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What Indians look in a smartphone before buying?

Mobile phones and Smartphones have become a necessity for everyone. With the new concept of Digital India, the reliance on phones has increased by lightyears.

In the year 2017, almost 135 million smartphones were sold in India. So from this trend, we can understand the demand for phones in India is really high. 

Buying smartphones in India is considered to be a big deal as the majority of Indians spend a substantial amount of their income in buying a smartphone

Hence, a lot of things are taken into consideration while buying one. Also, there are so many brands in the market and this makes it difficult for us to choose the right phone. 

For most Indians, when buying smartphones, there are few parameters which are taken into considerations. For OS developers it's bad news, because normally Indians do not buy phones only based on operating systems.


Indians mostly buy phones based on brand, processors, screen size, features RAM, battery life, etc. 

More than OS, Indians prefer buying phones which have unique features like facial recognition, thumbprint recognition and many more. 

Hence, the parameters which Indians take into considerations while buying smartphones is a bit different from other countries. 

In this post, we will discuss in detail the buying trends of smartphones for Indian customers. This will surely help marketers understand the demographics of the Indian market.

Most Preferred Smartphone Company And Price Segment

There are plenty of smartphone manufacturers in the market and all such companies belong to different countries across the globe, and if we total the list of most preferred companies, we’ll get the most preferred smartphone manufacturers according to the countries. These smartphones are launched in a specific price range according to the preferred price range of the market  

In this section we will explore:

  •  Company Preference For Buying a Smartphone
  • Preferred Price Segment For Smartphones
Preferred Company & Price Segment  For Buying A Smartphone
Preferred Company & Price Segment  For Buying A Smartphone

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Most Preferred Smartphone Company And Price Segment

When it comes to buying smartphones in India, people mostly focus on the brand and price range as a deciding factor

Since most of the Indians have a limited budget, hence the price factor plays an important role while buying a phone. 

From a study conducted via votes of 541k people, it was found out that 62% of Indians prefer buying Chinese phones; around 15% Indians prefer buying Indian brands and 23% of Indians prefer buying brands other than Indian and Chinese origin

When it comes to price range, voting was done among 455k candidates and it was found out that 19% of Indians prefer buying phones which cost less than 10000

Similarly, 55% of Indians prefer phones which range from 15000-20000, 13% of Indians prefer buying phones which range from 20000-30000 and only 13% prefer buying phones which cost more than 30000.

Factors That Influence Buying Decision

Most important feature while buying a smartphone

Buying a smartphone without knowing its specification is not a good choice; you shouldn’t purchase a phone if you don’t know anything about it. Every one of us looks for the specific feature while making a purchase and here we will cover all the statistics related to that.

In this section we will explore:

  • Feature Preferences While Buying A Smartphone
  • Preferences For Specifications While Choosing A Smartphone
  • Preference Of Under Display  Camera Smartphone
  • Percentage Of Trust On Smartphone Brands For Security Issues 
Factors That Influence Buying Decision
Most important feature while buying a smartphone

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Factors that Influence Buying Decision

Other than brand and price range, other factors also play an important role while making a buying decision.

From voting among 264 candidates, it was found that only 5% of Indians take display into consideration while making a purchase. 

Similarly, 7% decides based on the camera features, 82% decides based on performance, 5% decides based on battery and charging and lastly, 1% decides based on audio and 3.5mm jack.  

Another study was conducted via votes from 586k candidates and it was seen that 70% of candidates prefer to buy phones which have Qualcomm processors

Similarly, 12% of candidates prefer MediaTek processors, 8% prefer Enynos processors, 8% prefer Apple processors, and 3% prefer Kirin processors

A study was also conducted based on colour preferences and it was found that 6% prefer the colour red, 53% prefer black colour, 16% prefer white colour, 21% prefer blue/green colours and for 4% colour does not matter.

Another important factor which consumers take into consideration is the camera. From a study, it was found out that 52% buyers make a purchase based on megapixels, 10% based on aperture, 15% decides on sensor size, 17% makes a purchase based on sensor brand and 5 % makes a choice on optical zoom.  

The battery is also one of the important factors which determine buying decisions. From a study, it was found out that :

  • 56% prefer buying smartphones which have a battery capacity of 5000 mAh
  • 16% prefer smartphones with battery capacity of 4000 mAh
  • 12% look for battery capacity of 4500 mAh
  • 15% prefer buying smartphones with 6000 mAh
  • only 2% prefer buying smartphones which have a battery capacity of 5500 mAh

Another study was conducted based on RAM preferences. A vote of 771k was taken into consideration and it was found that 47% prefer phones with RAM of 4-6 GB, 29% prefer RAM of 2-4 GB, 13% are comfortable with RAM less than 2 GB, 7% look for RAM of 8 GB and only 5% choose phones with RAM of 12/16 GB.

Lastly, many consumers take security very seriously and based on this a voting was done among 565K candidates.

It was found out that when it comes to security, 78% prefer Apple, 14% prefer Samsung, 2% prefer Asus, 2% prefer Xiaomi/Poco and 4% prefer Oppo/ Vivo/ Realme/OnePlus.

Preference For Gaming Smartphones

Demand For Dedicated Gaming Smartphone

Gaming is a booming industry and hence everyone wants to explore this thrilling experience. Gaming is not restricted to play stations or computers anymore; nowadays mobile phones have their own gaming market and specific phones are designed for a smooth gaming experience.

In this section we will explore:

  • Demand for Dedicated Gaming Smartphone.
Preference For Gaming Smartphones
Demand for dedicated gaming smartphone

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Preference For Gaming Smartphones

It has been observed that in recent times, people are shifting to smartphones which can support high-end games. This is due to the fact that there are many mobile games which have been made available in the app stores.

Games like PUBG, Ludo King etc have taken the market by storm and hence, people are slowly shifting to gaming phones in order to play these games. 

Taking this into consideration voting among 221k candidates was done and from the results of the voting, it was concluded that 68% of the people are interested in buying gaming smartphones

Only 32% of the candidates showed that they are not interested when buying smartphones

Other Factors Which Influence Buying Decisions

Innovations for New Phones

Smartphones are going to have more features in the upcoming time, and hence people specifically wait for some of the features which keep on updating time to time. The look of the smartphone also matters, so is the back panels and foldable feature.

In this section we will explore:

  • Most Demanded Innovations For A New Phone.
  • Effect Of The Back Panel On Buying Decision.
  • Percentage Of Interest In Affordable Folding Phones.
  • Preference For 5G In Percentage.
Other Factors Which Influence Buying Decisions
Most demanded innovations for a new phone

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Other Factors Which Influence Buying Decisions

With the advancing technology, new features are continuously being inculcated in smartphones. Based on these new features, the purchase decision also changes.

From a survey done by YouTube through poll, it was found that :

  • 8% people prefer foldable display
  • 27% people prefer super-fast charging
  • 26% people prefer phones with 5G capabilities
  • 14% prefer phones which have  camera zooming capability of 30X and above
  • 13% prefer phones which have 108MP camera
  • 12% prefer in-display selfie camera

Even the back panel material of a phone has now become a deciding purchase factor. From recent votes of 432k people, it was found that 67% makes a purchase decision based on the back panel and 33% do not have any preference towards the back panel.

The ergonomics of a folding phone also is a major deciding factor when it comes to purchasing. From a voting of 375k candidates, it was concluded that 34% are interested in folding phones, while 66% are not interested in folding phones

5G is the new technology and many consumers are now using this feature as a deciding factor. It is seen that 22% buyers consider 5G features before making a purchase

Similarly, 12% of people are not interested in 5G features and 66% feel that 5G will come a lot later in India

Decision Making Process For Buying A Smartphone

Smartphone is a trending electronic device, and people often change it at a specific time for many reasons, but before making the purchase, they do research from various internet sources. In fact, apart from internet research, they do other research as well which is presented below.

In this section we will explore:

  •  How Often Do People Change Their Smartphone
  • Sources Of Information While Buying A Smartphone
  • Time Spent Between Researching  And Buying
Decision Making Process For Buying A Smartphone
Change of smartphone, research & information

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Decision-Making Process

Indian consumers often change their smartphones for upgrade reasons or even for replacement purposes.

A study was conducted based on 238k votes and it was found that 5% of people prefer changing phones every 6 months, 8% change their phones once a year, 74% change their phones until the ones which they are using are completely dead and 13% change phones in every 2 years

As we know, buying a smartphone in India is a big deal for the majority, hence, people research a lot before settling for the perfect fit.

From a study, it was found that :

  • 37% of the people spend almost 1 week doing research
  • 32% spend 2 to 3 weeks on research
  • 20 % spend 1 month on research
  • 3% spend around 4-6 months on research
  • 1% spend almost 7-12 months on research

From a study, the sources of research were also found out. As a result, it was found that 68% of people prefer YouTube and Gadget sites to do the research before buying

Similarly, 7% prefer buying by asking for recommendations from a friend, 10% visit stores to decide which phone to buy, 15% check e-commerce websites, 24% watch YouTube reviews before making any purchase and 44% check gadget websites .


From the above, we can conclude that buying a smartphone for an Indian consumer is a big deal. A lot of factors determine the decision while buying a phone.

Since there are loads of options to choose from, Indian consumers have a lot of preference and based on these choices, the decision of buying a particular phone is determined.  

As per personal experience, most Indians look into the RAM, display, camera, price and battery features before making a decision. 

And with the advent of online review sites and YouTube videos, consumers do thorough research before settling for any kind of phone. 

Also, recently with so many games popping up, the taste of the consumers is slowly shifting to gaming smartphones. 

So, to sum it up, for Indian customers, understanding their choices is a bit different from other countries.  

Sources & References

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About The  Author

Editor-in-Chief : Ishant Sharma

Currently working as an Editor in chief with Recommendit, he is managing all the ins and outs of the content management process and editorial operations. Having an experience of 8 years in the publishing/ e-solution industry, he manages a small freelancing team of fellow editors and has worked with several domains including academics, healthcare, lifestyle and technical writings. He is a stickler for accuracy and loves to read noir-fiction and binge-watch anthologies. Know more about Ishant

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