2019 has begun and nerds are even more excited to see what the future holds.
We’ve already compiled a list of top smartphone moments of 2018 and now, we’ll talk about the trends that shall take-off soon in the coming year.
Technology has been advancing at a rapid pace, and there’s no stopping it. Not only are features getting more complicated and intense, but also cheaper.
A flagship feature trickles down to the midrange as well as the budget segment in no time. And with the plethora of options available, brands are working harder every day to differentiate themselves.
These are the top features we expect to see in 2019 smartphones:
1. Foldable Phones:
This is by far the most interesting concept, it’s something we’ve been waiting for years. Samsung has periodically teased that they’re working on the technology and shall be ready for scaled consumer manufacturing soon. In November of 2018, they finally showed off a concept phone for just a few seconds.
Flexible OLED technology will allow the actual screen itself to bend and fold without the use of hinges or the extra bulk associated with implementing two separate screens, meaning a foldable thinner smartphone.
Samsung did not detail whether the smartphone will go on sale anytime soon or how much it will cost, but it’s expected to come out soon, and cost a bomb. Even though it’ll take some more time to make it cheaper, multiple companies like Huawei and LG are researching too.
2. Punch-Hole Camera:
Samsung Galaxy A8s, the Nova 4 as well as the Honor View 20 are among the few to already sport a punch-hole camera. Samsung completely skipped the notch and went ahead with this design addition.
On the A8s, a little camera hole in the display houses a 24-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. That is a major step up from some of the smaller notches we’ve seen in other devices that have opted to go for teardrop display cutout rather than this hole-punch method.
The implementation is still at a very nascent stage though. A black ring around the camera is the result of the camera protruding through every layer of the display except for the very surface level. Thanks to multiple layers, light has a greater chance of leaking through and affects image quality as well as display durability.
While punch-hole displays are expected to be limited to the higher-midrange or flagships, the notch isn’t going anywhere soon. The water-drop notch has been a hit and more and more companies are expected to house it.
3. Time Of Flight Camera:
Time of Flight (ToF) is an optical radar system and is able to identify faces even from comparatively long distances. It’s said to function perfectly even in different lighting conditions. The recently launched OPPO R17 Pro is the first phone to feature this sensor.
ToF 3D Sensing Technology offers an advanced experience by enabling 3D mapping at up to three metres from the phone while having a smaller baseline than traditional technology that is called “structured light”.
It has exponentially more sensors points than iPhone’s current 3D array setup and has even more applications. Apart from authentication, it can also be used to identify hand gestures and upgrade the existing AR sticker experience.
4. In-Display Fingerprint Scanner:
This is no longer a “new” feature, but we expect it to get better and cheaper in the coming months. After the launch of the iPhone 5S, every brand was trying to incorporate a fingerprint scanner on their phone. In a couple of years, an external scanner has become a bare minimum necessity.
In the same way, an in-display fingerprint scanner is slightly slower than the external one, but companies are constantly improving the mechanism. Synaptics has already released multiple improved variants in one year itself, hence you’ll notice a lot of difference between the Vivo X21 and OnePlus 6T’s unlocking speed.
5. Faster Charging And Bigger Batteries:
There are several such technologies available, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, OnePlus Dash Charge, among others. Brands are now involved in a race, who has the fastest solution?
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro houses a 4200mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge and also supports 15W wireless charging support. According to PhoneArena, you can charge 1.5 per cent of the battery in just a minute while 22W charging on the P20 Pro restores 1.1 per cent every minute.
In comparison, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 takes 30 minutes or less to charge 50 per cent and OnePlus’ Dash Charging can get to 60 per cent charge in just 30 minutes.
Battery sizes too have shot up and it’s not just for the flagships. Even a budget phone like the Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with a 4000mAh battery.
Companies are also working on improving the life cycle of batteries, and this is something Apple really needs to start considering.