At the time of writing this post, I currently use a Samsung Galaxy S9 as my daily driver and while it does everything I need it to, software updates are getting more power and processor hungry, prompting for an upgrade soon.

Therefore, I have been researching smartphones in order to find one that suits me best and I found 2 discoveries amongst all the subjects I looked at…

  1. Lack of a headphone jack
  2. Lack of a micro-SD card slot

When Apple killed the headphone jack in 2016 with it’s iPhone 7, everyone was furious because it meant they either had to use a silly dongle to listen to music with their favourite headphones or switch to wireless headphones, which to be frank have improved, but are still not as reliable as wired headphones (cough cough Bluetooth latency and cough cough battery life).

5 years down the line and it looks like in 2021, the rest of the industry have followed suit with Samsung, Google and OnePlus removing headphone jacks from their flagship models… so frustrating!

The auxiliary 3.5mm headphone connector, while a bit dated, is still very much valid in 2021, with many devices and manufacturers using it, especially the audio and music industry themselves!

Apple gave some cock and bull story about removing the headphone jack for waterproofing or making their devices smaller to fit more components in… well how have the rest of the smartphone industry, especially their main competitor Samsung, been doing it then? My Galaxy S9 is pretty much fully waterproof IP68 (up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes) and still has a headphone jack.

The second discovery came as a bit of a surprise to me… Samsung’s latest Galaxy S21, Google’s latest Pixel and OnePlus’s latest 9 and Nord CE devices have all had the external expandable micro-SD card slot removed from them.

We all know that Apple have never included an external micro-SD card slot from the beginning, but Samsung and especially OnePlus swore to include this on their devices as they were sick of Apple charging an arm and a leg between the storage models and wanted to give the end user a bit of freedom.

And yes, I know Apple’s iCloud is very cheap (99p a month for 50GB), but cloud storage requires a solid internet connection and privacy can be questionable at times.

While the likes of Samsung, OnePlus and even Google are no where near as pricey as Apple in terms of different onboard storage options, they still should not have removed such a flexible option in my opinion, especially since Samsung was handling it so well by using the same tray as the SIM card to mount micro-SD cards.

Which begs the question, will more key smartphone components such as the SIM card slot be removed next?

I guess we will have to see what Apple does before the sheepish industry copies!