Smartphone designs have changed drastically over the last decade. When the first mainstream smartphones came onto the scene in 2008 and 2009, manufacturers hadn’t yet perfect the smartphone-making process. They were more focused on practicality than style. Most consumers were too impressed by the phones’ touchscreens and apps to worry much about their chunky, unwieldy designs.
More recently, as manufacturers have gotten much better at packing impressive specs into slim designs, we’ve seen all kinds of smartphone styles emerge. From super-sized “phablets” with large screens to “notch” edge-to-edge screens that have a minimal bezel, and the curved screens of Samsung’s Galaxy Edge line, there are all kinds of smartphone designs to choose from. But is it worth paying more for a better-looking handset?

Why People Care About Smartphone Designs

As smartphone designs have improved and gotten better, phones have become stylish, fashion accessories. They are now seen as just as necessary as your wallet (or purse) or your wristwatch. Especially in an era of influencers, whereby phones are sold because of visual posts on social media as much as they are lists of specs on tech blogs, what a phone looks like can make all the difference to a company’s bottom line.
The color of the phone itself is also essential to some. A white phone may be a more flashy alternative to the basic black model, while a Rose Gold handset offers a touch of feminine luxury. Colors that are exclusive to certain retailers can also influence your purchase as you would have access to a color or design that is limited availability. And then there are luxury phone cases, with this Louis Vitton phone case winding up as one of the most-talked-about accessories of 2017. It all shows that people are quite fanatic about how a phone compliments or enhances their style.

Does the Design of Your Smartphone Really Matter?

The cosmetics of your smartphone don’t matter at all - your phone isn’t going to work differently just because you chose the white model over the black one. And your phone doesn’t stop working just because you have a few small scratches or blemishes. Though, in some cases, a change in design has been done to add specific, new features or to remove them.
Take the iPhone 7’s headphone jack removal as an example. Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to equip the phone with greater dust and water resistance. It also made its handset slightly slimmer in the process. However, the design also meant that people wouldn’t be able to use their wired headsets and would have to use Bluetooth connected ones instead.
Although some say size doesn’t matter (especially when it comes to phones), the fact is, bigger phones have bigger battery lives. Smartphone manufacturers very often give their bigger phones greater battery capacities because a bigger screen will drain a battery quicker than a smaller one. It may better suit the actions performed on a bigger phone (e.g., more powerful media content and work processes).

How to Get a Smartphone Design That Suits You

Some solid advice when buying a smartphone - especially when you’ve factored the design into your purchase decision - is to consider what you need it for and how much you’re willing to pay.
In the used and refurbished phone industries, it is refurbished grades that determine the cosmetic quality of your phone. A refurbished Grade A phone, for example, would look like new and would display no scratches, marks, or blemishes. A Grade B refurbished phone, on the other hand, may show some light scuffing and marks but it would be in full working order and, it would cost a lot cheaper. Therefore, if you were on a budget, it makes sense to opt for the Grade B handset.
When buying brand new though, you may not even need the “enhanced” features offered by a new smartphone design. Samsung’s line of Galaxy Edge phones look cool, for example, but do you really need a notifications bar on the side of your phone? What benefits would a curved screen actually offer you, other than being able to show it off at parties?
The answer to the question of whether you should pay more for a better-looking handset is “it depends.” If the design of a smartphone offers improved features or benefits then yes, pay more. But otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to pay more for a feature that you would only use in theory, not in practice and you could save yourself some money by choosing substance over style.

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