The qualities Britons look for when choosing a phone handset
November 28th, 2022, Kineree Shah

The qualities Britons look for when choosing a phone handset

There is a wide variety of mobile phone handsets with perhaps the biggest recent innovation being the foldable screen. With fewer significant innovations serving to differentiate the latest generations of smartphones, how are consumers choosing between them?

According to YouGov Telco Profiles data, value for money is important to three out of every six Britons (63%) - and the biggest single consideration when selecting a phone. But cost isn’t everything and consumers still take into account a wide array of other factors, including form, design and quality. The size of the screen and device (45% and 42%, respectively) is the next biggest consideration for British consumers, with how it fits in the hand (34%) taking precedence over brand (32%).

More than a quarter (29%) think that material quality and device design are important. A fifth of Britons (21%) consider device weight to be a major consideration when selecting a handset. Only 16% give priority to ethically produced devices.

According to a recent YouGov survey 40% of Britons say tech companies are not doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint. But when it comes to consumer choices only 15% say ecological impact is an important factor when selecting a phone device, giving the industry some very mixed messages.

Britons care less for the charging method with only 15% saying it's an important quality. In October the European Parliament passed a new rule that all cellphones manufactured in or for the EU must be chargeable by a single USB-C connector starting next fall.

Only about one-tenth say the latest model is vital when choosing a handset (11%).

If we look at the data by age, value for money remains the most crucial quality for all, but adults aged 55 or older are likely to give it priority still (67%).

The design of the device is more important to adults aged 18-44 while the size of screen and device is important to those aged 45 and above. The latter are less likely to be concerned about ethically produced devices or ecological impact of it than adults aged 18 to 34. A quarter of adults aged 55 or older say the weight of the device is an important quality when choosing a handset.

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Britain is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.