Phone customization: Do we want it? Do we need it?

The-Friday-Debate aa

Evan Forester

This week, we’re debating the merits and drawbacks of phone customization, spurred by Motorola’s teasing of the upcoming Moto X. The Google subsidiary promised that the Moto X will be the first phone we’ll be able to design ourselves, though a leak revealed that the “designing” is just picking the colors and a custom engraving.

Customization is what makes Android so powerful, so we wondered what would happen if hardware would be just as open as Android software is.

Join us for the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!

Robert Triggs

I’m not totally sold on the idea that we really need detailed phone customization, after all, there are so many handsets already available to choose from.

Now case customization is actually an idea that I can back. Having the choice between different covers, waterproofing, additional scratch protection, etc. Those are all relatively easy to implement and will let consumers pick features which fit their lifestyles.

But there are limiting factors when it comes to implementing anything beyond the aesthetic level. Most SoCs aren’t compatible with different sockets for a start, so you’re going to be limited when it comes to hardware choices anyway. Then what about different bezels for screen sizes, or stocking different chips for various memory capacities? It’s just totally impractical to have intricate customization of a smartphone in the same way that you do a PC, not to mention that the build time and cost would be horrendous.

I like the idea behind the Sony XTRUD concept, as a guy who builds his own PCs, but I’m unsure whether it can be support properly enough to give people what they want. Just look at how many resources are poured into projects like CyanogenMod so that Android can run on various hardware configurations. I just don’t see any company stumping up that much of a time and monetary investment to support something which will most likely be a niche product anyway.

The Moto X seems to be the sweet spot in my opinion. It has enough customisation options to personalise your handset without the costs and technical issues associated with having a huge range of hardware configurations to satisfy.

Joshua Vergara

I actually think customization would bring back some fun that has been missing in the smartphone market. In my previous video giving current thoughts on the Galaxy S4, I made the case that because the phone doesn’t really attract eyes like I feel it should, the device itself started to feel old. That’s because conceptually and in design, it really is. Sticking to the same general idea as the Galaxy S3 wasn’t a mistake, but it is a bit of a bummer after some time.

Now, imagine if at the time of buying your new phone, you were presented with options. I’m talking the same level of customization that …read more

Via: Android Authority

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