VR glasses and wearables get their well-deserved hype, but smartphones will remain our daily companion for a long time to come. But that doesn’t mean they won’t change. If you take a look at the current trends in the industry, you can reach some insights into the future of smartphones. So let’s take a look at the developments and see what the future has in store in for us!
The notch is there, and we’ll have to live with it for the foreseeable future, or so we thought. But now this tooth gap in the display, which isn’t even one year old yet, is already outdated. The smartphones of the future will forgo the notch and won’t show any noticeable edges around the display. This has already begun with the OPPO Find X, which has a display without a notch and a display that occupies 94 percent of the front panel. That’s record-breaking!
One of the highlights of OPPO was the way the company solved the problem of fitting everything into such a small space. The complete upper area, which houses various sensors and the front and back cameras, slides upwards when the cameras are needed for photos, videos or face unlock. If the cameras aren’t needed, they’ll hide inside the smartphone. This is an ingenious solution that eliminates the need for a notch in the display.
Vivo Nex is the real star of the 2018 World Cup
The Vivo Nex, which is currently on everyone’s minds because of their advertising at the World Cup in Russia, is also heading in the same direction. Vivo has also forgone the notch and pushes its camera out from the housing. Unlike OPPO, only a small part is movable, instead of the entire upper part of the smartphone. But the basic idea is the same: the camera disappears as long as it’s not in use, which creates more space for the display area.
In addition to the camera and the associated sensors, the earcup is always in the way when the display is pulled up to the edge and piezoelectric alternatives have proven to be impractical. New displays that generate sounds in the flagship class and replace the earcup are now on everyone’s minds. These displays are not only capable of displaying visible content, but can also take over the audio output. Theoretically, the idea of a separate speaker, which takes up quite a bit of space in smartphones, could become obsolete in the future.
Foldable displays are the future
Development hasn’t exhausted sliding components. Several manufacturers are working on folding smartphones with flexible displays. The race to the first market-ready folding smartphones is still ongoing, but Samsung is the current favorite with the Galaxy X, which has been haunting the internet for a long time. But this could also become a reality at the beginning of 2019 for the tenth anniversary of the Galaxy S class.
Foldable smartphones aren’t developed exclusively by Samsung. Huawei and LG are said to be quite far along with their devices. It’s technically less demanding, but the ZTE Axon M is already on the market, which placed two screens next to one another, but didn’t manage a seamless transition.
Every niche will be covered
Smartphone manufacturers will also continue to refine special devices for small niches on the market. Gaming smartphones are a prominent example of this and are currently spreading all over the market. They’ve brought along controllers for docking or special displays. But smartphones for particularly tough apps like Cat S61 are building substantial fan bases. All in all, the trend is moving toward specialization instead of generalization. This is a promising path to the future, especially for smaller manufacturers.
With all the fascination for sliding cameras and foldable displays we shouldn’t forget one thing: there will be problems with new smartphone designs. Moving parts are much more subject to wear and tear than rigid designs that we’re familiar with. If the mechanism for the camera stops working, there goes your photos and Face Unlock. If the display gets damaged by opening and closing it over and over again, the whole design is useless.
If everything goes well, these are troubles that will be corrected over time with new detailed solutions. The advantages of new smartphones are obvious, and the issues always get ironed out over time. Our beautiful new smartphone world has just begun, and I’m looking forward to it!
What do you think the prospects are for the smartphones of the future?