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5 Phone Features That Matter the Most

Updated on August 31, 2016

1. Messaging

This is by far the most important feature of a phone, since the main purpose of a phone is to communicate with others.

Try making phone and video calls, as well as sending and getting text messages when demoing a phone.

When making phone and video calls, look for these characteristics:

  • audio and/or video quality
  • no accidental calls and hang-ups
  • putting the callee(s) on hold
  • adding the callee(s) to a group conversation
  • speed dial
  • block contacts

When typing on the keyboard, look for these characteristics:

  • has autocorrect and predictive text
  • has a multi-lingual keyboard
  • has an organized layout for letters, characters, and symbols
  • lets you change the size of the on-screen keyboard
  • lets you either swipe or type on the on-screen keyboard to compose messages

When texting messages, look for these characteristics:

  • timely sending and receiving messages
  • timely notifications
  • text, character, and symbol readability
  • attachment size limit and visibility

2. Dimensions

Gauge how comfortable the phone seems to you. If the phone seems too big or too small the first time you pick it up, it may take a lot of frequent uses to get past that awkward feeling.

 
the larger the phone...
the smaller the phone...
accuracy of selecting options
more
less
how much content you can see
more
less
readability of content
more
less
viewing pictures and videos
larger
smaller
battery size
larger
smaller
battery life
longer
shorter
battery charge time
longer
shorter
comfortability of holding it with one hand
harder
easier
comfortability of holding it with two hands
easier
harder
putting it in jean pockets
harder
easier
weight
heavier
lighter

2. Responsiveness

If the phone is capable of switching between screen orientations, hold the phone upright, upside-down, and sideways to determine how responsive the phone is to each orentation.

Check to see how updated the phone's operating system is. The more updated it is, the better the quality is for these features:

  • Bluetooth
  • cellular network
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • picture and video camera
  • speech recognition
  • voice recorder
  • music player

Try switching between multiple applications on the phone to test the phone's background activity capacity.

Also try opening multiple tabs in the phone's internet browser to see how long it takes to load online contents, as well as how responsive websites have responsive layouts (fluid grids, fluid images, and media queries).

You can research how susceptible the phone is to bugs and viruses, but the chances of your phone getting affected by malware is slim to none.

3. Connectivity

Setup the phone's connection to a local WiFi and check to see:

  • if the WiFi connections gets disrupted
  • how fast the download speed is
  • how fast the upload speed is
  • how long and how often latencies (short periods of delay) occur

When you are unsure of why you have poor connectivity, check the wireless router and the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) the phone is connected to, as well as the phone's antenna.

  • test the phone's connectivity with your own wireless router
  • check to see if the wireless standards your router supports are updated
  • if the wireless standards are updated, then call the MVNO to check if other customers are experiencing the same issue(s)
  • if there is nothing wrong with the wireless router and MVNO, then go to a local mobile store to have the phone diagnosed

If the phone is designed in a such a way that no user can open its casing to look inside the device, then chances are you can't send that phone for repairs and will have to purchase a new phone should it have connectivity issues due to internal damages.

Test to see if the phone can easily detect and connect to digital media players such as TVs, music players, and car stereos, as well as Bluetooth devices.

5. Durability

It's good to know how durable a phone is just in case you get clumsy about caring for the device, or the device gets into the hand of clumsy people (especially children).

Research how well the phone can survive:

  • rain
  • falls
  • heavy footsteps
  • banging
  • scratches
  • shock
  • dust
  • dirt (dry dirt and mud)
  • washing machines

Not only should the phone function after suffering damages, but it should function normally and almost (if not completely) as well as it did before.

If you're not really satisfied with the phone's durability and you're extremely cautious about phone damages, then look for phone cases that are strong enough to protect the phone.

Which phone feature do you want to be improved?

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