Top 10 Myth About Smartphones : BUSTED!


MYTH 1: More mAH means more battery life

Let me start this one off with an example. Say a car weighing 1000 kgs and having 100bhp of power is capable of delivering a mileage of 25kmpl. The same car will give lesser mileage if say you put another 500 kgs into it and will give more mileage if you reduce the weight say by removing the backseat for example. Similarly, the mileage will change based on your driving style as well. This is what happens in smartphone battery life as well. The mileage of a car can be related to the battery life of a phone. 

How you drive a car can be related to how you use a phone. A power user will get lesser battery life from a smartphone than a person who uses it just for calls, texting and the occasional browsing. Similarly even if you have 2 phones that are powered by say 3000 mAH batteries, their battery life will depend on the screen size and resolution as well. So a 5.5″ 1080p smartphone with 3000 mAH battery might give better battery life than a 5.5″ 1440p smartphone with 3100 mAH capacity. However that isn’t certain though as apart from the hardware specs, software optimisation plays a key role in a phone’s battery life.

Take the case of the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 for example. Both the devices have 5.5″ 1080p screens but the OnePlus One has a 3100 mAH battery while the OnePlus 2 has a larger 3300 mAH battery. Typically you’d expect better battery life on the OnePlus 2 but up until the recent update, the OnePlus 2 had battery life that wasn’t upto its full potential and the reason for that is the lack of proper optimisation. The latest update of OnePlus 2 brings around 1-2 hours improvement in Screen on Time and that is a big difference that is brought on just by the change in optimisation on the software end.

So while more mAH could mean better battery life in some cases, it doesn’t always translate to a longer battery life and can’t be used as a factor to judge the real life performance.

MYTH 2 : More Megapixels gives better image quality

This one is something that is quite similar to battery life but has more depth and factors to consider. More megapixels do not mean that the image quality is better. The only thing that is granted with more megapixels is more detailing. With more number of pixels, there is more information that can be captured by the sensor and more info per pixel translates to better details over all. However, image quality itself is something that depends on a lot of factors and isn’t as simple as finding out which phone has more Megapixels.

The Megapixel game was something that maufacturers started when Digital Cameras were invented. Back then, the resolution was so low on cameras that an increase in resolution would be so apparent and would automatically make a big difference in image quality. However nowadays, Megapixels have transcended the point where adding a few Megapixels won’t really show you much of a difference unless you’re printing out onto a really big canvas or zoom into the picture and examine it carefully.

There are many other factors that decide the image quality and this is why you probably see a Nikon D4s which costs over 7000 US$ coming with just a 16 Megapixel sensor while your smartphone can probably match or even beat that resolution. Image quality primarily depends on the sensor size, the lens quality, the ISO capabilities etc. A Nikon D4s has a full frame 35mm sensor that is several times bigger than a smartphone sensor. In fact, the sensor on most smartphones are much smaller than the sensors on point and shoot cameras too.

Notable phones that have large sensors than typical smartphones are the Nokia Pureview 808 which has a 1/1.2″ sensor, Lumia 1020 with a 1/1.5″ sensor and the LG G4 that has a 1/2.6″ sensor. The Panasonic Lumix CM1 smartphone that was released earlier this year has a 1″ sensor with 20 Megapixels that is as big as the one used on the Sony RX100 MK IV for example and that really shows in the kind of images the phone is able to capture. Since the sensor size is much bigger, the image quality is much better than phones with higher Megapixels such as the Lumia 1020 or Sony Z3.

MYTH 3: Don't take a call when your phone is charging because it can explode

It's true that there have been a few cases of mobile phones and tablets exploding – but it's actually the batteries that caused a fire and exploded – not the entire device itself.

Typically, the issue was attributed to low-quality, aftermarket batteries, spurious chargers, dubious charging techniques (trying to charge gadgets from 440 volt lines, DC batteries and so on). If you use genuine batteries and chargers in the way they are supposed to be used, you won't have a problem.

Mobile phones emit a lot of radiation – so don't keep them in 'sensitive' areas like your trousers/jeans or shirt pocket

Any good phone from a reputed company has to pass strict SAR (Specific Absorption Rating) tests. Meeting the certification guarantees that the phone will not emit enough radiation for concern.

There is also no established correlation between mobile phone usage and illnesses.

MYTH 4: Closing Apps Will Speed Up Your iPhone (Android also)

No, you don’t have to close iPhone apps by removing them from the list of recently used applications. Apps in your list of recently used apps aren’t actually “running” in the background and taking any computing resources. They’re just stored in your iPhone’s RAM, so you can go back to them more quickly. If your iPhone needs more RAM, it will automatically remove apps you aren’t using. Closing apps will just make them reopen more slowly.

Yes, Apple’s iOS does now allow apps to work in the background, but what they can do is limited. And they can continue to run even though they aren’t in the list of “recent apps” — if you want to control your background apps, control which apps have permission to run in the background from the Settings app.

MYTH 5: Using a Task Killer Will Speed Up Your Android Phone

The same myth goes around for Android phones. By using a task killer that automatically removes apps from RAM when you stop using them, you can speed up your phone — that’s what the rumor says, anyway. In practice, these apps are cached in RAM so you can get back to them more quickly.

You shouldn’t use a task killer, just as there’s no need to manually remove apps from the list of recent apps on Android. They’re frozen in the background. Yes, Android does allow apps to run in the background with less restrictions, but you shouldn’t need to close an app unless it’s misbehaving. This will actually make your Android phone slower to use.

MYTH 6: You Should Buy a Screen Protector to Protect Against Scratches

A screen protector is a thin sheet of plastic that you fasten over your smartphone’s screen. If the screen would ever be scratched by something, the plastic would be scratched instead — preserving the screen. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to replace a sheet of plastic than your smartphone’s screen!

This was a good idea at one point in time, but screen protectors have largely worn out their welcome. Modern smartphones use Gorilla Glass or similar technologies to produce extremely scratch resistant glass. As long as you’re not too rough with your phone, you should be fine.

More importantly, many things that would scratch a screen protector won’t actually scratch a modern Gorilla Glass screen. Search YouTube and you can find videos of people slashing their phones’ screens with knives. These would go straight through a screen protector and just bounce off a typical smartphone’s screen.

MYTH 7: Hands-free phones are safe to use while driving

Various studies have shown that driving with one hand is not the primary contributing factor to cell phone-related auto accidents.  In the dark ages before cell phones were popular, there seemed to be little concern about radio stations or cassette tapes causing auto accidents.  A study conducted by the National Safety Council concluded that carrying on a conversation was far more distracting than dialing or holding a cell phone.  They hypothesized that chatting with other passengers in a car does not pose as much of a danger as the passengers can act as another set of eyes.  Cell phones cannot.

MYTH 8: It is OK to read texts while driving but not send them

Reading and sending text messages while driving is dangerous.  When reading texts, a driver is not only failing to pay attention to his or her surroundings, but he or she isn’t even looking at the road.  Drivers are meant to periodically glance at gauges such as a car’s speedometer.  Reading texts is dangerous due to a driver’s shifted attention to the text as well as the extended period of time it takes to glance from phone to road.

MYTH 9: There is no safe time to talk on a cell phone while driving

There is one safe time to text, talk, and do whatever else on your cell phone while technically driving.  Your car must be in park.  In the event you are stuck behind a major accident on the interstate for a number of hours, all types of cell phone use is safe as long as the car is in park.  Note that you can still be cited for texting and driving, even if your car is not moving.  Slowly moving cars during rush hour do not count.  To be safe while using your phone, your car must be in park.

MYTH 10: Smartphones give people cancer

The World Health Organization (WHO) set off a small flurry of panic in 2011 when it classified the radiation from cellphones as “possibly carcinogenic.” And worrywarts for years have been concerned about the “radiation” from handheld devices. Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site, Goop, asks, “Are Cell Phones and WiFi Signals Toxic?” The city of Berkeley, Calif., passed a “Right to Know” measure in 2015 that requires all cellphone stores to warn buyers that the devices emit radiation. “Even if the science isn’t firm, if there’s a risk, we should proceed with caution,” Berkeley City Council member Max Anderson told the New York Times at the time.

But scientists have never established a direct link between cellphones and cancer, as even the WHO admitted. The group’s fact sheet, issued at the same time as its classification, says, “To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” Researchers have yet to definitively rule out suggestions that phones can increase cases of two types of brain cancer, a malignant form called glioma and a benign form called acoustic neuroma, but a definitive causal link has never been found. And the National Cancer Institute says there has been no significant increase in brain cancers in the past decade as cellphone use has increased.

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