The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was officially announced just a few days ago, and in regards to how it was received I’m seeing a lot of mixed feelings. There seems to be a large amount of people frustrated with the loss of two features that are still important to many consumers, which would be the removable battery and the microSD card slot. Samsung was, for a while at least, one of the last remaining manufacturers that valued these features. It is clear now that Samsung no longer feels this way.
In regards to flagships this year, the LG G4 would be the only 2015 flagship that supports both of these features. It’s a fairly untapped market. Despite how “outdated” these features might seem, every time I read anything that pertains to removable batteries or microSD card slots, there’s always a number of people saying that these are still favorable features to have in a smartphone. That means there is still a very real market for them.
This looks like it could be an opportunity for the struggling HTC to take advantage of.
HTC is already one of the few companies that dropped microSD card support, but then picked it back up again. Honestly, I think if the next One device simply included a removable battery that people would go nuts. If you take it a step further and include a stylus and intricate stylus support, another rare feature in the industry save for a few devices, HTC may be able to win over a lot of current Note users who feel that they have nowhere to go, or potential Note buyers who want an alternative option.
I think if HTC wanted to compete with the Note, they could. The two reasons people gave me most often for not wanting to get a Note was that the device was too big or that they didn’t like TouchWiz. While HTC Sense might not be much better to some people, I haven’t seen nearly as much resentment for Sense as I have for TouchWiz (except for maybe that weird excessive ad problem that recently popped up). Also, a 5 to 5.2-inch display seems to be the “sweet spot” for smartphone users these days, and a screen with that size would still warrant an included stylus.
I think an HTC device with a removable battery, microSD card slot, included stylus, and 5 to 5.2-inch display could actually play out well for the company. If HTC made this the new One design it would take care of a couple of important issues in one fell swoop. Firstly, it would cover the two important missing features from the Note 5. Secondly, it would give the One the much needed refresh that people have been waiting for since the M8 (or even the M7).
Basically, if HTC includes every “outdated” feature you can get in a smartphone (with proper modifications) it might make a bold enough statement to draw people back in. I highly doubt this will ever happen, but I couldn’t help but think that the exclusion of such features in the Note would be a good opportunity for HTC to pick up some business.