71% of UK adults over the age of 55 own a smartphone, according to professional services company Deloitte.
The last few years have seen a huge growth in smartphone ownership in that age category, according to the company’s yearly mobile consumer survey. In fact, only 29% of over-55s owned one in 2012.
Deloitte’s research also revealed that 85% of UK adults of any age own a smartphone, and that 91% of them use it every day. By comparison, only 52% owned a smartphone in 2012.
However, it seems that older owners use their smartphones less than younger ones. Some 16% of those in the 55-64 age category said they felt they used their phone too much, while only 12% of those aged 65-75 said the same. Meanwhile 56% of 16-24s and 55% of 25-34s admitted to this.
It’s largely unsurprising that smartphones are the most-owned consumer electronics device, with a 7% lead on laptops, and 17% more than tablets.
The widespread ownership is understandable, in that smartphones are capable of many different functions. As you can see from the graphic below (also based on Deloitte’s research), more people use their smartphones on a daily basis than laptops, ebook readers, portable games players and so on. Smartphones can do many of the same things as all of these, and so can act as a one-stop shop.
But do we live in a smartphone-obsessed age? As you can see from below, many people check their phones just before they go to sleep, almost as soon as they wake up, and even during the night.
Deloitte predicts that smartphone ownership will continue to grow, and that by 2022 it expects the figure to be between 90% and 95%. Plus, it reckons a higher proportion of people will use them on a daily basis.
Deloitte’s findings are based on a survey of 4,150 UK consumers aged 16-75, conducted May-June 2017.
Mobile phone reviews – our expert verdicts on the most popular smartphones
Are people buying the right smartphones?
With so many people buying smartphones and using them a lot, it’s important to make sure you buy a handset that’s a dream to use rather than causing you frustration every time you look at it.
That’s why our unique, impartial and demanding tests are so useful. For instance, we’re able to separate the smartphones that will easily see you through the day without losing charge, from those that will need topping up far too frequently.
Many people use their smartphones to take photos and videos, too. If you’re one of them, you’ll want one that captures detail, colour and motion beautifully even in low light. Take a gamble, and you risk buying a smartphone that takes photos worthy only of deletion.
For a quick fix to finding the best smartphone, check out our top five smartphones for 2017.
Do I need to spend much for a top quality smartphone?
The short answer is: no. The longer answer is: no, but you have a higher chance of ending up with a dud if you don’t want to spend much.
Fortunately, we’ve found a few brilliant smartphones worthy of our Best Buy recommendation that don’t cost the earth. Indeed, you can pick up our cheapest Best Buy smartphone for less than £200.
If you’re looking for a smartphone that represents the best value for money, consult our best cheap mobile phones page. It includes our cheapest Best Buys, as well as our pick of other cheap smartphones that offer super bang for their buck. We also highlight three cheap smartphones that aren’t worth buying at all, to help you avoid making a decision you’ll regret.