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Men think phones say more about them than cars, poll says

Get the feeling everyone's looking at your smartphone when you walk down the street? You're not alone, fella.

"Um, I have a brain you know." CBS News

Gentlemen, what's the first thing people notice about you? Your bulging biceps? Your self-assured swagger? Your Nokia Lumia 920?

If you chose option No. 3, you fall in line with the results of a new global survey from mobile video startup Vuclip. Sixty-one percent of men, it indicates, say the first thing people notice about them is the type of phone they have. That's compared with 38 percent of women who think people's eyes go straight to their Droid Razr Maxx HD above all else.

The poll -- one of many recent surveys examining technology attitudes and habits -- culled the responses of 120,000 consumers from around the world over the course of four days last month. Participants in the poll identified themselves as coming from 15 countries, with India, Canada, and Saudi Arabia getting the most representation. (Only 5,000 respondents came from the U.S.)

"The results indicate a growing acceptance of mobile phone use in social settings, and offer a look at the extent to which we view mobile devices as symbols of status," Vuclip said in a release. The survey did not detail whether those citing phones as their most noticeable attribute tote a 24-carat gold iPhone 5, a 2003 flip phone, or something in between.

While more men than women came across as conscious of what their phones say about them, 56 percent of total respondents named their phone as the first thing people spot about them, before clothes, cars, or watches. (Clearly, none of them were wearing a prototype iWatch.) That number jumps to 82 percent among the under-18 crowd.

Other findings from the multiple-choice survey:

  • When asked if they'd ever been criticized by friends for using their phone in a social setting, 58 percent of respondents replied, "No, they're on their phones also," compared with 80 percent of the teenage demographic with the same response.
  • When asked if they'd ever been ashamed to let people see their phone, 48 percent of respondents replied, "Yes, it's too old," while 78 percent of respondents under 18 gave the same response.

Vuclip doesn't break down the survey data by region, though it stands to reason that a particular phone model might hold more status sway in the eyes of those in developing countries where fewer own cell phones than those in completely phone-saturated environs. The same could hold true for countries where trendy products arrive later than they do to other countries and may even be smuggled in.

But while number crunchers expected key findings to vary from region to region, "really the biggest difference we saw in responses was less geographical and more generational," Vuclip CEO Nickhil Jakatdar said. "The under-18 crowd is really driving trends," including, apparently, participating in mobile surveys.

Indeed, while 62 percent of respondents said they look up information on their mobile phones first when considering important purchases, 82 percent of those under 18 said they look to their phones for purchasing direction before turning to their desktop, friends, or local retailers.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to fire up my phone and see if I can get a deal on a newer, sexier model.