Home Mobile Here’s what users wanted to see in future smartphones five years ago

Here’s what users wanted to see in future smartphones five years ago


  • Significant improvements have been made to smartphone design and functionality, such as the shift from T9 to QWERTY keyboards and more ergonomic designs.
  • Five years ago, top desires for smartphone improvements included longer battery life, a headphone jack, better USB-C connectivity, and new foldable phone designs.
  • While some desires have been met, there is still room for improvement, particularly in battery life and the return of the headphone jack. However, alternative options are emerging in the market to cater to these needs.

Smartphones have come a long way since the days of trackballs and physical keyboards, and despite all the trends that have fallen by the wayside, significant improvements have been made to their design and functionality. For instance, we’ve evolved from using T9 for text messaging to QWERTY keyboards for more streamlined communication. Our phones are now more ergonomic in design to suit our lifestyles as well. All of that being said, there are still some pain points that people would like to see resolved. Five years ago, a conversation on Reddit honed in on some users’ most pressing wants and needs. Now, a look back on the online thread is shedding light on just how far we’ve come — and where there is still room for improvement.

On Reddit five years ago, some of the items at the top of phone owners’ wish lists at the time were a longer battery life, a headphone jack, better USB-C connectivity, and new foldable phone designs. Other honorable mentions include flat displays, expandable storage, and a better camera.

Fast-forward to the present day, and we can say that at least some of the items on the list have come to fruition. For example, USB-C connectivity has improved in many devices, and manufacturers have come up with some interesting hinge and outer display designs for foldable phones. Flat displays are no longer uncommon, and cameras — as well as their lenses and specs — have improved by leaps and bounds in most real-world situations.

However, there is undoubtedly still room for improvement. For example, battery life is still an ongoing issue for many device owners, regardless of the phone they have. The headphone jack has also yet to make a return as manufacturers continue to assume wireless audio devices have entirely replaced wired alternatives. In terms of expandable storage, the cloud market has grown exponentially — to the point that companies now realize there is more profitability in offering such storage services, rather than creating devices with additional storage support. For the time being, it seems that many of these pressing desires from consumers are going to remain on the back burner.

Although flagship phone models from companies like Samsung and Google may not have these features, alternatives are beginning to emerge on the market to answer the call. For instance, TCL is launching its Ion X device, which has a MicroSD slot for expandable storage. Best of all, it’s at a budget-friendly price point of $120 through T-Mobile. As more manufacturers make note of consumers’ desire for these vintage features, some of them — like TCL — are capitalizing on the opportunity. Depending on how important these specs are to you when it comes to your phone, they might be worth considering when it’s time to upgrade — or should we say downgrade?



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