What features are you looking for in your next smartphone?

Upcoming Android smartphones from Xiaomi, Motorola, OPPO, Google, Samsung, Huawei, and more

So you’re getting a new phone? You want one that has all the latest specs, a good screen, superb camera, and everything else. But then you realize that all of the flagships have them. Well, to be fair, that’s why they’re called flagship devices. So you start looking for some unique, special features that actually differentiate these phones. What are these features for you?

For some, it might be a necessity that the phone must have a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon system-on-chip, rather than HiSilicon Kirin or Samsung Exynos. Maybe you like when the SoC lets you mod your smartphone to your liking because kernel source codes are almost always available. Or, you may like how efficient Exynos processors are. Actually, Samsung is permitting unlocking the bootloaders on Snapdragon variants of their devices in certain markets. Or, maybe you like the innovative technology HiSilicon brings, like the first commercially available 7nm SoC. Some couldn’t even care less about the manufacturer of the system-on-chip, because at the end of the day, all of them will do their jobs.

What about the software? Do you want your phone to have the latest and greatest Android software out of the box? Are you okay with the outdated software as long as it works? Odds are, you really want your phone to at least have Android 8.1 Oreo, because, well, that’s what XDA is all about. I noticed that some people don’t even know which version of Android their desired phone is running.

Once those features are out of way, we get to the new trends. Do you mind the big notches that some of the phones offer? Or, are you one of those people (like me) who’s going to buy the Pixel 3 over the Pixel 3 XL just because that it doesn’t have a notch? Well, maybe you don’t mind the notch, but there must be limits. Essential’s notch is very small and you don’t lose much of the screen’s real estate. But, keep in mind that notches usually also reflect on the aspect ratio of the devices. Old, traditional 16:9 display may be a necessity for you, over the new 18:9 and other standards.

Now, granted, almost all of the flagships have great cameras, but most of them do it differently. Some of them go with the dual-camera system, while both of the cameras have OIS one of them is used for cool bokeh effects. Some go with the triple-camera systems to add some crazy features like 40 MP photos. And, fortunately, some OEMs like to keep the amazing camera quality, while only having a single lens. They mostly do that with their software, which plays a big role in processing photos. Most users, again, like me, don’t even care how many lenses the phone has, as long as it produces good results.

Speaking of cameras, you may also like the new trend of pop-up cameras. Currently, only a handful of mostly Chinese smartphone manufacturers use this method for hiding their cameras. Some may think that it is a really convenient feature, as it also helps you stay more secure while giving the OEM an ability to remove the hideous notch. The OPPO Find X, Honor Magic 2 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 have quite big pop-up mechanisms, while the Vivo Nex has a very small one. I personally think that while they’re cool, I would still prefer a little bezel on the top, at least while pop-up cameras are considered as a bleeding-edge technology. Do you agree with me or do you prefer pop-up cameras?

And what about the fingerprint scanner? Some manufacturers, like OnePlus, Google, and Samsung like to put them on the rear panel of the device recently. It’s easier to reach out while you’re holding the phone unless the device is really big, or the scanner is positioned poorly. Other manufacturers, like Huawei and Moto, sometimes put the fingerprint scanner on the front, at the bottom bezel. They’re usually convenient as it’s a two-in-one system having the functionality of both the fingerprint scanner and the home button. But, recently, OEMs have been trying to put fingerprint scanners under the display of the device. While they’re usually a little bit slower and almost always harder to implement, it’s really a cool concept. But, again, just like the pop-up cameras, it’s really a bleeding-edge tech, so you may not like it at all.

So, the question is: what features are you looking for in your next smartphone? We described a couple of them, but there’s a chance that we missed some. On the top of my head, I can think about microSD card and dual-sim support, front-facing speakers, stylus availability, squeezable edges, and so on. Make sure to tell us in the comments what is a necessity for you when considering a new phone.

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