Smartphones are more interesting now than they've been in years

thato's picture

If you think smartphones are boring right now, you haven't been paying attention.

Four or five years ago, you would have been dead on. At the time, smartphone design had basically settled on gray slabs of plastic, aluminum, and glass. Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 were still in the mix with Android and iPhone, but even though there was more variety in platforms there wasn't in experience. Feature differences mostly amounted to who had the best camera or whether or not you liked Swype.

SEE ALSO: Everyone's waiting for the iPhone X, and that may be bad news for Apple

Fast-forward to today: Right now we're experiencing an inflection point both in smartphone design and their supporting ecosystems, and it means what you get by choosing one phone over another diverges considerably. From home buttons to biometrics to camera tech to AI, there's more separating today's smartphones than there has been in a long time. 

That's why I find it perplexing that anyone would argue, in 2017, that all phones are the same. Sure, at first glance, the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 might both look like they're offering up the same small screen to put in your pocket, but that just shows you're not looking closely enough. A Tesla and a Toyota look basically the same, too.

Hardware upheaval

But even if we restrict ourselves to just phone design, the case for boredom doesn't hold water. There's a movement right now to push phones toward "edge to edge" displays, with screens that (nearly) encompass the entire front of the device. Implementing such a design introduces a host of issues, which manufacturers deal with in different ways.


Pete Pachal