Thoughts on the constant addition and removal of hardware features on flagship phones?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Andres Cantu, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #1
    Hi guys, I want to get your thoughts regarding the constant addition and removal of hardware features on flagship phones. For example, the inclusion of USB 3.0 on the S5 and its removal on the S6, OIS on the M7 and its removal on the M8, a second camera on the M8 and its removal on the M9, NFC on the OnePlus One and its removal on the OnePlus Two, etc.

    Does it bother anyone that it's hard to predict what hardware features will be added and/or removed in the next flagship phones? Can anybody think of other examples, besides the probable addition of SD card slots and removable batteries on next year's Samsung flagship phones? Finally, can you think of a hardware feature Apple has removed on the iPhone?
     
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #2
    I think most of these example show manufacturers changing direction after customers decided these features weren't at the top of their priority list. The Galaxy phones had expandable memory so I doubt that many people transfer data using their computers and those that do generally didn't care about the transfer rate--usb 2 was fast enough. Same goes for their removal of the dust/waterproofing on the standard model.

    For HTC, the dual camera was a gimmick to help offset the inadequacy of the sensors themselves. The rumor is the HTC was locked into an agreement to used those sensors for 2 years--likely way they went the more traditional route with the sensor in the M9.

    OnePlus not including NFC may very well be due to the cost associated with adding the hardware (both for the chip and licensing). They're working with razor thin margins considering the price they are charging and of all the functionality, the NFC chip is likely the least used by most.
     
  3. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    #3
    I think it's a try and see if people hold these features as important kinda thing. It ultimately comes down to money.
     
  4. epicrayban macrumors 603

    epicrayban

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    #4
    Eb and flow of the tech industry.

    And with so many manufacturers wanting to try things to differentiate or get ahead of others in the game, this is almost inevitable.
     
  5. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    #5
    I see them also removing OTG altogether. It reminds me of the current 8th console gaming. Xbox One can't play used games and Sony removed media playing capabilities on the PS4 during launch but slowly bringing it back but still no backwards capability for even old games like PS1 and PS2. Sometimes a few steps forward, but a huge step back. But that is the very nature of tech. Evolution. Nothing will remain 100% compatibility or features intact. Always changes for the better or worse.

    For me, I despise it if is coming from Android OEM's and feel indifferent if it is from Apple since I pretty much expect it. One of the reasons I choose Android is because it can have the most PC-like hardware. When OEM's remove it like say expandable storage, it takes away the advantages an Android phone has over an iPhone. None of the three OSes in Android, iOS, and WP are perfect. In a way, I blame Google trying to ape Apple's philosophy. I miss when I can use the Talkatone app linked with my Google Voice to make calls until Google eliminated it two years ago. They removed sd slot after Nexus One and removable battery was no longer there by Nexus 4.

    Android is the most fragmented and laggy if a skin is on it but a pure stock is the smoothest only crippled by hardware like poor cam and short batt life. With iOS, not as feature rich and flexibility when it comes to hardware and software but iPhone is generally fantastic all-around. I think WP frustrates me the most. I love Nokia hardware for the sub-$200 segment and wish they can move onto Android but WP lacks the apps that brings the interest down on those Lumias. Nokia have fantastic hardware only crippled by the WP OS because the lack of useful apps.

    I have a cheap 720p 16" LCD display. When I attach my thumb drive behind it, it can't a movie beyond 2 hrs and 10 min and it can't play certain codecs like AVI with sound. My portable DVD player can't play MP4 but can play AVI. My tablet/laptop can play all codecs but sound is weak. Only my LG Blu-ray player can play them all but for some reason can't play one of my fav movies in AVI but can play if attached to the TV with sound although the picture comes off softer than if attached directly to the TV. Confusing. That's why it is better to always have a backup device since certain devices can do better at certain areas and vice-versa.

    Nothing is perfect out there and it is usually the users learning to live without features and dealing with certain omissions and incompatibility.
     
  6. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #6
    Wrong .... It can and always has been able to do so.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I think it was silly to remove USB3 or OIS, but I do see them trying different things because in both cases the manufacturers are trying to regain momentum and re-establish their phones.
     
  8. Andres Cantu thread starter macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #8
    Those are all great points. I guess my biggest issue with this is that there is a lack of predictability for hardware features in most Android and Windows Phones. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Apple has yet to remove a hardware feature from any iOS device (apart from the ambient light sensor, loop, and sapphire crystal lens cover in the iPod touch, and the mute switch in the iPad Air 2). Sometimes people assume (and for good reason) that since a feature was in last year's flagship phone, then it should be in this year's flagship phone. Also, I don't recall the iPhone's predictability of features ever being used as a pro, only a con. Perhaps we're not giving it the credit it deserves, at least in that aspect?
     
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #9
    Well, to play devil's advocate for a moment, one could also say that the reason Apple hasn't removed hardware features is because they are very slow to adopt new functionality, often playing catch-up to its competitors after basically allowing them to test these new elements. Examples--OIS (and only on the 6+ so far), NFC (and crippled as it's only available for Apple Pay), larger devices/screens with higher resolution displays--not to mention the numerous things that haven't included yet that much of their competition already has (waterproof, haptic feedback, LED notification light, higher MP camera sensor, wireless charging, to name a few).

    Yes, Apple hasn't really back-tracked with hardware but in general, IMO, they drag their feet so much adding new elements that the market has often already dictated their desire or lack thereof for a feature.
     
  10. Andres Cantu, Aug 5, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015

    Andres Cantu thread starter macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    May 31, 2015
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    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #10
    I did not realize that, good point. I can, however, think of a few examples where Apple was the first to adopt new technology. For instance, the retina display, true-tone flash, 64-bit, and force-touch, to name a few.

    Still, there is really no counterpoint for removing OIS or NFC, as those are features people do want in their phones.
     

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