Most of the modern smartphones have the charging slot at the bottom. Purely from a UX point of view, wouldn't it make more sense to have it at the top instead? I understand in some cases, it wouldn't (e.g. charging docks or car holders), but in the majority of the cases, I think it would.

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    Could you elaborate what cases you're thinking of? Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 13:25
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    @QWERTZdenker, well, everyday use cases while charging your phone (e.g. while you're lying in bed, or while you're sitting on your desk at work). Since the cable is connected to the bottom of your mobile, it ends up being exactly where your hand is.
    – Charmander
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 13:35
  • That's why most smart phones work heads up too - you can use them direction you want
    – Aganju
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 22:42

2 Answers 2


I feel like there are many valid reasons for this design decision.

You already stated one by yourself: docks and other accessories wouldn't really work with the port being on top on the phone.

Another thing that comes to mind, is that electrical sockets tend to be placed relatively low (as stated here: Example1, Example2 - might vary for certain regions, obviously). Therefore, with the port on top of the phone, the cable needs to be longer, as it needs to go past the phone, then fold clumsily around so it's pointing down before it could be plugged in. All the while you're holding the phone higher than the socket, the cable would tuck on the top of the phone, causing it to tilt away from your FOV.
All these problems are mitigated when the port is at the bottom of the phone, since the cable can move in one straight line.

Another thing, that shouldn't be discarded is the factor of design. Although I have no evidence for this, I'm pretty sure that designers like to hide their ugly ports, instead of putting them on top, where everybody would see them all the time. After all, they are a necessity, not a design element.

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    Nice references, I think the main reason is really the usually low placements of sockets.
    – Big_Chair
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 9:18
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    Maybe also a basic protection against gravity: dust and rain fall from above, so the charging port would not only get wet and dirty but it could allow water and other elements more easily into the device.
    – Luciano
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 13:45
  • I am not sure I understand why cables would need to be longer. Surely they could be shorter? Since they don't have to go past the phone to the bottom when you're charging. Commented Feb 15 at 9:34

Having watched a lot of phone teardown videos from JerryRigEverything, I can safely say that placement of ports depend entirely (especially, of late) on other components.

  • A lot components NEED to be at the top:

Camera sensors, lenses, ambient light sensors, speaker, face unlock sensors, proximity sensors and many more components of smartphones need to be place on the top-half of the phone.

There's no getting around this. Refer to the image below (Samsung Galaxy S10)

Samsung Galaxy S10 internals

  • Heat

Considering how many functional components have to sit at the top of the phone, heat dissipation becomes a priority. Adding a charging port to the cluster might cause issues and might also be unsafe.

  • Ease of use

This might be a more personal preference thing but a wire going from the top of the device would lead the wire passing over or behind the screen causing it be an inconvenience to use the device while charging. Also, wires would need to longer to accommodate for the extra distance it has to travel while being held

  • Why not the sides, then? Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 3:01
  • We already have it on gaming phones like the Asus ROG Phone. I guess the reason why most phones don't put it on the sides is to keep the phone in a usable orientation even while charging. Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 3:30

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