Next April will mark the 10 year anniversary of Apple presenting the first true smartphone of our times, the iPhone. A lot has happened since then. New chips, new screens, new batteries, and GPUs have been crammed under the ever-thinning hood of the “gadget of the decade”. Amazing apps have been released on both leading smartphone platforms (which have forced everything else out of the market). Today, you can use a smartphone for everything from hailing a cab (or an Uber) to playing slot machines for real money at Royal Vegas Casino, and smartphone comparisons have nearly become useless.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen several software platforms rise and fall. Symbian, the market leader in the pre-iPhone era, has disappeared, along with Palm OS, Sailfish, Bada, and several others. Today’s smartphone comparisons market is dominated by the two monsters – iOS and Android – with the rest hardly reaching a single-digit market share. At the same time, the hardware on which these operating systems run has continued to evolve. Today’s smartphone comparisons have revealed that these devices have the processing power comparable to what PCs and consoles had a few years ago. All this in a sleek, pocket-sized body, small enough to fit into your front pocket.
So, why has most smartphone comparisons become obsolete? The simple answer is that smartphones are not so different anymore, making smartphone comparisons pointless.
Look at the flagships released by the leading smartphone manufacturers this year and you’ll see what we mean when we’re looking at smartphone comparisons.
With the exception of the iPhone 7 – which has a 4.7″ screen diagonal, to appeal to those who want to use a single hand to navigate their phones – all current flagships have screen sizes of 5″ or above. 5.5″ seems to be the new norm, with sizes ranging from 5″ (Pixel) to 5.7″ (LG V20).
Most current flagships have at least a Full HD (1920×1080) screen, but the majority goes with 2560×1440 (WQHD) – think Pixel XL, LG V20, S7 Edge, HTC 10, and Moto Z.
Many smartphone comparisons look at flagship smartphones that have cameras with at least a 12-megapixel sensor, with some 16-megapixel models also making it on the list (OnePlus and LG V20). These numbers don’t mean much, though, as the quality of the pictures you can take doesn’t really depend on the sensor’s size.
The only flagship phone with a removable battery today is LG’s V20, all others – including Google’s Pixel and OnePlus – having built-in ones. Fast charging is the new norm – all flagships of the year (except the iPhone 7) have this feature.
Google’s Pixel phones have the Snapdragon 821, and Apple’s phones have its custom-built A10. Plenty of the others come with the same Snapdragon 820. When it comes to smartphone comparisons and RAM, most flagship phones have at least 4GB (except the iPhone 7 models, which have less).
Most flagships released today have fingerprint sensors. The majority of smartphone comparisons deal with a virtual assistant. All of them have headphone jacks (except for Apple’s iPhone 7, and the Moto Z – long live Bluetooth).
What makes a flagship phone stand out in 2017? Certainly not the hardware, not the camera, not the storage space (which is usually expandable), and not the design (most of them look like chocolate bars, anyway). Smartphone comparisons are not like comparing apples to pears, but like comparing Granny Smith apples to Golden – they are all pretty much the same, with minor differences, but they are all delicious either way.