After reading the design of these mobile phones, I shed tears of “Master Qingjie”

Recently, the foreign media GSMArena launched a poll. Regarding the worst mobile phone design in 2020 , the useless round-up lens deserves to be the most "outrageous" bad design, with 25.74% of 5383 votes cast for it.

Followed by options such as "Cancel the packaged accessories" and "Use a small battery in exchange for a faster charging speed", this vote reflects the user's demand. The higher the number of votes, the more disgusting the user is.

The lens with the highest number of votes is a malformed product after the popularity of multi-camera modules.

The emergence of multi-camera module design can be said to be an inevitable result of technological development. A high-pixel lens matches the configuration of ultra-wide-angle, telephoto, and ToF lenses. Each lens has its own role, and users choose what they need.

This is another choice made by brands after trying to put the large optical variable module into the mobile phone. Before the "outsole + zoom module" is successfully installed in the mobile phone in a reasonable volume, multi-camera is considered as a kind of The best compromise is currently.

The most commonly used by users is still the high-pixel main camera, and it is also the camera with the most stock on mobile phones, including new technologies such as super night scenes and computational photography, which are first used on this lens, with high imaging quality and reasonable focal length. Users naturally prefer to use it.

In response to scene needs such as long-range shots and large group photos, this lens could not take care of everything, so telephoto lenses and ultra-wide-angle lenses were born. The lens openings on the back cover of mobile phones have gradually increased, such as dual, triple or even quad. Photo gradually became the mainstream configuration.

So some brands began to study how to make multi-camera modules more design sense, and some brands began to study to achieve quad-camera under the premise of controlling costs, so they have 200W pixel macro lens, even some On e-commerce platforms, fake lens designs have also appeared: it seems that there are multiple shots, but in fact, only one lens can be used normally.

But fortunately, the use of round-up lens designs is only a minority after all, and will gradually be eliminated by the market.

In the fast-paced mobile phone circle, technology is changing with each passing day. Designs that are eliminated are not just because of bad ideas, but many are replaced by new technologies due to changes in the times. Here are some mobile phone designs that we have used/seen.

QWERTY keyboard

It’s hard to trace when the QWERTY full keyboard appeared on mobile phones, but this design was once the standard configuration of business phones. The benchmark was BlackBerry phones. In the "pre-smart era", the full keyboard design was It is regarded as the only magic weapon to improve the input efficiency of mobile phones. After all, the keys on the computer are used, and the time to learn the Jiugongge input method is reduced.

Even at the beginning of the Android system, there were still many manufacturers who did not hesitate to reduce the size of the touch screen, but also kept the QWERTY keyboard.

▲ Picture source: appleinsider

So why did the QWERTY keyboard finally disappear? Part of the reason is that smartphone screens are getting bigger and bigger. Rick Osterloh, Motorola's senior vice president at the time, once said: The full keyboard design has forced manufacturers to reduce the screen size of mobile phones. If it is a sliding keyboard, the cost of the device will increase, the volume will become thicker, and the weight will increase.

Moreover, the popularity of social software has given birth to multiple information input methods such as voice, emoticons, and pictures, adding a physical QWERTY keyboard, which is extremely low cost performance.

Choosing between a large screen and a full keyboard, consumers return to rationality and vote for the former with actual purchase behavior. Although the physical QWERTY keyboard has disappeared, there are still many input method apps that want to reproduce the similar typing feel on the big screen, which can be regarded as the last touch of comfort for the sentimental users.

Removable back cover

The reason for the disappearance of the detachable back cover and the detachable battery can actually be attributed to the same point: the integration of mobile phones is getting higher and higher. Only by achieving a high degree of integration, the mobile phone can reduce the thickness and weight while the screen becomes larger and larger.

After abandoning the detachable back cover design, it becomes much easier for mobile phones to achieve the three defenses.

Moreover, the trend of high integration is almost irreversible. Therefore, the modular design of mobile phones that Google and Motorola briefly tried in those days slowly disappeared in the mainstream, and it did not even cause much response. In the end, they had to give up.

Positive and negative dual screen

When the mobile phone became highly integrated, the appearance ID design began to become the same, so some brands made new attempts, adding the front and back dual-screen design, and there are the vivo NEX dual-screen version with large screens, Nubia X; Meizu Pro7 with a secondary screen on the back; and YotaPhone 3 with an LCD screen on the front and an electronic ink screen on the back.

Although they have also developed functions such as message notification, selfie preview, game touch assistance, and screen wallpaper for the back screen, but they still do not help to increase the frequency of use, and the mobile phone has become more cumbersome.

Realizing that creating demand out of thin air is not good for me, so this design did not continue on subsequent models.

But many years later, the dual-screen design was applied to subsequent folding phones.

Physical fingerprint recognition

Fingerprint recognition is really a good thing. With it, users no longer need to enter passwords frequently. But before the under-screen fingerprint recognition technology was born, it existed in physical form.

In the beginning, it was in the front chin position and combined with the Home button. Later, the screen of the smartphone became larger and larger, but you can't make the size of the phone endlessly fattened in order to plug a larger screen.

So designers picked up a big knife and cut to the frame to launch a full screen. The upper forehead is narrowed, and the chin is naturally narrowed. There is no place to put physical fingerprints on the front. Later, the fingerprint recognition module is moved to the position of the back shell and the side frame. This trend appeared in 2017.

▲ Picture from: Xiaomi's official website

At the Shanghai MWC exhibition in July of the same year, vivo first released the under-screen ultrasonic fingerprint recognition technology, which opened the prelude to the under-screen fingerprint technology and pressed the countdown button to help the end of physical fingerprint technology.

▲ Picture from: vivo

For good luck, the Android camp now basically uses off-screen fingerprints, supplemented by facial recognition. In the post-epidemic era, fingerprint unlocking has proven to be the most convenient and fastest unlocking solution at present, and the Face ID next door is slightly lame , So that we can actually see the physical Touch ID button on the iPad Air 4 released in 2020.

However, there is news that the iPhone series in the future may be equipped with under-screen fingerprint technology, and that day will be when the physical fingerprint technology really bids farewell.

Lift camera

2019 can be regarded as the first year of lifting cameras. Major manufacturers have successively launched their own lifting camera solutions and applied them to flagship models. I also bought the OnePlus 7 Pro because there is no full-screen display on the front, which is really good-looking.

▲ Picture source: MKBHD

However, the good times did not last long, and within a year, the front lifting structure almost faded out of people's vision. Is it because the lifting mechanism is easy to break? No, the more direct culprit is weight.

First, it is necessary to open up a space for the lifting structure, and to weigh the pros and cons, it seems to be impossible to do so. Secondly, all mobile phones with a front lift module weigh more than 200 grams. As the weight increases, the battery capacity may not increase but decrease. Just to make the front look more complete, but to make such a big sacrifice, brands weigh the pros and cons, or use this technology in other places, such as smart TV.

3.5mm audio interface

When the iPhone 7 cancelled the 3.5mm audio interface, everyone was talking about it. When we look back now, this seems to be a great thing. If Apple hadn't drastically cut off the 3.5mm headphone jack at the time, could true wireless headphones get such a rapid development and popularization? I'm afraid it will be difficult.

Few people nowadays are no longer entangled in whether there is a headphone jack on a mobile phone or laptop. The elimination of the headphone jack is an inevitable result of the general trend of wirelessization. Back then, Apple only pushed it slightly to speed up the process of popularization a little bit.

Revisiting the past design trends, we can see that today's mobile phones are still moving toward a lighter, thinner, and more integrated direction. The development of smart phones to their current form seems to be a matter of course, and we still find that we have gone through many detours. It makes people wonder what kind of look the mobile phone has developed in another parallel universe.

And in this reality, what other outdated designs are still fresh in your memory? Please leave a message in the comment area.

Source of title image: Unsplash

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