It seems that every manufacturer is out to build a better smartphone. Apple changed the game with the original iPhone, and looks to change it again just a year later. Research In Motion figures to up the ante with the BlackBerry Thunder. Sony has the Xperia. Basically, every manufacturer is looking for its own perfect smartphone. Unfortunately, most of them are failing. So what would it take to build the perfect smartphone?
If we’re going to build a smartphone, there are a few features that simply must be included. Since nearly every good model on the market has them, I think we can assume they’ll fit under a reasonably-sized hood. So WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS make the cut. Hey, with Qualcomm’s smaller Bluetooth chips, we might even have some room left over.
Device design and keyboard layout
I was going to leave this for the end, but since it’s the most important, it got bumped up. What would the ideal design of a smartphone be? Clearly, we’re going to need a touchscreen in there. Any smartphone entering the market without one is going to be at a disadvantage. Well, unless you’re Research In Motion. So that’s one aspect out of the way. As for the screen, I think it’s going to have to resemble the iPhone. I just can’t see an “ideal” smartphone having a smaller sized screen.
Of course, that presents another set of problems. As in, how do you go about the keyboard? Do you go iPhone and have it all digital? Slider? Fold-out? Everyone surely has his or her own thoughts on this, but I can’t imagine it being anything other than a slider. True, that might cause a bit more thickness than is ideal. But in the end, it satisfies the needs of the mechanical keyboard crowd, while allowing for the touchscreen-only crowd to still use the on-screen keyboard.
For design, think something along the lines of the BlackBerry slider patent application. That just leaves physical buttons. As big a fan I am of RIM putting four buttons on the face, two on the top, and one on each side of their rumored Thunder, I think that’s a bit much for our purposes. Definitely have to keep the sides smooth, especially since it’s a slider.
I think we can ditch the four physical keys on the face, too. Just the touch-style direction pad. That should allow the screen to be as big as possible — though adding the keys probably wouldn’t kill the design.
We’re already putting a ton under the hood of this bad boy, with the GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth chips. But hey, does that mean we can’t find room for an 8 megapixel camera? I think not. In fact, if we’re talking about the ideal smartphone, it’s nearly imperative.
See, that’s not too thick, is it? In fact, that’s probably the ideal thickness for our device. True, the c905 doesn’t have the same workings under the hood as our GC109 (that’s what I’m calling this smartphone from now on). But since this is just for fun, we can pretend, right?
This is where a lot of us are going to differ. Some will say that Windows Mobile is the way to go. Alas, I cannot agree. I’ve used plenty of WinMo devices, and haven’t really been comfortable with any of them. Plus, everyone I talk to says they have the propensity to crash. I know some people might not have this issue, but I’ve heard it enough to know to avoid WinMo devices if possible. Apple’s iPhone OS? Nah. We’re trying to build the perfect smartphone here, not give Apple credit for already having built it.
While there’s little wrong with Apple’s OS, I think we should switch it up a bit. After all, there are a number of other mobile OSs that could work just as well, if not better. Personally, I’d go with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS 4.6. It’s coming for the new Bold, and will likely make its way onto the rumored Thunder.
Then again, I’m a BlackBerry geek. So in fairness to everyone, I’d also say that Symbian is in play as well. Just so I’m not showing a complete BlackBerry bias.
So what did we make?
So, uh, it kinda looks like the iPhone. Damn! But there is the slide-out keyboard. And the badass camera.