Xiaomi India’s Lead Product Manager Jai Mani has now offered up an explanation for the company’s removal of the headphone jack and the ongoing need for bezel-less devices to have a bottom bezel. The tweet was posted in response to a video published by prominent YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who recently tried to explain why those devices’ chins are necessary. While Brownlee pointed mostly to the space requirements for display ribbon connectors, Mani was quick to point out that those are not the only reason for the bezel. In fact, according to the Xiaomi representative, at least for Xiaomi handsets, the extra length is necessary for the antennas. More precisely, the internal antennas require additional surrounding space to function properly. That could be placed just about anywhere within a smartphone but Xiaomi utilizes the bottom edge because users already have a tendency to look toward the upper half of a smartphone display.
Moving on from that, the manager pointed out that antenna interference was also at least one reason Xiaomi has been removing the 3.5mm headphone port in its designs. Not only does the component behind the plug take up what Mani calls a “very large” amount of space. It also interferes with antennas and radio operation. Rather than spending more time and resources finding another way around that problem, the representative says that Xiaomi removed the component – saving space in the meantime to reduce the size of the bottom bezel further. Mani also notes that the workaround isn’t really about money, although it undoubtedly saves money in the long-run since its range of USB Type-C adapters only cost a few dollars.
The reasoning behind the decision appears to be solid but it certainly isn’t going to make every user happy. High-quality USB Type-C or Bluetooth headphones tend to be pricey and, by default, remove some functionality. For example, although some handsets can manage connections between more than one Bluetooth device, using the USB Type-C port for media removes its functionality as a charging port for the duration of the listening session. For those devices that don’t allow more than one simultaneous Bluetooth connection, the ultimate effect is similar for that radio.