The headphone jack is an endangered species. Apple got rid of it when they released the iPhone 7, Google laughed at them, and then Google went and got rid of it with their second generation Pixel phones, the Pixel 2.
I’m certainly not laughing, as the headphone jack prepares for extinction. If you just want a great phone with a headphone jack, here’s what to look at.
With headphone manufacturers still, rightly, equipping their new wired units with 3.5mm jacks, you might fall in to a dongle-related hell when purchasing a new phone, just to realise that the headphone jack is kaput. Of course, wireless headphones are an option, too, but if you've already got a pair of cans that you love and you're looking for a new phone that can support them, consider the below:
The other major smartphone manufacturer is sticking with the headphone jack, at least for this generation of phones, with both the fantastic Note 8 and the Galaxy S8 series containing the audio port. We’ve gone with recommending the Note 8 here, because it’s absolutely stacked with power and contains the latest in smartphone tech such as a fantastic camera, extensive S Pen functionality and ‘Live Message’ but the S8 and S8+ are just as worthy of your time. All of Samsung’s “8”series sport eye-catching bezel-less designs and are at the forefront of Android devices on the market.
The one huge downside with the Note 8 is its near $1500 price tag (and its middling battery life), but if you’re looking to grab it slightly cheaper than that, we’re able to help.
The OnePlus 5 – which looks like an iPhone but without the wallet-crumbling price tag – is a huge value buy. The internals are impressive, with 64GB storage space and 6GB RAM for the base model, and its feature set is exciting enough for those who are happy to tread outside of the Apple-Samsung sphere. It doesn’t quite have the same visual fidelity or incredible display as iPhones or Galaxys, sure, and its camera is just good, not great, but if you’re looking at a mid range price point and you need a headphone jack?
This is your phone.
The G6 surprised me a bit – mainly because of the disappointment that came before it – and what the G6 does well, it does well and that’s enough. The 18:9 aspect ratio is an unusual design choice that often leaves any 16:9 content looking unusual, though its bezel-less display is beautiful to look at when all the space is being fully utilised. It comes with a more-than-capable rear dual camera but there’s not a lot else tucked away that makes this a standout smartphone. That’s okay too, because it doesn’t feel like a novelty – an upgrade for upgrade’s sake – it just exists as a smartphone (with a headphone jack), that does its job.
Like a butler that fits in your pocket.
The 5.5-inch P10 Plus is a premium smartphone with a really impressive camera that offers up one of the best Android-based experiences you’ll come across. Like the OnePlus 5, it comes with a huge 6GB RAM, but with double the internal storage at 128GB. It’s another smartphone that has the ultimate goal of disrupting the Big Two (and Google) with an excellent price point for premium features. The dual-rear camera is co-branded with Leica and the amount of manipulation that you can perform in-camera-app is impressive.
Design-wise, there's a lot of bezel to (try and) love here but the phone still looks classy, rather than wrenched from the dark ages of smartphones. It is a little prone to fingerprints and you can mess up the finish if you're not careful, but there's definitely a lot to like about the P10 Plus if you're buying based on 3.5mm jacks.
We're waiting to see what Huawei do with the Mate 10, too.
A rectangular jack-of-all-trades with a real early-smartphone crudity about its design, the XZ Premium is a powerhouse phone that's chief selling point is an incredible 4K HDR display. It's just a pity there isn't that much content for 4K HDR that you'll necessarily be viewing on your phone.
It also does incredible slow motion videos in 720p at 960fps, which sets it apart from the rest. Whether that appeals to you or not is a personal choice, but for everyday use, the XZ Premium has enough power under the hood and a large enough battery to be classed as a winner.
Is a headphone jack a deal breaker for you or are you ready to see it go the way of the dinosaurs? Let us know in the comments!