In a world where the word cell phone rings of times of old, it's pretty safe to say we're living in a revolutionary time. Less than a decade ago, the world was introduced to the first modern smartphone when the late Steve Jobs took the stage at Mac World 2007 and introduced the iPhone 1st generation. It was a technological marvel to say the least with its, then, impressive 3.5 inch display and revolutionary new user interface that featured touchable icons that launched mobile-optimized applications. Most impressive of all the iPhone's features, however, was the introduction to the world's first touch-screen device. Prior to the iPhone, touch displays were virtually nonexistent in consumer culture. The smartphones of that era were cumbersome to use, ran less than adequate software and were usually aesthetically displeasing.
Companies have since followed Apple and have developed amazing devices that have come to be praised by tech enthusiasts and consumers alike. Companies such as Samsung and HTC have rallied their time, energy and finances into developing revolutionary devices with some containing features that are truly useful and others that are questionable. With an ever-growing market of mobile devices, a crucial question must be posed; will there ever truly be a "perfect" smartphone? Let us first examine two crucial elements in the modern day smartphone.
1. Advanced Operating Systems (OS) - There are currently three major players in the smartphone market: Apple with iOS, Google with Android and Microsoft with Windows Phone. These three companies all have vastly different philosophy's when it comes to their operating systems. Apple has what could be classified as a closed-source operating system with emphasis on stability and usability. It's a great OS for those who don't want to worry about up keep on their devices and want something that "just works". Google's Android is what can be classified as open-source and is widely argued to be a better OS because of this. Due to its nature in open source, Android is more widely developed and maintained by third party developers which provide their users with new experiences that a user may not get out of the box. This is especially true with companies like Samsung, which skin Android with their Touchwiz user interface, and HTC which skin Android with their Sense user interface. However, due to an open source nature, it is also argued that there is far more potential for mobile malware and problematic software to be injected into the system. Microsoft takes a bit of both worlds with Windows Phone OS. Windows Phone OS can be classified as more closed-source than open source as their markets are heavily curated by Microsoft and many of the elements of Windows Phone OS is maintained and locked down by Microsoft. However, Microsoft has allowed many 3rd party developers to introduce their apps straight out of the box without any need for software updates as was the case originally for Apple and iOS.
2. Specs - This portion really focuses more on Google with Android than any other mobile platform for one simple reason. Android OEM's love touting devices with major specifications for mobile devices. It isn't uncommon to hear that a device is powered by 2 GB of RAM, a specification that classified most desktop computers not too long ago. Displays are another story as Google partners with manufacturers to engineer displays that have garnered a new nickname in the tech industry; "phablet". We've covered if "phablets" are taking screen sizes too far or not that you can read here. Cameras are now at a point in most devices where megapixels matter in some cases while in others not so much. With sizes ranging from 8 to a whopping 41 megapixels, as is the case with Lumia 1020 from Nokia, cameras on smartphones have begun competing with popular point-and-shoot cameras and have become the every man's pocket camera. Companies like Motorola and Apple have shown that specifications are not necessarily the end all, be all feature of a mobile device. Apple's latest offering with the iPhone 5S contains specs that could be traced back as far as 2011. Motorola's Moto X has a similar, unimpressive spec sheet powering the device. However, both devices have been praised for their fluidity and usability.
Matching the perfect Operating System with the perfect specifications is no easy feat. In fact, we would argue that such a device has not made its way into the hands of consumers. And that may actually be a good thing. Imagine reaching a point in time where the perfect smartphone was achieved and realized. What competition would there be against such a device? Where would the choice for the consumer go? These two concepts are ones that drive companies to constantly innovate and improve year after year. Without competition, we would no longer have a smartphone market and people wouldn't be compelled to choose one device over another because the perfect smartphone already exists! Perfection is simply in the eyes of the beholder and such is the case with the perfect smartphone. We say whatever device works for you and serves your needs the best, is the perfect smartphone. What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.