Hey, I bet you’re so used to a smartphone
in your hand that you’ve never even asked yourself a question: why in the world is it
rectangular? Why not square or round, for example? Or why, for that matter, you can’t
use it when in gloves? Yeah that bugs me. Well, let’s find out, shall we?! Ever tried using your phone on a sunny day?
Yeah, even turning the screen brightness up to the max isn’t gonna work. Why can’t
they do something about it? LCD screens, in fact, sacrifice visibility for better color
reproduction. There are screens that show a clear picture even in direct sunlight, but
the color quality in those is much worse. They are mostly used in GPS navigators and
watches because you need to see the objects on them, while phone manufacturers keep in
mind that you could watch movies and play games on their products. Try doing that under
the glaring sun, though. It’s not recommended to use your smartphone
while it’s charging, but for some reason it’s the opposite for laptops. That reason
is heat generation: smartphones are small, so all the heat they accumulate goes to the
battery, damaging it over time. While charging, your phone heats up, so using it might shorten
its life. In laptops, the battery is well isolated from the rest of the parts, and the
heat goes around it. And keeping the charge of the battery up prolongs its service time,
so feel free to plug it in and work all you like.
Isn’t it a bit unfair that electric cars can be fully charged within an hour, but a
much smaller smartphone battery needs at least the same time or even more? Electric cars
have large batteries with separate cooling systems that don’t allow them to overheat
while charging. Smartphones will need equally good cooling not to melt down if charged too
fast. And that adds a lot of extra weight. And on the topic of charging…
If you charge your smartphone in the cold, you may notice it goes up slower than usual.
This happens because charging involves chemical reactions. They need a certain range of temperatures
for optimal work, so if it’s too cold or too hot, your phone will charge more slowly.
Its overall performance will be reduced too, so better keep it in neutral conditions.
You probably know that blue light from screens of smartphones and computers can mess with
your sleep. In modern gadgets, though, there’s an option called “eye-saver mode” or “eye
comfort.” It cuts off part of the blue light, making the screen yellowish, but letting your
eyes and brain rest. It’s especially useful if you work with documents, since you don’t
need a full color palette. It’s best to turn it off only to watch videos or play games
to enjoy the juicy picture, and keep it turned on the rest of the time.
The expression “
like nothing else. Even when there are other color options, black is almost always one
of them. The reason boils down to black being a universal color that fits any surroundings.
You might sit in an orange-toned room, dressed in green and blue, but your black smartphone
or black TV will still look okay. Same goes for white and grey — all these three colors
go well with any other. Now look at an average smartphone and an equally
average tablet PC. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Done? okay. The latter has a bigger size and
better computing power, but it’s still cheaper than the smartphone we have here. That’s
because the phone has a radio chip and the tablet does not. Radio chip is probably the
most complex part of a smartphone: it has to be able to work with dozens of different
frequencies across the globe and have a huge range for you to easily talk to anyone in
the world. Tablets, on the other hand, don’t need a radio chip — they have a Wi-Fi one
that works with just two standard global frequency ranges and covers a few hundred feet. Hence
the difference in cost. In winter, it’s annoying that you have to
take off your gloves first and only then answer if someone’s calling you. Or you can use
your nose instead. The screen reacts to conductive materials, and only if they’re a little
squishy — they can activate several sensors at once this way. Gloves don’t conduct electricity,
so you either need to use your bare fingers or buy yourself a pair of gloves with special
fingertips. They’re tipped with some rubber and conductive powder to imitate fingers.
When something’s wrong with your device and you contact tech support, the first question
they’d ask is “Did you try turning it off and back on?” Seems weird, but it actually
works. Whatever process is running on your gadget, it leaves a trace even when you close
it. The more processes you run and then close, the more such traces are left in the memory
of your device. And at some point, it might stop working properly. Rebooting your device
helps clear all the unneeded residue and optimize its work. Better yet, reboot once a week to
avoid this trouble altogether. Now take a good look at your smartphone. It
might never have occurred to you, but its rectangular shape is no accident. And it’s
actually what you want it to be. Rectangle is the most convenient shape for a screen.
It has an orientation, so you can flip your phone all you want and it will adapt. Imagine
that with, say, a round-shaped display — you’d have to always turn it in your hands until
the top is where it belongs. Ugh. Next, it fits into your pocket nice and cozy: the pocket
is deeper than it is wide, so a phone longer than it is broad will sit there perfectly.
A square or circular phone will be more of an inconvenience. Then again, a rectangle
is much easier to handle. It fits in your palm, and it feels better than a circle or
a square. And finally, we’re used to having rectangular things all around us: pictures,
sheets of paper, books, photographs. Having round-shaped screens would’ve been just…
weird. Still, there have been attempts to create circular and square smartphones, but
as you can guess, they didn’t get on. Ever tried taking a photo of that striking
moon on your smartphone? If you have, you know what disappointment is. Yes, that little
blurry whitish spot is the same beautiful celestial body you see in the night sky. Your
smartphone camera is just not light-sensitive enough to capture it in its full glory. Manufacturers
trade extra-high quality of photographs for easiness of use, given that the average smartphone
user doesn’t even need professional pictures. So if you want a breathtaking shot of the
starry skies, better get yourself a DSLR camera with a special lens.
Most smartphones now have both rear and front-facing cameras, but they differ in picture quality
a lot. This is because a higher quality camera requires more space inside the phone, and
manufacturers choose to install a smaller and cheaper camera in the front of their devices
to save that space. Instead, they up the performance of the smartphone itself, which is a good
trade-off, if you ask me. After all, the front camera is mostly used for selfies, and it’s
not like you’re gonna print them on a poster. When you turn your phone or computer off and
then on again, the booting process can seem awfully slow. Why can’t it just start up
immediately, right? Well, when you switch off your device, it dumps everything from
its short-term memory. Think of it as hitting your gadget hard on the head: it forgets everything
you did with it and has to remember it again upon boot-up. So it takes time for the device
to wake up and start functioning at its normal speed.
Many modern smartphones have had their headphone jacks removed. There are two reasons for this:
first, without a 3.5 mm jack at the top or bottom of the phone, you can make the device
itself much thinner because it’s now by far the thickest part of any phone. And second,
water resistance is trending today, and a headphone jack is a gaping hole in the body
of a smartphone. Naturally, water can get in there easily, so getting rid of the jack
allows for making the phone waterproof. Taking photos in the dark with a flash, you
must’ve noticed your smartphone flashes several times before making the actual shot.
Remember those horrid red eyes in old photographs made on film or digital cameras? That happened
exactly because the camera flashed only once. In the dark, the pupils of your eyes become
larger, trying to catch more light to see better. And when they reflect the camera’s
flash, the red-eye effect appears. With smartphones, the first short flash makes the pupils contract
from bright light, and only then the device takes a shot — and you don’t resemble
a horror movie creature anymore. At least your eyes don’t. Hey I’m kidding. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
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