The camera has become my most important smartphone feature

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 23, 2013

For the most part, my cell phone/smartphone usage hasn’t changed much over the years. I’ve never been one to make a lot of personal calls on any device I’ve ever owned, and that hasn’t changed to this day. The biggest alteration to my daily usage has been the inclusion of apps, and I’m okay with that. Otherwise, I use my phone pretty much the same way I did last year, or the year before that.

Of course, there are specific occurrences that pop up here and there. When that happens, it’s usually one particular device and one particular operating system that I turn to, versus any others. As I stated in my “What’s In Your Pocket, Evan Selleck” article, the iPhone and iOS are usually that “go-to” OS. It’s my fallback. That’s just the way it’s happened, and I’m not seeing a change in that anytime soon.

When I look at a phone, a phone that I could potentially buy, it used to be all about the music options. The other key features, like screen size, pixel count, processor (kind of), all played a key role, but for me, for the longest time, it’s just been about the music. Remember the HTC Rezound? Yeah, I only considered that phone because of the Beats Audio integration. (Yes, I know Beats Audio isn’t the best thing since sliced bread, but I wanted to check it out. Surprise, surprise, it wasn’t all that great.) That’s why I reached out to you, to ask which headphones you use with your phone. Have to get the best sound!

In any event, something has shifted in the way I look at phones. And, interestingly enough, it’s not so much because of the phone itself, but a standalone device and the fact that I don’t want to use it. I’d just prefer to use what’s combined with my smartphone, rather than go with something extra. I’m not much of a fan of carrying more things than I absolutely need these days, which is a stark difference from how I used to be just a few years ago.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a standalone camera, a Nikon, and I used it more than a few times, in varying types of situations. I loved the images it took, and I still understand why people would choose to have a specific device rather than what’s been shoved into their phone. But the truth is, that camera in the phone is pretty great, depending on the phone.

It’s recently struck me that the camera in my phone has climbed the ladder to my most important feature in a phone.

Music has become so easy on a smartphone that it’s just standard now. There are so many different options to get music, and I’ve tried most all of them by now, that searching for the best option isn’t all that difficult.

I realized that the camera has become my most important feature in a phone because of that standalone camera I tried, and didn’t want to carry around. With my desire to combine as many devices as I can, I have to find the best of the best when it comes to individual features. And taking pictures has grown on me, at least since the start of 2013.

Which is why I think I’ve changed my mind about the next iPhone and an upgrade to the camera. While the general assumption now is that Apple will be changing more than just the camera for the next iPhone, I think I’d be willing to upgrade to the new device even if the Cupertino-based company really did just upgrade the camera.

I loved the HTC One for a lot of different reasons, but one of the strongest was the camera. Despite the fact it wasn’t rocking 13 megapixels of awesomeness, the 4 UltraPixel camera was pretty dang good. And, with as much focus as HTC and Samsung are putting in their cameras, I don’t have any doubt that Apple’s going to put just as big of a focus in the next iPhone’s camera, too.

Whatever the case, the next phone I get has to have a good camera. It’s a necessity. The biggest of all necessities, in fact. At least for me.

Where does your phone’s camera stand on the ladder of most important features? Does it need to be amazing? Or do you have a standalone camera that you depend on? Let me know!

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