These are the phone features I’d love to make a comeback in 2024 and beyond

These are the phone features I’d love to make a comeback in 2024 and beyond

Recently, I unearthed my outdated Samsung Galaxy S20 from the depths of a ‘forgotten devices’ drawer, and as soon as the phone was nestled in my hand, I used to be immediately struck by extra than simply nostalgia.With its compact type issue, the glossy aesthetic received me fascinated by what we might have left behind in our relentless pursuit of following tendencies and newer know-how.Some of the telephones have features that appear criminally neglected in the present day and some are thought-about technological lifeless ends that perhaps we’ve been too hasty to kick to the curb. So include me on a journey to discover the features from older telephones I’d love to see make a comeback this yr or in the near-future. Smaller, thinner and curved telephones(Image credit score: Future)More of a private choice however I loved the dimension and really feel of the thinner, curved-shaped telephones like my outdated Galaxy S20, which not solely appeared streamlined however which additionally felt comfy in each my arms and pockets.However, since the iPhone 12, many telephones started to function flatter edges and much less curved designs, showing extra utilitarian, seemingly solely after a few generations of adopting curvier edges and screens.There are exceptions, comparable to the OnePlus 11 and the Honor 90 to identify simply two, however total most telephones appear to be shifting in direction of a related form as seen on the newest iPhone and Samsung gadgets; this is sensible, provided that they are the top-selling smartphones, however it would not do a lot for selection.Screens have additionally been following a pattern of accelerating in dimension, offering clearer viewing, and extra immersive gaming, whereas holding bezels trim to ship edge-to-edge viewing experiences.Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max have develop into so giant and normalized now that they’ve changed the specialised ‘phablet’ telephones comparable to the now-defunct Samsung Note sequence. These particularly supplied bigger screens for note-taking and productiveness, relatively than being supposed to be the ubiquitous normal for flagship telephones, however the latter is what has now occurred. At a sure level, these telephones can start to appear like tablets or simply be unwieldy, and frustratingly there are treasured few smaller phone with flagship specs on supply; take the retiring of the iPhone 13 mini for instance of the shrinking curiosity in compact handsets. So I’d love to see extra flagship phone households embrace compact choices that can be utilized principally one-handed. Or failing that, extra telephones with curvier edges once more to ape the comfy telephones of yore. Smaller digital camera modules(Image credit score: TechRadar)Older telephones housed a lot smaller digital camera modules. These had been much less subtle and had restricted capabilities in contrast to in the present day’s flagships, however they had been additionally typically higher built-in with a phone’s rear than they are now; really we reside in an period of chunky rear digital camera items. I might love to see better-integrated cameras make a correct return, and fortunately it does seem that telephones are typically heading in this route. Even top-tier flagships comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S23 sequence and iPhone 15 fashions function far more refined cameras, with out compromising on high quality. Conversely, bigger digital camera modules like these on the HONOR Magic 5 Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra whereas serving a sensible goal, will be one thing of an eyesore. Having stated that, I like how the Google Pixel 8’s visor is built-in into the design, however I hope this can even be minimized in the future.Smaller cameras are one factor, however then there’s the subject of how front-facing cameras generally come in show notches or cutouts. A superb – but usually forgotten – answer to this got here in the type of pop-up cameras, like that in the OnePlus 7 Pro, to disguise away selfie snappers till they had been wanted. While there have been considerations over mechanism put on, there aren’t a slew of experiences citing pop-up digital camera failings. And this tech nonetheless looks like a sublime manner to bypass each cutout-centric selfie cameras; they may even be used to disguise away rear cameras, too. The glossy cool of pop-up cameras appeared to come and go very quick, and that is a disgrace. This intelligent system, nicely built-in by OnePlus in 2019, saved a phone’s display freed from holes and was nice for extra security-conscious customers by holding the digital camera housed into the physique of the phone. As such, I reckon it is time phone makers explored pop-up cameras as soon as once more. MicroSD slots(Image credit score: James Ide / Future)The function I miss most from fashionable telephones is microSD slots. For the uninitiated, these allowed you to develop a phone’s inside reminiscence beyond that the system got here with. And additionally they made it simpler for you to switch information between your older telephones and your laptop computer.Despite claims that they precipitated instabilities or arguments about them affecting water resistance and mud safety, the actual motive for his or her omission is probably going due to cash. It’s a lot simpler for producers to promote you the bigger storage model of a system or higher but make you think about a extra premium mannequin by providing extra inside storage by default. And in fact there’s additionally the additional money they’ll wring from you by the use of month-to-month cloud storage plans.While you do see microSD slots on some mid-range and price range telephones, exterior reminiscence is a distant reminiscence for many flagship fashions. The Sony Xperia 1 V is one among the final flagships that provides expandable reminiscence and for non-flagships, the Samsung Galaxy A54 and OnePlus Nord N300 are the subsequent smartest thing. I’d be relatively assured that if a flagship Android phone readopted a microSD card slot in 2024, it may have a punchier dose of attraction than barely sooner efficiency and mildly improved cameras.  An included charging brick(Image credit score: Anker)It’s infuriating to me that we’re in a state of affairs the place you possibly can shell out for a very costly top-tier phone, solely to uncover it would not come bundled with the mandatory adapter to cost it at full tempo.Not all producers do that, admittedly, and all do include some type of USB charging cable – however I do not really feel that is sufficient.Despite practically everybody having entry to a USB port someplace in their house, charging a phone from, say, a laptop computer port is much much less handy and speedy in contrast to connecting to a charging brick in a energy socket. Granted, phone makers tout the removing of charging bricks for environmental causes, nonetheless the cynic in me thinks it is more than likely to save on manufacturing prices for the producer. And I do really feel that there needs to be extra choices to get a charger bundled in a field, at the very least with flagship telephones; let me opt-out of getting a charger, relatively than forcing it upon me. VR performance(Image credit score: Expedia / Samsung)When I noticed the Samsung Gear VR again in 2015 I used to be instantly a believer. In truth, I assumed phone-based digital actuality headsets had been the future. Sadly it wasn’t, as the Gear VR was discontinued in 2017.Developed in collaboration with Oculus, it was a head-mounted accent that allowed you to place sure Samsung Galaxy telephones into a plastic head mount. Your phone would then act as the show and processor for the VR expertise, additionally offering head monitoring, a microphone, and a touchpad for interplay. It diminished the entry barrier for VR, letting virtually anybody expertise immersive digital actuality video games, video, and content material.I at all times thought its demise was a disgrace, as most cell phones are overpowered for day-to-day duties and solely a few video games tax the {hardware}. So, with processing energy, battery, and display know-how drastically bettering generation-to-generation some five-plus years in the past, it appeared like a nice concept for a VR headset that used an upgradeable interchangeable part. Yet this by no means got here to go and the Gear VR is simply a footnote in cell phone historical past, alongside Google’s Daydream effort. Sure, we have now the Meta Quest 3 and its ilk, however it might be nice for smartphone VR to make a correct comeback, particularly given the energy and excessive refresh fee show on the greatest telephones that would feasibly ship high-fidelity VR experiences. DeX(Image credit score: Future)Technically this function is exclusive to Samsung gadgets and hasn’t been eliminated or discontinued. However, I feel it ought to develop into normal on most Samsung telephones and I’m irritated it isn’t included on the Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 and others in the sequence.DeX enables you to depart the laptop computer at house by reworking your phone into a full desktop expertise that is, arguably, akin to a PC with full entry to your whole information. This permits you to write emails, view work photographs, and even watch movie and video.Once you join sure Samsung gadgets to a monitor or TV it’s also possible to hook up a mouse and keyboard and acquire the advantage of engaged on a greater display, permitting you to proceed working. By harnessing your phone’s highly effective processor, Dex is greater than succesful sufficient for day-to-day computing duties and has been a lifesaver when I’ve been with out my laptop computer. Given the energy of contemporary phone chips, I see no motive why extra telephones cannot include their very own tackle DeX. Or perhaps even license it from Samsung to really make smartphones a tech device for practically every part. Alert sliders(Image credit score: Future | John McCann)While not important, I at all times favored the alert sliders on telephones comparable to the iPhone 14 and OnePlus 11, as they had been a wonderful means to rapidly flip off any distractions with out taking a look at your display or needing to entry any phone menus. That was (and type of nonetheless is, in the case of OnePlus telephones) nice when you are acutely aware of your display time and get simply distracted when muting your phone through a menu. Honourable mentions3.5mm headphone jack: principally gone, however I’ve not forgotten how helpful it could possibly be. Removable batteries: a wonderful means to maintain a phone going for longer, however not value the compromise on water and mud resistance. Metal-backed telephones: extra sturdy and arguably extra premium than glass backs; pity they mess with wi-fi charging. These devoted switches have a historical past going again to the OnePlus 2 and have been a normal function on iPhones since the very starting.And I feel they need to be integrated on extra gadgets and let extra individuals have time away from their telephones while not having to put their gadgets in a drawer. Failing that, adopting a multi-function slider or swap, comparable to the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro, that may be personalized to mute notifications and so on, can be a sublime manner to carry again the basic alert slider.Never to return?The probability of many of those features returning most likely isn’t going to occur. But flip telephones have come again (albeit in a foldable phone type) and smaller digital camera modules are seemingly the choice of upstart manufacturers comparable to Nothing, so that you by no means know what may make a comeback. And wanting again, with an eye fixed on evolution at the similar time, could possibly be a method to forestall future telephones from turning into boring near-identical slabs with totally different branding, all caught up in iterative yearly improve cycles. So, I hope we’ll see phone producers attempt to be a little extra experimental to stand out and who is aware of what they may provide you with, and certainly carry again. But for now, I feel I’ll nonetheless maintain maintain of my outdated Galaxy S20, not only for video games and a few mild duties, however as a nostalgic reminder of all the sensible features smartphones have misplaced as they’ve gained extra superior tech. You may like

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