Sony Removed The Headphone Jack Because “Everyone Was Doing it”
Sony launched the Sony Xperia Xz2 and Xz2 Compact at MWC 2018. Starting with these smartphones, the company has changed a lot of things on its flagship smartphone series. The devices no longer look like a slab of metal or glass, as the devices flaunt a new Ambient Flow design. In fact, these are the first batch Sony smartphones to feature 18:9 aspect ratio display. However, when everything was going well with these smartphones, the brand ironically decided to ditch the 3.5 mm headphone.
This is part of the shift to our new Ambient Flow design language. In order to create the beautiful seamless design, our designers needed to remove the headphone jack. Plus, we’re aware of the major market trend toward wireless headphones over wired headphones.
Sony is trying to convince us that the removal of headphone jack has helped them to achieve this form factor. On the contrary, the Sony Xperia Xz2 is one of the thickest flagship smartphones that has been launched in 2018. Sony’s “ambient flow” design has taken a bit of inspiration from the HTC U11 and U11+. However, instead of a glossy finish, Sony has opted for matt finish.
The trend of removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack started with the Apple iPhone 7. The company moved one step closer to a completely port-less iPhone and has continued to exclude the headphone jack ever since. However, at the time of the launch, the decision was met with a collective disdain. In fact, Google mocked Apple during the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL. However, that soon changed and Google even removed the headphone jack from its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Over the past year and a half, companies like HTC, Xioami, and Nokia have started shipping their flagship smartphones without a 3.5 mm headphone jack. In fact, OnePlus, Samsung and LG seem to be the only major smartphone makers still interested in keeping the headphone jack relevant.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great example of a flagship smartphone design with a headphone jack. The smartphone comes with a slim form factor. OnePlus’s co-founder Card Pie recently did a poll on Twitter regarding the requirement of the headphone jack. As usual, the crowd went with the first option with almost 88 percent of them saying yes. This could be a hint that the OnePlus 6 will indeed retain the headphone jack.
Do you like headphone jacks? ? (2018 edition)
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) March 14, 2018
It is fair to say that industry trends exist for a reason. While Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack was panned at first, many smartphone makers have come around the idea since then. Sony, even though late to the party, has also jumped aboard the idea that wireless is the future. Sony itself makes some of the best wireless headphones on the market right now. So, it does make sense for the company to push consumers toward wireless headphones.