2018 was an eccentric year for smartphones. There was intense competition and with the addition of new brands in India, the competition went levelled up. This has resulted in the introduction of a plethora of new add-ons to smartphones. Most popular add-ons include the famous notch, bezel-less display, dual rear cameras and an infatuation with a big screen display. The smartphones launched this year were progressive and had a major change. But despite the change, in a retrospect, the designs launched were most common and there was a repetition which one could not ignore. 2018 can be surely called as the year dominated by the notch. But the presence of notch also pushed the security boundaries of the smartphone. We have reached the end of the year and as per the exciting announcements by the leading tech brands and the rumours surfacing on the internet, these trends are going to take over the world of smartphones.
THE DROP NOTCH
After years of evolution of smartphone design, we have gone from thick bezels to bezelless phone accompanied by the notch. Even though all the smartphones in the market come with a notch, even the teardrop notch, it is what will dominate the market for a while. Devices which have included the drop notch are the Vivo V11 and V11 Pro as well as the recently unveiled OnePlus 6T and Oppo R17. The budget segment will have to adapt to the drop notch to maintain their cost as well as to offer the customers their devices at an attractive price.
The foldable screen has been a vision for the world of tech for a long time. There have always been some speculations about the smartphone devices turning foldable. But Samsung has decided to cave into the longlost desires of the tech-savvy generation. In 2019 Samsung will be introducing its first-ever foldable smartphone in February. It will not be a part of any of its premium line but it will be a new segment of smartphones altogether. This was confirmed by the Samsung’s DJ Koh himself. If the tech giant decides to take a leap towards the foldable smartphone, the rest of the competitors cannot afford to compromise their time. Hence there is a strong possibility that 2019 will be the starting point in history for a new line of smartphones.
ON-SCREEN FINGERPRINT SCANNER
Currently, there are limited devices which come with the on-screen fingerprint scanner but they have shown us a glimpse of the next wave. The newly launched OnePlus 6T, as well as Vivo and Oppo, have included it in Vivo Nex and Find X respectively. The eccentric Mi 8 explorer edition also comes with an on-screen fingerprint scanner. Not to forget even Samsung is rumoured to include it in Samsung Galaxy S10. This indicates how the smartphone makers are heading towards the true edge to edge screen creation and making the designs more futuristic Hence 2019 will not be surprised when most of the smartphones will come with an on-screen fingerprint scanner.
The addition of more of dual cameras is a risky bet for all the tech giants but the current trends are suggesting otherwise. Initially, we started with the dual rear camera for better picture qualities, then we had the dual front cameras in all the smartphones. The addition of notch gave this trend a boost and also highlighted the presence of the notch. But now we are taking a step further. Samsung launched the Galaxy A7 with the triple camera set up at the back and even the Huawei P20 Pro setting the trend for all. The launch by Samsung proved how the Android phones are ready to introduce the trend on their budget smartphones too. But one smartphone which has taken the trend too seriously is the Finnish company, HMD Global Nokia. The Nokia 9 hasn’t been confirmed but the pictures suggest the rumours suggest it could come with five rear cameras! We wonder how will the Chinese counterparts react to it.
HELLO TYPE C AND FAREWELL MICRO-USB
Even the budget smartphones, as well as the flagship smartphones, are turning towards Type- C cable. There are barely any smartphones which have the micro- USB charger ( excluding the lower end budget smartphones). The reason why there is a greater preference for Type – C cable is that companies can provide fast charging because of their ability to carry more power. Moreover, even in the case of data transfer, the speed is faster compared to a the conventional ports. Most of the upcoming smartphones will now come with a Type- C charger as it is the better next option.
5G NETWORK AND ESIM
Looking at the trend OnePlus has already made plans to launch a 5G enabled smartphone. This smartphone too won’t be part of the OnePlus series, but it will be a new line of smartphone altogether. We won’t be surprised if the next iPhone will be 5G enabled but its presence in India is doubtful though. Smartphone manufacturers need to be a step further and create smartphones which support the technology to give speed and take their devices on a higher level. Even if the 5G trend will take time, the trend of eSim will be adapted quickly. Technically speaking dual sim have been on our smartphones for a long time, but with Apple launching eSIM, it could also set a trend amongst the premium devices. They could just provide one slot like Apple does and provide the option of eSIM and not add a new tray for it anymore. After all, this could lead to a truly digital age!
Currently, there are a few countries who are adapting to the 5G technology. This includes the USA, South Korea and China.
BYE BYE HEADPHONE JACK
When OnePlus eliminated headphone jack, it was complying to the newly set trend in the flagship segment. OnePlus has always been popular to provide the most user-friendly options but with the new 6T, they have kicked the headphone jack. Apple had notoriously set the trend when it launched the iPhone 7 in 2016. Even though it was criticised for it, we can see a lot of other brands following the same path. This attempt could strengthen the presence of Bluetooth headphones. Hence it will be difficult to find flagship smartphones with a headphone jack in 2019.
Even though wireless charging has been around the corner for a long time. But we have not seen it reach its full potential. All that we had so far was a hockey puck with an additional wire which we are supposed to connect to our smartphone. In fact, it looks like an extension of the wire. Wireless charging is the next step towards a more efficient and user- friendly experience. There are rumours about Apple trying to work on the wireless charging and even Samsung working towards the same, we can expect a drastic change in wireless charging and a higher adoption rate for the same. By 2019 if we should be at least close to getting free from the old age wires.
Also Read: One Plus 6T is Here!