Tech Tuesday: What smartphone features you may not truly need

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by SHANNON POWELL HART

WFAA

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 12:24 PM

Do you find that you want a specific cellphone based on the hype of certain features? There are so many options that it's easy to be swayed by something as simple as a waving your hand to make a change.

There are a few features that are interesting, but should not influence your phone buying decision.

People think they need more megapixels on their phone's camera. Not necessarily. A few years ago, 5 megapixels was all the hype, last year it was 8 megapixels. Now we are hearing 13 megapixels. More megapixels do not mean better pictures. The phone can have 5 megapixels and put 8 megapixel phones to shame.

So, what makes the camera on your phone a good one? Think quality sensor and some camera apps that help you get the best shot possible. Do your homework if the camera is a very important feature.

Let’s talk about ‘extra’ features that only work IF everyone you know has the same phone. The S beaming technology is super duper cool, but you will need another Galaxy S3 or S4 user to make it work.

It means not doing everything you see in cool commercials. So, don't buy just because of a special feature.

A few other things you may ask “do I really need that?" before you buy:

 

  • CAMERA FEATURES: Camera features that are just neat but do nothing to improve the quality of the picture may be a waste of a good feature.
  • EXTRA BUTTONS: Some phone have a button like the home button, back or menu button. These buttons are on the screen, so you are not getting anything new. This is a case of deciding if you need the extra button or you like the space used wisely.
  • FUTURISTIC GESTURES: Waving your hand to move to the next screen or the voice command option are cool moves to make and can impress some. Surveys show the technology doesn't work very well and frankly it's easier to just punch the numbers or physically send the text.


So, don't think about hype or flashy feature you won't use as a reason to buy a certain phone. Think about what you need and software features you are going to use.

E-mail spowell@wfaa.com

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