Smartphones trump books as Brits’ number one beach essential

Natalie Bannerman
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35% of Brits see their handset as vital for a holiday day out, according to figures from O2 UK

O2 Bank Holiday InfographicNew research from O2 reveals that 35% of the British public say their smartphone is the most essential item for a day out at the beach.

This was in comparison to other must-haves such as a book or a swimming costume which scored 17% and 16% respectively. In addition 18% of those surveyed say that they spend at least two hours of their day at the beach surfing the internet, with 38% spending at least an hour doing the same.

Commenting on the results, Derek McManus, chief operating officer at O2, said: “Our survey showed that good internet connection is a top consideration for 39% of Brits when planning a holiday, which is why O2 is working hard to ensure our customers have access to high-quality mobile and 4G connectivity, no matter where they are in the country – from major cities and rural communities across the UK, to our favourite British seaside destinations.”  

The trend among holiday goers extends beyond just the internet, further results show 

With holiday needs evolving, here’s how Brits are using smartphones by the seaside:32% download music, podcasts and e-books online, 25% are posting photos and checking their friends’ and families’ profiles on social media, only 9% of us are working or emailing and 7% are booking last-minute hotels and activities for during their stay. 

As the need for greater connectivity rises, operators like O2 are meeting that need. According to the company it invests roughly “£2 million every day to develop its UK mobile network and its 4G now covers over 97 per cent of the UK population outdoors”.

“We know our customers rely on good connection while on the move, so we are also working to improve connectivity on Britain’s motorways. Holidays should be a stress-free break where our customers can make calls and access the internet, just like at home. So, we’re continuing to help our customers connect to our 4G network where it matters most to them,” added McManus.