According to a recent report, the Galaxy S8 will not feature the well loved 3.5mm audio jack. It will instead, sport a single USB Type-C port with audio transmitting capabilities. This will basically mean two things; all your current headphones will become incompatible and you won't be able to use even your compatible headphones while charging. One can argue that a converter/adapter can make the "old" 3.5mm headphones useable on the Galaxy S8, but the audio quality from what we have experienced so far, doesn't remain the same.
It was hardly a few months ago that Justin Denison (Marketing VP, Samsung) mocked Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack, while introducing the Galaxy Note 7.
"Want to know what else it comes with?"
"An audio jack. I'm just saying,"
If they really go through with the decision, one cannot help but feel that even after the joke and all, Samsung is indeed going to do tomorrow what Apple did yesterday. Take note though, that LeEco moved on to Lossless Digital Audio even before Apple did it with the iPhone 7 and so did some of the Lenovo Moto phones. Personally, I would hate to see the headphone jack go, what about you?
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The controversy regarding the 3.5mm jack is not going to go away anytime soon and while a lot of companies have decided to let it go, Samsung is not one of those manufacturers fortunately. Staying true to their promise about keeping hold of the good old 3.5mm headphone jack, the Galaxy S10 is going to have one as well. Although a prototype had earlier shown up that showed the S10 not having one, multiple casemakers have now confirmed beyond doubt that the upcoming S10 smartphones will indeed sport a headphone jack. This is good news really because if you think about it, it would practically make no sense to exclude it from any phone. In case you are not in agreement with that point of view, then let us refute two of the most popular arguments against the headphone jack.
A Headphone Jack Doesn't Allow for a Bigger Battery - Most smartphones with the biggest batteries available in the market today come equipped with a headphone jack, thus negating that argument. In fact, even the Note 9 sports a 4,000mAh battery, in addition to sporting the headphone jack proudly.
The 3.5mm Jack is Obsolete - A technology can only be considered obsolete when something better is able to replace it completely. An example of that would be how Android replaced Symbian because it was better in every way. Removing the headphone jack on the other hand, poses a number of problems and they can be summed up as follows.
· There aren't enough good quality USB Type-C headphones out there at the moment
· People have high-quality wired headphones at home that would lose compatibility with their smartphones if the jack was removed
· Wired sound is more reliable and better in quality
· Wired headsets do not require charging
· You can't use USB Type-C headphones while the device is connected to a PC or being charged
If you need more convincing, then you are probably too biased to realize the truth and in that case, feel free to buy an iPhone!
There have been a lot speculations about Apple's plan to get rid of the headphone port in the next smartphone - the iPhone 7. Recently in China there was an announcement of three devices without any headphone port and they all run on Android.
LeEco, previously LeTV, yesterday unveiled the new Le 2 series, showcasing the Le 2, Le 2Pro and Le Max2, none of which feature the widely used 3.5mm headphone jack. All of these devices will come with USB Type-C digital headphones via the charging port.
This would result in improved audio quality, as digital headphones are based on lossless technology. The negative point is that it won't be possible for anyone to listen to music while the phone is getting charged (something that most of the folks do while working). That means although the USB Type-C headphones are nice to have feature, consumers might end up paying for a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Until the introduction of LeEco's two new pairs of USB Type-C headphones - an in-ear variant and over-ear set - the JBL Reflect Aware C sports earbuds made it official alongside the HTC 10 that they were the only USB Type-C headphones available (till now they are not in the market). To conclude we can safely say that this trend might set the direction for next gen smartphones.
How would you react if your next iPhone came without the 3.5mm jack? The 3.5mm audio port has been the basic universal standard for all media-capable devices and even basic phones for the last several years. According to the latest rumor about the upcoming iPhone 7, Apple is removing it from their future products. What makes this rumor scarier is the fact that it supposedly came from the iPhone 7 supply chain!
We are unsure as to why Apple would even make this move as we can clearly predict issues with such a decision from the word go. Firstly, the new lightning port is incapable of supporting analog audio unlike the previous Apple 30-pin connector. Even if a regressively proprietary set of costly headphones with built-in amp and Digital-to-Analog Converter is made available, it would definitely strain the battery in addition to becoming far too complicated. Moreover, this would prevent the user from charging the phone while using headphones.
Wireless audio will possibly be a better option if Apple really goes through with this move as your new Apple headsets won't be compatible with anything else you own anymore. In our opinion, the chances of this rumor turning out to be true are pretty slim as the decision would unnecessarily complicate things for the iPhone 7 and frankly, we cannot see a viable reason as to why the company would make such a change to begin with!
Lenovo has just unleashed a brand new series, which will replace the Moto X series of smartphones, starting from 2016. Both the phones in the new Z-series will come with top tier specs like a SD 820 CPU, a 5.5-inch QHD panel, 4GB of RAM and even the choice for 32GB/64GB in-built storage (along with expandable SD card slots). The regular Moto Z will sport a 13-megapixel rear sensor with laser autofocus, optical image stabilization and a dual tone LED flash for pitch dark conditions. On the front, there's the 5-megapixel snapper with a dedicated selfie-flash and a wide angle lens for group selfies. All this will be powered by the Quick charging 2,600mAh battery inside the Z.
The Moto Z Force has the bigger 3,500mAh battery and a shatterproof glass on the front. Lenovo calls the glass "ShatterShield" and they are confident that it cannot be broken by even the roughest of falls. The thicker and more premium device also features a higher resolution 21-megapixel sensor with phase detection laser autofocus, optical image stabilization and an aperture of f/1.8 for low-light photography. In spite of the flagship specs, what we did not like is the missing headphone jack that we have grown accustomed to. Although an USB Type-C to headphone adapter is included in the box, it means that you cannot simultaneously use the Type-C port for charging or data syncing, while listening to the headphones.
In addition to the missing 3.5mm jack, the two Moto phones also bring something else that the market is just getting accustomed to. Both phones have 16 magnetic dots at the lower-back area and they are equipped to connect with the "Moto Mods." Similar to what we saw with the LG G5 modular phone that was released earlier this year, the Moto Mods are modular accessories created specifically for the Moto Z smartphones to enhance the device's already impressive capabilities. There's the InstaShare Projector mod and some stylish case mods, but we found the JBL Soundboost mod to be the most impressive with its twin 3W speakers and a 1,000 mAh battery to boost the phone's usage time.
As is evident, the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force has a LOT to offer, but you will have to wait till September to get your hands on one, if you are outside the US. Verizon in the US however, will release their "Droid Editions" sooner.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
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