When looking at the technology behind Star Trek, certain things have become a semi reality(Cell phones, laser beams)
Laser beams predate Star Trek by many years, and communicators seem to be basically point to point communications, more like a fairly simple radio transceiver than a cell phone with it's combination of radio handsets, receiver towers, phone lines and the occasional satellite.
Compared to modern multifunction smartphones, the communicator borders on the ridiculous.
I suppose I should have been more specific regarding my comment on "lasers." There are currently in development weapons systems, lasers, that will have the same functionality of the Trek phasers. That is, both lethal, and non lethal take down capability.