The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

The smartphone as a product of the unnatural love of marketers and engineers. Or 'How long ?!' the manufacturer will mock the user?

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

Every year, smartphone manufacturers find it increasingly difficult to surprise their customers. In their attempts to come up with something new, they often go beyond reason, inventing problems in order to heroically solve them and then call it 'innovation'. Innovation sells better than just another good new smartphone. Sorting out this sea of ​​marketing lies is simply a matter of walking through the most important parts of a smartphone and discussing 'innovation'. How innovative is innovation and is it needed?


The megapixel race in cameras ended at least a year ago. It ended with the fact that the consumers (you and me) finally realized that the quality of the picture does not directly depend on its size. Much more important was the accurate and fast autofocus, correct color reproduction and the absence of overheating during prolonged use of the camera. It would seem that it's time to start fighting for quality, since megapixels no longer sell devices. But it was not there! Ruthless marketing and unclean engineers have come up with dual cameras. Friends, does anyone have any doubts that this is just a new useless enticement? Let's leave aside inexpensive smartphones with black and white satellite cameras and look at the flagships. Where is the best shot?

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

And nowhere. Why? Because 99.99% of users do not view photos under a magnifying glass. The second rear camera does not give the user absolutely any advantages, but creates a wow effect and helps sales. “With two cameras, the smartphone will definitely shoot well” – the buyer thinks and buys.

2.5D glass

Really useful innovation, if not for one 'but'. This 'but' is that the vast majority of smartphones are made in China from inexpensive components. A typical example of carelessness, and somewhere even dementia, was seen in the Ginzzu RS8501, which was recently in my hands. The glass covering the screen does not merge with the body, is rounded at the edge, and forms a 'groove' along its entire perimeter. Why couldn't the glass be made flush with the body? It is absolutely incomprehensible. At what moment did the designer's hand tremble?

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

Why is it done this way? To write a 2.5D screen on the box? Let's leave aside the fact that glass is inexpensive and small scratches will appear on it very quickly, as well as the fact that it will not work nicely to glue a protective film on such a screen. And let's face the facts – this is absolutely a marketing step, instead of being positive it causes rejection. But the smartphone has already been sold, which means that the main goal has been achieved.

Invisible SIM card slots

It all started last week. A one-year-old Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime smartphone fell into my hands, which needed to be unlocked and reflash. The first step in such cases is to remove the SIM card and memory card. After removing the cover and removing them, the smartphone was turned on again. Imagine my surprise when, after turning on, the reception of the cellular signal was still displayed! I took apart my smartphone again and started looking for a second SIM card tray. He was next to the first, but for some reason he was not noticed the first time.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

Nokia 2 will delight the user with SD and SIM 2 signatures. Where is SIM 1? It is there, but it does not strike the eye at all.

On the black plastic underneath the battery in the J2 Prime, there is an embossed diagram showing what is located and where, but it is not visible at all.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

'Now you are defeated!' – I thought and turned on the smartphone again. And I was slightly taken aback when the cellular signal reception icon appeared on the top line of notifications. All sorts of bad thoughts got into my head that this phone is special, that this is the one of a kind Samsung with three SIM cards on board.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

Or that this particular smartphone is experimental, with an additional eSIM chip on board. Emotional balance came after the recollection that any smartphone can cling to any cell tower without a SIM card to make emergency calls, for example, in the Ministry of Emergencies. In any case, it is not at all necessary to display information about this. After five minutes of looking inside the smartphone in search of a hidden SIM tray, the attitude towards the manufacturer falls so much that such concern for the user is seen as an additional and especially cynical mockery. It may seem to some that this is nit-picking, but it is not. It is these little things that make up our attitude to the product and the brand. Why not make the SIM card slots a bright orange backing ?!

Smartphone locking systems that lock nothing

Using a fingerprint sensor, a security graphic, a digital code or a retinal image, it will not work to lock the smartphone tightly. And even in the case of the most secure smartphone – iPhone X, there are no guarantees. We will not rassusolate for a long time, just accept it as a fact, such locks are triggered only against your colleagues at work, children and random fellow travelers. Masters or technicians of special government services will not stop all these cheap tricks, they will certainly merge all information from your smartphone. Hacking methods are very different, from the most obvious things (poke method) to hacking through Bluetooth. Very nice video of hacking Google Pixel:

All these sensors of eyes, paws and tails have nothing to do with safety, as such, alas. The only purpose of such 'blocking' methods, which has the right to life, is additional authentication for making various payments and other banking operations. Real security, if it exists, is only as long as the smartphone is in your hands and all communication modules are turned off. All other statements are marketers' fairy tales for the non-tech-savvy public. And the goal is still the same – to get as many crispy bills as possible from the user's pocket.

The smartphone has no hole for the strap

It would seem such a trifle! But how much she is missing. In our country (and in others too) one or two bicycles are in almost every family. While riding, you can put your smartphone in your pocket and fasten it with a button. But there are two points here. The first one is that the button on the pocket will undoubtedly unfasten from shaking, and the smartphone will surely fly out of it like a bird.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

But, since he is not a bird, he will surely fall on the asphalt and break. The second point is that if you get a call during skiing, and you don't guess to stop, then no one guarantees that there will be no stone on the road. A stone that was just waiting to meet the wheel of a bicycle, shake the entire structure (including the cyclist), and knock the smartphone out of hand.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

Of course, this applies not only to cyclists, but in general to all lovers of more or less active recreation. This claim will be understood by fishermen who drowned the phone during a conversation and a pike attacking a spoon. It will be understood by skaters, scooter owners, kayakers, kayakers, climbers, and runners. They all need only one thing – a small neat hole in their smartphone, into which you can insert a lace and hang it all around your neck. Instead, the ruthless marketer offers to buy a rugged case for about 1/10 the cost of a smartphone. Truly, no one has ever sold the hole so dearly!

Smarter smartphones

Over the past two years, AI elements in smartphones have become a new trend. Previously, megapixels and parrots were sold in benchmarks, but now it does not work. The manufacturer needed a powerful new sales driver. Something for which the buyer is willing to pay even more than before. Such a phenomenon was allegedly AI in a smartphone. What do modern manufacturers present as artificial intelligence? To answer this question, you need to go a little deeper into the history and divide the so-called AI into parts.

Speech recognition

Speech recognition programs have been around for a long time. So long ago that now it's even hard to remember, in the days of IBM 286 or 386? Such an input system could be found, for example, in the 2001 Ericsson T39m phone.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

And even if it was just a voice dialer, it is technically no different from the modern 'Google Ok' and other Siri. It was only a matter of time to raise the computing power of the mobile processor so that recognition would take place quickly and in different languages ​​(not just English).

Recognition of objects in any picture or video

The story is almost the same as with speech recognition. The first programs for identifying objects appeared a long time ago. Even the old ZX Spectrum (Sinclair) had a program that could determine the type of geometric shape drawn by the user using lines. Alas, I don't remember the name. Again, before practical use, only the computing power of a mobile processor and an extensive database with which the application must check was lacked.

The obscurantism of marketers and the buzz of engineers

The photo above shows how the world would see a brainless cyborg (When, instead of intelligence, the human brain is controlled by a program. All information input systems are human), such as Cyberdyne Systems 101 (800th episode) from the movie 'The Terminator'. Japanese scientists have built a neural network that makes a 'cast' of the signals from the human brain at the time when he looks at an object. And translates them into a graphic image of the object. The lower right picture is especially pleasing (all the saucers in the sky are not real. Real UFOs are different ٩ (̾ ● ̮̮̃̾ • ̃̾) ۶). And in dynamics, the process of object identification looks like this:

Is this process a sign of intelligence? Unfortunately no.

All the rest

Everything else includes little things. For example, 'smart' electricity consumption when using a smartphone. Or modified software for photography. As well as building logical bridges between various systems for entering information and launching specific functions in applications. That is, we are dealing with the licking of old engineering wounds received by devices at birth, and the manufacturer did not get his hands on fixing them.

So what is artificial intelligence in today's smartphone?

Under the guise of artificial intelligence, smartphone manufacturers are selling us old ideas that have finally been able to work normally. With increased processing power and bug fixes. Is the 'AI' lettering on the box of the smartphone proof that artificial intelligence lives in the smartphone? No. It just says that this smartphone in general will work a little better than its predecessor. Do marketers cheat the user? Yes! As always.


Obviously, when choosing a new smartphone, you should not pay attention to the advantages invented by marketers. Friends, when you buy yourself a new smartphone and find insulting flaws of engineers (not marriage) in it, how do you react? Are you trying to forget about them and live in peace, or do you return the goods right there? What kind of offensive design misunderstandings have you noticed in your mobile friend?

Rate article
About smartphones.
Add a comment