Many of you who keep up with content here at PhoneDog, or any tech blog for that matter, have done so for several years, which means that you’re likely pretty savvy in the happenings of the mobile industry. Personally, I’ve been reading tech blogs (PhoneDog included) since about 2006 or so, meaning that I was just beginning to get into phones around the time that smartphones started taking off. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) a lot has changed between 2007 and now - mostly good things. With that being said, however, smartphones still have a lot of features that could certainly be improved upon.
Have you ever gone shopping for a new phone just to realize that the phone you’ve been looking for just doesn’t exist yet? If you’re one of the lucky ones that went shopping for a new phone simply because you were bored with your current rather than it was necessity to have it replaced, you might have changed your mind and walked right out the door, hoping that the features you really want in a smartphone come out sometime soon. I’ve done that a time or two myself.
I realize lately that I’m pretty hesitant to buy a new smartphone. I haven’t been using anything “current” since I stopped using my Moto X several months ago. I moved to an iPhone 4S for a while, then to a BlackBerry Q10, and now I’m using an iPhone 5s. Oddly enough, I’m not really too distraught over this. In the past I had been very particular over being able to use new (or relatively new) smartphone models. Lately, nothing has really given off that “I need that phone now,” vibe for me. Well, except for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, but that’s a little too expensive for my taste at the moment.
In fact, the reason the Xperia Z3 stands out so much to me is because it has the feature that I hope to see improve the most over the next couple of years: battery life.
Battery life has always sort of been an issue for me in smartphones, but definitely more so a few years back than it is now. Now I just have to make sure that I don’t use my phone so excessively that I can’t make it through a 12-hour day, but I haven’t forgotten the days when I carried a charger with me almost all the time. My HTC EVO 4G ate battery life like there was no tomorrow, and about every 4 to 5 hours it would require a re-juicing. My EVO 3D wasn’t much different, and neither was my Samsung Vibrant, my HTC MyTouch 3G Slide, or any smartphones that were popular around that time. Back then it was all about selling the software’s performance and showing you what smartphones could do, not necessarily how long the phone could last. But today, at least for me, software is impressive enough. It’s battery life that really needs to be worked on.
I would love for smartphones to eventually get to a point where they lasted as long as our old flip phones would. I’ve always been kind of a forgetful person, and there’s been more than enough times where I have completely forgotten to plug my phone in before I go to bed and wake up to a phone that doesn’t turn on. Cue facepalm. When I had a flip phone, or even a messaging phone, I don’t think I had any problems making my phone power through at least two days, sometimes even more. Honestly, anything that could give just a little bit of leeway to those of us who occasionally forget to plug phones in would be a welcome feature.
I’m not sure if that will ever happen, it would just be nice to have that come back. We’ve been hearing about powerful smartphone batteries for quite some time, yet nothing has really come to fruition just yet. I have more hope for the battery that can charge from 0 to 100% in just 30 seconds over a battery that can last for days, which I think would be an acceptable stand-in. The only problem with that is when you don’t have access to a power source, but I imagine for most people that isn’t really a common issue.
Aside from better battery life, I’m hoping that manufacturers also start putting an emphasis on making smartphones more durable as well. I get that thin and dainty is pretty and futuristic looking, but I’m sure there’s a way to make phones look cool while making sure that they can at least take a little bit of pressure before being bent or broken. I mean, Samsung's Active line doesn't look too shabby, and Nokia's Lumia phones were almost always described as being kind of "tanky" in typical Nokia fashion.
I look forward to seeing how the future of smartphones play out. It’s kind of crazy to look back over the last 7 years and see how much they’ve changed, and it will be even crazier looking back 7 years from now.
With that in mind, readers, what are you hoping to see change when it comes to smartphones over the next couple of years? Share your thoughts on what you’d like to see change in the comments below!