How the iPhone became the most boring phone you can buy in 2023

It says a lot about a phone when the most talked about next iteration is the new volume buttons. That’s the Apple iPhone of 2023. It doesn’t fold, it doesn’t have a periscope zoom lens, it doesn’t charge fast, the design has been the same for years, it’s not comfortable to hold, and its cameras. is no longer the best – something that was proven most recently in our Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro camera tests.

In the past few years, iPhones have not seen any kind of major innovation. Dynamic Island had the potential to be the innovation we were hoping for, but that didn’t materialize. When you add it all up, it makes the iPhone the most boring phone you can buy in 2023. Here’s why.

The iPhone has a folding problem

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Samsung has been in the foldable segment for four years now. In addition, many Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi produce foldable designs that are better than Samsung. Heck, even Honor and Tecno have breached the foldable niche with the Honor Magic Vs and Tecno Phantom V Fold.

Apple is playing it safe at this point by ignoring the folding market. The company has all the money in the world for R&D to develop a foldable iPhone. Apple fans, please don’t tell me, “Apple will release it when it’s ready” or “Apple never releases a half-baked product.”

The argument that Apple releases products when they are mature is … well, false. Just one look at the buggy mess that was iOS 16 at launch is quick proof of that. Also, foldables have been on the market for four years now, which is enough time for a feature to mature, in my opinion.

Apple not releasing a foldable iPhone for the next couple of years is simply riding the iPhone’s success in delivering average products until it comes out with a big leap. We may already have the Galaxy Z Fold 7 or so by the time the first foldable iPhone is released.

The argument that Apple releases products when they are mature is … well, false.

And if Apple intends to stick with the slab phone design, it needs to come up with something better. The switch to flat edges on the iPhone 12 is one of the most non-ergonomic design decisions from Apple in the last few years. And surprisingly, the company has stuck with the same design ever since.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, OnePlus 11, and Xiaomi 13 Pro are more comfortable to hold, thanks to the curves on the sides. I use the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro Max as my primary devices, and all of them are uncomfortable to hold. For a company that only aims to make “regular” smartphones, its current design direction leaves a lot to be desired.

Apple’s camera crown has been stolen

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is surrounded by other flagship phones.
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Most people in the US don’t realize that the iPhone camera isn’t the best. It lags behind the Vivo X90 Pro in night mode. The use of the telephoto lens is limited compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra with 10x optical zoom. The natural depth of the Xiaomi 13 Pro has no competition, thanks to its 1-inch sensor. Both Oppo and OnePlus have a fun XPan mode to discover multiple perspectives with multiple shots. Xiaomi and Realme phones have many options with high exposure and star trails.

In contrast, an iPhone does not have any standout camera features. There is a 48MP camera with ProRAW, which is amazing for someone who has time to play with details in Lightroom but not so much for an average user. This is the most boring set of cameras you can carry.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra also significantly reduces the iPhone’s video lead with its super steady mode. Any Chinese-made or Galaxy phone focuses faster in portrait mode than the iPhone. Does any of this matter when iPhone sales are at an all-time high? Probably not. But for those of us who have access to products outside of Apple, we see how far behind the company is today on the camera front.

No fast charging in 2023 is a big miss

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is surrounded by flagship phones.
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I stick with iPhones because the Pro Max series used to be the longest-lasting smartphone on a single charge; the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the gold standard for battery life. But that will not be the case in 2023.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra lasts just as long – if not longer – as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Combine that with the fact that you’re stuck with slow iPhone charging standards, and the battery/charging situation isn’t the best. We have smartphones that charge in under an hour or offer 50% battery life in 15 minutes. And that’s not even considering the Realme GT 3’s bonkers 240W fast charging that delivers a 0% to 100% charge in less than 10 minutes.

There is a misconception that fast charging will damage the battery life in the long run. But I’ve been using the 2019 OnePlus 7T (with 30W charging, which was considered fast back then) for three years, and had no problems with battery life until I updated the OS. Likewise the OnePlus 8T with 65W fast charging; Still going on. Saying that Apple doesn’t provide fast charging above 27W for safety reasons is a lame excuse when the industry has clearly figured out a way for it.

Apple, please make the iPhone exciting again

iPhone 14 Pro Max in the middle with Galaxy S23 Ultra on the left and Honor Magic 5 Pro on the right.
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The latest iPhones are still the best smartphones in 2023. The shutter speed of the camera is top-notch, and it processes the image quickly, while the competition takes several minutes to capture the details of processing. I love the fact that I can quickly and easily edit photos in Lightroom with no lag.

But that’s about it. I can’t use multi-window on iOS, and in daily use, the Galaxy S23 Ultra feels more responsive. The OnePlus 11 is more comfortable to hold, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro has a better primary camera sensor.

There is no unique feature of an iPhone. It’s an average phone or even unusual in some areas, making it the most boring phone you can buy in 2023. I hope we get some exciting new features on the iPhone 15 this year, but if the rumors are any indication, we are in for a disappointment.

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