2020 has been a great year for budget smartphones that allowed us to see just how many features can be packed at a particular price point. We’ve seen a ton of great features on phones in a wide variety of budgets, though manufacturers have also kept shoving the same old tired and annoying features with their new phones as well.
As 2021 rolls in, we’ve put together a list of features we want to see die in this new decade. There’s plenty of annoying stuff that should stay in the god-awful year of 2020, starting with:
With all the new wired charging technology that has been introduced over a year or so, there shouldn’t be a reason why 18W charging shouldn’t be standard—since the early-generation fast charging tech is now more affordable than ever.
While mid-range phones are already employing an 18w wired charging speed as the minimum, we do hope that budget phones—especially those with large batteries—employ 18w wired charging. Let’s be real: no one likes to stay hooked in an outlet for hours just because their 5000mAh phone is stuck with a painfully slow 10w charging speed.
Phones without a charger in-box
Apple kicked this new, annoying trend off with the launch of their new iPhones last year, and like always other brands will be following suit even after their relentless mocking and trolling. While there are merits to their “eco-friendly” arguments, at the end of the day the removal of the charging brick is more about reducing cost.
Personally, we don’t really want chargers to disappear in boxes, but if brands are going to go through with it, we’d at least want the option to be able to get the charger for a bit extra (with the charger-less version costing a little less in comparison), while getting vastly better quality charging cables as well.
“Glasstic” finish on high-end phones
We don’t care how nice a “glasstic” finish is—plastic has no place in a device that costs more than Php 40K. If brands are asking that much money for a premium smartphone to begin with, then the materials used to build that phone needs to be premium as well. If you charge more than Php 40K for a phone (we’re looking at you, Galaxy Note 20), the back should be made out of glass, AND only glass. Glasstic, for the most part, should stick to budget and mid-range phones as they are relatively cheaper than glass or metal finishes.
Most smartphones we saw in 2020 touted quad-camera or triple-camera modules that had at least one or two powerful snappers and a couple of throw-away 2-megapixel depth sensors to boot. Based on our experience with reviewing several phones for a year or so, those 2-megapixel sensors are virtually useless, and are mostly throw-away sensors to pad out a phone’s featureset.
We know that 4 cameras sound better than 3 or 2, but brands should focus on quality over quantity. We’d rather have only a main and ultra-wide camera if that means we’re getting better optical clarity and overall better photos VS 2 cameras that produce mediocre photos with two throwaway snappers that take images that look like they were smeared with vaseline.
There is absolutely no reason for a phone in 2021 to come with a microUSB port. This is old tech that should be relegated to low-quality gadgets and throw-away tech garbage—not phones produced or marketed in this new decade.
Aside from that, the beauty of Type-C is that you can plug the cable to your device in any orientation, saving you from possibly breaking some pins due to incorrectly plugging in a cable. Our wish for brands to ditch Micro-USB for Type-C applies not just to phones, but to practically every single gadget out there.