What my perfect phone would be like


Every time one of the big companies announce a new smartphone, we tech geeks flock to it to see if they "did it right." It's basically impossible to design a device that everyone thinks is the best thing since sliced bread though, so there will always be disappointments.

Looking at the phones on the market now, I started thinking what I would put in a phone if I were to design the perfect one for me, and me alone. Read on to see what it would be like. 

For my Photoshop mockup up there on top, I chose the Galaxy Nexus as the starting point, because I generally like its size and design. I would however make several changes, starting with the thickness. I use a case anyways, so a few millimeters extra to get a bigger battery is well worth it. 2500mAh is what I'm thinking, with whatever effect that has on the design. That's quite a bit more than what the Nexus ships with, but I think it's a nice number for a device that doesn't scream "charge me" all the time. 

For the screen, I'm happy with the size. I'd like it to be 800 x 1280 rather than 720 x 1280 though, just to make it a bit less widescreen (or tallscreen), and I'd also absolutely not waste screen real estate for buttons – that's what the bezel is for in my opinion. I just transplanted the international Galaxy S II buttons on top of it to give you an idea, as I generally like that layout, with the search feature being a long press on the menu button. Screen technology? Super AMOLED+. Keep your pentile garbage.

Camera-wise I'm thinking the same camera that's in the S III, a nice, fast 8-megapixel shooter. Front camera doesn't really interest me, but chuck one in there anyway. I also like having the headphone port on the bottom, so I've kept that from the Nexus as well. 

Perhaps one of the most unconventional choices I'd made is to get rid of the microUSB port. MicroUSB is so far down on my list of preferred connectors that it might as well not be there. It's a tiny, annoyingly fragile connector that I wish straight to hell, frankly. My second choice for a connector would be a proprietary 30-pin connector like on Apple devices, as they're at least sturdy. My main choice, though, is a combination between wireless charging and magnetic USB connector. The Nexus already has three pins on the side that are there for when it's connected to a dock, and my solution simply merges that with a Smart Cover-like system of magnets that makes the entire USB connector snap onto either the side or the bottom of the device. It will never break, it will never damage anything if you trip over the cable, and it won't be another hole that collects dust. I'd rather pay more for expensive official accessories than to have "universal" connectors. This is my perfect phone after all, so public opinion is not an issue.

The magnets would also help with creating docks. Think Ten One Design's Magnus that works in both portrait and landscape, charges and syncs the device, and can connect to USB host and HDMI accessories – preferably at the same time. 

Another unconventional choice would be the storage option. Say 32GB of internal memory, and two microSDXC slots to go with that. Yes, two. One hidden in the battery compartment that mounts as the device's normal external SD card, and one that connects more like a USB host card, meant to be removed and re-inserted more frequently. Accessible from the outside and with a keychain sized USB microSDXC reader, it would mean no more USB host cable needed, even if I'd want that option in there for my magnetic connector. SDXC also means exFAT support like on the S III, so files above 4GB would be no problem. 

Internally things would be more standard. I'd go with Tegra 3 for the compatibility with optimized apps that the Tegra platform is getting, but I'd definitely shove 2GB of RAM in there. Perhaps there's some weird reason for why we're still seeing 1GB of RAM in phones, but while that's enough if you don't run too much stuff in the background, I want RAM to get the the same level as the GPU and CPU where there's enough of it with plenty of room to spare at all times, not just under perfect conditions. 

I don't care about LTE, as HSPA+ is more (!) than fast enough for me. I do want Bluetooth 4.0 for the low energy consumption feature it has, and NFC for reasons other than for paying with it. WiFi is a given, as is the standard "sensor pack" you find in phones. 

Software wise I'm not a fan of Ice Cream Sandwich on my current phone, but I guess I would put it on this one. No Sense, TouchWiz, or anything like that though. No S Voice, SmartAlerts, or anything else like that either unless it's something I can put on there myself. I already know how to do the things I need with third party apps, and with 2GB of RAM I can afford to use the services that originally came up with these features, rather than what came out of the companies that patented them. 

So that's pretty much it. My superphone. Not too different from what's on the market, but at the same time, enough difference that I'd throw money at this one while at the same time I have little interest in upgrading to, for example, the Galaxy S III. This is my superphone though, not someone else's, so your mileage is likely to vary. 

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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