GMI: 89% of Brits say battery life matters more for a smartphone than brand name, camera or 4G

Marketing, Studies

89% of Brits consider battery life to be an important smartphone feature,  before brand name, high quality camera and 4G, as shown by a GMI study that analyzed what smartphone buyers really want when purchasing their next model.

Although more and more new smartphone models come pre-loaded with sophisticated applications, what consumers want is battery life, as this is people’s main concern when choosing a new phone.

According to a GMI research – conducted on GMI’s UK online panel (1,000 respondents all smartphones owners) in the end of April – , battery life is considerably more likely to be rated as important by phone buyers than other features (a fast processor, a high quality camera, a large screen or 4G capabilities). On the other hand, touchless payment tech (53%) and 4G (31%) are two features considered “not important”. When talking about their current phone, 70% said that battery life was an important consideration when they made their purchase decision.

Men that want to buy a new phone rate as important tech features (fast processor, large screen and operating system that links easily with their other devices), while women consider more important a high quality camera or a well known brand name; still, both men and women rate battery life important if they want to buy a new phone (88% of men vs 90% of women).

GMI brits smartphone

According to GMI data, battery life also influences the way people use their phone every day: 12% say that they run out of charge on their phone at least once per day and then have to wait to recharge it, while 17% say this happens every few days.

More than half of all smartphone owners turn off wifi/Bluetooth when they don’t need them to save battery life (56%), while 49% turn off GPS services. Minimising screen brightness and the use of games or apps when out and about are also popular battery saving strategies, particularly with 18-24 year olds (brightness: 61%, minimising games/apps: 52%). One in five respondents also use a battery saving app.

The fact that a long-lasting battery is the leading criteria when buying a new phone may come as a surprise. Whilst consumers are still concerned about getting the basics right, innovative features and ground-breaking apps still help to differentiate the products in a very competitive market. Drilling further into our data helps to understand how much impact battery life has on the everyday use of a mobile phone – the majority of people have to recharge their phone at least once per day and a significant number regularly run out of battery whilst using their phone. A strong reliable battery life is definitely still a focus both for consumers and for manufacturers who are constantly working on improving the autonomy of their device

Ralph Risk,

Marketing Director, GMI EMEA