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4 things smartphone brands need to stop doing

by Victor Ng
smartphone trends that need to stop
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You know what grinds my gears? Bad smartphone trends that are still prevalent today – the kind that you know could’ve been avoided or done better, but manufacturers stuck to anyways. So, in a fit of frustration, I’m writing this article to talk (read: whine) about the few smartphone trends that I think go away.  

Phone covers with dust plugs/port covers 

phone case dust plug

Image credit: DHgate

This little source of irritation is what inspired this entire article, and it should therefore take top spot in my list.  

You’ll find these phone cases included in the box, and although I get the idea of preventing dust buildup, and it’s better not having a case – but I think it causes more hassle than it doing any good. 

Every time you go to charge your phone, this little piece of silicone needs to be pried open; and you best be quick with plugging in your cable, because that dust cover is coming straight back down on your poor ol’ thumbs.  

I just to charge my phone folks, not perform finger acrobatics every time my device runs low on juice. 

Still using a microUSB charging port 

microusb port phone

Image credit: Android Central

While we’re on the subject of charging ports, let’s talk about phones that use microUSB ports – and I have but one question for brands that do this: Why? 

Sure, the manufacturers include one cable in the box – as they should. But say you need a set of spares for your car, or office – chances are you don’t have enough. This means you’ll have to fork out a bit more money for decent ones.  

USB Type-C cables, however, are the de facto standard for Android phones in 2021, and I’m willing to bet you have at least two more of these sitting around at home already.  

On top of that, Type-C cables can be plugged in any direction – a microUSB cable? Not so much. Nobody has time to flip the darn thing around three times before getting it right. 

Self-cannibalism

4 things smartphone brands need to stop doing 11

To put into context about what I mean – let’s take Xiaomi for example (sorry Xiaomi); they launched the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Poco X3 Pro within the same month. 

The problem is, the latter offers very similar specs overall, except it packed a more powerful chipset – and good performance is definitely one of the top criteria when Malaysians shop for phones.  

The Redmi Note 10 Pro benefits from having an AMOLED panel and a 108MP camera system – the latter feature isn’t something people utilize enough anyways, in my opinion. So, for the same price of RM999, I’d still pick the POCO X3 Pro any day of the week 

What I’m trying to get at here is cut down on the number of models – we like options sure, but don’t oversaturate the market with products that aren’t all that different; instead, manufacturers should compete with rival brands to encourage proper innovation.  

Every phone looks the same 

phone camera bumps

Image credit: GizChina

They do – you can fight me on this. How many phones do we see today come with the same, iPhone 11-esque camera bump deign? The answer is: A lot! 

With more phones now sporting the same aesthetics, you can’t help but feel a fatigued by seeing with how oversaturated the market is with the same cookie-cutter phones. 

You may also remember the OPPO-ification of OnePlus phones last year when you could see quite a shift in strategy and design to almost literally mirror OPPO’s own. It doesn’t help that both brands are owned by BBK Electronics (who also owns vivo, and Realme). 

Oneplus 8 vs oppo find x2

Image credit: Business Insider

This was apparent with last year’s OnePlus 8 series that didn’t look all too different from any major flagships, especially the Find X2 Pro (bar the position of the camera module).

I’m singling out OnePlus because they did things a little differently – from being a value flagship brand in its early days, to targeting the enthusiast crowd a just two years ago. Now, it pumps out phones that are like many modern-day options – forgettable. 

So these are a few things I want to see smartphone brands stop doing in the future; but this is, of course, an ongoing article because I’m sure there will be more for me to complain about, so stay tuned!

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