5 useful features that are not available on iPhones and Galaxies, but exist on cheaper phones

5 useful features that are not available on iPhones and Galaxies, but exist on cheaper phones
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6 might be two of the best selling smartphones on the planet ever, but as powerful and well-designed as they are, we still find ourselves wishing they supported a few additional features that we've seen on other phones.

Surprisingly, often we see even extremely affordable phones from less known manufacturers come up with great ideas implemented well in software. After using such phones, you scratch your head wondering why is a particular feature still not available on the two most popular smartphones out there.

Hopefully, one day, we'll see the big players implement these neat additions to their flagships to further improve the user experience. So far, though, these are the few features we came away impressed with on other phones and wish to see on the mainstream flagships - take a look below.

Automatic call recording


Xiaomi is the rising star of China, a brand that has just disclosed that it has sold a whopping 35 million smartphones in the first half of the year, and it's success is rooted in the MIUI skin, which is particularly rich in option. One such option that we enjoyed having was automatic call recording built right in the system. Yes, there currently are third-party apps on Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store, but they record audio from the microphone and the quality tends to be far below acceptable, especially in noisy environments. Xiaomi's solution records crisp and clear system audio, so that you can listen to past phone calls in case you had to write down a phone number or some other important detail.


Pocket dial protection


A feature standard on multiple phones (and most notably Xiaomi again), protection from accidental pocket dial can save you from quite the embarassment. It was just recently that we tested a phone and accidentally dialled and texted non-sensical content to our Facebook friends because of lack of pocket dial protection on a certain phone, and we just wish that the feature came standard on all devices. After all, it's fairly easy to implement - as long as the ambient light protector detects something in proximity (as when your phone is in your pocket), you cannot unlock the phone.


Different power modes


Many companies do this to allow finer management of the battery longevity of a phone, and while Samsung does have an ultra-power saving mode, we just wished Apple and Samsung had a more granular control that would allow you to choose between a 'performance' and a more balanced, 'battery-optimized' regimen for the CPU and GPU.


Sort apps alphabetically


When you use a phone for a longer time, you tend to download a ton of apps - so many that it's often hard to find what you're looking for. The option to arrange them all in an alphabetical order would be a neat solution to that problem (and many phone makers do it), but it's not an option that is available on the latest Samsung and Apple flagships.


Double tap to lock/unlock


Double tapping to lock or unlock a phone is particularly useful on larger devices with their lock buttons often too hard to reach, and it could be a true time-saver, but for some unknown reason, the feature is not present on Apple and Samsung devices. Double tapping is a really quick and simple gesture, and implementing it as an alternative way to lock and unlock a device would make a lot of sense, so we wish the two companies gave this a thought.

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33 Comments

1. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Xiaomi

11. waddup121 unregistered

Xiaomiiii

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7176; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The sorting of apps you can easily get with any Android if you install a launcher from the play store that offers sorting. There is a number of them that will do this now.

22. Simona unregistered

Not really Huawei M7 or P7 or P8 has all The vivo x5pro has all these features ..

2. II2012

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

Dual SIM and SD card would be nice too, those 'flagships' are so behind in some ways ...

23. Simona unregistered

honor 6 plus , huawei mate 7 has it .. best phones

3. Ashoaib

Posts: 3275; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

most of these features I have in my Vivo Xplay 3S... Chinese are really doing great... fast and fluid ROMs as compared to big OEMs

24. Simona unregistered

I just ordered Vivo X5Pro : ) I had X3S loon time ago ..

4. rifat44

Posts: 49; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

What a idea double tapping is which was invented by lg

9. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

You misspelled Nokia.

25. Simona unregistered

you misspelled Vivo

13. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

I just know it was first present in Nokia phones it was surely not LG who invent it.

28. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Nokia N9 was the first phone to have this feature

5. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I was expecting things like microSD card slot, removable battery, dedicated camera button. I guess the title should say "5 useful SOFTWARE features...".

6. durrav

Posts: 25; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Since the iPhone doesn't have an app drawer it goo that it does have an option to sort alphabetically since it would f**k up your setup. The Galaxy S6 does have the option on 5.1.1 but since I'm using a third-party launcher on my S6 Edge I've had that option for a long time.

7. durrav

Posts: 25; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

It's good*

12. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The iPhone is basically an app drawer

8. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Dedicated camera buttons on (most) Lumias. They have all of the listed features here, too, minus the automatic call recording.

20. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

phonearena would never give a plus to lumia over any phone so forget it. dont know why they hate wp so much

29. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Fear simple fear ;)

10. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

The reason most phone don't have built in call recording in the US, because it's illegal. If you want to record the other party, legally you are obligated to advised them of say, act; well in most states is illegal. I'm sure in some backwards, obscured part of the union is legal.

33. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

This is a popular -- and WRONG -- misconception. State laws rule here and those vary. In most states the minimum standard is one of the participating members has to give consent. That one usually is the person recording. Wikipedia has an entry describing which states are which at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#United_States Alternatively, seehttp://www.rcfp.org/reporters-recording-guide/state-state-guide

14. pradeepreddy

Posts: 65; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

FM radio too!! (without data)

30. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Windows has this. All my windows phone I have owned since the HD7 have.

15. asiansatan

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Ah the problem of iphone and sphone owners!

16. T-rex unregistered

And Sony phones are cheaper? :-/

18. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Depends on the country, but mostly yeah... Specially the compacts

19. wesley.

Posts: 209; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I miss being able to turn my phone off at night and still have the alarm go off in the morning. This is the worst thing about a smartphone compared to a feature phone.

21. kenaldinho4444

Posts: 66; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Really miss 1&2

26. f_u_006

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

HOW F***ING DARE YOU CALLING SONY AND LG CHEAP PHONES!!

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