I carry up to 5 cell phones at the same time on a regular basis! The exact number can vary based on what I am doing that day. If I am going to a puppy park, then I am bringing all my devices - I do what makes sense. I even have designated pocket locations to efficiently and consistently carry all my phones around. Sometimes I use a fanny pack! I do not use the fanny pack often, but the point is that I am that cool. I confuse people in general for non-phone reasons, like wearing a bear suit and tackling a guy holding a banana, so having multiple phones doesn't help give the impression of normalcy. Different people on a daily basis ask me “Why do you have so many phones?”
The simple answer is that no single phone satisfies me. I do not want to carry around multiple phones. I want only one phone that does everything that I desire. This article will help my life because I will use it as a reference to answer this question.
After using a lot of phones, I know exactly what features would make my perfect phone.
Introduction into my dream phone:
This is my dream phone for Fall 2015. I have put together attributes that are important to me in how I use a phone. I focused mainly on hardware and device features. I did not want to focus on software too much because Android vs iOS is a whole different article I need to write in the future. Instead, the software aspects I will talk about will be mostly specific features and capabilities - not necessarily specific to a particular mobile OS. Many of my desired features already exist on some current flagship phones, but no one phone has everything that I want.
Disclaimer for Phone References:
These are phones that are fairly new devices and they have attributes that I want in my dream phone. I have owned and used all of these phones extensively with the exception of the LG G4. I have however still have had some experience playing with the Lg G4. Certain features may exist on multiple phones, but I will only reference the phone feature that I think is good quality.
Example: The LG G4 has an IPS display. The iphone 6 Plus has an IPS display. I think that the IPS display on the iPhone 6 Plus is superior, so I will not reference the G4.
Example: The fingerprint reader on the iPhone 6 Plus vs the Samsung Galaxy S6. The fingerprint reader is way better on the iPhone 6 Plus, so I will not reference the S6.
I will essentially mention the phone(s) that I think represent the feature best. I will also not list any phone name if I do not feel any phone satisfies the desired feature. I will reference phones by putting the name in parenthesis after mentioning the feature.
Some Features Inspired from:
(iPhone 6 Plus)
(iPhone 6 Plus)
(Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
(HTC One M9)
(Sony Z Ultra)
and my heart…
Dream Phone Features
5.5 inch screen (iPhone 6 Plus and Lg G4)
LCD IPS (iPhone 6 Plus)
490 PPI or higher (Nexus 6)
I have had phones with many different screen sizes over the years. There are many pros and cons to larger vs smaller, but right now I like 5.5 inches the best. However, it must have a small bezel so the overall phone does not feel too big. Also, I do not necessarily care about resolution on phone screens because resolution can be good or bad depending on the screen size. The colors on the iPhone 6 plus screen are awesome and the resolution of the Nexus 6 is awesome. So I would love an LCD IPS display with approximately 490 ppi. Feel free to calculate what that resolution is on a 5.5 inch screen.
Power and volume buttons on the right. Power button higher than volume buttons. (Moto X)
Customizable On screen navigation buttons - no capacitive physical navigation buttons.( HTC One M9)
I hate the capacitive buttons on the Samsung Galaxy S6. I hate how they look, I hate how they light up all the time, and I hate that people accidently touch them whenever I would hand the phone to them. The iPhone home button is much better, but it creates a lot of bezel space. I want on screen nav buttons!
I am still open to trying out new volume/power button configurations, but the Moto X has had the most comfortable setup in my experience.
Large IR blaster on the top (HTC One M9)
I wish all tv manufacturers would just use bluetooth remotes, but I need a large IR sensor on my phone until that day comes.
Front facing, dual speakers (HTC One M9)
Loud Speakers (Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
I use my phone speakers a lot. I need them to be loud more than anything. The S6 speakers are small, but they get nice and loud. The HTC One M9 front facing speakers are nice because they are great quality and I never have problems with accidentally covering a speaker with my hand when holding it. My dream phone would be a combination of these qualities.
Charging and Battery:
Wireless Qi charging (Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
Turbo/Fast charging (Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
20+ hour battery life from a single charge
3000 mA or higher (Sony Z Ultra)
Removable/Replaceable Battery (LG G4)
I did say dream phone, right? I know this might be asking for a lot, but I want all these things for my phone battery/charging ability. I love wireless charging and think that every phone needs to have this in the future. I have loved it since buying the Nexus 4 in 2012. I m glad to see that wireless QI charging is starting to get some traction with mainstream phones.
20 MP or higher (HTC One M9)
Simple and Fast Camera UI (Moto X)
Speed and quality without manual setting config (iPhone 6 Plus)
Camera Launch Gesture(Moto X) and/or physical button to launch camera
Physical button to take pictures (HTC One M9)
Same 20 MP camera on front and back of phone
Camera does not protrude out the back (No camera bulge)
I think the camera features speak for themselves. The iPhone 6 Plus still seems to give me the best pictures, but I want the awesome Moto X interface and camera gesture, a higher resolution like the HTC One m9, and then I can be happy.
Bright flash (Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
Gesture for flashlight on/off (Moto X) or Dedicated Physical Button for Flashlight
I try to never use my flash for taking pictures, but I love using it as a flashlight. Make it bright, look cool, and give me a really easy way to turn it off/on.
Durability and Material:
Military grade durability rating (Sony Z Ultra)
WaterProof/Water Resistant (Sony Z Ultra)
Material similar to tempered glass (Sony Z Ultra) or (S6)
I want to feel safe putting my phone on a table without a case. I want to not think that one drop will destroy the phone. I do not want my phone to never turn on again if some water gets on it. I also hate scratches. Please make the phone out of material that does not scratch from normal wear and tear.
Other Physical Attributes:
No movement when using on a flat surface. No rocking from curved back - stable. No Camera bulge. (Sony Z Ultra)
Extremely small bezels (Moto X, LG G4)
No branding on front or back with logos or names
Customizable colors for front, back, accents, engraving (Moto X)
Custom Logos on back
Replaceable back (LG G4)
Thickness (Sony Z Ultra):
I love how thin and sturdy my Sony Z Ultra feels. I would love to have a my dream phone feel that way. However, I would be willing to sacrifice some thinness to allow other features like long lasting battery and a built in kickstand. I would like the phone thickness to be somewhere in between the Sony Z Ultra and the Nexus 6.
The Nexus 6 was just a little too thick for a 6 inch device. The same shape was awesome on the 5.2 inch Moto X, but it did not translate well to the larger Nexus 6 in my opinion.
64 GB ROM or Higher (iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6):
I still have not seen external sd card implemented in a useful way on mobile devices. I will not refuse external storage, but only if the ROM is high enough. I really do not need 64 GB or even 128 GB, but I like having the peace of mind for long term use. Plus, having a few movies downloaded for offline use never hurt anyone. Is it wrong that I enjoy watching the child’s cartoon Adventure Time?
Active notifications with front IR sensors that turn on screen (Moto X)
This is awesome. Check out the video if you do not know what these notifications are like:
Unlocking Mechanism and Security Options:
Double tap to wake (HTC One M9)
Double tap to sleep (HTC One M9)
Slide to unlock (HTC One M9)
Active Display (Moto X)
Fingerprint Reader (iPhone)
Magnetic field/Samsung pay capability that will mimic a credit card and work with 95% of vendors (Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge)
Mobile Payment does not require a balance and can pull directly from account/card (iPhone 6 Plus)
Mobile payment app launches instantly with payment NFC (iPhone 6 Plus)
Animations, but super smooth and stable; Especially smooth for home screen, notifications, multitasking windows, opening and closing apps
Additional software preinstalled can be removed (Nexus 6)
All app information saved in cloud with a user account
Customizable keyboard (LG G4)
Offline Maps Support with ability to lookup addresses and establishments.
Built in kickstand:
I sometimes carry around phone stands. Having one built into the phone would be ideal.
Another reason I carry around multiple phones is multitasking. Even multi-window software features on phones have not met my expectation. There are certain things that having multiple devices will be hard to match in one single device. Watching videos, sending messages, voice searches, music, podcasts, playing games, managing multiple audio levels, and web browsing are all things that need to be improved on in single device multi tasking.
Home Screen Auto Rotate Landscape Orientation Support:
Home Screen landscape orientation options to auto rotate is a must for me (iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Z Ultra). I love it on the iPhone 6 Plus and get disappointed every time I realize it is missing from the Nexus 6.
Headphone jack location:
Top Center (Moto X)
I hate having the headphones at the bottom of a phone. It is not good when I am sitting the phone on its bottom side. It does not work well when I have the phone on a stand, when I am holding it on a table, or when I am using a machine at the gym to hold it in portrait mode. That darn headphone jack at the bottom prevents me from properly standing up my phone in portrait mode and it drives me crazy! Actually, it is just annoying, but you get the idea.
Broken Screen Replacement (HTC One M9)
HTC will replace your HTC One M9 for free if you break the screen within the first year. They will also reward you with a discount if you never use the replacement.
Unlocked and multiple band support (Nexus 6)
The same Nexus 6 can be used on Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. It is awesome to have that flexibility.
Touchless Control (Moto X):
Being able to do voice commands without touching the phone is awesome - when it works. The Moto X has done it best in the past, but there is definitely room for improvement.
Built in bluetooth headphones:
I hate having excess things in my pocket. I am a hypocrite since I carry so many devices. Headphones are something I wish I had on me at all times, but just can’t depending on pocket availability. I want a phone to have small bluetooth headphones that were physically attached and flush with the phone at all times. This would allow them to always be charged, and paired. Imagine bluetooth headphones that you always have, not taking up room in your pocket, not needing to be charged separately, and never needed to be paired. That would be amazing. No phone that I know of has this feature.
I want to reiterate that I do not want to focus on software, but notes is an essential feature that I have come to rely upon for mobile phones. I have tried most of the most popular notes applications and I do use multiple ones. I love Evernote for writing down song lyrics and recording accompanying audio. Notes on iOS has nice quick simplicity to it. However I have found that I enjoy google keep the most. It is simple, fast, instantly syncs, and has just enough features to keep me coming back.
I love garageband. As a musician, it is extremely powerful being able to have this ability in my pocket at all times. I know this is not a factor for most people, but my dream phone would have this app.
I know it’s near impossible that any phone this year will have these attributes. There is a good chance that this phone will never exist, but I will continue to hope.
Hopefully now people will have a better understanding when I whip out my iPhone 6 plus, Sony Z Ultra, and HTC One M9 from my pants. My iPhone 6 Plus has 128 GB of storage, is super stable, has garageband, and takes the best photos. My Sony Z Ultra has a huge beautiful 6.44 inch screen that is awesome for video and games, it is rugged, thin, and has great battery. My HTC One M9 is super fast, has a customizable OS, great speakers, and a comfortable size for one handed use. I will carry these simultaneously and probably future phones until the day that my one dream phone exists. I am going to use this article as reference for future phone purchases. I will kind of make a scoring system based on my wants out of a phone. I will also use this article as a reference for people to understand that I am not carrying around multiple phones for attention; I just want all the features that currently do not exist in a single phone.
I am curious to hear your opinion. Are there any big features that I left out? Do you think any phone in the near future will have most of these desired features? Is there a phone that already meets all your desires? Please let me know your thoughts and feeling towards phones and bear/banana tackles.
By J.S. Marler
PS: Here is an awesome video about fanny packs!