7 cool smartphone features that are not mainstream, but should be


In the past few years, smartphone manufacturers have added various unique features to their product lines in an attempt to stand out, offer something that appeals to a certain niche, and ultimately raise the desirability of the handsets. So, while some of these innovations end up being not-as-successful, others tend to stick and become the defining features of the smartphone they belong to.

Now, surprisingly, even though they end up being generally loved by most users, these ingredients would rarely pick up with other manufacturers, with only a few "borrowing" the idea. In other words, you could say that this is a list of features that we wish to see more often in different phones, as we would see that as an expansion of customer choice. Without further ado, here are 7 cool features that are not widely spread among modern smartphones, but should be.

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35 Comments

1. JD3206

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 16, 2014

How about double tap to wake/sleep found on LG and HTC phones? It would be nice to see this feature more widely available.... I miss my G2.

4. TyrionLannister unregistered

LG, HTC and Sony phones have Double press to wake while iPhones and Galaxy phones have the physical home button to wake up. I don't think that's necessary as all the brands are covered here.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Having a physical mute button on a phone. Doesn't matter when you have a smart watch that can mute the phone. My Moto 360 can mute my phone. Not to mention I use smart lock as well, so I never have to logon to the phone while the smart watch is near.

13. TyrionLannister unregistered

I'm not talking about the mute switch, but the physical home button that can wake up the phone.

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I know that. But with smart lock enabled on lollipop or Motorola phones. You don't need a finger print reader in order to get onto the phone. Because when both devices are near. Then you don't need to sign on to a device, because its understood that you own both devices, and they are close together. So you have to be the owner of both devices. Therefore you don't need to use a password, pin, gestures, face to get onto and use the smart phone.

35. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Ip certification, front face speakers, noise cancelation, SD slot, decent camera with dedicated shutter button. All that I have in my Z2. Multi Windows maybe 6 inch above type of smartphone, finger print nice addition but not a must since qualcom will be implanting some kind of scanner as well to their chip so most likely it will in Sony upcoming Z4 or Z5 flagship.

34. mmmanuuu

Posts: 403; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Physical Mute Switch ??? I say, Turn over to silent or one press on volume down in android phones can make the ring silent. On your face apple !

2. TyrionLannister unregistered

After using TouchID, I won't go to a phone without a fingerprint scanner. Samsung's implementation is even better though. It can autofill username and password on websites using fingerprint and pay using paypal. I can live without the rest though. But that's just my opinion.

8. Sauce5 unregistered

Have to agree with you. I am very spoiled with this feature haha. On my iP6, I use Touch ID for everything. Security: locking/unlocking apps, locking specific photos or albums, passwords & autofill on websites and credit cards, turning on/off Airplane Mode, turning off my device & etc settings/toggles, getting into the settings pane, etc, using Touch ID fingerprint to answer a phone call, etc etc Replacing the home key to preserve key life by not pressing it: Long touch, double touch, etc. Using the Touch ID sensor to snap photos instead of the on-screen button (different commands/keybinds) Touch ID patterns to quick open specific apps I'm in love with Touch ID

15. TyrionLannister unregistered

I believe you're jailbroken. As I can do none of that on my stock iPad air 2.

20. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Touch ID is nice, but its not needed in order to securely get on your smart phone. Especially since lollipop has introduced smart lock. So if you have any smart watch or bluetooth device around that you trust. Then all I am saying is touch ID is not needed in order to get onto your smart phone.

24. Sauce5 unregistered

Ah, I had the understanding that you have an iPhone 5s or 6/+ since you were speaking about Touch ID. Still, if you ever grab an iOS device with Touch ID, jailbreak that b*tch. The Touch ID features on the Jailbreak community are endless and innovative.

28. TyrionLannister unregistered

Surely will jailbreak am iPhone if I get it in future. Currently I'm happy with galaxy s6 + air 2 combination.

31. Sauce5 unregistered

Nice nice. I've always wanted a newer iPad, mostly the Airs. So nice. But my iPad 2 words beautifully still. Maybe the iPad pro if it comes with a stylus.

33. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

I admire these guys who are not judging devices based on brands/OS. Keep it up sirs

23. seven7dust unregistered

agree it would be nice if Apple gave you a defualt tool for this , but 1password and touch ID work great for web logins, 1password is simply the best app in the world for me, be it iPhone ,windows , mac ,android or whatever. remembers so much. cross platform apps FTW.

3. catt4u

Posts: 145; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Personally I don't think any of these features are a real must-have or deal breaker if I look at my S6 Edge.

5. random

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

One time Samsung thought it would be cool to have a sweep to side unlocking. We all know how that ended.

6. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

Nanocoating Fingerprint scanner Laser autofocus/phase detection Dual Cameras Better headphone jacks

7. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

1, 2, & 7: Unless someone outs a cheap phone with these features, I don't think they will be mainstream anytime soon. 3: [Hate-inducing opinion alert!] I think our phones are too small for these kinds of multitasking, except maybe those with 6-inch or larger screens. I can barely multitask properly on my 14-inch laptop, can't imagine how I can manage with a much smaller screen. 4 & 5: I got a feeling that manufacturers are avoiding lawsuits by avoiding these features 6: This one I actually agree, but not because it makes photos better. It's just something that we've come to expect from flagships nowadays.

14. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Agree, I used multi tasking on G2, S5, Z2, Z3C, this is useless, even Samsung's implementation doesn't change it. The only reason why I would be using it is for playing youtube while reading something, but with XDA I can just get background playback. This is something that doesn't go well with such small devices.

17. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Having more than one instance of the same app can be good though

25. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I disagree... I use Small apps almost daily... and I have a Z3 Compact as well... Of course I usually just float 1 window but sometimes 2 apps... I use Waze for giving me directions and I float the Walkman Widget so I dont have to swipe down the notification bar... and I also float the Whatsapp Widget so I can see messages in a glance instead of operating the phone... all this while docked to my XSP-N1BT car stereo. Great Multitasking

9. dlsnhuff

Posts: 111; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I like waterproof and split screen features. Very handy ^.^

10. TheGunnyPT

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

Physical Mute switch / Water and Dust resistant / Multi Tasking and Led Notification YES, should be mandatory. Same goes for Fingerprint scanner, after using an iPhone 6 is my only gripe that Note 4 FPS is not that good. Its nice to put the finger and get in menu, without people in Bus or near you seeing the password. S-Pen? I don't believe so, not everyone is fan of a stylus. I got friends who use Note line due to performance and even removed the pen. I actually got the note for the pen, I use a waccom stylus on my daily basis as a designer.

12. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

1. Physical buttons 2. Samsung's AMOLED 3. Water resistance!!! Some say it is not that important but after I bought Z3 Compact I think it's obligatory feature to have on modern smartphone. C'mon 4. Stereo speakers but not by cost of ridiculously big bezels (HTC, look at Z3 Compact) 5. Fingerprint scanner 6. Scratch resistant hardware. Apple! iPhone 5 and 5S were one big disaster. Such beautiful devices ruined by scratched paint. Also 7. Price of chinese brands. It'd be cool to have this feature on big brands. .

16. mobiledroid

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

Please lets see some more smartphones with xenon flashes! What happened to these?

18. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

i definitely agree with this one. I believe the concern is with longevity. my Sony k800i had a xenon flash and it could get a pretty good picture under the worst of circumstances.

27. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I think the problem with those is size, energy consumption and at the same time you would also need a regular LED for torch situations, such as videolight and flashlight

21. RangoX

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

S5 and S5 mini also have fingerprint scanner. Do they work well in these phones? I'd like to try that feature.

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