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UK Smartphone Buyers Aren't So Fancy

Long battery life has the most influence on smartphone purchase decisions

With all of the new smartphone features that emerge with every unveiling, it’s easy to get mixed up over what matters and what doesn’t. But UK mobile phone users have spoken, and fancy features aren’t what they’re looking for. Instead, they just want a phone that can last longer, according to July 2014 research by uSwitch.

Among UK mobile phone users polled, 89.2% said that a long battery life would make them more likely to purchase a smartphone—the top influence. Around one-third were more apt to buy such a device if it had a waterproof body—water damage usually means yet another expensive replacement phone—and a similar percentage said the same about a zoom camera lens.

Meanwhile, newer, fancier technologies such as 3-D display/graphics, voice control, flexible phones and eyeball tracking didn’t have as much sway when it came to purchase decisions. In fact, the percentage of respondents who said they were less likely to purchase a smartphone that was flexible was higher than those who were more disposed to snap up one with that feature.

April 2014 polling by Global Market Insite (GMI) found that long-lasting batteries were once again the most important feature when it came to smartphone purchasing decisions, cited by nearly nine in 10 UK smartphone owners. GMI looked at different features than uSwitch, and here, brand name and a fast processor were both among the most important ones. 4G capabilities, not too hot in the UK yet, landed toward the bottom, with touchless payments pulling up the rear.

That battery life is important to consumers makes sense when one considers the large amount of time UK smartphone users spend with such devices. eMarketer estimates that adult smartphone users in the UK will spend an average of 2 hours, 5 minutes daily with their phones in 2014—a year-over-year rise of 17.0%.

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