[Weekly Poll] Biggest Deal Breaker: Notch, Missing Audio Jack, or Offset Fingerprint Scanner?

When it comes to smartphones, there have been three trends (or soon to be trends). In 2017, Android manufacturers ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack. Today, very few flagship Android devices retain the audio jack, for reasons quite frankly we still don’t understand. In 2018, it seems that a display notch will be the trend among many Android devices, even some mid-rangers. And soon, offset and physical fingerprint sensors will become a thing of the past with Synaptics developing in-display technology to scan your finger through display glass.

Of course there have been a number of other trends such as bezel-less displays, the 18:9 aspect ratio, the rise of software keys, dual cameras, and more. But most if not all of these have been favorable for all users. Some trends such as the notch, missing audio jack and fingerprint sensor have been controversial, meaning that not everyone appreciated the change. It’s the job of manufacturers to satisfy customers and give us the latest features and abilities, so why give people what they don’t necessarily want? Odds are, these changes made room for other, more positive abilities that ultimately push the boundaries of innovation and stay up with competition.

The headphone jack was very controversial in 2017 and continues to be today. The initial purpose in getting rid of the jack was to make devices thinner and use any additional space inside for more battery. But this is not the only reason why companies continue to leave the audio jack behind. The death of the headphone jack gave companies more flexibility for design, as was the case with Sony who recently spoke out about its Xperia XZ2 and Zperia XZ2 Compact. Sony was one of very few including Samsung to keep the jack round for longer than most other companies, but quite honestly, the excuse they gave didn’t make much sense to us considering the new phones are thicker. Now that the port is gone, users will need to buy an adapter for their headphones, or, buy new headphones that use USB Type-C or Bluetooth. Even then, depending on the choice made, you may not be able to charge your device while listening to music because the port becomes occupied. Now that you’ve seen the result of removing the audio jack, do you agree or disagree that OEMs should continue to adopt this trend?

Another change that is just now becoming a trend is the notch. We’ve been hearing and seeing various Android OEM’s implement a display notch-like bar on the top of their devices to house certain sensors, following Essential and Apple. The purpose here is to minimize bezels, maximize screen real estate and increase screen-to-body ratio. First companies got rid of the physical home button, then it was the 18:9 aspect ratio that brought taller and narrow screens with slimmer top, bottom and side bezels, and now, as manufacturers look for a way to get rid of proximity sensors and the selfie camera, a notch is being used where the screen wraps around the top of a given phone. The notch looks funny and plays software tricks, which is why Google has adopted it in Android P. Essential, Apple, and ASUS have already launched devices with a notch, and large commercial OEMs such as Motorola, Huawei, LG and others could be next. Just this week, Motorola announced layoffs for US employees in Chicago, and it thinks adopting a notch in one of its upcoming phones will help the company be competitive. The notch could very well be short-lived thanks to the creation of pop-up lenses, but time will tell how it all plays out. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see who jumps on the bandwagon and who does not. Perhaps we’ll have full bezel-less phones sooner than we think, but is this really the direction consumers want to go in? I mean, do you mind the notch look?

A feature that’s been rumored and demanded again and again is an in-display fingerprint sensor. Synaptics and Vivo have developed a technology that works, and we saw it in concept form earlier this year at CES 2018. However, it is yet to go commercial. It was reported that Samsung would be first to include the technology in its Galaxy S9, then its Galaxy Note 9, but the technology isn’t quite ready for mass production yet. However, there’s a good chance we’ll see the beneath the screen scanner make way into Galaxy S10 or Galaxy X in early 2019. Once this happens, we’ll be looking at others to adopt the same technology. We’re anticipating this to be a trend in upcoming smartphones. But as we wait, many are coming out with 3D facial recognition as well as more accurate and faster fingerprint readers. Some companies put the sensor on the front, many on the back and some even on the side. Being that everyone wants to maximize the amount of screen and keep a pretty design, companies like Samsung are relocating it, and increasingly want to hide it. That’s where the beneath the glass capability comes in. It seems like we’re willing to try anything to get a full screen smartphone at this point. Does the location of the fingerprint scanner matter to you when looking for a new phone?

This brings us to our poll of the week. Whether you’re actively seeking a new smartphone or not, which is the biggest deal breaker, if any? The notch, a missing audio jack, or an offset fingerprint scanner? Which of these ticks you off the most, and do any not bother you at all? Drop a comment letting us know and be sure to vote in our weekly poll down below. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.

Below are the major stories from this week.

Sony explains why it removed the 3.5mm headphone jack with Xperia XZ2

LG is looking good all of a sudden with possible details emerging on an LG G7

Hello Moto? More like Hello to Layoffs for Moto

KGI suggests no in-display fingerprint scanner for Galaxy Note 9

If you want to hear our opinions, come to chat with DT during our next Connect+ Live Chat Session. See the upcoming schedule here.

About Doug Demagistris 1627 Articles
Doug Demagistris is the Founder and current Editor In Chief of Droid Turf. He grew up in New York and now attends Bryant University where he is studying marketing and communication. He has been and always will be a Google enthusiast thanks to Android’s customization, flat design and exceptional integration with various Google services. Currently, Doug uses a Pixel 2 XL as his daily driver for its unique design, powerful hardware, exceptional camera, and stock experience. For shorter instances, he’ll glance at his Huawei Watch. And for more productive work, you’ll find him typing away on his Pixelbook. Doug is hopeful his productivity will make lives easier, more meaningful and help down the road.