Mobile phones: one size doesn’t fit all

27 Apr 11 12:00PM EST
Post by Denis Gallagher
People with phones

Cat people and dog people, people who think Sean Connery is the only James Bond and those who can only consider Roger Moore. Lady Ga Ga fans and people who just don’t get it.

The world is full of divided camps and mobile phones are yet another area where people have strong opinions on what constitutes the perfect model. Putting aside the tribes of iPhone, Android, Nokia (there are still fans believe me) and even Windows mobile 7, one of the most emotional centres on what exactly makes a good mobile phone.

While our CHOICE members are a little more restrained on their opinions or reactions to other members who ask for a simple to use mobile; a quick look at forums such as Whirlpool reveals an aggressive and often patronising tone where techno obsessives feel it their right to suggest that if a person can’t set up their mobile to work within their home network via a DLNA link or coordinate all their Twitter, facebook and email for automatic updating; they had no right to even consider owning a mobile and should go back to their front porch and start knitting.

CHOICE takes the view that we’re all on this crazy planet together and all have a right to products that are suitable, rather than products that suit a company’s bottom line.

The lack of choice for someone wanting an easy-to-use phone prompted a test on phones focused on satisfying the requirements of seniors even though all models bar one had to be ordered online from overseas. These phones were 2G only, had big easy to read buttons and most had a panic button, where a text or call could be made to a selection of phone numbers calling for help. Interestingly, this type of phone seemed an ideal option for kids as well. None of them were particularly expensive and they didn’t look that flash so they were not prone to being coveted or stolen. The lack of multimedia and online capabilities also meant that running up a huge online bill for parents who only wanted a way to stay in touch with the kids in emergencies would have been nigh on impossible.

Feedback by CHOICE members on the priorities we choose for testing and scoring has also been a very interesting study in what people want and it seems that people want all sorts of different things in all sorts of different proportions. Some want texting and a camera but never go online. Others can’t live without their Twitter feed but never use facebook. Others want a camera for video but never take photos.

As such some of our mobile tests have a theme to help represent certain types of phones people want. For example, we might have the iPhone or a Samsung phone in our Smartphone test and our Camera phone test and both phones would score differently as a result.

The online tables offer even more control for you to help make the test your own by clicking on the performance scores and altering the ranks to suit your particular preference.

While we try to determine the best way to represent all our members, the reality is that some won’t agree with the priorities we make, but that’s where you can let us know what sort of CHOICE you want us to deliver.

So share your ideas and suggestions and we’ll do our best to give you the information you want, how you want it.

 

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