Text and video chat have become important ways of communicating via smartphone. Even just a few years ago, not even 50% of smartphone users used mobile applications for video calls on a regular basis. Unfortunately, till today commonly the smartphones are not judged for their ergonomics and features for text chat and video chat. The differences between various smartphones not only limited to the processing power or different hardware features but also in how we hold the smartphone for how longer.
Also, it matters with whom text and video chat will be done. Many of the deciding factors, however, are not purely technical specification dependent, rather dependent on the design. The audience whose smartphone usage involves heavy texting and chatting requires a physical keyboard and optionally wireless headphone, like Samsung Level U. They are not suitable for need when complete noise cancellation feature is wanted. Much touted smartphones with curved screen demand market research before purchase when some of the niche specific application going to be used more. There will be some differences between accessing a bingo game like the ones found on www.mFortune.co.uk via a smartphone with a curved screen than using a chat app like WhatsApp! With this small introduction, we are diving into specific details and finally, we will draw a conclusion.
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It is obvious that a higher resolution selfie camera is better for picture quality. Typically, front cameras are less capable than the rear camera. There are several smartphone models which have a pop-up camera with no dedicated front camera including Samsung A90. These models use the same optics and sensor for both the front and the rear camera.
For the longer video calls, most of us tend to keep the smartphone in landscape mode. The device’s power button should be opposite to the smartphone’s front-facing camera and the other buttons.
Previously we talked about Vivo Y71, which is a mid-range smartphone. It has all the keys on the right-hand side and the front-facing camera on the left-hand side. On the other hand, similarly priced Samsung J7 Max has buttons on both sides. But, the overall quality of Samsung J7 Max is far superior to Vivo. Newer models of Samsung mostly corrected this glitch. The built-in front-facing camera better to have a wide angle lens to capture a wider area.
Also, there are external cameras for Android smartphones. External cameras can have night vision decreasing the need for more light.
Battery and ways of charging
Battery life is the most important factor for any electronic device. Video calling consumes significant battery. More a battery has the capacity, longer it will hold a single charge. Bigger the screen and brightness, lesser time the charge will remain. There are different battery backpack readily available for the Android smartphones. However, using a smartphone while keeping the battery backpack connected decreases the lifespan of the backpack. These days, the wireless charging feature becoming common among high-end smartphones. All of the Android smartphones support the addition of kit for wireless charging. However, when wireless-charging is not built-in, the USB port becomes occupied unless a safer USB port expander is used. Built-in wireless charging feature makes the setup compact.
Audio and headphone connectivity
A stereo loudspeaker higher decibel output, of course, a good feature. However, for group chat, external speaker and microphone are more practical. Most of the newer Android smartphones support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and full support of wireless speakers and headphones. Quality of sound becomes dependent on the chipset. Dolby Atmos is a good player in the mobile segment.
Processor and GPU
Video chat is quite a processor intensive task and we would point to our earlier article on the latest smartphone GPUs to have an idea of the brand names related system on a chip. The topic on the latest smartphone GPUs is already been discussed with many details to provide a good idea of brand names of the System on a Chip (SoC).
It is not all astonishing to face overheating issues with longer video chat or just WhatsApp. Both need continuous work on the processor to draw the screen. Video calls are quite GPU intensive. More high-end will be the device, more likely to have the latest processor, GPU and some newer ways inside to resolve the overheating issues.
Curved screen or flat screen
The curved screen looks great but limited and practical in certain use-cases. Text chat or video chat really needs a flat screen. Unfortunately, most of the device manufacturers are pushing curved screen at higher end models to make a beautiful look.
Of course, higher will be the resolution, lesser will be the eye-strain. AMOLED and related technologies are not more friendly to the eyes than LED. However, LED screens with high-end processors is a rare finding of these days.
Form factor, design and support of external keyboard
An odd ratio of the screen (elongated screen) will side-wise chop the remote video making the actual size of the video lesser. Samsung Galaxy S8 is a good example of a model which faces this issue.
The matters around the position of the buttons already discussed above. A fingerprint rear fingerprint sensor does not help to work with the smartphone while placing it on a table or some holder. On the other hand, on-screen fingerprint sensor, even a dedicated fingerprint sensor at the front makes the unlocking easier. Obviously, a bigger sized smartphone is difficult to hold in smaller sized hand, forcing both hands to use.
Almost all of the current Android smartphones support USG OTG, making it easier to attach any keyboard or mouse with the Android smartphone. The dongle of the wireless keyboards also can be easily attached via USB OTG. There are few models of Android smartphones with official keyboard cover, such as from Samsung.
Drawing any conclusion to choose the ideal cost-effective model is difficult. A less capable smartphone on usage for works for higher processing power likely to face dead battery faster than a more capable smartphone. A less ergonomic smartphone likely to create wrist and elbow pain, possibly stress injuries. It is a fact that for comfortable longer usage we need an external keyboard for text chat and external camera for video chat. In general, Android smartphones have readily available hardware peripherals and USB OTG. However, Android smartphones do not support Apple’s FaceTime app. Also, not all smartphone models have an equal quality of signal reception
quality. It is practical to choose some models and find some reliable reviews.