When it comes to your smartphone today, there are some features you would always expect to find, such as volume controls, speaker grilles and a headphone jack. But over the past couple of years, the headphone jack is slowly being removed from a smartphone’s make up. Apple did it with the iPhone 7, and so did companies like Motorola (Moto Z). Even HTC is rumoured to ditch the port with the upcoming HTC U 11.
The reasons behind removing the 3.5mm headphone jacks have mostly been the same. Apple saw it as a century old technology that was holding the company back from making improvements to the smartphone. Xiaomi similarly states its reasons to remove the port as being able to fit a larger battery in its newest flagship, the Xiaomi Mi 6.
“Smartphones are highly-integrated products and internal space is precious. By removing the headphone jack, we can save room for other components such as a bigger battery. Audio through USB Type-C is becoming more common, and will continue to provide excellent sound quality,” Xiaomi told Android Central.
This could well be true as the Xiaomi Mi 6 comes with a 3350mAh battery compared to the MI 5’s 3000mAh battery. Notably, both the flagships sport a 5.15-inch display. The removal of the headphone jack gave the company that extra bit of room to fit a larger battery. However, this still makes the Mi 6 thicker at 7.45mm compared to the Mi 5 at 7.25mm.
Removing the headphone jack has benefits that are slowly being realised by a number of tech companies. The extra bit of space provided allows for a bigger battery and/ or improved camera technology, and even makes it easier to make the phone water resistant. However, at the launch of the Mi 6, Xiaomi did not specify the IP rating or the smartphone’s water resistance, but simply stated that it will survive splashes.
Apart from the bigger battery and water resistant features, the loss of the headphone jack allowed both Apple and Xiaomi to add dual rear cameras to their respective flagships. The missing headphone jack didn’t seem to hurt sales of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but one will have to wait and see if Xiaomi fans are ready to accept the Mi 6 sans the headphone jack. For those who are still attached to their 3.5mm headphones, Xiaomi is throwing in a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter with the box.