Smartphone use survey and LG Quantum/Optimus 7 giveway results. They ain’t smart”phones” anymore

Our LG Optimus 7/Quantum giveaway contest and smartphone use survey is now over, and it brought quite a few interesting insights of how people are choosing and using their smartphones.

According to your responses to the survey – 3 most important criteria when you chose a smartphone are it’s battery life, operating system, and  intuitive and easy to use user interface. More then 80% of survey respondents ranked these 3 features as either critically or very important in their decision about their next smartphone.

It might be due to a rather technical audience we here at Unwired View usually serve, but it seems that operating system, as well as the CPU speed and available RAM figure very prominently in the decision which smartphone to choose next. Over 35% of respondents ranked these two features as the main criteria in their smartphone choice.

Somewhat less prominent but still very important in the process of smartphone selection is it’s design (75%) and  display size (76%). Though, when considering  design and display size, smartphone vendors should still focus on making the handset well suited for a single hand operation.  71% – of the customers want their smartphone to be easily used with one hand.

Interestingly enough – the price of the device is not at the top of the list of  the smartphone selection criteria. Only 45% of the respondents ranked price as “Very important”and only 17% said it was “critically important” when choosing their next handset.

The camera resolution in the smartphone is another feature that is only “somewhat important” or “not important at all” to most of the people choosing  their smartphones (52%). With one caveat – provided that camera resolution is good enough. And 66% of respondents  consider 5 megapixels to be good enough for the camera in their next phone, while only 24.6% want 8mpx cameras and just 9.5% are looking towards 12 mpx. Which goes to show that most of the users are catching up to the futility of cameraphone megapixel race.

The presence of physical QWERTY keyboard in the smartphone is the feature that users are pretty much split between those who consider it critically or very important (38%), who don’t care and don’t want it (33%) and to those undecided one way or another (28%). And while majority of people (61.7%) prefer touch/sensor buttons on their phones, a very sizeable minority (39.3%) want mechanical buttons, so they know when they press them.

When it comes to the actual use of the smartphone – the survey results seem to confirm the gut feeling I had about them for a while now. The most popular thing current smartphones are used for – is internet browsing. 42.7% of respondents said that net browsing is “The main thing they use their smartphone for”, and 43.1% “use their smartphone a lot” to browse the net.   The second most popular thing to do on the smartphone  was  e-mail, split evenly between “the main thing” (37%) and “a lot” (37%).

That’s 85.7% and 74% of the smartphone owners for whom browsing and e-mail are more important then the traditional things we used to use our mobile phones for – making calls and sending text messages. In our survey, texting and calling came in only third in popularity, with 73% of respondents saying “it’s the main thing” or “ they do it a lot” . And,  close on the heels of calls and SMS, came in music – at 71%, and  another connected activity –  social networking (69%) .

Other things people liked to do often on their phones include: finding places (maps&GPS) – 62.2%, taking pictures- 53.7%, watch video clips and movies- 53.8%,  playing games – 48.7%.

It seems that  while we are still calling our handheld devices “smartphones”, it is high time we thought of another name for them. The “phone” part of the device is becoming less and less important every day, and now it’s just one, and even not the most popular activity on the smart mobile device in our pockets.

Here’s the summary of survey results if you want to check them out yourself: SurveyResults.pdf

Contest/giveaway results

Let’s first take a look how our contest prizes – LG Quantum and LG Optimus 7 –  do in light of the selection preferences and use patterns we found in our survey. It seems they both are doing pretty well.

With 1500 mAh batteries in both LG Quantum and Optimus 7 – LG phones have some of the best battery life among Windows Phone 7 handsets. And, overall, Windows Phone OS battery handling capabilities seem to be very good, with both Brad’s Quantum and my Optimus 7 easily lasting through the day on a normal use pattern, with a bit of calling, texting, browsing, e-mailing, music,  gaming and social networking everyday. The thing we got unused to through our many Android phones.

Design wise – LG seems to be doing pretty well too. Both Quantum and Optimus 7 are easy to use with one hand, while the displays at 3.5 and 3.8 inches are big enough for most things. And while most of the people may prefer touch sensor buttons on their phones, LG Optimus 7 for now seems to be the only choice among Windows Phone 7 handsets for 39% who prefer physical buttons. The same is true for those 38% potential customers who rate physical QWERTY keyboard as a very important feature of their future smartphone – LG Quantum for now is the only Windows Phone 7 game in town on AT&T.

As far as the camera on LG WP7 handsets goes – with 5 megapixel cameras they are both good enough for most.  And LG’s for now exclusive access to camera API’s allows it to do fun things like Panorama Shot, ScanSearch and Look’n’Type that you can’t do on other WP7 phones.

For the smartphone use patterns LG Quantum and Optimus 7 are doing very well too. The mobile Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7 OS works great on most of the sites I visit, and WP7’s  mobile e-mail client, with it’s easy gmail integration is among the best I’ve seen so far. Getting your music and video collection onto LG Optimus 7 with Zune Desktop software is a breeze, and possibility to keep  it sync’ed via home Wi-Fi is a nice bonus. Social Networking clients for the two main services I use – Twitter and Facebook also work well, as does Facebook’s integration into Windows Phone 7 People’s Hub.

Microsoft still has some work to do for it’s Bing Maps mobile service to catch up with rival solutions from Google and Nokia, but for simple getting around in a new place, Bing Maps are already ok on all WP7 handsets. And LG’s Augmented Reality ScanSearch app, which provides you with access to Google Local Search results and posts them on your camera viewfinder/device display, solves many of the shortcomings that Bing Maps service still has.

And now it’s time for the giveaway results.

The answer to the last question – Which WP7 phone would you like to get for Christmas?, where  we listed all available WP7 handsets,  drew an interesting response. More then 60% of respondents opted for one of the LG handsets. 31% for Quantum and 31% for Optimus 7. I’m sure that the fact that we were giving those LG handsets away as prizes in the same competition, had a strong impact on user preferences in this case.  Still it’s nice to   see so many people interested in these phones.

The winners of LG Quantum and Optimus 7 phones have now been selected and contacted, and the handsets are getting ready to be shipped. Congratulations Tom, Julius, Billy, Donald and Peter on your new devices, we’ll try to get them to you before Christmas.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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