The perfect smart phone needs a display that’s large enough to render Web pages well and to give application developers enough space to innovate. Also, touch sensitivity is key for the input and control options it enables.
3Building the Best Smart Phone – Mouse Input
While Apple has worked some great pinch-to-zoom and flick-to-browse magic with the iPhone, users shouldn’t have to live with touch-screen-based input alone. Our ideal device would include a roller-type input feature a la RIM’s modern BlackBerrys, and would handle cut, copy and paste with aplomb.
4Building the Best Smart Phone – Keyboard Input
Done right, a virtual keyboard can free up space for a large display (and prevent the discomfort of keys pressing against your face during a call). However, it’s hard to beat the tactile feedback of a thumb keyboard (haptic feedback doesn’t cut it). Our ideal smart phone wouldn’t force users into an either-or corner. Rather, this mythical device would offer both, which means …
5Building the Best Smart Phone – Form Factor
Given our somewhat conflicting requirements for a large display and a tactile keyboard, it appears that a slider form factor is the only way to go. However, the ideal smart phone would squeeze its display and keyboard halves into a chassis markedly slimmer than today’s brick-like crop of slider phones.
6Building the Best Smart Phone – Web Browser
The ideal smart phone would offer access to the whole Internet, and that means support for Java, Flash and Google Gears-
7Building the Best Smart Phone – Third-Party Applications
We’d like to see a third-party merchant with solid security credentials step up as a multiplatform mobile software store, offering a wide selection of applications for multiple mobile operating systems and delivering them straight to the handset. Amazon.com, are you listening?
8Building the Best Smart Phone – Messaging
Our perfect smart phone would offer Exchange integration, along with IMAP, POP3 and OMA Data Synchronization support. What’s more, a third-party delivery network shouldn’t have to be involved to make these features work.
9Building the Best Smart Phone – Battery/Power
We’d like to see our dream smart phone include a removable battery, a standardized charger port (mini-USB will do) and enough battery life for a day and a half of fairly heavy use at the device’s full potential. And while we’re at it, the device should include some physical switches so we can easily shut off radios without poking at the screen.
10Building the Best Smart Phone – Connectivity
Our smart phone would offer a Wi-Fi radio with full security, 3G data speeds and a Bluetooth radio with all the profile trimmings. What’s more, the phone should be available from multiple carriers, including versions for both GSM and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) radio families.
11Building the Best Smart Phone – Phone Aspects
The smart phone should offer good contact integration, voice-activated dialing and excellent sound quality from the handset and microphone. And, for heaven’s sake, it should use a standard headset jack.
12Building the Best Smart Phone – PIM
We never want to sync our smart phone with a desktop ever again (short of upgrading the baseband). Settings, calendar, contacts and media files (music, video, podcasts) should all be obtainable over the air.
13Building the Best Smart Phone – Location Services
It’s surprising how effective location estimates based on cell tower and Wi-Fi triangulation can be, but for the turn-by-turn directions it enables, GPS should be available as well.
14Building the Best Smart Phone – Storage/Expansion
Add-on cards can be a pain, so our perfect smart phone would include enough on-board storage to make these optional. However, how could we leave the option of a MicroSD expansion slot out of our ideal smart phone?
15Building the Best Smart Phone – Security
We call for easy-to-use keypad locking, storage card encryption and remote wipe functionality.
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