a focus for Microsoft.

What caused our readers to chose their Windows Phone? Let us know below.

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:16

18. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


http://wmpoweruser.com/idc-survey-finds-windows-phone-buyers-chose-their-phones-based-on-os-ahead-of-ios-or-android/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WmPowerUser+%28WMPowerUser%29

posted on 21 May 2014, 22:27

20. Ishtiaque99 (Posts: 11; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


Really surprised to see that android is lowest for ease of use.

posted on 21 May 2014, 23:39

23. Ashoaib (Posts: 1215; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Ofcourse, you have to looking around into more features and beside that most brands has their own custom skin, so android will look different from brand to brand... for example, tell me is it easy to look into two features like iOS or is it easy to look into ten features?

posted on 22 May 2014, 08:20

33. elitewolverine (Posts: 1166; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


this is true, having to deal with constant skins a day, its rather grrrr. with iOS or WP, the setting are nearly 100% the same.

posted on 22 May 2014, 00:11

26. networkdood (Posts: 6250; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Probably we take that for granted in an Android device...

posted on 21 May 2014, 23:52 1

24. Totse2k15 (Posts: 211; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


... Call me a specs monkey. I determine my smartphone and tablet to-buy mostly by these: Cpu/gpu (Snapdragon or gtfo),ram,internal storage,ppi,display type/resolution,mAh/battery life,OS,built-in GPS and some few [s]hit. Bed time...

posted on 21 May 2014, 23:57

25. .KRATOS. (Posts: 100; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


Waiting for the release of the snapdragon 810 ;)

posted on 22 May 2014, 06:03

28. xeonfire (Posts: 17; Member since: 15 Feb 2014)


A great usable smartphone for my daily use must have:
1. Great battery life - my work day is long, and can't always put the phone down to be charged. I use the phone for different tasks all through the day, anything lower than 3000mAh is out of question.
2. Big enough display to look at pdf files and read books and magazine - 5.2" to 5.5" would be good.
3. Good camera for stills and videos.
4. A platform that can attract developers to make some business oriented apps, and just some good apps in general...too many crappy apps around.

And just an observation, anyone who said that they are not interested much about apps, are not really utilizing half the potential of a smartphone, let alone the full potential.

A smartphone without a bunch of good apps to complement it, is like a house without all its furniture, appliances, entertainment system, etc.

posted on 22 May 2014, 09:28

34. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)


Since most flagships usually have the same or equal powered chipsets, my deciding factors are the display and design. I mean, the display is the point of interaction with the phone, so it has to be a good one, and who doesn't want an elegant looking phone? Lol

posted on 22 May 2014, 10:17

35. SilentJ (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)


It still baffles me that no one cares about call quality/sound. I mean, after all, it's still a Phone right? Other things are important, but it's not a tablet, I expect to use a phone to talk to people.

posted on 23 May 2014, 13:07

38. airstream25 (Posts: 14; Member since: 18 Jun 2011)


I would have ranked camera performance much higher.

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