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Is the appearance of a smartphone as important as its features?

OPINION: It is clear that the appearance of a smartphone is of great importance. But are you willing to ignore some of the technical flaws of a beautiful phone?

When you buy a smartphone, you have to consider many qualities at once in order to determine which one is right for you.

Do you need a big battery that will last for a day and then some more? Do you need the best camera so you can capture those special moments? Want a perfectly crisp and bright screen to make your entertainment of choice look better than ever?

However, one factor that may not always be considered to the same extent as the above is the design of the phone itself. This may be partly due to the fact that there are no objective measurements for such a thing; while we can judge screens by their pixels, refresh rates, and nits, there’s no way to authoritatively state that one design is better than another.

However, the immediate appearance of a product can have the most lasting impact on your impression of it.

In a chat with Motorola and Pantone, I discussed the recent partnership that has formed between the two brands. Explaining this unique collaboration between a smartphone manufacturer and a color expert, representatives from the two companies told me how important color and design can be when choosing a new phone, or any other product for that matter. One of the most instructive statistics that Motorola shared with me was that the color of a device influences 80% of purchase decisions, even if the customer then puts a case on the phone.

It’s incredible to think that a technically unnecessary aspect of a device can have such a huge impact on what you buy, and yet it’s all too plausible.

To take another recent example, at Apple’s Far Out launch event, the most impactful announcement for most viewers in terms of social media impact was not the camera or processor improvements of the new iPhone 14 Pro. were, but rather the new “Dynamic Island” at the top of the screen.

iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island
dynamic island

If ever there was a company that realized the fundamental importance of design to a product, it certainly would be Apple, which owes so much to people like Steve Jobs and Jony Ive. So, while Android makers have long since replaced the notches with camera cutouts at the top of the screen, Apple waited until it came up with an ingenious and eye-catching solution in the form of this pill-shaped notch that expands and contracts when shown. widgets that almost dance across the top of the screen.

Not only does this new feature look good and offer some (limited) functionality, but above all, it’s distinctive and unique; you’ll be able to tell at a glance if someone has the latest and greatest iPhone, and what exclusivity people will no doubt be happy to pay for.

Whether we’re talking about well-chosen colors or innovative new looks, it’s clear that even subtle design choices have a big impact on how we perceive and appreciate our phones, and can add some novelty or genuine excitement to our everyday smartphone experience. .

While we may like to think of ourselves as perfectly rational people choosing products with the best overall features, it’s clear that the subconscious appeal of a beautiful phone is often a key factor in shaping our purchasing decision. With the smartphone market as saturated as it is right now, looks can be a way to stand out from the crowd, even with the usual arms race over camera and screen specs.

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