Every once in awhile a phone launches that manages to grab a huge chunk of attention and, perhaps even more impressive, hold onto it for an extended period of time. How many times do we see, or hear about, a phone’s launch only to completely forget about it in what feels like just a matter of minutes? The phones that manage to grab our attention are worth remembering.
Of course, that doesn’t always mean it’s worth remembering for good reasons. In those cases, the bad things are sometimes worth comparing to other handsets that get the same features right, all in a hope that, in the future, the manufacturer won’t make the same mistakes, and maybe even manages to improve those things in a big way by the time the inevitable successor arrives.
It’s the devices that we remember for the good times, though, that I’m thinking about right now. And one in particular, too. HTC’s One (M7). This is a device that, even all these years later, I still think of fondly. For all intents and purposes this is the smartphone that brought HTC back to the foreground when it comes to Android smartphones. It propelled HTC back int the limelight, and they stayed there for quite some time! HTC’s One M7 was the device to beat back then, and for good reason.
Not only did it have a design that put other Android phones at the time to shame, but it also gave Apple’s own design a run for its money — and maybe even surpassed it in a lot of ways. The HTC One M7 was an impressive handset because it not only brought a great physical design to market, but also because the company’s proprietary Sense UI was actually pretty useful, too! Sure, it could still be a bit bloated, but the improvements were too impressive to ignore.
And the features! Things like Zoe, which let you capture moments in a new and exciting way for the time. The HTC Blink Feed, which probably saw the most rough spots, was still a pretty awesome stream of content. The UltraPixel camera on the back wasn’t perfect, but for most it was good enough.
But then there’s the one really impressive feature that I still find myself wanting on every single phone that gets announced to this day: front-facing speakers.
When HTC unveiled this particular feature, it was one of those things that, when we finally had it in our hands, a lot of people just stared at it and wondered, “Why did this take so long to happen?” And it’s a good question! Because it’s a feature that we should have had all along. It just makes sense! Our phones are meant to watch content, so why are we still dealing with relatively bad, and sometimes downright terrible, speakers?
The HTC 10 launched not too long ago, and not only does it ditch the dual-camera system (which could arguably be a good thing) but it also manages to get rid of the pair of front-facing speakers, too. Honestly, I dislike this a great deal. This is one of the greatest features that our smartphones can get, and yet, here we are, with the majority of handsets completely ignoring it.
Even rumor has it that Motorola is ditching the idea, too, in favor of … not having front-facing speakers? That’s strange to type. I’m sure these companies have their reasons, and this could even be a feature that a lot of people out there don’t care about, but I’d like to see more of it. I even use headphones more often than not, but I still very much want front-facing speakers on my smartphone from here on out.
Where do you stand on this? Do you want to see more front-facing speakers? Or is this a feature you don’t care much about? Let me know!