Published on 17/02/2017 in Bits & Bytes
Nowadays, all mobile phones appear to look alike. Or so it would seem. We have also seen a lot of changes over the years. Just take a look at the first bulky and quite heavy smartphones that hit the streets about ten years ago or so.
Many people think that we are slowly reaching the end point of developments in the world of smartphones. Well, I'm afraid I have to contradict them. In fact, there's still plenty of room for further developments, some of which are expected already this year. Both creatively on the outside and conceptually on the inside. We even saw some of them already last year, for example in the iPhone 7.
A list of the main things that my fellow connoisseurs expect for 2107 is given below.
In recent years, the screens on many devices have grown bigger and bigger, whereas the smartphones themselves have remained as compact as ever. The first touch screens without anything resembling borders are therefore expected to be launched in 2017. This means no more lost space on the sides. It could also mean the end of the familiar buttons below the screen. We know that this will almost certainly be the case for the future LG G6. The new flagship models of the other manufacturers will also probably have borderless screens.
How is this all possible? In most cases, this is made possible by working with flexible screens that go over the edges, as we've already seen in case of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
According to some experts, this statement is a little premature. They expect the conventional headset jack will continue to be found on most smartphones for at least another couple of years. Be that as it may, we think that some of the new devices will switch to a headset connection via USB. This will probably already be the case with the Samsung Galaxy S8. And wireless listening via Bluetooth will also become increasingly popular, although a big breakthrough is still some way off.
This new standard was launched already in 2016, but will be rolled out further over the next few months for virtually all Android smartphones. This is logical, because it's an even better way to transfer power and data. It can even be used to transmit images and sound in high definition. It's also smaller in size than the previous USB connectors.
This brings us to the battery. While last year only a few devices featured fast charging, this feature will become more and more standard in 2017. Charging your battery to half capacity in just fifteen minutes is gradually becoming the norm. Again thanks to USB-C.
Moreover, we will benefit not only from fast charging, but also from a longer battery life. There is the imminent arrival of the powerful ten-core processors, which allow the available energy to be managed even more efficiently. But also the actual battery will become even slightly more powerful in 2017.
In 2016, we already saw a few top devices with two cameras: the Huawei P9, the LG G5 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The result of these dual cameras is invariably the same: better pictures with more depth and detail. For the time being, however, they come with a hefty price tag.
This feature is nevertheless expected to find increasing use in the lower price ranges. The question is which standard will ultimately prevail. Will it be the combined colour and black/white camera? Or will it be rather a wide-angle or telephoto lens as an extra feature?
Today, the internal memory of many devices can already be expanded to a comfortable 256 GB. However, this capacity is likely to be come insufficient in the near future. The pictures and videos that we take, for example, will use even more memory than they already do today. That is why SD memory cards with a staggering capacity of 1 TB or 1000 GB are expected to be launched onto the market already in 2017. SanDisk has already developed a prototype.
Please note, however, that your current smartphone must effectively support these new capacities.
Many smartphones already support this feature, including the Samsung Galaxy S7. Much work remains to be done, especially in the field of accessories and in the VR apps market. However, the sector will be taking significant steps forward in 2017. As a result, basic smartphones will also support Virtual Reality and we will see many more VR glasses popping up. Most important of all, the apps will make their real breakthrough in 2017.
We are eagerly waiting to get our hands on the first new top devices. A first important event is the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from 27 February to 2 March. Stay tuned for our report on the event!
If you cannot wait any longer, or you urgently need a new smartphone, then be sure to check our mobile phone catalogue. It contains up-to-date devices that will keep you well-equipped for years to come.
And if you really don't know what to choose, our specialists will be happy to help you with their in-depth tests of the latest top devices on the market.