In 2022, these are five characteristics we want to see from smartphone

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The likes of OnePlus, Nokia, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi all announced a similar commitment to OS updates this year. But the truth is that most of these brands used this as little more than a marketing tactic, with this update only applying to their latest high-end phones. It was particularly disappointing in Vivo and Xiaomi’s cases, as they only announced this update for their H2 2022 flagships. So that meant the Vivo X60 series and Xiaomi Mi 11 phones released earlier in the year wouldn’t get in on the action.

More manufactures offered lengthier update guarantees (in some capacity), superb premium and affordable flagships alike, top-notch budget phones, and enhanced camera capabilities in 2021, which was a relatively successful year for the smartphone market. However, there is always space for improvement, and 2021 saw a few tendencies that we would prefer not to see in 2022. So here’s what we’re hoping for from cellphones in the coming year. In 2020, Samsung kicked off this trend by announcing that a spate of devices would henceforth receive three years of OS updates and four years of security fixes (equivalent to Google’s previous commitment). Including slightly older flagships, some Galaxy A series mid-range phones, and foldables were among the gadgets.

Highlights

  • Apple and the iPhone 12 series kickstarted the trend of removing the bundled charger, forcing consumers to splash out on a new charger. This was followed by Samsung and Google, who chose to drop the charger from the Galaxy S21 series and Pixel 6 duo. The excuse from most of these companies is that the charger was removed due to environmental concerns. But it’s hard to accept this is the real reason when companies charge a significant amount for these accessories in the first place.

  • In other words, we want to see these brands bring longer update commitments to older top-end models. It would also be great to see cheaper phones like the Redmi Note series and Vivo V series getting more OS updates. Staying with updates for a second, we’d also like to see companies doing a better job of releasing polished, relatively bug-free software. Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, and Google all released buggy software in 2021, either via over-the-air updates or pre-installed devices. Hopefully, we will see fewer cases of this happening next year.

Therefore, we’d like to see manufacturers offer faster charging via USB-PD, PPS, and/or Quick Charge if they insist on using proprietary standards as the primary protocol. It would be great if more companies ditched proprietary standards as the primary protocol when PPS and Quick Charge have both made major strides in recent years. It would also be wonderful if companies like Google and Apple embraced faster charging in 2022. We don’t necessarily mean adopting 65W charging speeds or higher. But even a bump to 30W along with the ability to sustain peak charging speeds would be an improvement over the Pixel 6 series.

Nevertheless, Xiaomi’s Chinese Mi 11 launch served as a great example for companies to follow. The manufacturer offered packages with and without a charger, but you still paid the same price anyway. So we hope to see the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google doing the same, or simply charge a minimal fee for an additional charger. Staying with chargers, one trend we’ve seen over the years has been for Android OEMs to release phones and chargers sporting proprietary fast charging protocols. This isn’t a big deal if the two gadgets support fast charging via standards like USB-PD, PPS, and Quick Charge. But we’ve seen a few phones and chargers that only fast-charge via proprietary protocols, falling back to excruciatingly slow 10W charging via the aforementioned alternative solutions.

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