6 Smartphone Features That Are More Useful Than We Thought

smartphone features representative image
Image: Unsplash

Smartphones are getting smarter by the day but they’re also getting dumber in some respects. There are real smartphone features that we miss just because we don’t think we need them anymore. Then there are features that aren’t there in any phones, but they should be there, just for convenience’s sake.

So here’s our list of smartphone features that should be there on every phone in 2022. While some are just there for the sake of it, others could make a world of difference to your daily usage.

Smartphone features that should be there

1. SIM card slot that works without a SIM tool

SIM slot as a smartphone feature
Image: Pexels

Sony has already nailed this one, but we don’t know what’s stopping other manufacturers from doing it. While eSIMs are taking over quickly, and the SIM slot will eventually die, companies should perfect it before they kill it.

I’ve seen people damage their phones with a SIM ejector pin, and I bet you’ve also been in a scenario where you needed to take out the SIM, but couldn’t find a pin. Some people even resort to safety pins and other sharp objects to eject SIM cards, but it isn’t safe.

Long story short, Sony already has a SIM slot that doesn’t require a tool to pop it open. And for the rest of the phones, it is all good till the time you need to remove the tray.

2. Alert slider

iPhone mute switch- smartphone features
Image: StackOverflow

iPhones have had alert sliders since the beginning, and OnePlus brought the feature to Android users as well. However, apart from these two, literally, no other company has applied a mute switch on their phones.

It is one of the underrated smartphone features and design finishes, and those who use it will appreciate the quick way to muzzle and unmuzzle their phones. Jon from Android Authority did a detailed piece on why nobody gives the mute switch, and it gives some solid reasons for why the companies are choosing to skip it.

3. LED in the charging port

Using your phone at night and it runs out of juice. You find the charging cable and then scratch the chin of your phone trying to plug it in. It may not do much damage at once, but keep repeating this cycle and the bottom of your phone won’t be left as pristine.

So maybe, just maybe, if manufacturers could put a tiny LED in the charging port, which comes on when you turn on the torch, it could help. It could also help you spot your phone in the dark if it is charging. And make that a color-changing LED and you’ll know how much battery your phone has, without even looking at it.

That’s one feature out of my mind. No phone has it, and I don’t think any phones will, but if someone is willing to make an accessory, I’d definitely give it a shot.

4. microSD Card slot

microSD card
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I know internal storage is faster and more secure, but what if I don’t want to pay a premium for that storage? Even services like iCloud and Google Photos need an internet connection and a lot of battery to backup everything.

So a microSD card slot, if anything, is a bonus even in today’s time. If you’re a professional, then you can just swap out those cards on the fly, rather than waiting to backup. microSD cards have also come a long way and are fast, secure, and reliable. If you agree with me, show some love in the comments.

5. Headphone jack

headphone jack representative image
Image: Unsplash

Yes, I’m going to whine about a headphone jack till the day digital audio absolutely catches up with analog. While it won’t make a world of a difference for most users, a headphone jack is a nice smartphone feature to have in 2022.

Why so? Because 3.5mm accessories are inexpensive and of good quality. You can use a headphone jack to mount an external microphone, a light sensor, a thermometer, or even attach a metal keyring to your phone using Pluggy lock.

Companies killed off a lot more than your wired headphones when they pulled the plug on the earphone jack.

6. Removable Batteries

removable batteries on iPhone
Image: Unsplash

Again, this isn’t a good or relevant feature in most cases. Non-removable batteries allow manufacturers to make tighter-integrated phones with better water and dust resistance. You’re also less likely to buy a cheap unsafe battery if you can’t open your phone and swap one.

But a phone with swappable batteries would still be a great option. You can use it till it lasts, and just keep using it again by swapping the batteries. Removing a phone’s battery also lets you dry it out better in case your phone gets drenched.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this smartphone feature, but seeing today’s phone designs, I don’t think they would’ve been possible with a removable battery, so it has died for a reason. Still, if you see it as a longevity thing, removables still rule.

The best smartphone features

It is 2022 and the best features that you can get in a smartphone have advanced beyond physical peripherals. However, these basics are something that could improve the phone’s utility. Adding an alert slider would make accessing your phone’s ringer settings easy.

The same way, an accessible SIM slot is easier but we’re also moving to a time of no SIM slot phones, and I’m optimistic Apple will be among the first to drive this change. Then as far as a microSD card slot and headphone jack are considered, they should both have been retained by companies.

Sacrificing some of these features has given us tighter-integrated devices with performance that is getting better by the day. Do you think any of these smartphone features should be there in the future? Do let us know in the comments.

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