Consumer Reports: Port-free smartphones

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The smart phone as we know it could be changing in ways you never expected. (WPVI)

The smart phone as we know it could be changing in ways you never expected.

The Internet is abuzz with rumors that Apple plans to do away with the headphone jack on its next iPhone. And that's just the beginning of the changes we could see.

Right now, most of us listen to music on our phones through headphones. But Consumer Reports says soon we may see phones with no ports or jacks at all.

"The technology already exists. And without ports, smartphones can be slimmer, thinner, and better able to resist damage from moisture, dust, and other debris," said Consumer Reports electronics editor, Mike Gikas.

There's already a growing selection of affordable, high-quality Bluetooth headphones that wirelessly connect to your phone.

No headphone jack? What about no speaker holes? That technology is on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and several models from Kyocera. How is that even possible? The technology uses your face as a conductor.

"You don't need speaker holes because on these phones, the display vibrates. And those vibrations are interpreted as sound by your ear."

Although it's not very common yet, Consumer Reports testing shows the technology works well.

To eliminate the need for a charging port, there's wireless charging. You just put your phone on a mat when it needs some juice. Wireless charging is already available on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Motorola Droid Turbo2.

But without a charging port, how do you connect your phone to your computer to update your music library?

"You have lots of options. You can sync your music over Wi-Fi. And there are a ton of streaming services," said Gikas.

Some streaming options are free while others cost as little as $8-10 dollars a month.

If want to to listen wirelessly now, Consumer Reports has tested wireless headphones.

It recommends the Bluetooth JBL by Harman for $50 dollars or, for a little more, the Shadow Wireless from SOL Republic for $100 dollars.

For more information on port-free smartphones, CLICK HERE.
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