If we’re being honest, most Android phones don’t differ that much. Smartphones in every price category tend to have almost identical specs. What sets phones apart, though, are the various small features.

So this week, we decided to ask you what smartphone features are essential when it comes to buying a new handset. Here’s what you had to say.

What is your essential smartphone feature?

Results

The poll was pretty neck and neck, but there was one clear winner with 2,337 votes: long battery life. Almost every smartphone manufacturer claims that their phones get all-day battery life, but what does that even mean?

Even though it has become customary to charge our smartphones every night, users would still prefer to not run out of juice at the end of the day. Phone OEMs have to find a happy balance when building new devices between the thickness of the handset, battery size, and software optimization. Doing so ensures that customers can at least get a full day of heavy usage out of their smartphones.

Companies that get this right typically have happier users.

Coming in second, we have camera quality with 10 percent of the 18,291 votes. This is a category that has blossomed over the last several years. Strongly pioneered by Google with its Pixel series, companies have figured out how to use software optimization and machine learning to perfect smartphone photography.

But while some smartphones offer a growing number of sensors that feature various camera tricks, it appears that it’s more important for users to be able to easily take a great photo than mess with additional shooting modes.

Lastly, tied for third, we have quick software updates and a fair price. These are two categories that are hit or miss and tend to be at odds with each other within the Android ecosystem. While companies like Google and Essential are quick to push out firmware updates, others can take weeks or even months to release the latest and greatest.

And if you want a phone that is truly worth your hard-earned cash, you’re most likely looking at a midrange handset. But while those phones are offered at fair prices, you usually have tradeoffs such as delayed updates or other hardware features.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • Large Storage was missing from your list. I wouldn’t go less than 128GB right now. Last time I bought a phone the current main Galaxy line was ruled out because it only had 64GB at the time.
  • I care about fast charging etc but the operating system should be updated monthly for at least 4 years if I’m going to spend more money than my desktop computer.
  • A smallish form factor, if I had wanted something approaching the size of a tablet then I’d have just purchased a tablet. A clean version of Android with no bloatware. A headphone jack because I use the one on my existing device darn near every day. I don’t ask for much. I don’t take a lot of pictures, so a serviceable camera (don’t need two, three, four or more lens) and I’m never far from a battery charger…
  • I like big screens and I cannot lie! Also a big removable battery, Good rear camera with f1.5 and wide angle lens, 3.5mm headphone jack with quad DAC, decent cpu/ram, 3yrs of OS updates, expandable storage, mil-spec toughness, and low price! Basically a new version of my old LG V20…
  • I like long battery life, big screens (not finicky about resolution), headphone jack and something durable.
  • I’m one of the few odd people but I like my phones with a physical keyboard and a stylus. Also if the screen is too big I physically can’t use it without gripping with two hands.

That’s it for this week, everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below.

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