Last year, phone manufacturers unveiled their most desirable phones. We’ve seen Galaxy S8’s curved design and iPhone X’s face-tracking technology. Google, too, revealed its Pixel 2 camera.
This year, we’re going to see more. We expect to see refinements and dozens of attractive units.
What smartphone trends might dominate in 2018?
Apple didn’t pioneer the Face ID. However, it improved facial recognition technology in phones using biometric authentication. It implements secure and fast facial recognition technology in various lighting conditions.
Facial unlocking tech may not be the security standard this year. However, we’ll see more of this technology this year. In fact, several phone manufacturers are offering it. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t as secure as Apple’s.
Samsung, on the other hand, has iris scanning feature to unlock Galaxy S8. Although it’s more secure than facial recognition, it’s not that fast and inconvenient to use.
In 2018, Apple may introduce Face ID in more iPhones, and the top manufacturers will follow suit. As we expect more people to use it, this technology would improve. But it remains one of the several biometric authentication features.
Omron Corporation was the first to introduce face recognition biometric for mobile phones in 2005.
In-screen fingerprint reader
The most significant smartphone trend in 2017 was the bezel-less feature. We’ll expect it to be a standard from now on. However, with this feature, it means the disappearance of a fingerprint sensor. But phone manufacturers have a solution, i.e., to put the sensor under the display.
A lot of people expected Apple and Samsung to be the first manufacturers to introduce in-display fingerprint reader. But it was Vivo that first revealed it during the CES 2018. Although the phone doesn’t have an official name yet, it looks like a final smartphone.
The sensor can also be used to confirm your identity when accessing your accounts and authenticate payments. However, the technology is a bit slow to respond. In fact, during testing, it took 0.7 seconds to unlock the phone. But most people won’t mind the speed as long as they can open their phones using this method.
Although Vivo was the first to reveal a mobile device model with this sensor, the competition is still on as to which company to get it to the market first.
Charging without wires is convenient, especially when you’re traveling. You don’t need to worry about busted charging cable where the end frays from overusing it. Instead of having to pull cables in and out each day, you’ll just get the static charger pad out of your bag or drawer.
Samsung and Apple have already embraced it. Thus, we expect it to be a standard. We’ll also see more options for wireless charging pads. And we might finally see a working example of wireless charging from a few feet away.
It’s still a concept. In this kind of display, a regular smartphone can be folded out to a size of a tablet or folded down like a clamshell. But this long-rumored technology might become a reality this year. Various companies have filed patents and showed live demos to make us believe that this year will be the year a foldable smartphone display will be available on the market.
Late last year, Axon M launched a phone with a foldable display. Although it’s not perfect, it still indicates what the future holds. However, it didn’t have a compelling reason to invest in this kind of device. Still, rumors suggest that the next Samsung Galaxy will have this feature.
But let’s not expect that the majority of phone manufacturers will adopt it and introduce it to the market.
We heard a lot of artificial intelligence last year. Every time a company launched a new model, it emphasized on AI. It detailed how this technology made its phone faster and smarter.
This year, we expect that AI will be more prevalent. However, because it needs to perform complicated tasks, it requires dedicated chipsets that can handle them. And it’ll be a trend in smartphones this year.
Apple has already launched its iPhones with dedicated AI chip. Google, too, made a dedicated AI chip to go with its camera. Qualcomm, on the other hand, made it for everyone through the Snapdragon 845.
Furthermore, we expect localized AI to be the next big thing for smartphones as it makes your phone faster. It also makes your phone more secure, which is an advantage for those who are concerned about their privacy.
Although it’s been around for a very long time, we can’t find a right app that compels us to use this technology more. But it might change in 2018.
Thanks to Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. Google showed how it would be merged with AI assistant in your phone through google Lens. Furthermore, Apple makes some fun apps on iOS.
Thus, we can expect to experience more AR apps to come. 2018 might be the year that this technology would surely take off big time.
Some smartphones are still using micro USB ports. However, more and more phones are transitioning to USB-C connections. Apple joined the bandwagon by replacing its laptops with USB-C and use it to charge iPhone faster than the type-A chargers.
Unfortunately, some mid-range phones resisted the change. And their resistance might end this year.
With all these features, we expect smartphones to be ultra-pricey. Apple’s iPhone X has already an exorbitant price tag. Galaxy Note 8 price is a bit steep.
More and more phone manufacturers realize that they can put a high price tag on their phones and consumers will still buy them, as long as they have all the features that they need. Thus, we expect pricey phones to be a significant trend, too, this year.
In fact, the next Google Pixel will have an ultra-premium price.
As we anticipate superphones to be developed this year, the prices will likely to rise.