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Consumer Reports looks at future of portless, jackless smartphones

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David Novarro has the details.

The Internet is abuzz with rumors that Apple plans to do away with the headphone jack on its next iPhone, but Consumer Reports says that may not be such a bad thing.

In fact, the next generation of phones may have no ports or jacks at all.

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

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

So no headphone jack? What about no speaker holes?

That technology is on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and several models from Kyocera. It is possible because the technology uses your face as a conductor.

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

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

And 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 such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Motorola Droid Turbo 2.

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

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

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

If want to to listen wirelessly now, Consumer Reports has tested wireless headphones. It recommends the Bluetooth JBL by Harman for $50 or, for a little more, the Shadow Wireless from SOL Republic for $100.
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technologytechnologysmartphonesiphoneconsumer reports
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