Overhyped smarphone features
5 features that make smartphones pricier but are unnecessary. Pixabay

Newfangled smartphones boast an impressive array of features, but a considerable number of these features are not as useful as they are made out to be. Let's take a look at five over-hyped features in the latest smartphones.

Modern smartphones are designed to perform tasks that previously required separate tech gadgets. While most of these improvements have turned out to be genuinely useful, some of them are mere waste of money. These features usually make their debut on high-end smartphones and are eventually made available on mid and even low-range devices.

It is worth noting that these features aren't flawed, but are rather unnecessary. So, are they really worth the extra cost? Here are some over-hyped features that you can ignore while buying a smartphone, especially if you're looking for a pocket-friendly phone with specific features.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate is one feature that smartphone brands love bragging about in launch events. According to Intel, the refresh rate of a smartphone's display alludes to the number of times (per second) the display draws a new image. For instance, if your phone's display supports a 144Hz refresh rate, it is refreshing an image 144 times per second.

On the downside, a high refresh rate drains your phone's battery fast. So, only higher-end smartphones with an efficient battery can sport a display with high refresh rates. However, it can be problematic for other phone ranges. While a high refresh rate allows the screen to move smoothly, the dilemma is whether we should prioritise phone performance or battery life.

8K video recording

Smartphones have been supporting 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) video recording for about eight years. To recap, the Galaxy S5 was the first Samsung smartphone to get the feature back in 2014. However, the 4K video recording was only a marketing gimmick back then since the image quality was just mediocre.

Now, all flagship phones, some mid-range and budget phones also support 4K video recording. The addition of this feature is understandable given that users often consume video content on their smartphones. These handsets sport bigger displays that allow users to experience the difference between FHD (1080p) and 4K video.

However, the difference is barely noticeable when it comes to 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels). While an 8K resolution could make a major difference in professional gaming, it is definitely an unnecessary feature for mobile videography. Still, the word on the street is that Apple is planning to offer 8K video recording capabilities with its long-rumoured iPhone 15 Ultra model.

108MP or higher resolution camera

There was a lot of hype surrounding the first 108MP cameras since it was a futuristic feature. Regrettably, more pixels do not guarantee better image quality. Although leading smartphone manufacturers promote the megapixel count of their cameras, it isn't an indication that their cameras are better.

Notably, a higher number of megapixels comes in handy for improving your phone's resolution. As a result, you can zoom into and crop the captured photos without losing details. However, the file size increases due to the higher resolution. Also, your photos take more storage. A 108MP camera is an unwanted addition because flagship phones already feature a zoom lens that lets you capture photos of faraway objects.

Moreover, that much higher resolution is not needed to ensure the clarity of standard photos. Still, Samsung introduced a whopping 200MP camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Most people post their photos to social media platforms that compress these images anyway. So, while having more resolution isn't a bad thing, it is unnecessary for a lot of smartphone users.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging is one of the smartphone features that's not very useful, although the tech is getting better. This is an inefficient feature that generates a lot of heat. Moreover, it is not technically wireless charging because you still need to place your phone in a fixed place to charge. According to folks at Make Use Of, true wireless charging isn't likely to become useful for at least three more years.

Wired charging, on the other hand, is more efficient, faster, and easier on the pocket. It is a more durable method of charging since it doesn't generate a lot of heat and produces less waste during the manufacturing process. As a result, it is more environmentally friendly compared to wireless charging. Lastly, having a USB-C port is an advantage since it is compatible with most modern tech gadgets.

16GB of RAM

For most people who use smartphones for video or music streaming, social media, light gaming, and web browsing, 6GB of RAM is enough. Moreover, 6GB RAM isn't likely to become obsolete for at least three to five years. Avid gamers and power users need 8GB of RAM to run various games and mobile apps.

Likewise, 12GB of RAM is enough to run heavy games smoothly. So, anything beyond 12GB RAM is excessive since users are unlikely to run that many apps in the back simultaneously. If you go for a 16GB RAM variant of a smartphone, you'd be overpaying for a feature that you are not going to use.

Other unnecessary smartphone features

Periscope cameras are costly to produce, and make phones pricier. Moreover, they aren't essential for regular photography. The latest flagship phones offer QHD 1440p (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, which is sharper than Full HD. However, QHD takes a lot of power to run. In fact, the Make Use Of report suggests QHD screens consume 10 percent more battery life than FHD screens.

So, it is important to consider which features are necessary and which are just overrated. While most people prefer buying the latest devices, it could turn out to be a waste of money. Consumers should first evaluate their needs and prioritise features accordingly. You do not need to spend a fortune to buy a phone that meets your needs.