Smartphones become smarter with every new version. Manufacturers include new features that are simply amazing. We buy the phones to make our lives easier with all the new enhanced features. These are quite useful, such as dual/triple cameras, dust and water resistance, bezel-less displays and many more. But some new features are just impositions on the user and far from handy. On the other hand, there are some features which are really useful, but are hardly advertised. So check out the list of the most overrated and underrated smartphone features:
19 most underrated and overrated smartphone features
Underrated smartphone features
Take photos while video recording
Did you know that you can click photos simultaneously while you’re making a video, without stopping the video? Even I didn’t know about it, until my hand hit the click button accidentally and I discovered this very useful feature which is one of the underrated features in any smartphone.
Find out when you received or sent a text
One of the iPhone messaging features which should be an overrated smartphone feature, but is not, is the feature to find out when a SMS was sent or when you received. You just have to swipe left on your screen and hold. You will see the time you received or sent the text. This is one of the features which could be highlighted instead of the overrated smartphone features.
Create then send screen shots
This feature should have been on the overrated smartphone features list, but it is hardly ever publicized by the smartphone makers. It is such a handy tool, as it lets you share anything you find online with your contacts. Photos, recipes and more can be sent by clicking a screen shot.
If you want to play downloaded games in peace, then switch the airplane mode on. This technique works on both iOS and Android phones. When this mode is activated there won’t be any pesky ads popping up, but you won’t be able to receive or make calls.
You don’t need special fitness gadgets to keep track of your morning runs and steps walked and so on. Both Samsung and Apple phones have step counting features. On iPhones, start the in-built Health app and select the Health Data and Activity.
On the latest Samsung phones, you have to activate the Samsung Health app, which can automatically track steps. For other Android phones, you have to activate the Google Fit app, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Playstore.
Boost hearing aids
Apple has a Live Listen feature, which can turn an iPhone into a microphone, which links to numerous compatible hearing apps. This is one of the iOS features which are not among the iOS overrated smartphone features, is quite useful but is not really paid much attention to.
On your iPhone you can go to the Settings, General, Accessibility, MFi Hearing devices and select the hearing aid model.
Google is collaborating with a manufacturer GN Hearing to give the same kind of support in Android phones in the future.
Erase a stolen or lost phone
There is a way to protect your important data with just a simple passcode and request for the finder to help find the phone. Erase your device remotely to safeguard the personal data. For iPhones, go to the site icloud.com/find, and for Android phones, go to android.com/find. This is certainly a feature which all phone owners should be aware of.
Let the phone read out to you
One of the underrated smartphone features on both iPhones and Androids is the reading-content-aloud feature. Imagine how nice it would be if you could hear the news, email or SMS being read to you, when you’re driving through traffic and want to know about the sensational news of that day.
For iPhones, go to the settings, then general, accessibility, speech and speak screen. Once it is enabled, then click any article or content you want to be read aloud. And you can control the reading speed too.
On Android, go to the settings, then accessibility, select to speak and when the icon appears, tap it and the phone will begin to read.
Keep tabs on a dear one
If you feel the need to know the whereabouts of your child, for instance a young child who walks alone to school, or you have a parent who has Alzheimer’s, use the embedded location tracking technology in all phones to monitor their locations.
On the Android, you have to download the Google Family Link, which is a free app, and with the instructions set it up. If you have an iPhone then you have to go the Set Up Family Sharing from Settings menu.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the overrated smartphone features:
Heaven knows why, but you might want to call someone without revealing your identity. You can do this by going to the settings, and changing some options there. Otherwise type #31# before the phone number and dial. The person will not be able to see who is calling. This feature works for iPhones only, and only in USA.
Attaching mouse and keyboard
One of the underrated smartphone features of Android phones is the ability to support external devices, such as keyboards and mouse. If you find it difficult to type on the touchscreen or you have to type a lot, then you can attach a keyboard to the Android smartphone. All you need is an USB cable which has USB connection jack for the device and smartphone input.
Overrated smartphone features
Cortana, Siri or Alexa voice assistants are fascinating and are valued more for the novelty factor than their actual function. Unlike the smarthome assistants, smartphone assistants have to be more accurate and reliable. They are supposed to make and receive calls, text or open apps, but there is a problem in getting them to understand what exactly you want. Though the voice assistants can carry out some functions, till the time they equal the abilities of smarthome assistants, Android and iOS voice assistants are going to be on the overrated smartphone features list.
Lightning port instead of headphone jack
The quest for slimmer phones probably had made Apple eliminate the headphone jack completely and introducing only a small lightning port for the charger as well as the headphones. So basically, when you’re charging your phone, unless you buy the adapter, you can’t listen to music, and you have numerous earphones lying around unused.
Wireless charging sounds incredible. It is one of the most iOS or Android overrated smartphone features today on phones just because the technology isn’t there yet. The wireless chargers which are available today have to be tethered to wall outlets and can only charge your smartphone, provided it is in a particular position. So the freedom they offer is not really the freedom you seek, until the technology improves.
Front faced flash
Selfies are something which the world is into. The front facing camera is a useful tool for quality selfies. But the flash for the front camera seems more than a little incomprehensible. The flash ends up blinding you and the photos are usually blurred or overexposed. So if you have been impressed by reading about the front flash, don’t be because it simply isn’t practical!
Large amount of RAM is again one of the overrated smartphone features. 10GB of RAM sounds great, but do you really need that? There is no significant difference in the daily operation of the smartphone. There are other things which can be focused on increasing, such as longer battery life. In fact, 6 GB RAM is considered to be adequate for almost anything you need your phone for. Pixel 2 with only 4 GB RAM is responsive and good, and good enough for intensive games, even though you may have other apps open.
Super slow motion videos
The latest trend in all the smartphones is the Super Slo-Mo. This is certainly among the most overrated smartphone features, as the actual videos do not look as great as the promo videos. Unless the light conditions are perfect, the videos have too much noise and usually cannot be used.
Apple is getting more creative and there are lots of gimmicks on their phones to attract a certain userbase. One of their latest offerings is the Animojis, that are basically animated emoji that imitates the facial expression of the user, with the help of Face ID sensors. Android animojis have not been a success whereas Apple’s version has seen a little success but still these are overrated smartphone features which have no real function.
Notch and Custom Android Skins are other overrated features which the manufacturers can modify to make them truly useful. Developers should focus on features which are handy, which customers want and use.