We have already seen a slew of announcements of new smartphones in 2021. None of them has got me too interested yet, because I know what my perfect phone of the year is like.
We have seen premium flagships, with the most powerful processors, announced. The Xiaomi Mi 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 devices easily come to mind. None of them fit the specs I have in mind.
What is my perfect phone of 2021 like? For one, it is a top mid-ranger, and so has a powerful chipset like Snapdragon 765G. No; I don’t want the most powerful processors in my phone. The 765G is 5G-compliant too, but it isn’t like there are any 5G networks for me to latch on to here. As a fallback, I will take the Snapdragon 750G too.
Most of that extra power in the top chipsets is never put to use anyway. It is more of a bragging right.
I’d like 12GB of RAM for app launching/switching and 128GB ROM (that’s internal storage memory). I have been using a phone with 256GB storage for a year, and I haven’t exceeded 80GB of space. 128GB will do just fine.
One upon a time, I was particular about memory cards. That time belongs in history now and I don’t care much for them, so my perfect phone doesn’t have to have it.
For battery, at least 4500mAh capacity is good enough. But even with such a big battery, my perfect phone must not weigh more than 180g and must not be thicker than 8 inches. I like my smartphones slim and lightweight.
Fast charging? Oh, yes; this is important to me. At least 45W fast charging is required. And I’d be ecstatic to have 65W.
The main camera has the new 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright HM3 sensor that’s in the Galaxy 21 Ultra. I’d settle for the second generation ISOCELL Bright HM2 sensor used in the Xiaomi Mi 10i or even the first generation ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor that is used in the Xiaomi Mi 11 and the older Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro (my current smartphone; see my review).
And one of the accompanying lenses has to be telephoto. If I want to push my luck, I’d say a periscope lens. But on a mid-ranger? Unlikely. I will make do with a telephoto lens.
My perfect phone has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and is made of some superior plastic like polycarbonate. No glass for me. I want a phone I won’t have a panic attack should it drop to the floor.
A screen size of 6 inches would be perfect, but it isn’t likely to happen, so let’s pin it at 6.5 inches. Gorilla Glass: check. 120Hz refresh rate: check. AMOLED: check.
Lastly, I want stereo speakers. God-awesome stereo speakers are the bomb for when you want to play media on your phone without hooking it up to a Bluetooth earphone or speaker.
Here’s a quick specs sheet of my perfect phone of 2021.
Specs of my Perfect Phone of 2021
- Android 11.
- 6.5-inch, 1080×2460 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate, AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass
- Polycarbonate body
- Weight: 180g
- Dimension: 8mm thickness
- Snapdragon 750G-765G chipset
- 108 MP quad camera
- 12 GB RAM
- 128 GB internal storage
- Side-mounted fingerprint reader
- Stereo loudspeakers
- 4500 mAh battery
- 45W fast charging
That is a summary of the specs. What of price? I’d be willing to pay anything in the range of $500 for this package. In local currency, a maximum of ₦260,000 is perfect.
I definitely have a clear picture of what my perfect phone of the year 2021 looks like. I just need to find it now.
The closest existing smartphones to the specs I want are Xiaomi Mi 10i 5 and Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G. They both tick some of the boxes, but lack 120Hz refresh rate, have glass bodies, have IPS LCD displays, weigh a ton, are thicker than I like, and are limited to only 33W fast charging.
It looks like Xiaomi is the brand that comes closest to delivering my perfect smartphone package, as they are the only ones that have used 108MP cameras in mid-range phones so far. Perhaps before the year runs out, they will announce something that matches the description of my perfect smartphone.
Actually, what I am looking for is an upgrade to the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro, which has had me so captivated for over a year that I find it difficult to pick a replacement for it. When is Xiaomi announcing the Mi Note 11 Pro?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.