Sometimes, when the soma-like effects of mind-numbing reality TV and president-elect Twitter accounts have worn off, our minds flicker back to darker, even more haunting times.
Times where you’d spend an eternity traversing a minefield of excruciatingly slow WAP sites in the hopes of downloading a free polyphonic ringtone.
It was awful. But even then, it still wasn’t quite as soul-destroying as having to stick with the proprietary trash-tier headphones that came with your phone.
The day headphone jacks crept into mobile phones, we fully admit we wept tears of non-proprietary joy.
Fast forward to today though, and the world appears to be going backwards. The headphone jack – that glorious 3.5mm friend who has, for years, blessed our ears with a multitude of custom compilations – is dying.
We’ve seen the likes of Apple, Lenovo and HTC ditch our circular little friend for more modern ports and wireless options. But what about the year ahead? Here are the phone makers who are likely to continue the trend, and the ones who’ll probably keep supporting your trusty pair of old cans…
APPLE IPHONE 7S/7S PLUS
Trust us – for better or for worse, we can’t see Apple flip flopping on its “courageous” decision to move forward and ditch the headphone jack.
The jeering from those in the Anti Apple camp alone is as good a reason as any for the tech giant to stick to its guns, and with Lightning EarPods and an adaptor included in every box, it looks like there’s no going back.
If the rumours are true, the next iPhone could be ditching the physical Home button altogether too, but that’s a completely different story…
SAMSUNG GALAXY S8/S8 EDGE
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is generally regarded as one of the best smartphones ever made, and as long as the upcoming Galaxy S8 doesn’t inherit the Note 7’s fiery attitude, it should make quite the impact when it’s announced.
Part of that impact will be negative though, if certain rumours prove to be true.
SamMobile – a site which has accurately received pre-launch information in the past – reports that Samsung too, will be ditching the headphone jack in its next flagship, in favour of a a sole USB-C port.
USB-C, unlike Lightning at least, will be more widespread, so if you do invest in a pair of USB-C cans, they should work with other handsets, laptops, and even the new MacBook Pro.
The handset comes with HTC’s own USB-C headphones, which draw power from the USB-C port to ‘scan’ your ears, adjusting and tweaking the sound balance accordingly.
If HTC has gone down this route for one of its mid-range handsets, then we expect the HTC 11 to arrive sans headphone jack as well, along with an improved pair of bundled USB-C headphones.
LENOVO MOTO Z2
The incredibly thin current-gent Moto Z turned heads at its launch thanks to its modular design, and the fact that it was one of the first handsets ever to ditch the headphone jack, in favour of a USB-C port.
If Lenovo wants to keep that ridiculously thin profile in the second generation Z handset, then we can’t see it returning to the ol’ fat headphone jack.
This one’s pretty easy. OnePlus chief Carl Pei tweeted asking fans if they liked headphone jacks.
The response at the time of writing? After 8047 votes, 88% voted in favour, with 12 voting against.
It doesn’t take a PR genius to work out that removing the headphone jack (and therefore going against the majority of OnePlus’ passionate, vocal userbase) would be a pretty ill-advised move on OnePlus’ part, so if the OnePlus 4 lands without a headphone port, we’ll be massively surprised.
LG remains the last bastion for the hardcore Android users and media hoarders. It’s the only major manufacturer which still offers a removable battery and microSD slot, both of which are found in the current G5 flagship.
While the latest tweets from Android Police‘s David Ruddock suggest that the G5 will no longer have a removable battery, he does state that the “headphone jack is a go”. This isn’t official confirmation of course, but it’s certainly a promising sign.
GOOGLE PIXEL 2
Google wasn’t exactly subtle in its Pixel smartphone launch ad campaign, touting the “satisfyingly not new’ 3.5mm headphone jack as a feature in a direct jab at Apple’s decision to axe the jack from the iPhone 7.
To ditch the jack in the Pixel’s second iteration will now look foolish, and will no doubt annoy diehard Android fans who take these sort of things very seriously.
With plenty of Reddit users vocally stating that they’ve moved over from the iPhone 7 to the Pixel for the headphone jack alone, we can’t see Google suddenly decide to alienate support from so many people, with no obvious compelling reason.