Marketing puffery: 5 potentially misleading phone features to be on guard for

Marketing puffery: 5 potentially misleading phone features to be on guard for
Veteran readers should, by now, know that numbers can lie, and marketing puffery, while factually correct for the most part, can be misleading if you don't understand the technology it tries to communicate. Depending on the manufacturer, some of these can be kind of deceiving, even though the company behind these isn't necessarily in the wrong. It's a question of bridging a knowledge gap, which isn't always easy.

Today, in effort to get you all a step closer to the truth, we decided to select 5 potentially misleading phone features that you should be on guard for. They're not lies, per se, but they definitely obscure their real value in some instances. Let's go through the examples below:


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14 Comments

1. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Agreed on all beside the DAC. Higher end DAC always have stronger voltage as well. This mean more punch to the base and higher sound when using higher end headphone. I used an external portable one on older phone to be able to use my 400$ senheiser headphones as whitout it the sound was not going very high.

4. geeky_iggy

Posts: 2; Member since: May 30, 2016

You beat me to this. Adding on to that, different DAC actually converts the digital signal to analogue with different algorithms, and therefore, characteristics. So it is important to have a good DAC nevertheless. Though I would argue that the DAC inside snapdragon 808 and 810 is already good enough with the right tuning and amplifier module. Then again most people that are not so critical wouldnt know the differences

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Yeah, Different DAC have different algorithm and characteristic, even though there are lots of "high end" DAC chips on the market, but they sound a lot different because they probably were tune with a or some specific type of music in mind, so finding a DAC that will suit the music you listen sometimes maybe though, most of us are better with a more of a "middle class" DAC that does not have any strong point but will suit any music.

6. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

not always actually, that's why I still have to use an external AMP to push some of my headphones, the voltage between the DAC may vary a little but not really enough to make it able to push higher resistant headphones.

2. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

You've just called out literally EVERYTHING Asus hyped up and presented with their Zenfone 3! But sidenote, a better DAC IS better, you're just too used with cheap and prebundled earbuds to not know the difference between a Spotify stream, a bad bootleg, and a FLAC file, and too lazy to leave iTunes. Try streaming on TIDAL, buying your music outside iTunes, and sourcing your FLAC files before running around saying "DAC's are useless because everyone's on Spotify anyway..."

5. geeky_iggy

Posts: 2; Member since: May 30, 2016

In fact I'm an audiophile and Spotify do sound better with good DAC. I can tell the difference when I use my Fiio E17 versus internal DAC. But apart from DAC, amplifier is also important. And that is the one that nose phones are lacking

7. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

it's probably because of the higher voltage of the Fiio, not really the DAC itself, I use a Fiio external AMP with my iPhone to push AKG K701 and AKG KXXX, it actually sound way better that way, even though the DAC is still the same.

3. AndroidBoy21

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Isn't mega pixels better with a lower aperature

9. Bankz

Posts: 2502; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Nice write up and to add to the list. 1. Screen resolution 2. Battery Mah. 3. Amount of Ram.

10. jsdechavez

Posts: 784; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Is this a Samsung ad? I hope not.

11. chenski

Posts: 754; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

it kinda is, unless they point out something done by samsung which is also marketing hype, and there are a few of them!

14. gsv619

Posts: 54; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

if this was a samsung ad, the 1st point about the sRGB wouldnt be present in the writeup. A good writeup after a long time from PA.

12. Fellwalker

Posts: 530; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Add USB-C that isn't even USB 3. Add anything suggesting long battery life - you cannot get anything like their figures in real life.

13. legiloca

Posts: 1675; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I wanna add something: Better Hardware doesn't always translate to Better Software fluidity and stability. I'm looking at you Samsung S5 and LG G3, HTC M8 was miles ahead.

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