Boring phones this year?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Sensamic, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    I'm highly uninterested with the new smartphones announced thus far. My attention towards the high midrange is growing. We're seeing great phones for great prices, way lower than what flagships are asking.

    Are flagships still worth that much money? Specially when day to day performance is similar in most phones? At least I don't see a huge difference between a stock Moto G and my S6. Yeah, flagships do have better cameras, but apart from that I don't see much more going for them. My S6 still hasn't been updated to marshmallow!!

    I don't see the appeal of the G5 or S7. There's nothing that would make me upgrade from my S6, besides software. That's why I might go for a Nexus. Stock Android always works better, faster and gets updates in the long run. Will the S7 get Android N before the year ends? If not, what's the point?

    We get better and better hardware, but there's nothing interesting anymore in that IMO. The more interesting stuff is on the software side, but then again, what new software features are we seeing lately? Only the always on display mode... Even LG's G5 UI is terrible!! Another interesting hardware feature as of lately is force touch on the iPhone's.

    Then there's the M10, but I don't see any major changes there either. So what exciting smartphone news are we gonna get this year? To me that's Android N and iOS 10. Software. I see more interesting stuff going on in the midrange camp. More and more affordable phones with great specs: 2GB RAM, 13Mpx cameras, MicroSD expansion, 5 inch 720P screens (now we're getting some phones with FHD), Android Lollipop, fingerprint scanners, etc.

    What do you guys think? Is it going to be a boring year with phones?
  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    There really is nowhere for them to go. I'm sitting tight waiting for foldable screens to come out, hopefully early 2017 or 2017 holidays. Otherwise I agree nothing compelling out there.
  3. epicrayban, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016

    epicrayban macrumors 604


    Nov 7, 2014
    I'm glad Samsung went "boring" this year with their S7 update.

    For YEARS, people have been complaining and asking that Samsung tone everything down. Stop throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Start becoming more focused like Apple is focused. Address directly the shortcomings of the Galaxy lines.

    And that is exactly what Samsung is and has been doing since the S6.

    The S6 addressed the years of criticism for better design and build quality. It also toned down TouchWiz.

    Then the S7 this year addresses the shortcomings specifically of the S6. Namely in battery and an even more toned down TouchWiz with less bloatware. They even brought back microSD and waterproofing. And somehow were able to put all that into a design and package even more refined than last year's. I mean, the Edge is no bigger than the Note 5, yet has a whoppin' 3600 mah battery.

    And all the while putting out leading class displays and cameras.

    I am super happy with what Samsung did this year. What they didn't do is worth mentioning, too. For once, they didn't follow Apple with pressure sensitive screen. For once, they made a device thicker resulting in better ergonomics and leading class battery sizes in compact packages.

    Samsung has been paying attention and learning. Can we say that really about anyone else? HTC? Motorola? Sony?

    Is Apple paying attention? I hope so.
  4. Tig Bitties macrumors 68040

    Tig Bitties

    Sep 6, 2012
    I'm no Samsung fanboy whatsoever, I used to hate Touchwiz, and just overall always preferred the Nexus line running stock Android. That is until my Note 5 last year, which Samsung really surprised me, making a fantastic device, and Touchwiz isn't nearly as bad as I used to think.

    Now the S7 Edge comes out;

    - Rated #1 best display for a smartphone
    - Rated top camera
    - Waterproof and Dustproof
    - 3,600mAh battery, which is massive for a flagship phone
    - 5.5" device that feels like a much small phone, almost feels like a 5.2" phone
    - SD820 + 4GB RAM = Pretty damn pwoerful

    Those above specs have me hot and bothered, they really all add up to the near perfect phone, minus Touchwiz OS of course, but it is much better now. But with that huge battery, beautiful screen, and being waterproof, it's hard not to like the S7 Edge.
  5. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    The S7 Edge appears to be a near perfect piece of hardware...wish everything else was this 'boring'. ;)

    It's still not enough to get me to switch as hardware is only half the equation as I see it and I personally prefer too many elements of the Apple ecosystem and iOS, enough that even using that spectacular piece of hardware would still feel like a compromise to me.

    I'm not going to rag on TouchWiz because someone preferring it is no different than my preference for iOS, software that many would hate to have to use as much as others dislike TouchWiz. All that being said, if I had no choice but to use an Android phone, safe to say the S7 Edge would unequivocally be my choice.
  6. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    2015 was a more boring year for me than this year so far. But the excitement for smartphone is beginning less and less for me every year since 2013. We can only do so much with any smartphone before we start to see useless gimmicks. But the midrange segment this year is getting better. Flagships specs from 2013 can now be bought for under $200 starting with the $199 Huawei Honor 5X and $107+ Xiaomi Redmi 3.

    Eventually like the losing interest in video game consoles and desktop/laptop computers and eventual decline of tablets, smartphones will start losing their luster by the next decade or so. I say a hundred years from now, our future grandchildren or younger will laugh at us for being primitive with Facebook, Twitter, selfie, or whatever. I hope they are building spaceships and teleportation by then instead of staring at smartphone screens all day.
  7. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I'm getting excited about the Note 6, if only for the hope that they simply fix what the took away. But if the Note 6 is simply the Note 5 with expandable memory I'll be a bit bummed. I wish I could sit down with the moron who decided to nix expandable memory. It's like one of those times where FOREsight is 20/20 if you just open your eyes.
  8. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    The only phone I'm interested in from all the videos I've seen of MWC is the Pro 5 Ubuntu
  9. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I'm not really bothered about whether or not new phones are more exciting or boring than last. I think they've reached a point that they're generally excellent when it comes to features and styling.

    The two things I'd like to see improved could be considered pretty boring aspects of phones.

    First is battery life. I felt 2015 was a disappointment mainly because so many phones went backward on battery life. 2016 already seems more promising on that front.

    The other is security updates on non-nexus Androids.

    If these two things see significant advancement in 2016, I'd be more happy than if some completely new smartphone features get introduced.
  10. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    The main things that bug me about the S7 Edge are the location of the fingerprint scanner and the completely gimmicky edge display itself. Plus at that size I find on screen controls a lot easier to use than the capacitive ones.

    It doesn't seem like making the "perfect" Android phone would be that difficult. For larger models, take a Note 5 (due to its physical dimensions vs screen size), cram in the best chips available, add expandable memory and move the fingerprint reader/power button to the back or side (where your fingers naturally rest). For smaller phones, take the Oneplus X, add a fingerprint reader and make it less slippery.

    Yet no manufacturer does the full package. Often the physical size is just a tad bigger than needed and usability seems to be a secondary thought or they skimp on some spec enough to make it annoying.
  11. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    People need realistic expectations.

    LG just released the first modular phone, and that's considered "boring" - nope, it's a revolution.
  12. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I would hate the fingerprint sensor on the back. I unlock my phone too often while it's laying on it's back. I can be eating or something, and I would just want to rest my finger on the home button to unlock it. I don't want to have to pick up my phone every time just to unlock it. And yes, the index finger does naturally sit on the back while holding the phone, which is another reason I don't want the finger print sensor there. I don't want to deal with unintentionally unlocking my phone by mistake on a regular basis.

    And I love the edge display. Not only does it feel and look good, but it seems to make the content of the display slightly pop out. Content seems less flat on the edge display.
  13. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    I hated the fingerprint scanner on the back of my 6P. When the phone is lying on a flat surface you have to pick it up to unlock it. With my N5 I can use my thumb or index finger of either hand to unlock my phone.
    I can check news feeds and MR without having to pick up my phone if it is right next to me on the sofa.
  14. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Phones are an appliance.

    They're basically done, don't expect any revolutionary features because there's not going to be much until we see another proper paradigm shift.

    You'll get incremental updates, maybe battery life improvements and not a lot more for a while.
  15. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I would also hate the FP sensor on the back. It's less of an issue though with being able to secure your phone via Bluetooth connection or location, bypassing the FP sensor. I saw a phone that had the FP sensor on the side the other day, it was an article about an upcoming phone and it wasn't in the US, but I'm thinking that might be the optimal location depending how accurate it is.

    Edge display is cool, but to me it seems you lose screen real estate with it. I don't know how useful those corners are as they seem to distort, you wouldn't have a book with the pages bent at the sides for example. I think it looks very cool, but am not convinced it really helps with anything. I'm kind of holding my breath to see if they do this on the Note 6. I kind of doubt the Note 6 will get a curved display because it's more of a business phone though.
  16. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I know the Sony Z5 has one on the side, but the phone seems pretty thick compared to today's flagships, so it's more doable at that location.

    That was my concern too. But you don't lose any screen real estate nor any distortion. Now the Note 4 edge was a completely differ story, but they had to start from somewhere.

    You're right, I don't find anything about the edge display necessary. It's more like a welcomed option that myself and others like very much. To the point, I will always choose the Galaxy edge display over the regular Galaxy.
  17. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    I'm hoping that is not the sad truth.

    I would love for them to become more modular and upgradable. Or for the next revolution to fashion a way that these devices can last longer, more like the useful life of a pc.. many years the better part or a decade or something
  18. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
  19. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009

    I can really see myself using the device shown at 3:56
  20. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    What I noticed also is that the bezel seemed more pronounced on the edge displays, which is the opposite of what I expected. Something about the curved screen and the transition made the side bezels pop more. The non edge versions looked more aesthetically pleasing with smaller appearing bezels. I'm pretty happy with the beveled glass of the Note and iPhone series and rather than curved glass would like to see them just totally eliminate the bezels. Certainly shrinking down the top bezel should also be a priority.
  21. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    The only thing that is still being really pushed is the camera tech. I am very interested in both the G5, and S7 new camera tech, and will probably pick one up. The wide camera on the G5 is brilliant, and the test photos from the s7 look to rival my rx100.

    It is expensive buying flagships, but I have found over the years my most valuable possession are the photos I have taken, and I want the absolute best quality available. If that isn't a concern for you then honestly just get a huawei honor for $200. The entry level phones are now just as good as last years flagships.

    It will be interesting to see what things are like in 5 years there is only so far they can go with the camera tech, and budget phones will inherit all these cool new innovations shortly.
  22. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    I think all smartphones after the honeymoon phase will get boring. Last year, I thought the movies to watch in the theater were more interesting than the smartphone announcements. So my mind focused on films. But 2016 looks a little more promising than 2015. The early stages where QHD / 64-bit is becoming flagship standard and when specs from 2013-2014 is becoming cheaper. I think specs from those two years with FULL HD and more compact size is all you need.

    Alot of the designs from each company looks very nice too. Xiaomi and Gionee announced some pretty good looking devices.

    Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    LG G5 (rear might be ugly but still looks better than iPhone 6 series)
    Xiaomi Mi 5
    Sony Xperia X Performance (metal back, yay!)

    Expect a redesign of the iPhone 7, an HTC Nexus smartphone, and their own M10. Then the many other companies like ASUS, Huawei, Lenovo, and Oppo releasing their own compelling devices. Back in 2013, I remember the crappy flaps for waterproof phones. At least they are getting rid of it and almost every flagship has fast charging like Oppo's VOOC from 2014.

    I say by the late-2020's is when we start having one-week long battery life or hopefully a battery that never degrades or after 10 years. By then, most people will start keeping their smartphone much longer like laptops and we can remove the middleman (the carriers).

    2010's is the first full decade for smartphones when it became standard. Smartphones have been around since the early 1990's. By 2020's decade, it would be like video game consoles or laptops peaking in the 2000's. Then an eventual slide in luster by the 2030's when more people will stop caring about new devices and content with their current ones.
  23. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Boring phones that work well are better than exciting ones that have glaring issues. Bring on the boring.
  24. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    Honestly 2015 was so boring. Every phone was basically a stagnation or degradation of their previous generations. Sure, a lot of the phones were cool, but 2016 is looking much better for the mobile market. The G5 and GS7 are all very solid phones, and this is only the first of the year. MWC this year provided more excitement than all tech events from last year IMO.
  25. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    I agree that 2016 is an exciting year for smartphones, but I think 2014 was more boring than 2015. 2015 had the S6 whereas 2014 had the S5. That alone says a lot!

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