The most pointless features we get excited about

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| August 24, 2014


If you’re anything like me (or anybody that works at PhoneDog for that matter), you’re always on the hunt for new rumors, leaks, and deets of new devices and gadgets. We’re talking camera, processor, memory, RAM, design, size; after all, these are the components that make the phone’s experience, right? Right! So of course we’re going to get jazzed about whatever new features we can find out about.


With that being said, lately I’ve noticed that some of the things that people get really “jazzed” about are really... pointless? Mundane, maybe? Or maybe they’re just boring and repetitive. It always seems like the same ol’ things are always trying to one-up each other with each new release. I’ve mentioned before that I thought that innovation had taken a significantly slower pace in the industry since the earlier smartphone days where manufacturers were “experimenting” with the best fitting form, but still. Some of these features that are making headlines for smartphones are really not all that headline-worthy at all (in my humble opinion).


With that being said, here are my top pointless features that we tend to get excited about:





I get it. Being fit and thin is the way to be - when it comes to people and getting healthy. Smartphones? Not so much. Personally, I don’t see the lure in having the thinnest smartphone. It will make the phone feel very light (and in turn, possibly “cheap”); being as thin (or nearly as thin) as paper makes it more susceptible to falling through cracks, nooks, crannies, and other hard-to-reach places; and let’s not forget that being so thin, at least with the materials we currently have available to us, makes these important little gadgets very easy to break! No more accidentally sitting on your phone when it’s in your back pocket, or you could be looking at some bad news bears.


Does it look nice? Yes, I suppose it does. But is it worth making the phone itself more vulnerable? Not in my opinion.



Screen Resolution


Sometimes I feel like screen resolution has really gone overboard on just how finely tuned they are these days. After a certain point, nobody can tell how sharp the images are, except for maybe the occasional superhero with super vision. But for the average consumer? It’s a bunch of pretty numbers on a page that doesn’t do a whole lot for us. I don’t care if we have 4698348x8157732 resolution one day; my eyes haven’t complained about resolution since the introduction of Apple’s Retina Display. It’s cool that we can make it happen, but it’s not exactly necessary on smartphone screens.



Removable Battery


I feel like removable batteries deserve a spot on the list, but not because it’s ridiculous that we get excited about it - it’s ridiculous that we have to get excited about it. The non-removable battery movement is at fault of the manufacturer. Anybody who has ever dealt with any electronic gadget that uses batteries - ever - knows that there have been several occasions where simply taking the battery out and putting it back in has fixed whatever mysterious issue the gadget was having in the first place. I’ve even had this magical trick work recently on a Wii U gamepad that was acting unruly.


It’s less of a hassle to get a replacement battery, should you need one, if you can just purchase the replacement battery yourself and do the “dirty work” on your own time. There’s no need for anybody to have to send their phone in to a company or make a special appointment to have the battery checked out when it’s entirely possible for us plebs who don’t work for the company to slip off a back cover and replace the battery - you know, without having to whip out our skills from whooping your older brother’s butt in Operation when you were kids.



Honorable Mention: Biggest phone


I think a lot of you might have seen this coming, but I do feel that, to an extent, the “biggest phone” competition has really hit its limit. If you go any bigger at this point, you are making tablets with phone capabilities, not smartphones. However, I do know that a lot of people are super excited about huge smartphones, so I decided to make this an honorable mention because it seems like a personal vendetta rather than a true annoyance amongst the good people of the mobile industry.


These are just some of the pointless features that stick out in my head when they start to make headlines, but I’m sure you readers have more that you feel are pointless as well! So, readers, when it comes to “pointless” features that often get played up, which ones stick out the most to you? 


Images via Seattle Times, Softpedia