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Google explains why it dropped the headphone jack from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and it’s basically all for the sake of an edge-to-edge display. ( Google )
Of late, one of the biggest current smartphone trends is all about getting rid of bezels, but the thing is, manufacturers have also set their sights on the 3.5mm headphone jack.
As evidence to that, Google has also dropped the audio port from the new Pixel 2, following the path that Apple arguably paved with the iPhone 7.
Why Doesn’t The Pixel 2 Have A Headphone Jack?
According to Google’s vice president and general manager for phones Mario Queiroz, the headphone jack wasn’t included in the Pixel 2 simply to minimize bezels for an edge-to-edge display. Unlike Apple, it’s not exactly a move out of “courage.”
“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future. We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market,” Queiroz told TechCrunch.
That said, under the circumstances, Google had to bring a “solution” to the table, and as such, it introduced the new Pixel Buds, which is reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods launching to complement the iPhone 7.
It should be noted that the Pixel Buds may have the edge in the competition between it and the AirPods, thanks to its capability of translating conversations in real time.
Interestingly enough, the so-called war against bezels is also what pushed Google to equip the Pixel 2 XL with P-OLED or plastic OLED.
Why Did Apple Ditch The Headphone Jack Again?
As a refresher, Apple had similar reasons for dropping the headphone jack. Back in September 2016, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple Dan Riccio told BuzzFeed that the Cupertino brand had to remove the audio port from the equation because it was holding them back from putting more things they wanted into the iPhone.
“It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around,” Riccio said, later stating that the move also helped Apple meet an IP67 water and dust resistance for the iPhone 7.
It’s worth mentioning that a new Belkin dongle now lets iPhone users listen to music and charge their devices at the same time, which offers more than what other iPhone accessories such as the Uncourage can.
Basically, manufacturers are ditching the headphone jack to make more room to cram more innovative technologies into their phones.
To boil things down, the future of smartphones seems like it won’t have bezels or headphone jacks but with Bluetooth audio peripherals and edge-to-edge displays.
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