In less than three years, smartphones evolved from being fat, ugly devices to sleek, powerful and addictive devices. Every now and then, mobile phone manufacturers boasts of a new device with revolutionary hardware and feature-set. This year’s CES gave us a glimpse of where smartphones are heading. After looking at the specs and devices, I wanted to say ‘STOP RIGHT THERE’.
Why so big: Manufacturers around the world are showing off with price these new mobile phones with huge 4.5″+ displays, which obviously are not so mobile. Imagine putting them in slim fit jeans pocket and taking them out while you are sitting (you would literally do a lap dance trying to get it out). 3.2″ is great, 3.5″ is perfect, 4″ is stunning but not for everyone. But 4.5″, 5″? These cannot be termed as mobile phones. Not everyone in the world has gigantic palm/fingers and not every one of these is fond of carrying a brick. These phones look good from a distance but usability takes a nosedive when used as regular day-in day-out mobile phone. I felt that 3.5″ is a perfect size for a mobile phone display (3.7″ at the max). Fits well in hand, is just the right size for browsing, reading and movies and is not as power hungry as 4.3″+ display (even with LED-backlit and other power saving features). HTC EVO 4G is he best example here. Thanks to bloated features (4G, 4.3″ power sucking display, unoptimized GUI), this phone weighed 170gms and the battery was 1500mAh. Any bigger battery would mean that the phone’s weight will make it unusable. IMO, one flagship device with 4″+ display is more than enough for a manufacturer and rest should be in 3.2″ to 3.7″ range.
Weird Display Technologies: It all started with the term “Retina Display” which was just another IPS panel with extremely high resolution and now every other manufacturer have a weird name for the display panel that they (re)invented. CBD (Nokia), S-AMOLED+ (Samsung), NOVA(LG), Reality display(SE, most funny of all), retina display (Apple). Seriously? Am now expecting MicroMax to come out with panel “Maximum Display Panel(MDP)”Are the end users that stupid that they don’t understand what LED back-lit is and what high resolution means? CBD, AMOLED, NOVA, reality display are all LED back-lit displays with better sunlight visibility than conventional LED back-lit display and yes we know that. Why to put a name for every single LED panel that you are using. This started to feel like the weird names used for Tooth Brush and Detergent to denote formula (germicheck, activesalt etc). And we all know that this is all marketing gimmick and that they all are same. Please stop this messing with Panels and keep it straightforward and simple (AMOLED, TFT-LCD, IPS ETC)
What about battery: Remember the time when our smart-phones/feature-phones used to give two to three day battery life? 3G, 4G, 802.11n, giant panels, DLNA, HDMI, large sensor camera with Xenon, Adobe Flash, Active Widgets, gaming. These are few things that suck up the battery. Manufacturers boast with pride about these features and they work hard (really hard) around the clock to put more and more new features. At the same time, they try to make the phone as thin and light as possible. Sub 10mm thickness and sub 120gms weight is becoming an obsession among manufactures lately. As a result, they often ignore the importance of battery. While EVO users had nightmarish experiences with battery, iPhone 4 users on the other hand enjoy far superior battery life thanks to balanced hardware and well optimized GUI. As a result, even though EVO 4G is more advanced phone, people are picking iPhone 4G, the sole reason being battery life. Remember E71? Here is a quote from gsmarena:
In reality you can make it through three days of some really heavy usage. We used it for about two and a half hours of GPS navigation, two hours of web browsing over Wi-Fi, an hour of calls and about two hours of other phone features before it eventually went dead, about 80 hours after a full charge. Not bad, aye? If you tend to use it less, your Nokia E71 may as well last nearly a week.
This phone uses a 1500mAh Li-Po which is superior to conventional Li-Ion 1500mAh battery and also safer and lighter. Compare that to the mediocre 1230mAh Li-Ion battery for HTC’s latest device Inspire 4G (which has hardware similar to EVO 4G). How can one expect the battery to last more than a day. What is the use of having a smart-phone when you need to live in a fear of draining the battery while in the middle of an important task.
I like innovation in mobile devices and I want to see these devices getting better at what they do. But at the same time, I want my device to have a balanced setup, I want my phone to stay on for more than a day (two days of battery life on medium to high usage would be perfect). I urge the manufacturers (especially HTC) to please stop competing on panel size, marketing names and deliver smart phones that are smart in all areas. What do you think about on these develoments? Does size matter to you or do you like the biggest of all?
gsmarena quote source: http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_e71-review-266p2.php
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