Skip to main content

Do you wish companies would stop re-designing their phones every year?

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The Android smartphone market is one that can be difficult to keep up with. Year after year, companies push out new handsets with subtle or major tweaks compared to its predecessor. Whether it be slimmer bezels, a slightly thinner body, or a new style for a camera bump, many of these changes are often in the design department.

A new design is one of those things we've come to expect for every new phone release, but is it something we actually want or need? YouTuber Juan Bagnell recently posted a video talking about this very topic, arguing that there's something to be said for Apple's decision to keep reusing and recycling the same design for years at a time.

As you might expect, this is something that got a lot of our AC forum members talking. Here's what some of them had to say in response to the video:

If people would stop buying new devices for a 10 millisecond improvement, they'll make less models, less phones, and some will go out of business. Sent from my 2 year old S8 Active

methodman89

I hate to say it, but perhaps one of the silver linings of this terrible pandemic is that people will finally stop and ask themselves if they really need that shiny new $1200 phone that is about 5% improved over their current phone. As phone shipments go down, that will really force manufacturers to rethink their strategy. We're already seeing them focusing a little more on midrange phones.

B. Diddy

I'd love to see a new Moto X with either the first gen or third gen (Pure Edition) body. (It would need a fingerprint scanner in-display or in the power button though)

Ry

I remember a few years ago several phone makers decided to cut back on the number of models they made because the market was satuated with them. They did for a while but now it is back to the satuated point again. IMO, android is running into the same problem as microsoft. you have all kinds of various model with thousands of different hardware and software combination that the os must work...

me just saying

Now, we want to hear from you — Do you wish companies would stop re-designing their phones every year?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

6 Comments
  • No, I like change, only apple fans want an identical phone year after year. I'm very frugal now I've gone from upgrading every six months 5 years ago, to every 2 - 3 years. But that doesn't mean I want companies to stick to the same design year after year.
  • Flat all screen design with no holes or notches and no camera bump on back. For me this would be the perfect design but it would also mean all phones would look identical but that wouldn't bother me as the main thing you interact with is your phone screen. Market fancy cases if you want some flair or colour on your phone with protection, job done!
  • Yes, incremental changes are all that are necessary. Think 911 Porsche. Create your iconic design and then subtle tweaks and performance improvements.
  • The constant redesigning makes it near impossible to have the sort of thriving case ecosystem you see with iPhones.
  • O YES. Nothing of value has been added since Galaxy S5. The whole damn industry is based on planned obsolescence . Give me smaller flat screen replaceable battery. Put all other bells and whistles in a tab the size of a 7 inch Tab 3.
  • Yes, I would. As others have said it's a business decision, not a customer-focussed one. While I'm at it, I'd also like existing phones to receive updates INDEFINITELY. Part of the reason people are suckered into buying a new phone when their current one does a perfectly good job, is that they stop getting Android updates, or only get them for 2 or 3 years at most. Phones last much longer than that, so why not let people continue getting updates? Finally, I'm not a professional photographer, so having phones capable of taking shots in 32, 64, 128 Mb sizes is not necessary. Again, I'd rather get a cheaper phone with ongoing updates.