Apr 04 AT 7:02 PM Taylor Wimberly 35 Comments

9 Features I Want In My Next Android Phone

My friends and I were talking about all the dream features we would like to see on the next generation of cell phones.  When I went to look some of them up, I was surprised to find so many of our ideas were already available.  I doubt anyone will cram all of these features into one phone, but we should see many of these features in Android hardware over the next year.

1. Fingerprint Scanner – Am I the only one tired of having to remember so many passwords and pins?  I’m ready for biometric security and fingerprint sensors are the way to go.  The technology has come a long way and is ready for cell phones.  It would be great for micro payments and online shopping too.

Example:  AuthenTec AES1711 Fingerprint Sensor

Authentec AES1711 Fingerprint Sensor

Authentec AES1711 Fingerprint Sensor

2. 12.1-megapixel Camera – The 3MP camera found in the T-Mobile G1 is decent, but there are much better options.  Samsung recently released the Memoir with 8MP camera.  Later this year we will see the first 12.1MP camera from Sony.  If I can take photos on the go and upload them to Twitter, I want them to be of the best quality and look like they were taken with a camera and not a phone.

Example:  Sony Ericsson Idou

Sony Ericsson Idou with 12.1MP Camera

Sony Ericsson Idou with 12.1MP Camera

3. 4.1″ Screen – There comes a point where screens can get too big, but I think 4″ is just right to fit in your pocket.  The T-Mobile G1 is the largest touch screen phone I have ever owned, but another inch would be great for web browsing and watching video.

Example:  Toshiba TG01

Toshiba TG01 with 4.1" Screen

Toshiba TG01 with 4.1" Screen

4. HDMI Port – Adding HDMI to your phone opens the door to a rich multimedia experience.  You could store your favorite HD movies on your phone and easily play them on a friends television.  Games could be downloaded to your phone and then played on the big screen.  Other applications could also benefit from a large screen.

Example:  NVIDIA Tegra APX2600

NVIDIA Tegra APX2600 Platform Supports HDMI

NVIDIA Tegra APX2600 Platform Supports HDMI

5. Waterproof – How many phones have you dropped in the toilet?  I’ve killed about 3 myself.  Fujitsu recently released a waterproof phone that can be submersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.  This would also be great for that time when your best friend shoves you in the pool and you have your wallet and phone in your pockets.

Example:  Fujitsu F-01A

Go Swimming With Your Fujitsu F-01A

Go Swimming With Your Fujitsu F-01A

6. SDXC – The largest memory I can buy for my G1 is the Sandisk 16GB microSD Card.  Soon, we should see 32GB microSD cards hit retail.  I hope my next phone supports SDXC (eXtended Capacity) memory cards.  This next generation form of flash memory will support up to 2 TB (thats over 100HD movies) and have transfer speeds up to 300MB/s.

Example:  SD Association SDXC

When 32GB is not enough for your music collection...

When 32GB is not enough for your music collection...

7. Built in FM Receiver and Transmitter – This has been around for several years, but I don’t know why a FM transmitter is not standard.  All the new phones have Bluetooth, but most of our cars do not.  Now that your phone is always connected, this is the perfect solution for listening to podcasts and internet radio.

Example: Sony Ericsson W980

Grrrrr. Wish I had a FM transmitter built in.

Grrrrr. Wish I had a FM transmitter built in.

8. EEStor EESU – Ok I know this is a real dream and we might not see it for years.  EEStor is a small company out of Texas that claims to have developed a new super capacitor for energy storage.  Most of the press has focused on their use in electric vehicles or the next generation of weapons.  My hope is that they target consumer electronics like laptops and cell phones.  Imagine plugging your phone in for 5 minutes and having a charge that would last you a week.

Example:  ZENN Cars future EESU

Will we ever see the EESU?

Will we ever see the EESU?

9. Projector – Projector phones have finally made their way over to the US.  Maybe this is more of a novelty, but I still think it would be cool to have a projector in my phone.  You could play YouTube clips on the wall at a friends place.  Imagine a virtual box score thrown up on the wall while you watch the big game with friends.

Example:  Logic Bolt

Pocket Projector from Logic Bolt

Pocket Projector from Logic Bolt

I could keep going on and on, but what hardware features would you like to see on your next phone?  Do you have any ideas for phones that are not currently available?  Would you like to watch DTV on your phone?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://AndroidUpSpot.wordpress.com Justin

    All of this is great but the number one thing on my list for android to do is to fix the speed of the phone. I love the potential of the Android OS but I am really tired of the Hanging home screens. When someone goes I need your phone real quick to make a call, I have to hit home, have the screen go black and then the screen comes up with no icons then wait for them to show up… It makes the phone and me look not worth it to others… It embarasses me LOL… But I know if I hang in there Android will be great.

  • nEx.Software

    Hitting the call button works great to quickly get to the dialer.

    That being said, you are right, sometimes the Home screen hangs… Would be nice if it didn’t but it’s not a big deal to me.

  • http://www.flickr.com Mark

    Other than the few bugs mentioned above? Being able to send files via bluetooth.

    Having huge amount of mega pixel will not allow you to make or take better pictures. You’ll need bigger sensor and a better lens to take better photographs. As of now, the sensor isn’t getting any bigger, it is just them trying to squeeze more mega pixel into the same size sensor. They can have bigger sensor and definitely a better lens with flash to make it a better working camera. Once the sun goes down or in dim lit area, the camera does not perform well.

    As long as there is stereo bluetooth, I can deal without having a 3.5mm jack. I hope the physical keyboard version, does not ever go away. It’s nice having both virtual and physical keyboard.

  • Ricky

    I agree with only the better camera, and the SDXC.
    But most of these are just silly.
    What I mean, it’s just asking way too much for a phone.

  • http://www.therebeldroid.com Yamil

    Nicely written article Taylor. I personally can’t wait for an Android phone to have video out. If its HDMI even better! (you know how I love HD!). But with those features being said, I think cell phones need better processing power. Computers got now up to 12 processors. Its time for cell phones to step it up, and with faster processors it’ll be easier to implement any other feature.

  • radio_babylon

    easy: a keyboard. that, or i go back to a different os and manufacturer.

  • http://Website(optional) Ron

    Most of these are asking way too much from a phone. All I’m asking for is at least 4gb of flash memory, a 3.5mm jack and better build quality with a metal chassis à la the Omnia.

  • zoetrope

    How about the obvious.

    1) A standard 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s unbelievable that you can’t listen to music with headphones and charge your G1 at the same time. This will probably mean that the next Android phone come from another manufacturer other than HTC, they seem incapable of implementing 3.5mm inputs for phones.

    2.) There has got to be a better battery, and I mean by a factor of 10 or more. EESU won’t be ready for a while, but that doesn’t mean a better battery isn’t a must for the next hardware rev. The standard battery that comes with the G1 is poor at best, and yes I understand that goes hand in hand with software power management as well. Thank god for Power Manager, worth every penny of the $0.99 the dev charges.

    Good article, now do one for the 9 software features you’d like to see for the next OS upgrade to Android

  • http://yellowrex.com William Furr

    More megapixels does not necessarily make a better camera. I’d be happy with a faster shutter speed and a small amount of optical zoom.

  • Mind

    A fingerprintreader on an touchscreen-device that you want to use for micropayment is retarded. Its like writing your password of your higly confidential login on a postit and put it on your monitor.

  • Pingback: Le funzioni che vorrei in un terminale Android - AndroidWorld.it()

  • Roy

    @ Justin and the other guy
    The hanging home screen can be prevented by having less apps on your phone. My friend didn’t get to installing apps on his untill after a couple of weeks and he had not seen the screen hanging once. You should have around 25mb free to prevent this. That is also why google should allow storage on the sdcard (especially apps or cache memory).

    My request would not be any of these features. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I consider them novelties and I could easily add a 10th; a solar panel on the back to charge my phone (see LG phone I think).

    My request would be to improve on the OS. Implement those basic features that we call cupcake and add more computer functionality like docs editing. I am very happy with my G1, but it sucks to not have full bluetooth functionality, video capturing and limited google functionalities (no multi-selection in gmail, no docs etc.)

    • nEx.Software

      I have my apps on the SD Card and have 65 MB free on-board memory. So that wouldn’t be my issue. Of course the real issue is how many apps you have running, which apps you have running, how many services are running and all that fun stuff. Anyway, most of the time, the home screen is snappy for me.

  • zajjar

    SDXC 32GB… for what? Not for applications for sure… In G1 we have only about 100 MB internal memory for our applications and that’s all. We can’t use SD memory cards for this.
    Somebody reported it (“Oct 30, 2008″) as Issue and Google still do nothing about this.
    They changed status from Issue to Enhacement only.
    That’s all.
    Don’t dream about SDXC becaues we will use it only for pictures, music etc.
    Possibility of instaling applications on SD card is the most important “feature” for many G1 users.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, I have been following issue 1151 for quite some time and seen all the discussion. I think I might highlight it again and encourage people to go leave feedback. It might not result in anything, but still nice to move the discussion along.

      • zajjar

        Hi Taylor,
        higlighting this issue could be a good idea. Feedbacks from other people can only help us.

    • Nick

      32GB+ for music, videos, other files, etc… Apps aren’t the only thing you can have on your phone.
      But I totally agree it would be great if you could install apps on your SD card. You can with a rooted phone, though it’s a lot more complex than it should be.

  • JohnM_83

    Well to be honest, I don’t want to store music on my G1, nor do I want play movies on it. Who in their right mind would cope with noise to signal ratio of sound playback on such device… For me G1 should allow to communicate, stay in touch with stocks, allow full web access on the go full stop. Zajjar is completely right about the need for adding a feature which makes a small partition of a sd card into a protected storage for applications, it is a critical feature.

  • Roy


    I just noticed that when you have a set of applications that have a certain constant amount of processes running (Greed, Twidroid, Weatherbug, Gmail, Email, Calendar, Contacts, Market, IM) and then start adding other apps that you’re not using, but take up storage (like 7mb games), that my phone starts freezing up (even though it didn’t before).

    So I think there are two factors:
    1. available storage
    2. running processes

    If you reduce any of these or both, then you should have less problems.

  • http://www.karolbryd.com karol

    TWELVE MEGAPIXELS camera in a phone? Are you crazy? :) I have nice digital SLR camera with lots of really expensive lenses (like Canon 70-200/2.8L IS etc) and I don’t need 12MP sensors because it doesn’t mean that the quality will be higher. A few years ago (well, like 8 years ago) you could buy at most 4-6MP digital SLR and this was a lot even for professionals.

    Keep in mind that 12MP image must be stored somewhere , transferred etc. and 12MP will be like 5-8MB when compressed (lightly) using JPEG. What do you want to do with such large images on a constrained device as smart phone? Even on Intel Core2Duo 2GHz rescaling such image can take 5 seconds…

    So, I think that 4MP for a smart phone is enough, what they have to improve is noise level and overall lens quality which is so low that all those additional megapixels only emphasize it.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah, I know megapixels are not everything when it comes to picture quality. I own the Nikon D40 which is only 6.1MP and it takes amazing photos.

      I’m really excited to see what Sony does with their phones though. We should see Android on the Ericsson line soon I hope.

  • nEx.Software

    I’d like to see a camera on the front for video conferencing or video chatting.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor

      That was actually on my first list I made. I think the best solution is a rotating camera that can be forward or front facing. This allows you to still shoot photos and have the viewfinder option.

  • nEx.Software

    I was thinking a second camera but that would work too.

  • JohnM_83

    Well another good point – why the hell 12MPix camera? It should be a phone, introducing such highly packed CCD or CMOS sensor would only mean that you can’t take a photo while it’s relatively dark – level of noise would kill the picture. I would appreciate a second cam for video calls, but let’s not mistake a phone with a camera – Nikon D700 is a camera of my choice, not a phone!
    And let’s be honest, a good lithium polymer battery would be nice for such a device, capacitors like EEStore are nice for short span charge accumulating, but phone should work at least 4 days…

    • nEx.Software

      I agree, my choice for taking photos is my actual camera, presently a Sony CyberShot H1… Older (only 5MP) but works outstandingly and does everything I need a camera to do. I see a phone camera as a quick “I don’t want to miss this shot” sort of thing. Case and point, I recently took a picture of a book for the sheer purpose of showing one of my old band-mates the title, which was the same as one of our songs. I have no expectation of high quality photos from a phone.

  • Pingback: Androidiani: 8 Cose che vorrei nel prossimo cellulare Android | android, batteria, nvidia, tegra, toshiba()

  • http://www.gabrielzorrilla.com Gabriel

    MPs do not equal better image quality! The optics, shutter (mechanial or not) and sensors are those that build quality.

  • sam

    nvidia tegra is already on android or soon will be

  • Gammax

    bigger screen would be nice

  • Ryan C

    this is funny i look back at this now on August 4th and some features they have done and some they have even done better! “a 4.1 inch screen” we now have currently as largest (EVO and Droid X) @ 4.3 inches. Plus the HDMI out such as on the EVO and the Droid X. It’s funny tho, that a front facing camera didnt make it to the list..

  • http://Website Syed

    Very. Nice

  • Pingback: 7 reasons why I’m switching to AT&T and buying the Motorola Atrix 4G – Android and Me()

  • Pingback: 6 причин купить Motorola Atrix 4G | OOphone.ru()

  • http://Website DutchDaun

    As long as the FM transmitter is missing on Android i will stick with my Nokia. I use that function a lot, in the car, on party’s etc. Everywhere were there is a Fm radio you can listen to your own music. Furthermore a 2-3 MP camera is ok for a phone, makes’ the device snappier and more light sensitive, as long as the optics, electronics and autofocus are of good quality. I used to have a 2 MP FUJI 2800 camera and pictures taken with that camera can still compete with my Panasonic TZ10, i even think there better because there more “honest”. On the Panasonic you see the electronics do tricks with the image, somehow it looks less natural.