Stereo speakers are amazing. We use stereo speakers everywhere: Our televisions have stereo speakers, our Hi-Fi systems have stereo configurations as a basic, our computers use stereo speakers and even our laptops have stereo speakers. So, why can’t our phones or tablets have them to? If they can cram one loud speaker into the phone, I’m pretty sure that two in stereo configuration should be no problem. We’ve seen companies like HTC, ASUS and even Sony taking the dive into the front facing speaker game, and they made their stereo. I have to say that I find it an absolute pleasure to watch those hyperlinked videos friends have sent to you on your phone, you end up watching it on your screen just out of pure convenience — this is only a problem with WhatsApp, Telegram lets you open the link on your desktop. Sure, you might have an insanely loud speaker on your phone, but if they’re not facing the front you won’t get the full volume or clarity of it, especially when you have to do the cup thing with your hands. It’s a big joke, and you look stupid doing it.
Smartphones are supposed to be created with the user in mind, if I were to design my own phone that required a user to do an extra action just to get the full benefit of something I have designed — like making a cup with your hand and turning it into a mini opera chamber around the loudspeaker — I would call that a bad design. That’s like saying “Well, I could’ve made the speakers face you, but let’s just put it on the back because you’re gonna have to work for that extra clarity”. Actually, I understand why you would want to have the loudspeaker on the back. It is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and when you put your phone in your pocket, you usually put your screen facing your thigh (or your butt cheeks). But, how often do you even hear your phone ring? When it’s in your pocket you would rely more on the vibration, especially when walking around a busy shopping mall.
Here’s another point I would like to bring up, if you were to place your phone on the table, maximum loudness is achieved if you face the speakers up into the air. Doing this with a phone that’s loudspeaker is on the back will prove folly because now your screen is covered (Boo hoo Lollipop’s Ambiet Display) and your Notification LED is now facing the table. Why not put them on the front (or I guess on the bottom would be reasonable), so that you can see the screen and the notification LED as well as get the most out of your phone’s loudspeaker. This is highly opinionated though, I do not want to go back to not having front facing speakers when I’m watching YouTube videos while I’m doing business in the toilet. Front facing stereo speaker works out extremely well when you are showing a video to some friends and everyone is crowding around you. Heck, even this old ass phone has stereo speakers.
So, what are the phones you can look at that have front facing stereo speakers? Well majority HTC phones come with front facing BoomSound speakers. Sony phones come with very sleek looking stereo speakers on the front, and some are flushed against the edge of the case and look really nice, like the Sony Xperia Z3v — only for Verizon users — and even hides the notification LED in the top speaker grille. Motorola created the Nexus 6 with the notification LED inside the top speaker grille as well. Heck, evenAcer’s new Liquid series has front facing speakers now.
Notable current tablets with front facing speakers are the Nvidia Shield Tablet and the HTC Nexus 9. The upcoming ones include the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE375CL, Sony’s Xperia Z4 Tablet, and Lenovo’s Tab 2 A8. Hold on to your hats, I’m really excited to get my hands on an ASUS Fonepad 7 FE375CL when it comes out.
I’m pretty sure any phone or tablet with a pair of stereo speakers would have a superior user experience to any phone that doesn’t have one. I tried shifting from my HTC One (M8) to a Samsung Galaxy A5 for impressions purposes but I still love the BoomSound speakers. A bunch of MWC15 releases had some amazing tech behind their devices but I still wonder why Samsungand Lenovo just bump their smartphones into the stereo speaker game. Stereo speakers in portrait mode doesn’t count, this point is self explanatory.