As smartphones are slated to become smarter and more utilitarian, Ashwin Bhandari, CEO of iVOOMi India captures the catalysts that are fuelling the innovations in mobile industry as well as the device itself in the coming months
For any gadget lover, perhaps this is the best time to be alive. The smartphone industry is going through an overwhelming transformation due to the advancements in technologies. These advancements have made smartphones more affordable, accessible, user friendly, secure, intelligent, multi-purpose, and an indispensable part of our day-to-day lives. Below are some trends that the smartphone industry expected in 2017:-
Unlike what we think, 4G Voice over LTE has improved our smartphone experience much beyond faster internet access. While it can transfer data as much as 3x faster than 3G, it has also improved the quality of voice calls significantly. In layman’s terms, we can understand 4G VoLTE calls as high definition (HD) calls that provide richer experience as compared to its 2G or 3G counterparts. In fact, this will pave the way to address the problem of call drops in several emerging nations.
Bigger Displays with Shatterproof Screens
With every passing year, the size of smartphone display has been increasing in order to provide better video watching, internet surfing, video calling, and gaming experience. This year witnessed a plethora of smartphone launches with 7 inches or more display size. Moreover, if you are one of those who has lost a phone due to accidental damage to the screen, shatterproof displays could be the answer. Made of several layers of plastic and synthetic fiber, these displays are almost unbreakable. A big sigh of relief for adventure lovers!
Despite initial concerns, cloud storage for smartphones gained a lot of traction in 2017. Companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft were there with their cloud services earlier too. However, the growth in adoption has strengthened the belief that cloud storage is the future for smartphones as it allows hardware agnostic flexible storage, agility, and safety of data.
In 2017, end-to-end data encryption became the biggest weapon to fight against the perpetual threat to information safety. This means that all the data stored on the device is in some jumbled form and does not become readable until the user enters the passcode. This passcode decrypts the information and makes it readable. Therefore, if a memory card is stolen out of a smartphone device, it will not work on another device without the passcode. Some phones like iPhone block the device or wipe off the data on repeated failed attempts. Luckily, almost all the smartphones today come with encryption, making it hard for cyber intruders to peep into your personal information.
With multiple applications running constantly, there is constant pressure on battery. As a result, many flagship smartphone users are perpetually running around to charge their phones. In 2017, fast charging or turbo charging emerged as a big a big relief to millions of users. It allows the smartphone manufacturers to utilize the full capacity of the chosen batteries while not compromising on the performance and safety standards.
Virtual Reality Support
Smartphones are slowly replacing dedicated virtual reality headsets, all thanks to improved accessibility and affordability. In 2017, companies like Google, Apple, Motorola, Samsung etc. have revealed their smartphones or related solutions that support virtual reality almost as good as Oculus Rift.
Selfie Camera, Moonlight Flash/ Front Flash
Selfies are the craziest phenomenon in 2017. Going by the new fad, all the smartphone manufacturers tried to provide the best selfie experience in order to develop a competitive edge. Dedicated selfie camera, front flash, and moonlight flash. Moonlight flash is a low lumen LED light on the front side of the camera that ensures the right amount of light without redeye effect.
However, the journey is nowhere near complete. As we keenly await 2018, smartphones are all set become smarter. Here are some realistic trends that we expect in 2018:-
Artificial intelligence has risen from being considered a myth to a real problem solver. With the power of smartphone AI, premium phones can recognize the owner; send timely and relevant alerts about travel plans, health, sports, and other favourite topics, connect with other devices for information collaboration, and smart route maps. AI will be more powerful when implemented in conjugation with machine learning that reads data from past usage trends and predicts the future requirements of the user. Therefore, if you have taken a shortcut to a route that you travel twice a week, the device will automatically save it and automatically refers to the same when you are on the same route next time.
Bezel-less Display Phones
Edge-to-edge displays, also known as bezelless displays will be a norm of the day. These displays reduce the gap between the screen and smartphone body. Therefore, smartphone screens will continue to become bigger, ergonomically supportive & comfortable to hold, and may even cross 7 inches in 2018.
Higher RAM and In-built Storage
Coupled with falling prices of memory hardware, Growing demand to run multiple applications over the high-speed internet will push smartphone manufacturers to provide higher RAM and in-built storage. While we have already seen up to 8GB RAM and 32 GB RAM becoming a norm in 2017, in 2018, smartphones may have as much RAM and storage as we had in Personal Computers about 5 years ago.
If fast chargers were the rage in 2017, 2018 will see high capacity batteries in the range of 4000-5000 mAh, which will run for at least 48 hours with average usage. Therefore, the users do not have to carry their turbo charger with them all the time. Powerful batteries also ensure that the users would have optimal experience even with multitasking and high usage.
Internet of Things (IoT)
There have been rounds of talks about the potential of IoT for quite a few years now. However, 2018 will be the year when it finally makes an impact on the lives of consumers, and smartphones will be at the centre of it. Connected devices will enable us to control all our electronic gadgets remotely with just a few taps on our smartphone.
The above trends indicate that the smartphone industry is awaiting a new normal, where hardware and software come together to take user experience to the next level. With manufacturers competing furiously for prices, features, and accessibility, consumers are definitely set to benefit.