The phones of today are pretty much boring. There is evidently a lack of innovative design and new exciting technologies which makes me wonder if smartphone usability reached its peak. Usability is something that drives design creativity, and nowadays we only use phones to soak our minds in the wonders of the modern information-driven world, thus the design becomes irrelevant.
Some 15 years ago the smartphone industry was completely different. The design of the phones was so much interesting and although sometimes weird, it would make people turn their heads. While touch screens were barely available on the market, you had qwerty keyboards, pop-up keyboards, phones that combined touch screen and keyboard, and pure touch screen phones in gorgeously designed bodies. The last greatly designed phone was Huawei P30 Pro, and since then, all of them are more or less lookalikes.
The only interesting phones that you can get today are foldable phones which are so expensive and still fragile that not so many folks can afford them. I liked the Surface Duo idea too, but that one proved to be innovative in the same way as Nokia 9 PureView was.
Since today’s smartphone business is more or less emotionless and visibly driven by profit, the creative design is reserved for the flagship series of the most powerful brands. And there you can see the cost cuts through the recycled design. The only brand that brought a bit of spark to the market was Huawei, but we all know what happened there. Huawei was the only one brave enough to push the boundaries of the current smartphones, and it is still doing the same, but in less percentage, because their aspirations got killed big time.
Abdulla did a nice video covering this topic which you can check below.
When we talk about the exciting design and build quality, just check the Nokia 7610. Actually, the phone was made of cheap materials, but the design it carried was something that defined it.
I doubt we’ll see such an experiment being brought back so soon since the average buyers are playing safe just as manufacturers. We all tend to buy a phone that is usable, durable and has good battery life. The design is not so important since almost all smartphone users are dipping their phones in protective silicone cases to save their fragile big-screen phones from costly repairs. So one wonders why should manufacturers make exciting phones.
Well, to make the smartphone market a nicer place once again. Modern phones don’t have to be extravagantly designed or come with all the best specs. A decent LCD screen with good sun visibility, nice SD7XX processor, 64 MP camera paired with 20 MP selfie one, stereo speakers and 5000 mAh battery are all it takes.
Is this the top of the innovation we have reached with classic bar smartphones?