I recently upgraded my Pixel 4a to 6a. I’m a big fan of Pixel’s solid hardware, clean stock Android (with Pixel UI) and great price.
I assumed the 6a would have an audio jack, just like the 4a. But to my shock and horror, it didn’t. One of the robotics team coaches at my high school— an engineer for GM for 35 years, would say, “When you assume you make an arse out of you and me”. I was certainly made into an arse.
So I begrudgingly went to Best Buy to buy the cheapest Google wireless earbuds—the Google Pixel Buds A Series, for $80. I came back home and used them inside for a couple of hours. They’re okay. Not the best, but useable.
I then decided to go for a walk. I put the earbuds in their case and the case in my pocket. When I came back home, the case was not in my pocket. I am now legitimately pissed off. After searching my house, I realized I had probably dropped them when pulling out my wallet. I got some cheesecake on a stick. The case was on top of my wallet in my pocket. I hadn’t set up my tap properly yet. So I quickly took out my wallet to pay. And the case probably fell out, and I didn’t hear it over the loud music.
Everything in life is about tradeoffs. Saying that something should be different without considering constraints is just magical thinking.
I understand that the phone can be thinner and have a longer battery life without the audio jack. I understand the Bluetooth is good enough to stream quality audio now. I understand that the goal is to eventually remove the charging port. But I still want my audio jack!
I don’t think the tradeoffs are worth it. I am willing to have a larger and thicker phone. I’d love more battery life, but I care much more about my mental battery than my phone’s. Relative to my $15 wired earbuds, wireless earbuds are more expensive, are easier to fall out of my ear, are easier to lose individually, and take up more space in my pocket. And it’s easier to lose them even in the case, as I found out.
Now I have to walk around with a dongle attached to my wired earbuds. And I can’t charge my phone while using earbuds. I understand that some people are willing to make these tradeoffs. And maybe flagship phones shouldn’t have an audio jack, but the Pixel A series definitely should. (But I secretly believe all of you agree with me. Memetic desire has got you believing that you’d be cool if you were wearing AirPods)
All I want is a stock Android phone with an audio jack. Google, why won’t you take my money?