The design that disappeared on the smartphone: or never see it again

Nowadays, the design of smart phones is becoming more and more consistent, and many people are nostalgic for the previous era of different forms of functional phones. The homogeneity of mobile phones also indicates that the industry is more mature, and the product form has become what most people like. In any case, those disappearing mobile phone designs must have their drawbacks, or they will block the development of other technologies. Today we will take a look at the designs that disappeared on smartphones and the root causes of their disappearance.

Nowadays, the design of smart phones is becoming more and more consistent, and many people are nostalgic for the previous era of different forms of functional phones. The homogeneity of mobile phones also indicates that the industry is more mature, and the product form has become what most people like. In any case, those disappearing mobile phone designs must have their drawbacks, or they will block the development of other technologies. Today we will take a look at the designs that disappeared on smartphones and the root causes of their disappearance.

Micro-USB interface

About three to five years ago, the smartphones around us were still using the USB 2.0 Micro-USB portable interface developed in 2007. Its shape is a trapezoidal port with a narrow upper and a wide bottom. It is necessary to distinguish between the front and the back when connecting.

This public version of the interface has fallen out of fashion in the subsequent development of new mobile phones. It can neither withstand high-current fast charging nor reach the ideal transmission rate. Later, there was the high-current interface of OPPO VOOC flash charging magic modification, and the Mirco-USB 3.0 b-type male port used by Samsung released Note3 in 2013, but unfortunately the 3.0 b-type male port also changed the shape of this Micro-USB Flat and fragile.

At that time, the iPhone 5, which was released a year earlier, had upgraded the 30-pin flat port to a Lightning port that is universal on both sides. Consumers have also begun to realize the convenience of this universal interface on both sides. In the follow-up domestic market, mobile phone manufacturers such as LeTV, Xiaomi, and Huawei have successively upgraded Type-C ports, giving the Android mobile phone camp a more convenient connection experience.

In 2018, OPPO, which insisted on Micro-USB long enough, also upgraded the Type-C port for the entire R17 series. Since then, the mobile phone market has basically bid farewell to this interface that has been in use for nearly ten years. Now you can only see it on some cheap Electronic products or Kindle.

Removable back cover (battery)

The detachable battery and the back cover can be regarded as the general knowledge of the mobile phone market, but after the emergence of the “heretic” iPhone, as the internal components of the mobile phone become more and more integrated, the screen becomes larger and the mobile phone becomes thinner and lighter. But the detachable back cover is about to be sacrificed.

Manufacturers have also found that once the detachable back cover design is removed, the previously reserved disassembly space can be used (for example, by replacing it with a larger battery), and it can also create better closure for the inside of the phone. The waterproof and water-repellent technology can also Better realized.

Of course, when non-disassembly is becoming the mainstream design of the industry, Google, Motorola, and LG have also tried modular design, but in the follow-up, these ideas did not receive positive feedback from the market, and finally only catered to the mainstream.

3.5mm audio interface

Speaking of the 3.5mm audio interface, this is probably the “pain” for most people when changing to a new phone. Apple is the first choice to castrate the 3.5mm interface. In 2016, the iPhone 7 drastically cut off the 3.5mm headphone jack, causing it to face a large number of users’ accusations. So that when the follow-up Android phones release products that retain 3.5mm, everyone will jokingly call this feature point “extremely advanced.”

But think about it, if the 3.5mm interface is still there, can true wireless Bluetooth headsets become popular so quickly? This may be difficult. Perhaps it was just seeing the rise of Apple AirPods product sales that Android manufacturers chose to follow up on this decision and launch their own true wireless Bluetooth headset products. Of course, we can also treat the castration of the 3.5mm interface as the pain of improving the integration of the mobile phone. Maybe the future mobile phone will not even have the charging interface.

Lift camera

Two years ago, the mobile phone lift camera was still an emerging technology. The front camera was hidden inside the mobile phone by a mechanical structure and lifted from the top when needed, bringing a sense of ritual when taking pictures, but more importantly, the mobile phone screen No longer limited to the camera, with COF technology, the screen-to-body ratio of the mobile phone can be pushed to the extreme.

At that time, there was no digging screen solution. Choosing to hide the front camera in the internal structure of the fuselage seemed to be the safest way. Is it really the case? Although the more complex the structure, the more frequent the failure, but we have seen that the lifting camera does not cause frequent failures, but everyone’s complaints are concentrated on the weight. Mobile phones equipped with a lifting camera on the market are generally above 200g. Without improving the battery life, this is probably not a good deal. Especially after the open-hole screen appeared, the mobile phone lift camera gradually disappeared, and now it is only seen on smart screen products.

The appearance node of the double-sided screen is basically the same as that of the lifting camera, and its functional requirements are basically matched with the lifting camera, all wanting to leave a larger screen space for the front screen. Because when taking a selfie with a double-sided screen phone, the rear camera can be used as a front-facing selfie by using the screen on the back of the phone.

The more representative dual-screen phones include the vivo NEX dual-screen version, Nubia X, Meizu Pro7 with a small screen on the back, and YotaPhone 3 with an electronic ink screen on the back. Although these phones have the functions of message notification, message preview, and screen wallpaper for the back screen, and the larger back screen can also be used as a game-assisted touch, the dual-screen phones are all too heavy and heavier than the lifting camera. It is even worse. After the front camera is installed with a hole-digging screen, this design will not continue.

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