THIS YEAR there's only one thing on The INQUIRER teams' letter to Santa, and that is the ideal smartphone.
While some might argue against this, we don't think the perfect smartphone has yet been made. However, we do think it is possible - taking the screen from a certain Apple-branded smartphone, the processor from Samsung's latest phablet, the camera from Nokia's mammoth Pureview 808 and some other flourishes here and there. So, here goes.
Design and build
Apple's often cited design patent on a rectangle with rounded corners and its litigation against competitors claiming that their devices look similar to the Iphone might have become tiresome, but the firm is correct on a wider point. Smartphone makers, whether it is Samsung, Motorola, HTC or LG, are selling rectangular slabs of plastic with a glass touchscreen on the front.
All smartphone makers have seemingly lost the will to think outside the rectangle or even add the vaguest design flourish. Even Apple is following the design by photocopier method, with very little change from the Iphone 4 to the Iphone 5 and not even a hint of a go-faster stripe.
While smartphone makers are at it, perhaps they should look at the materials being used to make these slabs of nondescript disposable technology. It would be nice to hold a smartphone that doesn't feel like it was made from plastic that was recycled from disposable cutlery.
HTC tried this with the Legend, a middle of the road smartphone in terms of specifications but distinctly upper class when it came to materials, but it was never updated. Even Nokia's much vaunted design is merely a slab of plastic that the company terms 'polycarbonate' to try to impress people. Since some smartphones cost more than many laptops, it would be nice for firms to put some effort into designing them well and use materials that are befitting the price tag that comes attached. You'd better get pulling some strings, Santa.
There's only one screen that we want on our ideal smartphone, and that's the 4in Retina display found on Apple's Iphone 5. We don't care how you get hold of it, Santa, but given that this display remains unrivaled on the smartphone market, we want it.
It's got some pretty fierce competition from the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Google Nexus 4, but these are just not good enough. The Iphone 5's screen may be small in comparison at 4in, but it manages to squeeze in an impressive 640x1136 resolution at 316ppi (pixels per inch). It comes covered with Corning's Gorilla Glass too, so don't worry about it picking up scratches on your travels, Santa.
Now, Mr Claus, we're going to be a little bit complicated here but if anyone can meet our demands it's you, as for us the perfect operating system doesn't actually exist yet, but an amalgamation of those already in existence could make us happy.
First, it will have the IOS system of notifications for websites like Twitter or Facebook that alert you to new messages or comments so you're always up to speed with your friends. Second, it will have the text input system from Windows Phone, which is the fastest and most intuitive out there, along with the live-tile interface system.
But we'd also want it to have the Google Now service on Android and feature the same breadth of apps on the Google Play store. Then from Blackberry we want, er... no, that's it actually.
The Santa OS, that's got a nice ring to it. Although you'll probably get sued to the North Pole and back for stealing all their best features.