Technology Mobiles and Tabs 31 May 2017 Decoding the complic ...

Decoding the complicated smartphone naming convention

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
Published May 31, 2017, 12:42 pm IST
Updated May 31, 2017, 12:45 pm IST
The names of smartphones are getting weirdly confusing for consumers to figure out the difference between each of them.
The simple experience of smartphone buying, which has to be a joyous one for the consumer, becomes a fact finding time to basically understand what a specific model offers differently than the competition.
 The simple experience of smartphone buying, which has to be a joyous one for the consumer, becomes a fact finding time to basically understand what a specific model offers differently than the competition.

If you are in the market for a new smartphone, you will notice that there’s saturation in the portfolio of all manufacturers. You get a wide variety of silicon chipsets in a particular price range. However, that variety of smartphones is often complicated by the most important thing – names for handsets. If you don’t understand, consider the following example.

Sunil is an average middle-class person looking for a new smartphone in the mid-range segment. When he goes to the shop, the salesman bombards him with the following options – Samsung J7 Prime, Samsung J7 2016, Samsung J7 2015, Samsung J5 Prime and so on. Same was the case with the Oppo and Vivo models. Eventually, our middle-class person decides to give up concerning himself with the differences between similar looking smartphones and chooses the one with the lesser price tag.

 

Take any smartphone brand and go through the catalogue of their smartphone lineup. All of them have identical looks, identical colours, identical features and an identical price tag in particular range. The only differing factor is the brand name engraved on the back and the model of sales. But, the naming convention for most of the handsets often takes a confusing route, courtesy the marketing department of the manufacturers. That is why Asus calls their latest selfie-oriented smartphone the Zenfone Live, which doesn’t justify its USP. The only way you differentiate between Xiaomi’s affordable Redmi series is by going through its specification sheet – Redmi Note 4 for a 5.5-inch screen and Redmi 4 for screens with 5-inches.

 

In a market where a manufacturer has many similar smartphone models and highly confusing model portfolio, it is the consumer who has to suffer from confusing names. The simple experience of smartphone buying, which has to be a joyous one for the consumer, becomes a fact finding time to basically understand what a specific model offers differently than the competition. Instead of simplifying the process, manufacturers tend to complicate the issue further.

A year or two back, Samsung promised to ease up the nomenclature of its confusing smartphone lineup. Spin the clock to 2017 and you have four variants of the Samsung J7 and 10 similarly named J-series smartphones in the sub-Rs 10,000 categories. Similarly, Moto is about to add a G5S Plus edition to its mid-range series.

 

Why can’t all manufacturers follow Apple’s naming conventions? They have a simple and elegant lineup for this year – the iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s simple, sweet and easily distinguishable. Similarly, the new Nokia under HMD Global has three smartphones as of now – Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. You look at the names and you can distinguish between the entry level model and the range topper.

But, established manufacturers won’t trim down their lineup to see their balance sheet showing lesser figures. There will be a lot of smartphones in a particular price range with highly confusing names. So, the question to ask is – can we have a solution to this unnecessary evil?

 

We try to explain some of the popular brand’s confusing lineup in a simple way. So, if you are willing to buy a smartphone from these manufacturers, this could help.

Samsung

J series – The entry to mid-level smartphone series. These phones are focussed on providing value for money smartphones with average specifications. The prime phones in this range are mid-life updates with regards to performance and software.
A series – The mid-range series with premium build quality. The phones have decent internals and are made of a glass-metal combo.
C series – The mid-range series with a focus on performance and specifications.
S-series – The flagship lineup with every possible gizmo thrown into their phone.

 

HTC

Desire series – The mid-range lineup with average specifications, average camera, and average build quality.
U/10/One series – The flagship lineup from HTC with the best hardware crammed into their phone.

Xiaomi

Redmi 4A series– The entry level smartphone from Xiaomi with all the basics of a smartphone.
Redmi 4 series – The next entry-level lineup with a premium build and respectable performance from mid-range specifications.
Redmi Note series – The mid-range lineup with large screens, big battery, premium build quality and commendable performance.
Mi series – The flagship models promising exceptional build quality, top-notch performance and all the bells and whistles.

 

Moto

E series – The entry-level lineup with basic specifications and an affordable price tag.
G series – The mid-range lineup with medium specifications and a decent camera.
M series – The mid-range lineup with a metal body build. It is basically the metallic version of Moto G4.
Z Play series – The high mid range level lineup with great build quality, good performance and Moto Mods compatibility.
Z series – The flagship range with the best of Moto’s smartphone making knowledge and Moto Mods compatibility.

 

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