What Every Major Phone Gained by Removing the Headphone Jack

The headphone jack is becoming outdated technology in smartphones — that’s what many manufacturers would have you believe. For the convenience of the audiophiles out there, we recently published

The statement regarding battery life here is particularly interesting. Apple actually decreased the 2,915 mAh battery capacity in the iPhone 6 Plus to a 2,900 mAh cell in the iPhone 7 Plus after they removed the headphone jack. Perhaps the justification centered more on making room for more efficient processors, which would in turn improve battery life. This reasoning combined with the need for improved camera technology makes a compelling argument, but wasn’t quite realized

Notice a familiar pattern? HTC claims they removed the headphone jack for alleged audio shortcomings in the 3.5 mm standard. Conveniently enough, they also had the perfect product on hand to address these issues. The main difference in this case is that HTC included their USB-C headphones in the box for free with the U Ultra.

The U Ultra was particularly annoying for consumers due to wasted interior space and a relatively small battery when compared to the overall body size. A few months later,

This explanation seems reasonable enough. The overall build of the Essential phone is very compact, even with an impressive amount of screen real estate. Given that battery capacity and the principal design would be compromised, I can see why Essential made the choice to eschew the headphone bump.

The audio argument also returns here, but Essential included the improvements in a free adapter inside the box. Since then, Essential also announced they would release an

Considering that gamers drain smartphone batteries faster than anyone else, this makes sense to me. Including an additional 500 mAh of battery capacity while improving thermals for gaming performance is a key choice for the target demographic of this phone.

Once again, higher quality audio sneaks in to the explanation as well. Razer added value for their customers by including a high quality DAC in the box, very similar to the approach taken by Essential. A few weeks later, Razer introduced the

What do you think about phone manufacturers removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack? Is it advancing technology forward, or just a pointless move to sell more accessories to the end consumer? Let us know in the comments where you stand!

Images by Jeff Springer/Gadget Hacks

Originally published at smartphones.gadgethacks.com.

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