Apple is one of the most successful cell phone manufacturers. The I-Phone (the I stands for Idiot) has not been successful because of its great design or software; but because so many people were already hooked on the I-Pad and I-Tunes for their music and media. Another feature that has kept Apple high on the sales charts is I-Message. Though the Apple has good (not great) hardware, its software is for idiots (this is good because there are so many of them) and its feature set is very weak. My primary disgust with current phones is that all the Android manufactures are chasing Apple and removing features that made their cell phones great.
Let’s look at some of these features.
A phone is no good if the battery is dead. HTC and Samsung started out right with a replaceable battery. The idiot Apple loving pundits in this industry have reported gleefully that the removeable battery is gone forever. I hope not. No matter how fast a cell phone charges, there’s always times when you just don’t have time to charge. There are so many times when you realize your battery is almost dead and you need to be somewhere else NOW. I’m currently using the last of the great phones with a replaceable batter – the LG V20. I am an extremely heavy cell phone user. I have four batteries (one came with the phone) and three chargers. I keep a charged battery in my pocket and two in the chargers. I never have to plug in my phone. For each of my three sets of battery and charger I paid $22. So for $66, I never run out charge.
I laugh when I see others tell me – “Wait, I cannot go yet, my phone’s dead.” The most idiotic thing is Samsung making a phone that can share a charge with others. Who the heck is going to do that? What Samsung and other manufactures should do is sell a charger and battery set direct for $29 or less. They charge $29 for their wireless chargers and you end up needing two or three so you can have one at the office and a couple at home anyways.
One of the most important things about the removeable battery is the ability to extend the life of the phone. The life of batteries decreases after a short period. It’s ridiculous and costly to have to send in your phone to have the battery replaced.
Build Quality/Cellular Connectivity
On any given day, you can find a reviewer of a cellular device touting “build quality.” Are they just stupid or Apple lovers? Samsung’s build quality was berated by reviewers because they had cheap plastic frames and plastic backs on their phones. This cheap plastic was great. The plastic back allowed easy access to the battery, SIM card, and SD card. Furthermore, plastic frames have better cellular connectivity than aluminum frames do. They are also much cheaper to make and are lighter. Most use a phone case to protect their phones anyway.
So because the industry has chased Apple, we Android users have no replaceable battery, no easy access to SIM and SD cards, heavier phones, and a much higher cost – now over $1,000. My Samsung Note 9 is so heavy that I get fatigued just holding it up in bed. The Note 2 made years ago was a masterpiece in terms of manufacture and feel. It was light and had nice curved corners. It felt great in the hand.
Screen & Screen Dimensions.
Most cell phone manufactures have a great screen. However, somewhere along the way, Samsung decided that a curved screen was a good idea. It’s just a stupid and useless sales gimmick. A flat screen can be easily protected with a case the edges of which extend above the screen. Such a case not only protects the screen but allows one to grip the device without touching the screen.
My next screen grip is the narrow screen. We cannot blame this trend on Apple. As I’ve aged, I need to use reading glasses. When the screens were wider (3 inches and above), I could read almost everything without my reading glasses. With my Note 9, I must use my glasses all the time. I have a LG Stylo 3 too. It has a wide screen that is easy for me to read. Also viewing videos on the wider screen is much better for everyone.
I get it that some people have small hands and need a slimmer phone. But there’s lots of people out there with big hands. You’d think that with all the Android phone models designed each year, someone could make a phone for us men. LG, you’ve got a ThinQ line. How about a FatQ line?
Most of the cameras on today’s higher end phones are great and they need to be. I’d like to see more optical magnification.
Samsung, don’t you get it? People want the 3.5mm jack. Yes, they all have Bluetooth headsets. But sometimes you forget to charge them or need to use a wired headset for other purposes. I bought the Note 9 but will NOT be buying the Note 10 primarily due to the lack of a headphone jack.
IR Blaster/FM Radio.
These are two features I really miss on phones. I love not having to search for my TV’s remote control. This was a great feature now missing on almost all phones. I guess if Apple doesn’t have it, then no one needs it.
The FM radio may seem outdated to some. However, us older guys listen to talk radio and a bunch of other stuff that makes us smarter not dumber like the music you listen to on Spotify, etc. Furthermore, FM radio doesn’t suck the life out of the battery like I-Heart radio. What’s really nice about the FM radio is that you can get reception even where you don’t have cell service. This could be important in an emergency where cell service is down. I use the FM radio at our cabin where the cell signal is weak.
FM radio is available on almost all chips my by Qualcomm and Samsung. Yet, many manufacturers, including Google, make their phones so the FM radio is not functional. Shame on them.
Android phone manufacturers are giving us phones that have less features, are less useful, are heavier and cost more. What’s the advantage of buying a new phone? Is it any wonder that the sales of flagship cell phones are decreasing? Quit chasing Apple and start adding back in real features that add value.