Have We Reached Peak Smartphone?


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By Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Phones have been pretty boring for a long time. Don’t get us wrong—phones are still amazing little devices! It just feels like we haven’t seen any truly innovative phone designs or new standout features in a long while. This year’s phone looks and works a lot like last year’s phone. Your phone looks and works a lot like my phone. Have phones actually plateaued, leveled off, or chilled out? Is their transition from fetish object to commodity complete?

The perfectly fine boringness of phones gets thrown into focus every time a new handset is launched into the world. This week, we saw the debut of the newest Samsung Galaxy devices. WIRED staff writer (and our podcast's producer) Boone Ashworth joins us to talk about those new phones, and phones in general, and how breathtaking and bland they all are, all at once.

Show Notes

Read our roundup of everything Samsung announced at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, including three new Galaxy phones and five new laptops. If you want to preorder a Galaxy device, we have some buying advice for you. Last year’s model is also just great. Read Lauren’s story about safely buying a used phone.


Boone recommends Barbarian, which you can watch on HBO Max or rent elsewhere. Mike recommends Sichuan Gold hot sauce from Fly By Jing. Lauren recommends the HBO documentary Navalny.

Boone Ashworth can be found on Twitter @BooneAshworth. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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279 episodes