The HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III, the LG Optimus 4X HD, the Meizu MX 4-core—what do these have in common? If you answered “quad-core processors,” then you’re absolutely right. That’s the major selling point mobile phone manufacturers are selling consumers this year, and it’s hard to find flagships that don’t have this entry on the spec-sheet.
Mobile Device Evolution
Tracking the rapid development and evolution of mobile devices can be exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. In just a few years, we’ve gone from ‘dumb phones’ to feature phones with dedicated niches to smartphones that can do it all. It’s a great time to be interested in tech, even though it might not be so enjoyable where wallets and bank accounts are concerned.
Gone are the days when calling and SMS were pretty much the only things you could do with your phone. Oh, yeah, there’s a bit of gaming, calculator function, and alarms thrown in, but when you compare those to even the entry-level handsets of today and there’s no question that dumb phones would get stomped to the curb.
The Quad-Core Generation
This generation of smartphones can be billed as the quad-core generation, what with the four flagships we’ve enumerated above bannering the charge. Those manufacturers that haven’t come up with their own quad models will definitely follow suit shortly, and it’s not all that farfetched to think that the list might soon include an Apple product.
There is a bit of a problem with labeling this a generation, because it might really be just a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things. We all know a big part of the rapid development of smartphones has to do with manufacturers trying to one-up each other by coming up with the “next big thing.” It’s all essentially one big marketing ploy rationalized by the advancement of technology. Next year, there’s likely going to be a different key spec that will define the next batch of flagship phones and many of us will be lining up on launch day all the same.
What People Want or Need
The important thing to consider now is if people really have a need for all this mobile power. Most of the smartphones today already accomplish a ton of functions, whether these are for business, personal, or entertainment uses. Entry-level models can handle high-speed surfing, productivity apps, and even HD video playback to some extent. Do you really need 4 processor cores to send e-mail, reply to texts, take an important call on the go using your RingCentral app, or watch a YouTube clip? How many people actually appreciate their quad-core devices and maximize their capabilities?
While the surge of smartphone use was driven by what people needed to be able to do with their handsets, now manufacturers are just filling their spec sheets with bloated figures that might be more than what the common user requires to make his or her life easier. It’s the other way around nowadays—X smartphone has this or that spec, therefore I need it.
There’s nothing wrong with rapid development, and things are looking great now with these quad-core flagships showing us just how smart a smartphone can be. But do not let all these superior numbers cloud your decision when choosing a mobile device; the bottom line should still be about what you need.