While there used to be a time when the most important feature of a mobile phone was its ability to make and receive phone calls, it’s safe to say those days are over.
Today, trying to make it several hours without your smartphone feels a lot like walking around with a missing lung. So much so that these devices have become inextricably linked to our identities – they’re quite literally reflections of who we are becoming as a society.
Looking at a line-up of the new Note 8’s most enticing selling points, we can literally paint a picture of how consumer behaviour is changing.
We are creative
It’s no secret we’ve become the generation that communicates over text. In fact, according to a LivePerson survey of more than 4000 millennials around the globe, if it came down to a choice between calls or messaging, most of us would choose messaging.
But it’s more than just the fact that we favour messaging, it’s the way in which we view messaging as an art form. Whether it’s a meme, GIF or simply an emoticon, the way in which we express ourselves over messaging has become very important.
And we see this coming through strongly in the design of the Note 8, a prominent feature of which is the S Pen. With this tool, users can create animated drawings and send them over text message. This is creative messaging kicked up a notch.
We want witnesses
Because our generation places such great stock in experiences rather than material possessions, the way in which we record those experiences is becoming more and more important. Let’s face it, when buying a new phone, we’re often more interested in the quality of the camera than anything else. And it’s because we want everyone to witness our life experiences.
Is it any wonder that one of Samsung’s priorities with the Note 8 was to reinvent the way we take pictures? And to revolutionise picture-taking, it has the first ever dual camera with optical image stabilization to give you clear, blur free photos of moving shots. It also has Live Focus to help create stunning portraits and object photos with the background blurred out for a “bokeh” effect
We are the generation that is always switched on. Always on to the next thing, we’re more restless than we’ve ever been before – and for younger smartphone users this is even more the case. In fact, the average attention span of Gen Z is 8 seconds, according to statistics recently released at SXSW Interactive. This means they are often multi-tasking and shifting from screen to screen.
Cue the Note 8’s Infinity Display, which aside from being Samsung’s largest screen ever, enables split-screen functionality. Going back to the nifty S Pen, users can also write notes on their locked screens – it’s the ultimate convenience for a world always on the go.
We work beyond walls
While working on the move is not exactly new, we’re definitely using our smart phones for a greater number of work-related tasks than ever before. And Smart Insights’ Digital Mega Marketing Trends for 2018 tells us that consumers have become increasingly multi-platform. We want the convenience of being able to shift seamlessly from our mobiles to full screen mode.
This is so much the case that the Note 8 has a dedicated new accessory called Dex, which acts as a docking station for the smartphone. When plugged into a monitor, your phone literally becomes a PC. You can work from wherever you are, whether you have a laptop with you or not. It’s the best of both worlds rolled into one.
I guess this prompts the question at the end of the day as to whether we are the ones shaping future technology or whether it’s shaping us. And perhaps more importantly, what will tomorrow’s smartphone say about us?
The writer is the Director, Internet & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics East Africa