From 1992, when the first smartphone, the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, was introduced, to this day, innovative new phone features have been the hallmark of all smartphone manufacturers.

Some smartphone manufacturers have failed, others have succeeded, depending on the usefulness of the new feature. In this article, we’ll discuss unnecessary smartphone features and why they don’t work, as well as a wish list for some good features.

Unforgettable but useless smartphone features

Many of the new smartphone features introduced over the years have been received with much fanfare and were usually introduced as centerpieces at the launch of each new smartphone model.

Here are some of those features that should not have passed quality control because they turned out to be totally useless:


The 3D feature was born when the race for the first mobile phone with two cameras had begun. LG Optimus 3D and HTC EVO 3D were among the first contenders. At the time, 3D looked so fantastic and futuristic that it was a good gimmick – but only in the beginning.

While 3D intrigued some users and perhaps helped sell a few new phone models, people quickly realized that without available apps or movies that support this feature, 3D on smartphones is virtually useless.

Airborne signs

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes to mind when it comes to gesture control. There seemed to be no need to touch the smartphone screen and all you had to do was use the Air Gestures feature.

This technology required the user to swing their hand vertically or horizontally to perform certain functions, such as For example, scrolling from top to bottom or from left to right. However, this feature proved to be useless and uninteresting as the device was not very responsive, which led to this feature not being used in future Samsung versions.

Even LG tried to make its own version with the LG G8 Air Motion. However, for this feature to work, the user had to be at an optimal distance, making it useless.

Curved screen

The curved screen or curved edge smartphone is an innovation of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The curved screen design makes it an elegant and attractive device. That’s probably why other companies have followed suit and released their own versions, including the OnePlus 7Pro and the Huawei Mate.

However, apart from the surface improvements, this renewal proved unnecessary for the following reasons:
– This made the phone more vulnerable without the usual protective frame or bezel.
– There were no fully compatible or specialized boxes, nor were there guards of moderate temperament.
– Phones with curved screens are prone to image shadows and expensive to repair.

Smart scrolling, smart pausing, etc.

Another innovation from Samsung is the eye detection function, which enables smart scrolling and smart pausing, among other things. The Galaxy S4 had a feature that tracked the user’s eye movements via the phone’s front camera. The Smart Scroll feature could theoretically allow users to automatically scroll down when their eyes reach the bottom of the web page. But sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Smart Pause automatically pauses video playback when the phone can no longer follow your eyes. The problem with this feature was that it jammed when the eye detection failed, or when you looked away for a moment, or when your eyes were not at an optimal angle to the screen.

A cute smartphone with afunction

Smartphone technology is advancing at lightning speed, but we’re more concerned with useful features that we hope will be part of future smartphone models.

Wi-Fi/Air Battery Charging

Wireless charging for smartphones is available, but the problem is that it’s not really wireless. Wireless charging phones require the use of a special block that plugs into an electrical outlet, technically eliminating the wired connection between the phone and the power source.

In the future, we’d like to see a wireless power supply that works like a radio or Wi-Fi – almost like the
smartphone power supply over the air.

Front camera below screen

The camera below the screen may be of interest to users who find the location of the front camera a bit awkward or
unattractive. And the future looks bright, because there is already a smartphone with this feature: The ZTE Axon 20 5G was unveiled in September at the 2020 International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA) in Berlin.

Other companies like Xiaomi and OPPO have already started developing phones with this feature.

Modular adaptable components

As early as 2013 (maybe even earlier), there was serious talk of the dream of retrofitting smartphones, partly to save consumers money, but also to reduce the amount of electronic waste that is difficult to dispose of. However, since profit is the main goal of any conventional company, few smartphone manufacturers have invested in the ability to develop smartphones with scalable modular components.

Nevertheless, the environmental impact of electronic waste from smartphones can no longer be ignored, and we hope that all brands will adopt this alternative.

Holograms and projections

Don’t get me wrong, there were and are smartphones that work with some projectors. However, these are Star Wars-like projections or holograms, which are usually in 3D.

With this feature, the video recording of smartphones would reach an exceptional level.

While the research continues, we don’t yet know how quickly this technology can be realized and become mainstream in the smartphone market.

The successes and failures of smartphones

It is certain that the smartphone industry will continue to fail from time to time. Still, it is up to us to decide what is worth investing in and what is not.

Bio of the author

Oli Kang is a working mother who is passionate about teaching and all things education. Oli has a background in marketing and manages UA’s digital channels and course content.

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