Three Priorities for Smart Phones: Speed, Speed Speed, and also Speed

Anyone who has once owned a RAZR knows the 800 milliseconds of hell that exists between pushing “contacts” and actually seeing the menu come up. Such a simple operation is no longer a great tax on the processors of our phones, but of course we expect a great deal more these days than just a list of recent calls. With all our demands, we are still gladdened when a manufacturer gives the phone enough power for snappy transitions and speedy website rendering. Case in point, for all its praise, the Pre doesn’t do anything fantastically new, it just does things fantastically fast, be it through an elegant interface or its beefy OMAP processor.

Similarly so, one of the death knells of the Blackberry Storm was its wonky and slow OS that layed a touchscreen over its OS like a cheap paint job. The question is: What’s the future? Are we going to see speed comparisons flatten out as manufacturers and engineers catch up with each other?

More importantly, what can we do about speed? Nobody here is about to revolutionize 65 nanometer CPU architecture, but how can we design around and for this problem? How about heatsinking the CPU off the back of the aluminum case and overclocking the processors we already use? (comically illustrated below)

The phone above is obviously absurd, but it hopefully illustrates a point. Alternately, should we forego the glossy, translucent buttons that look oh so pretty but take oh so longer to render? Lets see some comments and suggestions as to how industrial or interface design could sate our thirst for a snappy, snappy phone and whether it can be done while maintaining the high standards of beauty we’ve come to expect.