A "non techie" "less is more" high-quality smartphone


#1

I’ve been an early adopter of new consumer products for more than 30 years. Never shy of paying a significant extra or diving into the unknown for something that’s aiming for

  • increased ease of use
  • more beauty
    and most important
  • adding value to my life.
    So I became one of the early mobile phone users, motorola flip phones, samsung ultra thin phones and eventually became one of the first iPhone users in Europe (before it was even sold in Europe). That’s essentially when - to my personal understanding - the development to above mentioned criteria ended.

My current iPhone is

  • way too big
  • doesn’t feel half as smooth in the hand as the original one
  • the battery life is still after all those years totally annoying
  • the reception is bad
  • cracks easily and constantly
  • has tons of stuff that I don’t need and use.
  • fails more and more often due to software malfunction
  • needs constant updating of software

I may not be in the majority with these thoughts but I know there a lot’s of individuals with the same frustration. So while I see that we shouldn’t go back to flip phones (as @Nilotpal_Karan suggested in another thread), I know that there is a significant niche market for a beautifully reduced smartphone … or as some would call it “a phone for all the original apple evangelists” who always chose beauty and ease of use over … one more feature!

So how simple can a smartphone be made … while still remaining a smartphone?
How could that simplicity add to other aspects that may create real benefits for a smartphone (weight, size, durability, ruggedness, less stress, fewer failures, longer battery life … and yes … beauty?!) Is this a hardware or a software issue? Or both?

So rather than creating another super-uber-high-tech-can-do-everything-windows-surface-phone … let’s start a discussion on “My future smartphone could live without …:”


#2

I think most of the community is “techie” here :slight_smile:
So basically your idea is a phone without bloatware, right? That can easily be done. Look at Oneplus or Nexus.
Speaking of software, we can’t fix it. Eve does not have their own operating system, nor they have enough resources to modify Android.
I don’t really see the point in moving in that direction, as it’s nothing new. Please take a look at Microsoft Lumia, they share a very similar ideology…


#3

So here is my personal bucket list to get you all started …

My (weekend) smartphone could live without:

  • a screen bigger than 3.5-inch (like the original iPhone)
  • a camera that captures more than 5MP
  • video capabilities (shooting and maybe even playing)
  • color!!! (not needed for most critical smartphone applications)
  • speakers for anything other than voice
  • internal storage of more than 16GB and more than 20 apps

Maybe this would allow to consider

  • a very eye- and battery friendly and much more rugged e-paper or a B/W-AMOLED screen
  • a higher quality camera set-up for indoor “point-and-shoot” photography without ever-increasing storage needs and “sticking-out camera lenses” (think Leica M quality)
  • much less power-hungry and heat-producing chips (video capabilities is a main driver for this)
  • more focus on outstanding reception as there are less conflicting parts and more battery power for this
  • much(!) better battery life
  • a device that can be protected much easier from the elements without the looks of “Caterpillar”
  • a more beautiful, unobtrusive, lighter and slimmer form factor (less components)
  • a significantly smaller phone

Go EVE community … Please make it happen!!!


#4
  • what screen size do you want? 4.5"? 2.4"? Something in between? 4.5x2.4" means 5.2" diagonal size, which is WAY bigger than the iPhone
  • 5MP+ or no camera at all. 5MP is just useless.
  • it’s a SMARTPHONE, you can install any app you want. If apps are already written to record video, then why should we BLOCK you from using this feature???
  • so, you want a monochrome LCD, like in Nokia 3310? Are you sure you’re talking about a SMARTphone??]
  • so, you don’t need it to ring when someone calls you?
  • so basically a FEATURE PHONE…

Now to the next part:

  • eInk is VERY fragile. It’s incomparably more fragile than LCD, and there is no way to make it more sturdy. It would be a very bad choice.
  • first you said under 5MP, now you need good camera? So… what do you want? A good camera or a bad camera? :slight_smile:
  • what chips? The processor? So you want it to lag?
  • conflicting parts? Pardon me, but I don’t know what you’re talking about…
  • how much? :slight_smile:
  • not happening, unless you’re an engineer from the future
  • slimmer = less battery. Less components = “B*$%, THIS THING DOESN’T TURN ON!!!”
  • and here we come back to your desired screen size. Could you clarify?

#5

Dear Pauliunas,
I respect your points made but do not agree.
To my definition, “techies” are people that want more tech just for the purpose of having it, that want to have anything modular, open and adaptable. Look at the success of the Apple model and you see that a significant amount of indivuals (and more important that most the people with higher incomes) don’t want that! And I don’t see that in Eve either. Eve to me is not about “more” … it is about “smarter”! And smarter nowadays is mostly “less” or about “focus on the key things and do them better”.
When you look at my bucket list to start from (I posted it after you put your first comment online), it is indeed about hardware. Cause hardware choices drive software choices. So no, just erasing some apps (at least that is something that Apple finally learned) won’t be a solution. And yes, Microsoft or Google will be open to supply software solutions for such a trend.
Yet the Microsoft Lumia, Oneplus and Nexus to me are rather “lower cost entry devices” and not really what I was talking about.
Maybe we’ll just give it some space and thought on this platform. Many will sure agree with you, but some might find this quite intriguing. Let’s see and find out!


#6

Dear Pauliunas,
I don’t understand why you are making fun of this or criticizing it. You are battling my thoughts on the wrong terms. I am a user and potentially an expert on high-end consumer behavior. I don’t know nothing about technical choices that need to be made for this. I was just trying to give examples (like with “eInk” which is a real progress in regard fatigue for my eyes and apparently uses very little battery).

Regarding screen size … like I said before, that of the original iPhone will do. So 3.5inch in diagonal?!
Regarding cameras … quality is hardly about MPs; for my snapshots I don’t need more than 5MPs. I may have better cameras at home than most other people, so please give me a break on that.
Price: I personally would be willing to pay at least the equivalent of an iPhone 7s for that. And probably a lot of other individuals too.


#7

Ok, I want you to find 5 more people in this community that want it and would pay a premium… Sorry, but I really doubt that’s doable. And by the way, what “smart” features do you want? On a monochrome display… I really can’t think of a single feature of a smartphone. To me this description of yours looks exactly like Nokia 3310, I honestly don’t understand.


#8

Dear Pauliunas,
I think you do understand me … at least a bit. The phone it is supposed to replace is indead a Nokia 6310 (no joke). A phone that is after all these years still perfect for my “off- work”-time except for the fact, that it is

  • very inconvenient to write and read SMS
  • has a very limited contacts section
  • can’t communicate over messenger apps (like Telegram)
  • can’t access the web to check weather or wind (for hiking, sailing or other spare time activities)
  • doesn’t run Google apps
  • can’t operate a taxi app
  • can’t be used to listen to music.

Other than that IT IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. So maybe a “Punkt MP Smartphone” (the one they sell is not a smartphone unfortunately.

And you are right … I don’t know whether EVE is the community or company for that. Let’s wait and see. Neither “Apple” nor “Punkt” offer potential customers to voice their needs like EVE does. And in addition Scandinavians know for sure two more things: 1) beautiful design 2) products that can take a hit or two :slight_smile:

PS: Would be great to check how many Nokia 6310 are still in use. I know more than 20 people that still have one and they all have incomes of >€200k/y (so it’s not like they can’t afford something new). It’s become somewhat of an iconic trademark for people who are frustrated with the current smartphone options.


#9

Are you looking for something like the Lumia 435?


#10

Or the lovely Wileyfox phone


#11

Maybe a “Lumia435 meets B&O”. It’s certainly heading the right direction in terms of screen size, but I think it could be much more “high-end” in terms of dedicated use and design quality. The Wileyfox looks like a regular Android smartphone to me.


#12

@Os878 was giving an example of something similar to Oneplus and Nexus that I named. Thanks for that @Os878 :slight_smile: maybe it could be a good candidate for my next phone.
And for the phone to run smartphone apps, it must be a smartphone. That includes color screen, powerful processor, and all the other things that you don’t like.


#13

I agree with you…I want a similar phone…earlier i posted the same idea…but I was told that no one would want a phone like this…Here we are now,I am sure there are many like you and me.

And I am ready to ditch my flip phone dream if the phone is beautiful.


#14

People who still use that kind of phones are very efficient and rich people…Its because they dont want to waste their time on smartphone…as it kills your free time to think ,which is required to bring changes in your life…


#15

Dont worry about pauliunas as he is a very practical guy who does not want to think any thing apart from what is already there or done.However people like him are also required in this community to stop us from dreaming too much,to the extent when it becomes unrealistic.


#16

I do want to think about inventing new things, because that’s what this community is for. But in this case, it just doesn’t make sense. He wants to run Google Maps without having powerful hardware that runs it, and without having the battery drain that comes with it. It’s just not possible, because Google Maps was written for smartphones, not for dumbphones. So it requires smartphone computing power. Same applies to other apps. And then he wants to run everything on a monochrome screen. That is, again, impossible because apps are written for color screens and they would be unreadable on monochrome.


#17

I’m all for throwing ideas about - the more we have, the better. (Just keep 'em in the right subforum and they won’t need to bother anyone else!)

Something to keep in mind with a project like this is that most of us here are techies, and as such we can’t just design a product for non-techies, as we’ll just make massive assumptions on many of the problems they might have and miss out on things that we might find easy, but they won’t.

Who’s up for interviewing their grandma on the phone that they want?


#18

Lol, I don’t know about your grandma, but mine would want a phone that reads her mind, and when she gets one she would still find what to complain about. :smile: Nah, actually my grandma is pretty happy with all those “dumb” phones she has had so far. There is not much to talk about here… They’re all pretty much the same, and there is a very good reason for it. There’s nowhere to improve without actually making it a smartphone.


#19

Dear gents, I don’t really want to reopen this discussion, because I came to the conclusion that this might indeed not be the right forum for it (@Eelviny … I think you did hit the point).

But I would like the “techie Eve community” (like @pauliunas) to consider maybe three final thoughts for future development:

  1. Don’t immediately kill valid consumer wants and needs with irrelevant techie arguments. The discussion was started by arguing “less is more” and I put up a list of things I felt is not essential for a SMARTPHONE for my private use. Then I assumed that this might allow for some technical solutions that might in return lower the vulnerability of the phone, increase it’s usability and save battery life. But I am not a tech experts and I never said I was.

  2. I am in the luxury goods business myself, and understanding future consumer demand (in contrast to my tech wiz) is one of my core competencies. So please don’t tell me there isn’t a relevant market. If you do … you don’t have a clue. Within only 10 years from now, over 60% of spending in premium and luxury goods will be done by people of age 50+!!! And an EVE smartphone will be a premium consumer good, won’t it? So better think about that early.

  3. Successful premium or luxury products are hardly ever (or shall I say NEVER) “specified” by techies. Because techies usually want to “integrate all that can technically be integrated”, but that is not per se the “smartest product” and for sure not the one that sells best. That’s why Apple became so successful … they hid the techies in the basement :slight_smile: But the sales on your future EVE products will eventually tell whether I was right or wrong. Just keep it in mind

There is a significant market for “curated”, stress-reducing tech-products. Like a phone with no (or less) gimmicks, but still high-end and of course a “smart phone”. For people that might need to be reached, read a text or mail once in a while, or need to get from A to B (Google maps), but don’t see the purpose of watching youtube videos, gaming or similar on a phone. Significant people that are tired of carrying around totally oversized, heavy yet uber-fragile things, looking at wearisome color screens and item that constantly run out of battery. But apparently that’s not EVE and that is fine. So @Nilotpal_Karan and myself will keep looking at other start-ups. Wish you guys all the best nevertheless. And thanks for letting me raise my thoughts and wishes (I hope EVE will set an example on this for other tech companies). Merry Xmas … and a wonderful 2017. Cheers, R


#20

Personally, more than “less is more”, I tend to think that “the right combination is more”.

Unfortunately, that’s a highly subjective matter.

In my case, the ideal smartphone would have the following:

  • 16GB+ of storage
  • 2GB+ memory
  • a dual-core processor fast enough to compete with a mid-range quad-core (*)
  • a rear camera with 5MPixels but very high quality
  • good signal and exceptional voice communication quality
  • enough juice to get me to the end of the day with 40% battery left
  • not taller than 130mm. Definitely. It won’t fit in my pockets otherwise.

Bonus:

  • dual SIM
  • stock android
  • bootloader easy to unlock, to let communities like cyanogenmod develop updates after the end of supported life

As you see, these are highly subjective requirements and I’m pretty sure some are quite unique.

(*) the ratio behind a dual-core that can rival with a mid-range quad-core is that there’s plenty of apps that, for some reason or another, don’t scale well on multi-cores. Having 2 fast cores is better than 4 slow ones.