Ideal smartphone: The no compromise device that should be possible to create in 2016

By Scorpus ยท 49 replies
Jan 28, 2016
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  1. In 2015 I saw a ton of great smartphones hit the market; so many, in fact, that it’s getting harder to pick something you will regret. And yet whenever I receive a new smartphone to review, I feel like I'm always able to find a fault or major tradeoff with it. I see phones with really nice bodies and powerful hardware that fall behind on battery life. Great cameras with terrible camera apps. I see stock Android in phones with no expandable storage. I see big batteries in phones with mediocre processors.

    There have been some smartphones that have come close to exactly what I want in a daily driver – the Google Nexus 6P, Apple iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6 are all great examples – but I’m yet to see the elusive ‘perfect’ device; the phone with no compromises in hardware or software. And after everything I’ve seen over the past year, and considering what tech we can expect in 2016, I truly believe it’s possible for a company to produce an ideal, perfect smartphone this year.

    In this article I'll go through every aspect of the modern smartphone and list exactly what I want to see, with every aspect of the hardware and software firmly grounded in reality. This is a smartphone that should be possible to create in 2016.

    Read the complete article.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094   +1,266

    The concept of the ideal smartphone is ever elusive if one has a prechant for the high end. By the time you've received you're "ideal" phone, you've already set your mind on something better. Humans adapt to their material gains just like a dog to a luxurious house. Once you take the mutt in and feed him filet mignon, he's never going to look at that dry dog food the same again.
  3. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 302   +97

    How can Non-removable battery be no compromise? If you want the perfect phone removable battery is a must. Again if someone create this phone no one will buy it like they did with Samsung latest models... which is because it has the biggest compromise of all.
    SirGCal, veLa and andrew_C like this.
  4. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    The reason Samsung's last phones didn't sell as well wasn't lack of removable battery. Correlation doesn't imply causation. If that were the case, the LG G4 (the last big brand flagship that still has it) would have sold a lot more than it did.
    I've known plenty of people who have Galaxies and Notes, but none of them who swap batteries. That feature is only relevant to a very small subdemographic within advanced users (which is a small demographic on itself), not even remotely near being a market-driving force. Also, like the article mentions, an external battery is by far a better (and often cheaper) solution than having to turn your phone off, swap batteries, then turn it back on.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    1440p screen on a 5ish inch phone is overkill in my opinion, until they improve battery technology I won't be buying anything over 1080p, and won't be upgrading my Sony Z3 unless it breaks or becomes unusable in some way (which I only bought when the AF on the camera on my Nexus 5 broke and Google refunded my money). I'm beginning to feel that smartphones are hitting the same performance/improvement ceiling as PC CPUs are. People rarely need the extra power but advertising does such a good job pushing them down our throats.
    psycros likes this.
  6. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    My ideal phone is much simpler. LG G2 with upgraded internals.
    -Snapdragon 820
    -64GB of storage
    -4GB ram
    -3300mah battery
    -better camera, audio chip, AC WiFi, USB 3.0 type c, and wireless charging.

    That's totally possible right?
    psycros likes this.
  7. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,963   +231

    Interestingly, as I mentioned in the article, I saw no evidence in 2015 to suggest that 1080p phones lasted longer than 1440p phones.

    Yes that should be totally possible
    Tibeardius and Arris like this.
  8. Badvok

    Badvok TS Addict Posts: 173   +64

    AMOLED - No way, I'd not want a dim screen that gradually gets dimmer with age. Yay, great contrast but you can't actually see it in bright daylight.
    Dual-SIM - Nope, it would be a waste of space for most.
    USB 3.1 Type-C, yes for the connector, no for worries about transfer speed, USB 2.0 already goes faster than the memory will allow.
    Fingerprint Sensor - No, just no.

    Other than that you've probably got it right.
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +843

    What about 8k resolution, infinite battery and a foldable phone? Sounds nice.
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Reviews I read of the replacement for my current phone(Z3), the Sony Z5 premium, showed a worse battery life but it might be due to other components using more power or just the battery itself being of lesser quality. Same goes for evidence that they don't use more power. Could be the improved efficiency of the SoC or other components. Larger size screen meaning a bigger device and space for a bigger battery. I don't generally gamble but I'd bet that if we put a bigger screen on my Z3 it would suffer a reduction in battery life if there were no other changes in hardware.

    Edit - My mistake the Z5 premium jumps to a 4k display. So of course there is going to be a battery life hit...
    Z3 video test - 11hrs 47min ( )
    Z5 premium - 7hrs 14min ( )

    Logic says that using more pixels, and upscaling to 1440p for content that isn't natively in that resolution, plus dealing with more pixels for games is going to use more power, unless the device is improved in ways elsewhere within its componentry that results in a power saving.

    I still have my top of the range first ever full HD TV from Sony, and only now in the UK is there any reasonable amount of broadcast HD content. Sure streamed stuff is there now, but I don't see the point in going 4k before the media is available. I've had the TV for 9 years and only now is the HD broadcasts catching up. Same goes for phones with higher resolution screens. I see little point when the majority of streaming/Youtube/Twitch content is 1080p. At least 2k resolution is more worthwhile than the "curved" screens on TVs and phones...
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Also I'm sure the majority of smartphone users need Facebook and Twitter at 1440p /sarcasm.
  12. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +108

    I really like the smartphone you just put together, but I would choose a 5 inches display, for me that's the perfect screen size for a smartphone.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    To you and some others maybe but you're always going to be in the minority. A manufacturer will always cater to the majority.
    Anyway the single perfect device for everybody will never come to pass, it's impossible.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah. Scorpus's phone isn't bad apart from the price, no smartphone should cost more than $400, ever. There's just too much diminishing returns for the outlay.
  15. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +911

    I would buy this phone!

    Duel Sim support would be awesome on a high end phone as well! I'm pretty bored of having to have two phones on me all the time...

    Also, I assume the Duel Sim Mode would be active? 2 modems and all that ;)
    With that beast of a battery it would make little difference in battery life I'd assume?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  16. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    I have the Samsung Galaxy S5 Duo and only one of the sims works on 4G data the other is forced to 2G. But it's still handed when you can choose which sim to route calls and messages out of so I can use my work sim for all my data and then my home sim for messaging
  17. andrew_C

    andrew_C TS Rookie

    Totally agree with you. That's the reason I have ditched Samsung phones and owning an LG phone now. It is now happily rocking a 6800mah extended battery that can easily last me 2-3 full days with heavy use.

    I definitely will never buy phones with non-removable battery, and will be sticking with LG phones for a long time now.
    SirGCal and DaveBG like this.
  18. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +873

    Really? Do you expect me to duct tape a battery pack to the back of my phone? Last I checked, a extended battery is far more elegant than a battery pack when you are using the thing, not to mention the constant wear and tear of having something plugged in when the phone is in a bag or such. Say hello to a broken usb port within a year. My note 4 with a 10000 mah battery is much more usable than a note 5 with a 10000 mah battery pack dangling off of it.

    Also, did it not occur that a removable battery isn't just for extended batteries, but for REPLACEMENT? I cant replace a sealed battery, and im not spending $650 on a device whose battery will die in two years. I know plenty of people with older galaxies as well, and most of them have had to replace the battery at some point, often more than once, due to either bulging or diminishing capacities.

    A sealed battery is a compromise, through and through.
    SirGCal and DaveBG like this.
  19. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    I agree that a larger internal battery would be better than an external one, but you don't need removable batteries to get that, the manufacturer could offer that as an option when buying the phone. Also, you are greatly overstimating the risk of damaging USB ports by having a cable plugged in, I've been using my Moto G with an external battery connected inside my bag for two years now, with zero damage. Those ports are nowhere near as flimsy as you suggest.
    And having a non-removable battery doesn't mean the battery can't be replaced. You can have it replaced, only you will have to go to authorized support, and it will probably cost more than doing it yourself. So sure, that's a compromise in having non-removable batteries. But removable batteries requires compromises as well, even more so than non-removable ones. It makes the phone thicker, heavier, negatively impacts build quality and limits choices of materials and finishes.
  20. Agree on all..except non-removable battery?? The ideal phone has to have removable battery! and the 3.5mm jack to be become the 2.5mm (also standard). I'm ok with the market making this ONE huge move ONCE. Peripherals like the USA Type-C are much cheaper than replacing headphones, but as long as the market does this move once, I'm ok with investing in new audiophile headphones that will last a very very long time.
    psycros likes this.
  21. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    Well, most headphones don't have 2.5 mm ports either, so you'd also need an adapter. If you're already going to use an adapter anyway, might as well be a UCB type-C to 3.5 mm rather than a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm, and eliminate a redundant port in the process. You could even have the USB-3.5mm adapter have another USB out port so you can still plug other stuff while using headphones, so you wouldn't lose flexibility.
    If you're moving all new headphones to a new connector as well, might as well be to USB type-C rather than 2.5 mm (unless there's some limitation regarding audio DACs over USB that I'm unaware of).
  22. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Guru Posts: 356   +375

    This cell phone sucks!!! Where is the apple logo on it so I can tell it is the best in the market???
  23. The only thing correct about this is that non-removable batteries are a compromise. Making batteries non-removable allows the manufacturers to sell phones with junk batteries, thereby guaranteeing that the consumer will be stuck with a useless device (for all practical purposes) just so the manufacturer can sell another phone. And I change the batteries on two LG G3's each month... takes all of 5 minutes for both. I simply will not buy any cell phone that does not have a replaceable battery.
  24. MHMPr

    MHMPr TS Member Posts: 35   +19

    That's a conspiracy theory. And not in the manufacturer's interest either, because none of them would want to get a reputation for having junk batteries with the public. In fact, I can't see why someone, after having a bad experience with a certain device's battery being junk, going out and buying another phone from the same junk-battery-selling company. As for my own anecdote, my Moto G (the first model) is in its third year and the non-removable battery is still working fine. Obviously it lost some capacity, as all batteries do, but there's no reason to believe Motorola intentionally screwed me with this non-removable battery.
    Second, you missed this very important point: Non-removable battery doesn't mean the battery can't be replaced whne it goes bad. It can, only you'll have to go to a support service rather than doing it yourself, and it will probably cost more than just buying a second battery and replacing it. But having a non-removable battery go bad doesn't make your phone a "useless device", nor it means you have to buy another phone.
  25. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    I was apprehensive when I bought my Huawei Ascend Mate2, in June of 2014. Non removable battery.
    But, here it is almost 2 years later, and I could care less. 4,050mAH battery, lasts 2-3 days easy. 2 days with
    super heavy use.
    Yeah, if you have a sub 3,000mAH battery with a super dense screen, hot processor, play 3D games I could see the issue.
    I don't play games on my phone. I'll run a LOT of web, mp3's (pandora), youtube, email, text & phone.
    the 720p screen 6.1" works for me, nova launcher instead of the stock UI. Phone isn't rooted, stock rom 5.1
    Phone, for my needs is PERFECT! All for less than $300 dollars.
    I wish there were more mid rangers that work as good as this one.
    The problem is people are conditioned to believing that they "need" a new phone ever year or every other year. Coming off the 2year contract crap in the U.S., people are mostly under the impression they MUST buy a phone from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, t-mobile etc.
    Until that changes, people get tired of paying 700-1000 dollars for a stupid phone, the trend of "flagships" along with their inflated prices will continue. The bulk of users, DO NOT NEED that much processing power in a stupid phone, that they do not (mostly) multi task from. Twitter, FB, instagram and all of that social media BS, doesn't need that much processing power, but, people fall for it every year or so. I think it is more of the self absorbed young 20 somethings to 30 somethings doing the keep up with the Joneses than anything else.
    Arris likes this.

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