Here at Pocketnow, we see a lot of phones. Some are terrible, some are “okay”, and others are amazing pieces of technology that excel in every way — except a couple. It seems that even now, do device is perfect. But what is “perfect”, anyway? What do we want in our dream phone?
That’s what we asked the Pocketnow Team, but instead of limiting ourselves to which of today’s phones we’d really love to have in our pockets, we asked what tech we want in a phone right now. Is it a curved screen? An even better AMOLED display? Knock to unlock on even more devices? Frickin’ lasers?
Here’s what the Pocketnow team had to say, and why they might pass up a phone that doesn’t have their desired feature set in it.
“I want a phone that lasts”
I want a phone that lasts. I don’t care about slimmer or lighter, I want bigger and faster and longer. We are still talking about phones right? Okay.
So, yes my Frankenphone would have the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera on it — all 41 megapixels, but instead of that oreo on the back, I would just mold the shell larger to make it flat on the back and fill in the extra space with battery (around the 4,000 mAh area) and wireless charging coils.
Since we’re not talking about software, I won’t talk about Windows Phone vs. Android, but I DO want voice control while the screen is off. I can get away with this because that’s determined by the processor. I also want double tap to turn on and I want a hardware camera button. Finally, microSD card support. I think that’ll round it out pretty well.
“Nokia was close”
I want a smartphone running a future version of full desktop Windows that includes all of the features of current Windows Phone 8, but also has the ability to run x86 programs should the need arise.
It should also have at least a 41 megapixel camera with Xenon flash, and RAW DNG format support so I can have full control over the image in my desktop programs later on. A nice non-destructive RAW image editor on the phone (that uses the same metadata as Lightroom/ACR) would be good, too.
A removable battery and Qi wireless charging capabilities are important as well, but I also really like interchangeable color covers for external customization.
A MicroSD slot for adding another 128 GB of storage would be good especially for shooting RAW photos like I do. It would need an improved low-power glance mode that provides more information right on the screen as soon as I take it out of my pocket (so I don’t have to press the power button), and Cortana should be always listening for an activation keyword so that I don’t have to touch the phone to initiate a Cortana conversation.
Oh, and Cortana needs to learn how to read notifications out loud to me when they happen (and when my Quiet Hours are off).
Anton D. Nagy
“I’m not an ‘added features’ kind of guy”
I’m not an “added features” kind of guy, so the tech existing in phones right now is enough for me. That having been said, there are basically two things I care about most in a smartphone: camera quality, and battery life. Now, as I’m getting older (as competition becomes more fierce and as devices get more and more features), I’ve extended the list to four, adding display accuracy and speakerphone quality.
I can say that I almost found the perfect phone for my personal taste and use. Those who follow me know that my main phone for this year, and my top phone list number 1’s position is occupied by the Sony Xperia Z2. It has a good shooter, great display, decent battery life, but, sadly, it’s not the perfect phone for me, as it’s lacking in the speakerphone department. The HTC One M8 and the Oppo Find 7 excel in that category though, so if I can have a combination of the Xperia Z2 and the speakers from either the aforementioned devices, I’d say I found the perfect device.
“Battery life and camera, in that order”
When I think of a phone, two things are really important to me: the battery life and the camera, in that order. I want a phone that will last me through one full day of heavy usage, and I’m fine with any trade-offs necessary to make that happen – as long as the phone is snappy, I’m fine with what’s on the inside.
That’s why the Moto X was such a nice phone in my eyes, though a good camera combined with that would make a wonderful combination. In terms of software features, I’m quite enjoying LG’s Knock On DT2W feature and find it hard to live without (especially with gesture add-ons like on the HTC One M8).
I also like Active Notifications, though I wouldn’t want a barrage of features – quick updates to the latest version of Android are important to me. In case it wasn’t apparent, this phone would without a doubt run Android, as there’s nothing else that could make this configuration work for me
“I wish I could shoot as much video footage of an event as I want”
I’ll admit that some of the things we can do with smartphones today exceeds the expectations I had five years ago. Who would’ve thought that at Lumia 1020 could replace a camera the way it does, or that the app ecosystem of iOS and Android would be as useful as it is. The only things I wish I had today are less limitations to this.
I wish battery life would stop being an issue, and I also wish I could shoot as much video footage of an event as I want without having to worry about storage. The same can be said about the amount of media I can carry, etc.
Another thing I wish for is a smarter and smaller accessory for gaming, as I find it too cumbersome to try to play a game with onscreen controls, and a Moga is too big to carry around.
“A clamshell to crush all clamshells”
Taylor Martin made a great point in his recent smartphone retrospective about the declining “sizzle” of the mobile hardware market. Oh, our pocket devices have more power than ever before, sure – but the fun of novel form factors has largely evaporated from the scene. While obvious exceptions exist in the form of the LG G Flex, the Yotaphone, Project Ara and others, the scene is nothing like it was a decade ago… and it never will be again.
But were I able to reverse that trend, I’d petition the phone makers of the world to craft me a clamshell to crush all clamshells. Not a half-measure like the Galaxy Folder, mind you, and not a side-folding QWERTY job either. A communicator in the traditional sense, with a top-mounted hinge and a large display up top, controlled via an advanced, webOS-like gesture area on the lower half.
The display would be capable of rotating 180 degrees on its hinge and closing facing outward, like some PDAs and dumb phones of yesteryear. Its optically-stabilized camera would be mounted on a rotating drum as on the Oppo N7. It would possess a notification LED of unparalleled versatility and a speakerphone loud enough to ruffle whiskers from a foot away. And the whole thing would be coated in the sandstone finish of the gray OnePlus One.
Yes, it would be huge and impractical and expensive and fragile. But still, tell me you wouldn’t buy that.
Chief News Editor
“Software defined radio”
I’m going to step away from the usual wish list of dream-phone components and go with something I don’t hear many smartphone fans talking about: I want a phone with a software-defined radio.
You can think of SDR as a universal tuner that’s capable of pulling down nearly anything the RF spectrum can throw at it. Not only would that mean a phone no longer encumbered by limited band and modulation support, effectively creating a truly global handset, but it could allow for a slew of new functionality.
Jealous of those South Korean phones with built-in tuners for over-the-air free TV? With an SDR smartphone, you could receive free ATSC HD broadcasts in the US, as well – not to mention DVB-T(2) in Europe. And of course, FM radio reception would be a breeze.
With the right hardware on board, SDR smartphones could even integrate with existing radio systems for business and government use: a police officer could carry a smartphone that directly accesses the department’s APCO-25 network, replacing the stand-alone radio he’s forced to carry now. With enterprise sales so important at the moment, that could be a boon for any OEM that embraces it.
“I want that unicorn phone”
It’s tough to say exactly what I want in a phone anymore. Frankly, I’m quite happy with the One M8, but I’m not totally satisfied. I love the design, BoomSound is fantastic, Sense 6 is surprisingly good, and the display is gorgeous. Frankly, if I could have a 3,000mAh battery and the Lumia Icon’s camera in the One M8, it would be almost perfect.
These are the only two sore points in the One M8 — the camera and the battery life.
That answer, for some reason, feels like a cop-out, though. So for good measure, I’ll go ahead and say I wouldn’t mind if the M8 were a little bigger, adopted Samsung’s Multi-Window feature (with support for all third-party apps as many debs have proven is quite easily possible) with a Wacom digitizer and stylus. In other words, I want a mashup of the Note 3 (4?), M8, Lumia Icon, and the G3: the size, feature set and stylus of the Note; the design, display, and speakers of the M8; camera capabilities of the Icon; and extra slim bezels and battery life of the G3. I want that unicorn phone.
“What’s the phone you want in your pocket now?”
When we were gearing up for this article we deliberately kept each other in the dark. Before this article was published, none of the Pocketnow editors knew what the others was going so say. While this undoubtedly lead to a little redundancy, the results are pretty obvious. We, as power users, editors, and reviewers, generally want a phone with (much) better battery life, an improved camera, wireless charging, and more storage capacity.
Now we want to hear from you! Are your thoughts in-line with ours? Did we fail to mention your most desired feature? Head down to the comments and sound off! Let us know what you want in your dream phone!