My Ideal Smartphone for 2016

The middle of 2016

We’ve passed the halfway mark of 2016 and we’ve already seen some fantastic flagship phones from all the major players. I particularly like the new HTC and Samsung devices for Android. Apple is on the “S” cycle so there’s nothing new there, but we may be in for a surprise later this year when the iPhone 7 (or whatever it’s going to be called) is released.

But this post isn’t about any of that. As much as I like a lot of the devices out in the market now, and including the ones in the foreseeable future (I’m hinting at you Samsung/Apple/LG), I have to say that my ideal smartphone simply does not exist. Not yet at least. Interested in what I think a flagship product includes? Then please read on.

Here are the key specs for what I want:

AG16 Communicator Pro

  • 6″ SAMOLED Screen at 3:2 ratio with 3000×2000 resolution and a smaller 5″ at 16:9 1920×1080
  • Thin bezels, with no company logo/branding
  • Snapdragon 820 / Exynos 8890
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB Storage + Expansion via MicroSDXC up to 200GB
  • Metal Unibody design that’s also IP68 certified water proof
  • Replaceable 5000mAh quick charge battery (4000mAh for the 5″)
  • 20MP Isocell 28mm Wide Angle Lens Rear Camera
  • 10MP Isocell 20mm Ultrawide Angle Lens Front Camera
  • Guaranteed to get all major software updates for the next 3 years
  • Guaranteed to get security updates for the lifetime of the device
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Non-standard DAC + Amp for music
  • The usual standard rainbow of wireless connectivity
  • Including IR
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Docking system, like an improvement over the old Motorola Atrix/Microsoft Continuum.

The “minus one feature” trend

I’m asking for a handful aren’t I? But think about it. The problem with manufacturers, and each one is guilty of this, all flagships have that one glaring missing feature. It’s like you’re being forced to choose which product is missing the feature that you can live without:

  • HTC 10 – Not IP68 certified. Non-replaceable battery.
  • LG G5 – This was a disaster. A downgrade from the LG V10. And many “modules” aren’t available for purchase in many countries.
  • Apple iPhone 6S (Plus) – The “Apple” tax / high price. iOS. Not IP68 certified. Non-expandable storage, and non-replaceable battery.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 (Edge) – Price. Non-replaceable battery. Samsung logo taking up several mm of space.

You can see the trend here. I want a device that can easily last me several years, ideally three. Batteries typically hold 400 cycles before it starts to deteriorate. As a power user, you will crunch through at least half the cycles in the first year alone.

I’ve also opted for a 3:2 ratio screen. I mainly use my smartphone to read saved news articles, browse social media, and keep in touch with my friends and work colleagues using chat. The 16:9 ratio isn’t really ideal for taking photos, so I’m thinking meet halfway with the 4:3 iPad devices and we end up with 3:2.

What’s your ideal smartphone? Are you happy with your iOS/Android device and it’s limitations/drawbacks? Let me know in the comments!

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