Phones started out as a great mobile alternative to the landline phones, but after the introduction of the iPhone, smartphones were a thing and they had proper web browsers. This was also a time when the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit were young and My Space was king.
Fast forward to now, smartphones are way more powerful, way bigger screens, take way better looking photos and videos and social networking sites have kept up to take all this data. As a result, social networking apps have become bigger and bigger while demanding larger storage space and more of a phone’s RAM.
This particular reason has led to an interesting problem: Not all phones that are made today can run the official social networking apps properly. Budget phones in particular suffer from this and you are forced to use the Lite version of this apps to have an optimal performance.
Question is: What could be the specifications of the perfect phone for social media use? It should run the current heavy social networking apps well, great cameras and a great display. These are features that you see on high end phones but it is not necessarily the case.
This is one of the most important aspects of the perfect phone for social media use. Performance entails three aspects: How powerful is the processor, amount of RAM and the speed of internal storage, which is often overlooked.
A perfect phone would have Apple’s latest and greatest processors which are the leaders in the mobile space and they are now encroaching on the laptop space. GPU performance for games would be sourced from Qualcomm’s Adreno line since they are the best.
Internal storage speed is crucial for fast retrieval of media as well as installation of apps and here you would choose UFS 2.0 tech or Apple’s proprietary SSD like storage on their iPhones and iPads.
On Android, more RAM the better and currently 8GB is the highest we have seen so far. iOS uses RAM more efficiently than Android so 8GB on the platform would be great!
The ultimate main primary camera on a phone would have a balance of relatively high resolution (like 20MP), wide apertures (like Galaxy S9’s f/1.5 aperture) to let in a ton of light for low light selfies, large sensor like the one on the P20 Pro and has optical stabilization to take blur free shots at night.
The other 2 extra cameras at the back should feature one wide angle lens for those landscape shots that the regular lens can’t capture in its full glory and a 3X optical zoom unit like the one one on the P20 Pro for getting close to the action.
The selfie camera should also be like the primary camera since selfies are not a side show like before.
Videos should be shot at a minimum of 4K at 30fps on both the primary and secondary cameras, like we saw on a number of Android phones (Nokia 8 and Essential Phone).
There should be an LED flash at the front that has slow sync flash (explained here) that we saw on the new iPhones that results in better illumination of the subject. The primary cameras should get Xenon flash, which is superior to LED flash for illumination of subjects and a traditional LED flash for shooting video.
Also, most people don’t consider that processing of photos also matters and the Apple way of processing photos works best. True to life colours are important here. Most smartphone companies tend to have phones that over-sharpen photos and slide that vibrancy slider way too far thereby rendering photos that don’t look lifelike.
Display quality is usually underrated when it comes to phones. The perfect social media phone should have a display that is crisp, has excellent sunlight legibility, accurate colour rendition and the right aspect ratio which I’ll explain.
It is not hard to get a pixel dense display. Sony for example has been putting out 4K displays on their Xperia Premium line for 3 years now. The dream is having such a screen so that you can watch 4K content that you shoot with your phone or on YouTube natively.
Sunlight legibilty is crucial for a displays since you may want to use your phone during the day while the sun is shining. It could be you reading something on social networks or just taking a photo. Bad sunlight legibility can render these activities unusable and that is why it is key.
Colour accuracy is important since it might lead to a situation where a photo shows red in one phone and pink in another. The dream social media phone should have excellent colour accuracy so that the photos one sees or takes with their camera looks accurate on screen.
The most controversial section is the aspect ratio one. For years, we have been accustomed to the 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the standard for watching videos on your TV, laptop and phone. The problem is that although it started being trendy since last year, watching YouTube videos for example is still a pain on 18:9 displays since to get a proper full screen, it has to crop into the image, making the whole experience weird. However 18:9 displays is great for multitasking using multi window and for reading content on the web so it scores points here. At the current system, 16:9 is the perfect aspect ratio but 18:9 displays are the future.
Listening to music nowadays has become a social networking thing of sorts, like on streaming sites, you can share playlists with one another.
In my opinion, the perfect phone would have a headphone jack. Since Apple famously decided that the headphone jack had outlived its usefulness in a courageous gesture in 2016, others have followed suit to remove the old tech.
However, the headphone jack consistently delivers better in-ear audio especially if it is paired with a high quality DAC that you see being advertised by LG and HTC on their phones. Listening to music via Bluetooth is not there yet and only the likes of Sony are doing something to make sure we get high bittrate speeds via Bluetooth for music with their LDAC tech.
Finally, the perfect phone should have excellent stereo speakers. Once you use stereo speakers, you never really go back and a lot of manufacturers fortunately jumped on this trend. Reviewers have said that the Razer Phone has the best front facing stereo speakers and I’d wish this perfect phone would have the same kind for listening to music either on YouTube or the other streaming sites.