A Rant: Not Enough Choice When it comes to high-end 'smartphones'?

I think the 'smartphone' market is currently offering way too little choice. Especially in the high-end range we are very often paying for features we do not need...all in the name of 'convergence' and the chase for the iPhone-killer badge.
Years ago Nokia had the guts to launch a high end E61 without a camera and then shortly thereafter the E61i with a cam. There were great top-range phones without gps etc etc...
What I'm saying is this: if you needed a 2nd car just to drive the same two 10-mile routes daily, would you pay extra for GPS and a ski-rack?
Why can I not buy a phone with a great screen, speedy processor, shedloads of RAM and a keyboard but without a camera or gps? It's become so nutty that 2 years ago Samsung launched the Jet. It had GPS but there was initially no satnav software available and even Google Maps didn't work on it.
Rant out. Over to you... Any opinion?

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Admin  Jan. 31, 2011 at 19:07

I think the manufacturing cost of adding a camera is now so low that they throw it in anyway. Same thing with GPS. Plus then consumers look and see it as a phone with lacking features. Can you imagine the slamming a non-cameraphone would get these days? ...or maybe it's at the point where it would get hyped for being different hah. I guess the best thing for you would have been if Modu would have taken off and not gone bankrupt.

I look at the current smartphones and just wonder where we are going to go from here. The last 2 years have been all about aping the iPhone as you say. What is really going to bring us forward? NFC? Direct Wifi? Maybe things will get interesting again once the phone is a utility instead of something for fun and amusement.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2011 at 19:49

You are probably right. And me too X) Hahaha
Seriously, though, it is similar with out-of-the-box laptops...webcam (no matter how bad)? Tick. Dual layer DVD drive (no matter how shaky)? Tick. etc..
And after all: in 2011 washing machines still steal socks. Maybe when that mystery is solved, we can all move forward and tackle 'smartphones'?

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2011 at 19:57

oh, PS: I, by the way would completely disagree with a reviewer who takes points away for no camera (e.g.). No camera would not be some hidden flaw.The absence of a hole on the back of the phone should tip everyone off ;)
But of course, these days many smartphone reviews do not even mention the phone functions. We all just assume that bit is working...hm...

Admin  Jan. 31, 2011 at 21:33

There's still usually a mention of call quality - like the dual mic on the Nexus to reduce background noise. But calling is a minor part of how we communicate now :)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2011 at 23:29

How well does that work on the Nexus S? I remember when Nokia introduced a similar technology in the E75, 55 etc. Some batches were practically 'deaf' cause the noise cancellation worked just a bit too well...


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