Latest smartphones ‘not as good as mobiles from a decade ago’

Today’s top of the range smartphones are not as good for basic communications as the mobile devices available a decade ago, new research has revealed.

The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday quoted a study commissioned by UK telecoms industry regulator Ofcom that has found that despite the new technology included in the latest smartphones from manufacturers including Apple and Samsung, devices costing much less typically offer better signal performance for voice calls and texts.

Although Ofcom refused to reveal how each manufacturer’s devices performed specifically, the research, “conducted in controlled lab conditions on a selection of popular smartphones and non-smart phones currently on the market, found that on a 2G network the cheaper handsets were much better at picking up weak signals”, The Telegraph reported. Some smartphones require a minimum signal 10 times stronger than the best non-smart phone before they can make or receive a call, according to Ofcom’s research. The research also found smartphones performing below international standards for mobile broadband signal performance.

An Ofcom spokesman told The Telegraph: “we tested a very small number of mobile phones, not for ranking but to understand how handsets performed in different situations. As no one device consistently outperformed the others we chose not to list the handsets.”

The results of the survey from the UK telecoms regulator come as an increasing number of residents in the UAE switch to the latest smartphones.

According to data released in October by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the most popular smartphone in the country in the second quarter of this year was the Apple iPhone 6 with market share of 4.9 per cent. Prices for the device start at Dh2,199 in the UAE. The TRA said that 67 per cent of handsets registered on the UAE’s networks during the second quarter were smartphones, “a figure that has been constantly increasing over time”.

“For the first time, the 3 most commonly used handsets in the UAE in Q2-2015 were smartphones,” the TRA said. “The market shares of the most popular feature phones including 105/1050, Nokia 101/1010, Nokia X1, E5, and 1280/1282 declined during the last 3 quarters.”


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