Upgrading Your Mobile - Don't Fall For the Hype (Buying New Phone Advice)

If you are thinking of upgrading your mobile or buying a new smartphone - you need to read this to understand the difference between unnecessary hyped features and real upgrades. Some of the new features are really useful, and you should try to opt for them, whereas others are not necessary for everyone.

Many new tempting shiny phones with equally compelling media campaigns are launched every week to entice you. Brands want to snatch your hard-earned money and make you buy the latest tech.

But is there a real benefit? Or is it all Hype?

Let's look at some of the new trends in mobiles that manufacturers are leveraging to create the hype, and also, I will try to segregate the true benefits from the fluff.

Upgrading Your Mobile - Don't Fall For the Hype
Upgrading Your Mobile - Don't Fall For the Hype (Buying New Phone Advice)

With so much hype going around mobiles and all of your friends buying a new phone every six months, you may feel that you will be left behind if you are not upgrading.

No, not really; you may actually sail ahead in life with an old phone. Spending more time on your phone will not make you more productive or intelligent.

Endless Netflix Binging and gaming sessions are the last things we need to stay ahead of the curve.

Are brands selling us Coca-Cola once again in new packaging, with no real-world benefits?

Upgrading Your Mobile: Don't Fall for the Hype

Top 6 Hype Factors To Consider When Buying Your Next Smartphone

Let's start with the biggest hype - 5G.

1. 5G - Should You buy a 5G phone right now?

Every smartphone manufacturer is hyping 5G phones as the next big thing. Look at the above tweets from Realme, Xiaomi, and even Samsung. IQOO is talking about the first 5G phones.

The 5G network will be fast, maybe 10x than the 4G. But the question is, when will we have access to it?

iQoo Z5 image
iQoo Z5 image

The 5G roll-out is happening in some developed countries like the US, Japan, the UK, Korea, etc.

But for countries like India, buddy, we are still some years away from it.

Reality check!

DOT (Department of Telecom) has still not auctioned the 5G spectrum.

Considering the poor financial health of the Telecom sector, we can't expect a full 5G roll-out till 2024; that too, I am an optimist.

For rural or semi-urban areas, it will take even more time.

So how do I know all this? I have worked for ten years in Telecom. (You can Google about 5G deployment in India).

So why are these brands selling you a 5G phone when you can't even use 5G? Ask them!

Another reason is that Qualcomm has already made 5G chipsets (SD 865), and they want to sell those.

Should You Spend More Money to Buy a 5G Smartphone?

Most smartphones above the 15K price are currently 5 G. If you buy anything in this price range, you should try to get 5G. If you buy an affordable phone in the 8k to 15k range, don't worry much about 5G or don't overspend to get the 5G feature.

2. High Refresh Rate - 120 Hz, 144 Hz Displays

Everyone is pushing for high refresh rate display phones, and the high refresh rate has a tiny advantage in daily usage.

Oneplus-8-PRO-candytech

The 90 Hz is probably a sweet spot; it offers a smooth interface and saves battery. There are a lot of smartphones with 120 Hz or 90 Hz displays, which is excellent. You won't find a massive difference over a 60 Hz panel, but it is good.

3. Higher Megapixel Cameras - 48 MP, 64 MP, 108 MP, 200 MP

Samsung launched the S20 Ultra with a 108 MP camera; Xiaomi too launched the Mi Note 10 with a 108 MP camera.

Several phones have 48 MP/64 MP /108 MP cameras.

Samsung S20 Series

Most of these cameras use pixel binning to join 4 pixels and process the image to a smaller size as the final output.

A 48 MP camera renders a 12 MP image, and a 64 MP camera offers a 16 MP image.

Even if you capture an image at 64 MP resolution, the file size is more than 20 MB, and when you upload it to social media, the compression algorithm reduces the size by more than 20 times, losing all the details. Many cameras with 12 or 16 MP can take better images compared to the higher MP cameras.

Larger the MP, better the camera is a myth.

Even professional cameras from Sony and Nikon has a 20 MP or a 24 MP resolution. The image quality depends on the sensor size, post-processing, image signal processor, lens quality, color accuracy, dynamic range, and several other factors.

Even if my phone has a 48 MP camera, all my photos are captured at 12 MP resolution to save space. There is hardly any impact on picture quality.

Shooting 8K Videos

Another new trend - 8K videos. I still don't shoot too many 4K videos as they take too much storage space.

The 8K videos will take more than twice the space of 4K videos, and there is no real need for most people to shoot 8K on a mobile.

4. More Cameras = Better Photography = Wrong

Every phone nowadays comes with four or even five rear cameras. Most of these cameras are garbage but are superb marketing techniques to lure customers.

Most phones will have a 48 MP main camera, 8 MP ultra-wide, 2 MP depth, and 2 MP macro camera.

Nokia-9-image

The 48 MP camera is fine; you can shoot at 12 MP.

But the 8 MP ultra-wide is usually crap. Why? You need to have at least a 12-16 MP lens for ultra-wide shots to capture greater detail as the camera is capturing a large frame. More details and information is present in the image, and a higher resolution sensor will work better. You still don't need a 48 MP lens; 12 MP is sufficient.

Most phones can use primary and wide-angle lenses to capture the portrait shots, and there is no need for a 2 MP depth sensor. Also, the macro lens with 2MP resolution is gimmicky, and most images are of poor quality and lack details, color accuracy, or contrast.

It would be better to have two or, in some cases, three high-quality cameras rather than adding 4-to 5.

The best is to have a primary lens, a second wide-angle lens, and a third telephoto lens with optical zoom and OIS for better imaging.

5. More Ram and Faster Processors

My MacBook Pro has 8 GB of Ram and works great with all the big applications for creating content. Do I need 12 or 16 GB of ram on the phone? No, not even for playing PUBG.

In fact, your phone can't use it. But there are phones like Samsung S22 ultra and Oneplus ten that will make us believe that we need it.

Samsung S20 Ultra

On the higher side, 6 GB ram is more than enough for running Android OS smoothly, and you can even use 8 GB if you are paranoid about performance. But 12 / 16 GB, come on, we really don't need all that extra memory that will actually not do much but stay idle for most of the time.

The Snapdragon 855/865 or SD 870 are pretty fast, and even many MediaTek processors launched last year are crazy fast. You don't need the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Processor, and in fact, there are more heating issues with some of the latest processors.

Related - All Mobile Processor Benchmarks, Ranking, Comparison

The point is you don't need to upgrade your phone with each iteration of flagship processors.

6. Fast Charging - 120 Watts or Higher

Xiaomi recently released the Mi 11i Hypercharge with 120 Watts Fast Charging, and there are many more that are going to use similar technology. I have a Oneplus 8T as a daily driver with 65 Watts charging speed and think it is more than sufficient.

It is a great feature to have fast charging, but it also becomes pointless for most people beyond a point.

Upgrading Your Mobile or Buying a New Smartphone

I am not against the new tech or faster phones or better cameras, and I am against the stupid hype created by the companies and some paid Youtubers to market these features.

If you are buying a phone, don't fall for these gimmicks; look for real features that are useful for you. You may want to have a better quality AMOLED display, better cameras (not the higher MP or more number of cameras), better battery life, Os updates, after-sales service, etc.

What will be the iPhone 13 Pro Max price after six months of buying it? Financial Impact of Buying an Expensive Phone?

It is noteworthy that buying an expensive phone every six months is a financially poor decision. It is a depreciating asset, and its value starts dropping as soon as you walk out of the shop.

There was a time when similar hype was created for Laptops and PCs. But now the market has matured. Moreover, we know that 64 GB ram on a laptop will not finish our work earlier.

Similarly, the phone market is booming, and every company wants you to ride the hype train. It is up to you, my friend, to use logic and common sense before burning those fat stacks.

Hey, thanks for visiting Candytech. In, Share your thoughts in the comments below. I always respond to comments.

P.S - Many brands and people are going to hate me for writing this, but I wanted to, and I will write in the future too.

Also, Read:

10 Best Smartphones Under Rs 50000 India ( Flagship Mobiles)

5 Best Gaming Mobiles For PUBG, Fortnite, and Other High Graphics Games

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Kanuj Sharma

Kanuj Sharma is the editor at Candytech.in for the last 8 years. He has been building Gaming PCs for more than two decades. Most of his time is spent trying, testing, reviewing new gadgets, mobiles, computer parts, and writing articles. His vast experience makes him a go-to expert on technology. He also has a product marketing experience in Telecom (Vodafone-Idea). Academically, he has done Mechanical Engineering and MBA. If you like my work connect with me on social.