Given the ubiquity of smartphones today, it’s fair to assume that not everyone is an expert on their device and its inner workings, but do you know what model you’re even using?
A survey conducted by Decluttr (opens in new tab) on 2,000 smartphone owners in the US asked a variety of non-typical questions about their usage, and found that many users weren’t fully aware of what their device was capable of.
5G is a state of mind
When it came to iPhone owners, those who thought their device was 5G capable varied by carrier, ranging from almost a quarter (24%) of Verizon customers to almost half (47%) of those with AT&T. There is currently no 5G-capable iPhone available.
As for Samsung handset owners, the numbers were even higher, although this could be due to some customers owning the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and correctly identifying its connectivity.
Furthermore, almost two-thirds (62%) of those that thought they had a 5G-capable device claimed they noticed improvements to their service despite the unlikelihood of them owning a compatible device or being in an area that has widespread 5G coverage.
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When shown images of their phone next to others from the same manufacturer, only around half of the survey participants were able to correctly identify their own model of handset, with the iPhone XR and iPhone 7 users scoring the lowest success rate of 44%.
In defense of these customers, it is getting somewhat more difficult to compare phone models by simply looking at an image of them, given how similar-looking some of their facades are these days. Moreover, it’s unclear if the participants were asked to name the model they owned as well.
According to the survey, many users were also unaware of their handset’s star features, such as the wireless charging on Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 devices (60% of owners were unaware of this). Only around half of iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS owners knew about the handsets' water resistant design.
While this study is interesting, it’s worth noting that Decluttr – the site that conducted this survey – is also selling refurbished phones, and as such has a somewhat vested interest in claiming that many of the latest smartphone features are unnecessary.