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I’m OVER Smartphones…

I’m OVER Smartphones…

– Hey guys, this is Austin. The other day I was having a conversation with a couple tech YouTubers and we all had the same realization. Smartphones are kind of boring now. The last decade has been
absolutely incredible in terms of smartphones. I mean in 10 years we’ve
gone from this, to this. However the issue is that here in 2019 everything’s kind of great already, there’s not these huge leaps
that we’ve been accustom over the last few years. Now phones being good these days is certainly not a bad thing, but for me the wow factors
kind of going away. Now sure, there are
absolutely huge designs that really revolutionized
things back in the day, but in the last couple years? I mean the last phone that
legitimately made say, wow, was the Oppo Find X. And with the motorized slider,
even though that was cool, the end of the day it still wasn’t that different than other smart phones. The formulas already kind of
figured out at this point. So I sat down with Jon Rettinger, an absolute OG Tech YouTube,
who has seen a phone, or two, or a hundred. – It’s like phones were different. Blackberry’s had physical keyboards. Windows Mobile had a stylus, and there were flip phones. There were very clear,
different styles of phones and there was different
phone for different people. Seems like now we’ve got, just like, different versions of a rectangle. So we’re talking before
hand and I had a question that I wanted to ask you.
– Uh-oh. – That I wanted to wait ’til
we were on camera to ask you. – That’s not good.
– So, do you think the iPhone killed phone designs? – Yes. – 100%, right?
– Totally. It’s not even a question because if you look at
phones before the iPhone, there’s like you said, all
these different weird shapes. After the iPhone everything’s a rectangle, everything has screen. In the last decade the
screens have gotten bigger, the phones have bigger. But you look at the shape of a phone now it’s just a screen, right? There’s no bezels anymore, there’s generally not a
lot of notches anymore. I mean a lot of companies,
there idea of differentiating the designs is like, “Oh, it’s semi-holographic on the back.” “Oh, we’ve got some super shiny color.” Which is cool, but it’s
exciting, it’s not fun. – Nothing. It killed design because
it was so successful and it’s a me too world. – Let’s take the brand new
Galaxy Note 10 for example. I recently got to take a look at it and there is a lot to like. It takes the current design
language from the Galaxy S10, brings back the S Pen, stretches
the screen out to the edges and, well, that’s pretty much it. This has become more and more of a problem for the Note line lately. Sure, if you’re really into
the S Pen more power to you, but for most people, you’re
probably going to be better off sticking with the Galaxy S10. Samsung has made the line-up confusing, to say the least this year. If you compare the Galaxy
S10+ to the Note 10, it is a really odd comparison. So the Note 10 drops the headphone jack, the standard version of
the Note 10 doesn’t have a micro SD card slot
and to top it all off, even though they have
very similar screen sizes, the Note 10 has a lower full HD resolution compared to QHD on the S10+. Now all of this means that
the Note 10 does come in at $50 cheaper in theory,
however when you actually take a look at the Galaxy S10+, while the MRSP is a $1000,
you can very easily find it for significantly less than that. Which makes that Note 10
a very, very tough sell. Now there is a brand new,
higher end, Note 10+, which does bring a lot of
the major features back. So you’ve got that huge 6.7 inch display with a proper high resolution. You have the improved DeX experience. You get the micro SD card slot back, even though not the headphone jack. And you do get some other niceties, such as faster charging, as well as faster wireless charging. But all this is to say, that the Note 10+ comes in at over $1,000 before you even get into the 5G model. This is a problem for the
entire smartphone industry, but especially when you
look at Samsung line-up, it gets very confusing very quickly. Right now they have seven flagship models, ranging from the slightly
entry priced, Galaxy S10e, up through the Galaxy S10, the Note 10. And if you wanna go for the bigger guys, you have the Note 10+ and the Galaxy S10+. And then to round it all over, there’s a 5G version of the Galaxy S10+, as well as a 5G version of
the Galaxy S10+ 5G, no sorry, Note 10+ with 5G. Yeah, right. It’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G. I don’t want to unfairly
single out Samsung here, lots of other companies do this. For example Xiaomi sells a
number of very similar phones, in some cases they’re nearly identical, under different brands, in
different parts of the world. And even looking at Apple, you can see that the line-up has grown steadily over the years,
from one iPhone to two and now three, and likely
four before too much longer. It is very a case where
smartphones have gotten so similar there only real way of differentiating is small little tweaks of, oh, this ones a little bit smaller. This ones a little bit bigger. This one has one extra feature. Just to keep interested
and mostly importantly, keeping people upgrading. – What’s the difference
between phones year over year? Okay, so, you get in-screen
fingerprint reader, that’s different.
– Yep. – You’ve got a face
unlock, that’s different. But once you have those things,
where do you go from there? – We’re seeing like, I mean,
I think the last couple years kinda felt like it was
a accelerated endpoint for the huge development, right? So we went from bezels to
slightly smaller bezels, to smaller, to notch, to gone. – Yeah.
– That kind of disappeared very quickly. The finger print sensor went from, oh, it’s kinda on the home button to the back to the side to the screen, right? Face ID went from this huge
thing to smaller to smaller. We’ve got pop-up selfie cameras. A lot of things that kinda
felt the end times of like, okay cool, let’s make this
thing the purest version of the rectangle we can. But now that we’ve hit
it, it’s like, okay, and now you’re going to do what? Bigger battery, you’re
gonna make it thicker. You’re going to give it brighter screen. I mean there’s obviously
innovation and there’s iteration, but the actual smartphone
as it exists now, I can’t see it as going that much farther before you go to folding phones or you to go something which
is completely different and you tear up the playbook. And I’m sure that companies will try.
– Yeah. – I’m sure we’ll see some wacky
designs every year or two. It’s like, oh, this thing is a
half folding, half flat phone or whatever the case. But the design as it is right
now, is not really changing and people don’t need to upgrade as much. Which I think is a huge
problem for these companies, as the smartphone space
really reaches maturity and reaches saturation, that almost everyone
who want’s a smartphone has already bought one. To show just how similar smartphones are, we’re going to play a little game called guess the smartphone. I will be blindfolded and Ken will give me a variety of smartphones,
new and old, to see if I can tell if there’s any
difference between them. Spoiler alert, probably not. All right, smartphone number one. Well I immediately feel a vertical camera. I mean, I would say
that this is an iPhone. It’s got the same rounded edges. I’m gonna guess iPhone XS Max. – Yes.
(bell dings) – Hey! All right, next? This one’s got a little more heft to it. Oh, so we’ve got a headphone jack. Okay, that’s something right there. No, I’m gonna say it’s a
Honor phone of some variety. – [Ken] No.
(Buzzer blares) – What is it? – [Ken] RedMi Note 7. – Ah, the Note 7. Okay, all right, Fair enough, fair enough. Oh, okay, this is chunkier. Glass. Finger print sensor on the back. The closest thing I can
think is maybe the Nokia 9, but I’m not really sure. (buzzer blares) – [Ken] It is the Nokia, LG G8 ThinQ. – Wait, what? This is the G8? – Yeah.
– Why did you say Nokia? Oh, there’s a headphone jack, I didn’t feel the headphone jack. Ah! How is Nokia close to LG? – [Ken] It’s not. – You’re just trolling me.
– Don’t think about it. – Okay. Big phone, fairly light. Ooh, we’ve got a physical button here. Wow, I mean, that’s a giveaway, I wonder what phone this might be. Oh, we’ve got it, is that
finger print sensor right here? Hmm, this is a Note 8. I’m gonna say Note 8. – [Ken] It’s a Galaxy Note 7. – This a 7?
(buzzer blares) (Austin moans)
(Austin groans) Take this back, I don’t want this. Tryna kill me over here. Oh, this is a big boy. This has gotta be Razer Phone. – Yeah.
– Definitely Razer Phone. Yeah, yeah. I mean, the thing, Razer Phone 2 right? – Yes.
– Yeah. That’s a big boy right here. – Okay, Oh, that’s a big boy. Heavy. Ooh, I’m feeling like a ridge here. Ah, this has gotta ROG Phone, right? – Yeah.
(bell dings) – Yeah, ’cause you can feel
like, with the fake vents here. Man, that’s hefty. Gaming phones, like the Razer Phone, are a good example of
how this should work, but it kind of doesn’t in
the mobile space right now. Now there are some legitimately
gaming focused features which I like on the Razer Phone. High refresh rate, great audio. But the underlying processor, the underlying actual capability, really isn’t all that
different than a much thinner, much lighter, and in some
cases, much cheaper smartphone based on those same specs. I mean sure, the marketing
and the RGB is there and for some people that’s enough. When it comes to a legitimate,
different smartphone, you’re getting almost
the exact same experience as pretty much any other
flagship out there. And that’s kind of a problem
as far as I’m concerned. When you look at the PC
space, there are hundreds, if not thousands of different
models to choose to from, and the differences here are
actually really substantial. So if you’re picking up
a thin and light 2-in-1, it is a very, very different system than a beefy over the top gaming laptop. Not only in price of course, as well as stuff like portability, but importantly in the actual capability. All smartphones,
especially on the high end, kind of do the same thing
and very similar performance, very similar specs. Where in the PC space we have
lots of different options, lots of different choice
and meaningful differences in what these systems can actually do. A gaming laptop has a very different feature set than a thin light one. And it’s sort of the way that
the PC space has developed, that the smartphone space kind of hasn’t. It’s all very homogenous,
it’s all very similar. Where we’re starting to
see an actual difference is with folding phones. Now yes, they may have not had the smoothest launch in the world, however I do think there is
an absolute ton of potential and if five years from now we’re looking back at this moment, I do think phones such as the Galaxy Fold will be the first of the next
generation of smartphones that become standard. Or it’s a complete
failure and we all give up and go to a super thin
phone from Black Mirror. But you know, time will tell. – I’m a Galaxy fold owner, like
I loved that phone so much. I don’t care they had problems. I think if they had just called the Galaxy Fold Developer Edition. – Good idea. – Just call it Developer Edition, there would of been zero problems. But using that, that was the first time since the older phones, where
you saw something different. Opening up Twitter on the
front screen, or Instagram, and then opening that up and
having a bigger experience. Go to the gym and you’re watching Netflix, you can open it and have a bigger screen without having to carry an iPad. That was something different that I think was different with a purpose, instead of different just for like, – Not gimmicky.
– look at us. – Yeah.
– The Blackberry Passport, why’d you make it square? That’s weird, what pockets
are gonna fit a square? But it was different.
– Yeah. – But it was weirdly different. – It was different for no reason. – Yeah.
– No, I totally agree and think it’s a really
interesting thing to think about. I’m curious to see what the
final evolution of this is because if you look at the iPhone, right? You compare the iPhone to
even the iPhone of today, you can see it’s similar. But it’s obviously a lot thinner, you’ve got a much larger screen, there’s a huge evolution there and I’m curious to see how far something like a folding
phone can be pushed. Because obviously there
are fundamental issues of like, when you make it
so thin is it gonna rip? Or is it gonna
– Yeah. – break or whatever? You can only imagine it can
go so far, but how far is it? Is it 20% thinner? Is it half as thin? Is the screen twice as big? I don’t know what that
final iteration looks like, but I’d like to think
that if it’s something that people are really
into that it will continue to get better and better. – I think consumers, and
I’m lumping myself in there, are so fickle, and we’re
all such hypocrites, – Yeah.
– about things we want and don’t want. And in a couple years we’re gonna give you something crazy cool. (moans) “I don’t know,
its a little thick.” This folding phone that
I have in my pocket. Or like, it’s so amazing that these things are even existing and
I guess I worry that, and again, being part of the part that, we’re too critical that it
starts to stymie innovation. – I mean let’s face it, we’re talking about rectangular
slabs of glass and metal. Now because phones are so good these days because 95% of phones can
do absolutely everything that a person needs. Really the only differences
that we’re truly seeing is like, oh look, the cameras a little bit better or there’s slightly more
performance or maybe we have one added little feature
which is all great, which is all stuff that I wanna see, but does it get me excited? Does it get people amped and
ready to upgrade their phone? No it doesn’t. What it does, is it means the people who own smartphones today, are not gonna just hold to them for a year or two years, but they’ll
use them for three, four, maybe even five years and
that is absolutely coming back to hurt these companies. They rely on people buying
phones on a regular basis and if they can’t make these
upgrades sexy and interesting, then their sales are
going to continue to fall. I mean everyone has a smartphone or almost everyone has a
smartphone at this point, so really, the only growth
opportunity for most companies is to keep people on that upgrade cycle. Keep ’em on the hamster
wheel, keep ’em moving and buying that new iPhone every year, ’cause if not, say goodbye
to those sweet sweet profits.

97 thoughts on “I’m OVER Smartphones…”

  1. I know what you mean, I had zero info on the Note this year except that infinity o. I used to follow these spec dumps like gospel, now I have very little interest at all. The phone market is saturated and there is no hardware they're improving on massively any more, but right now I am supposed to pay for a phone that is laptop money? I think I am done being foolish, let us look at AMD, Intel and Nvidia hehehe as ARM CPUs start slowly checking in.

  2. I mean, it’s overpriced as fuck, in the end people just gonna use social media and YouTube or Netflix, you don’t need to upgrade as much.

  3. Why these tech YouTubers hate samsung…Why?
    Any thing shitty Apple do's they are like woooow this is awesome and any other manufacturers does that they are like this is shit….

  4. Many tech reviewers are tired of smartphones but the majority of us consumers haven't had the privilege to own multiple flagships. Many of us are still craving better battery, better cameras, better displays in a single device. Perfect the smartphone with a reasonable price, then maybe we can move on to whatever tech comes next.

  5. I agree. I liked when companies used to strive on design and features. Now, they all just care about maximizing profit wile making the least effort.

    I am no economist, nor will I pretend to understand it. I don't know if it was always like this, but I blame the "investors". Comapanies seem to have dressed themselves on a nut-coat that this investors only know how to tighten, not allowing companies to be creative, cuz it's all about the numbers.

  6. Having John in the video was a very welcome surprise.
    As for the video i totally agree with your opinions. Smartphones are really burning nowadays, I think there are out of ideas and really packed in everything they could.

  7. Is Austin reading from a Teleprompter? Because he doesn’t sound like very natural when he speaks. He sound like reading speech or giving a lecture.

  8. All new phones are all same, that's why I do not won't to switch from my 4s that I use as a main phone with no problems,
    Pros: Portability that newer phones have not, they are like tablets
    Cons: It is not supported since 2016, but I only use it for phone calls, so I don't care that much

  9. Now
    They will all focus on the processing power of chips
    To when smart wrist watch can render a midrange title windows games

  10. No one else has this opinion. You guys see an infinite amount of flagship phones. Only from your perspective you get an opinion like this.

  11. I miss bezels why do some many tech you tubers despise them/ older tech from the early 2010a and older yet they generally can still do things

  12. in februrary I bought the same phone again, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for 130€. I slapped LineageOS on it and there you go. I might become the first Note 3 user to reach one entire decade of daily driving the same smartphone.

  13. Watching this on iPhone 6s. The only reason why I would upgrade is for a better battery but what do you expect after a couple year plus old phone.

  14. I have a 7 year old Samsung Galaxy Ace… I can only imagine how many phones it has survived that was produced after I got one….

  15. Are you guys doing it as a kind of unnamed promotion for pixel.4xl wave motion bring the word "smartphones are almost same " @austinevans

  16. Hey, I'm wondering if anybody knows about a fairly cheap GPS watch that doesn't require a phone to be connected to. If so, please let me know!

  17. There can be two waterfall OLED screens coming together right where the screens meet so it almost looks like a folding screen but will be 2halves. Hard to explain but it could be done so it look oks like 1 screen but it is not. I know one other company did this ALMOST but you can make a 2screen phone that has a very faint dividing line between 2 WATERFALL screens. And the place in the middle (where the fake “crease” would be) they could tweak the images where they “waterfall “ into the crease so that it looks flat even though it’s actually falling into the hinge. I give up. Hard to explain

  18. There's nothing wrong with SAMSUNG having so many phones out. They are not selling enough S and Note phones. They are pushing mid range since ONE plus and other Chinese companies are hard to overlook for there price pt.

  19. They're perfecting phones with incremental upgrades and re-iterations of the same larger concept instead of trying to create a completely new device concept now, except for maybe foldable phones.
    It was bound to happen and I'm glad it did. I'd rather have a beautiful smartphone that does everything I need or want it to instead of a wacky new product that will go through hundreds of design and sales cycles and revisions before getting to a point where it is even in the same realm as a smartphone of today when it comes to features, or productivity, or ease of use or simply, just getting things done. There may be a future with a different product but I don't think smartphones will ever not be the staple they are now. Everything else will be an add-on or peripheral, like smart-glasses or smart-watches. I don't believe they will or should become our main devices in at least the near future.

  20. Someone should make a phone like a Nintendo Switch. The phone would come with a controller dock that it would slide into and connect automatically (like Airpods or Galaxy Buds) and come with several games (plus a store you could download a lot more from) that are optimized for the controller. Maybe even have a dock like the switch that would display the game on your tv. I know they make bluetooth controllers but I mean one that's specifically optimized for that phone and the games for it.

  21. I feel like folding phones with maybe some sort of under screen keyboard tech (not even sure if its possible but I would love to see it or something similar, just SOME way to give tactile keyboards! Its the only reason I never got attached to touchscreen phones, because besides reading or listening to music or watching videos, I can't type for shit on it at all in comparison to my fast desktop PC typing and I do a lot of typing)
    I feel like those two things will be the immediate future, with the far future being no phone whatsoever because we will have brain implants that just projects AR on to our normal vision and that will basically solve the issue of carrying around tech, that will be the ultimate form of convenience and from there I see computer technology basically stagnating, in a good way. Like how the printing press was SO amazing when it was invented, then we just took it for granted for hundreds of years afterwards and even to today and its just a normal part of life. Having a "computer" with you always will be taken for granted and having your brain directly wired into the internet will be taken for granted and there will come a time where people will forget humans didn't always live life like that.

  22. If your so tired of being on your then let it down for a while go for a walk go watch a movie or play a game you don’t always
    gata be on your phone makes sense right smh 🤦🏽‍♂️

  23. I feel the Apple design team had plenty of ideas to innovate apple products, but the executive team decided to support profits over innovation.

  24. They all just phones. I haven’t upgrade my phone in 2 years…and i probably will try to keep this one another 2

  25. Its funny because I still use my lg v20. I can export Instagram videos and even edit 4k files in kinemaster. I also download and play d's games with emulators and like an online pokemon game. ALL THE WHILE I am able to stream this on twitch via the streamlabs app. I feel like once I finally update the only thing ill need to think about is 5g capability.

  26. Well, I've felt like this the last 4 years. There are really no big difference in performance or features any longer. The potential of the smartphones have plateaued. Maybe the cameras are still evolving.. But that will come to an end aswell.

  27. 'The people who own smartphones today are not gonna just hold to them for a year or two years, but they'll use them for three, four, maybe even five years'
    Apple: hold my beer

  28. gaming phones would make sense if qualcomm made special processors that have a more powerful gpu and if devs pushed graphics in games

  29. In 10-20 years, this video will be looking back as one of the first contents to complaint about the lack of creativity of the smartphones market.

  30. I think that is positiv that the smartphones not changes that much over the years because it s gonna be less “tech” you tubers 😊

  31. See the thing is Austin. Everybody saw how amazingly Apple phone looks and materials they are using and wants to be big as Apple. If they can copy it and sell it to the mass why not. Not like before you can differentiate people by the phone they used. For instance Blackberry was always sought out as the business person’s phone. The past Nokia models the 232 or even the 3310 was just well a general phone to use. Not much options but a great strong long lasting battery phone. Erickson was a cheaper alternative phone to use that everyone could use from the elderly and so on. But no to go off track all these phones had their own style their own functions for the different consumer, where you could see a person using a blackberry and make a clear assumption, oh that a business person. But now they smart phones of today are pretty much general use phones for everyone. Sad to say it but 90% its like that. Now you gonna find that 10% out there like the CAT phones for the construction guys and the guys that need a rugged phone and the specialized elderly phones with the huge buttons. But the big design choices are gone……….

  32. i think the iphone is more slow at growing
    still have the same crappy camera app and the battery's are really bad for an expensive phone

  33. The problem is having so much money that you forget to appreciate the little things. Wtf dude. I know what you mean, but there are people who don't have a shit.

  34. Smartphones lost their purpose the moment they upped the price and started cutting features like the headphone jack and IR blaster.

  35. You know the funny part? People don't even realize they're overpaying for these 'flagship' phones.
    I mean, what is a 'flagship'? Well people have interpreted that to mean:
    -latest SD
    -6GB RAM
    -128GB storage
    -Amoled display
    -3500mah battery (don't even get me started on this low capacity battery bullshit)
    -2 or 3 rear cameras

    Ok…well let's look at the k20pro, that's going for under $400:
    -latest SD
    -6GB RAM
    -128GB storage
    -amoled display
    -3 rear cameras

    What the actual FUCK are you paying for when you buy these 'mainline' flagships again? That's basically what the s10 and note 10 have…only the k20 pro has a headphone jack and no notch on your screen (yes the punch hole is a notch).
    At LEAST the ROG phone 2 gives you 2 usb ports, a 120hz amoled display, 6000mah battery and keeps the headphone jack for $1000. What did the s10 do at launch?
    What is the note 10 doing now?
    You have a stylus…congrats…you just bought a k20pro and a $800 stylus.
    You played yourself.
    Well done.

  36. The combination of hardware and software is going to be huge going forwards. Where a smaller upgrade in hardware can be made to a massive benefit when accompanied by really nice software features. Hardware is not as important as it once was. New sensors and processors are what’s going to count most.

    As of now Apple is the best setup for this new age, as their performance overhead is massive compared to other companies.

  37. I think people are forgetting one thing-the updates don't all have to be 'sexy and interesting', but rather the updates must provide VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY.
    Which means, it eventually will be difficult to ask people who spent $800 on your phone 11months ago to buy your new $1000 phone that will not drastically improve their user experience.

    The little incremental updates I think would be fine, if prices remained reasonable-the bill of materials for the s10 is $420. There is no need for that phone to cost more than $600.
    Now it's a lot easier to sell people on replacing their $600 phone every say two years for a slight bump in performance rather than asking them to spend $2400 over the same time period for virtually the same experience.

    That bubble was eventually going to burst, even if global economy and job security was better.

  38. Honestly…. you’re right…. like I have to agree smartphones are boring and as a person who sells them and interacts daily it’s nothing crazy.

  39. This video explains exactly how I've been feeling about phones, I recently baught a redmi note 7 as a daily and I love it, it has its hicups since it is a 200$ phone but for 90% of what I need a smartphone for the note 7 can fulfill my needs for a fraction of the price of these flagships

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