Smartphones buyers can expect a lot from 2017. The devices will be slimmer, faster, and they might be a little smarter than you’d like.
The virtual reality will be spread to cheap smartphones, and these will also have better graphics, higher resolution screens, and more storage capacity. More than ever, it is expected that your smartphone will pay for products and connect to websites.
Deep learning could help smartphones improve the mobile experience, based on user behavior. We could see a renaissance in the design of smartphones and wireless audio could replace the headphones in more cases. The USB-C will replace the charging cables and the previous connector cables.
Here are 10 trends for the smartphone that we can observe in 2017:
1. New designs
Rumors speak of many new smartphone designs. The main rumors point to Apple and the renewal of the design of the iPhone that is already a decade old, and the launch of a smartphone by Samsung. It is not known with absolute certainty if this will happen, but just like every year, expect something new.
This year, the popular trend was the customizable smartphones like Moto Z and LG G5, which were inspired in part by the now defunct Project Ara of Google Now. Some innovations were introduced this year, such as the prototype folding smartphone by Lenovo </a>, which can be placed as a wristwatch. LG and Samsung have also talked, and earlier showed the prototype of smartphones with foldable designs.
2. Virtual Reality
The reason for accelerating mobile devices is to allow them to operate applications such as virtual reality, which demand great resources. It will be possible to connect mobile devices to Google’s DayDream View VR headset to watch movies, play games or explore virtual reality worlds.
Currently, virtual reality is limited to a few devices like the Galaxy S7 smartphone from Samsung but will reach more high-end and mid-range phones next year. Virtual reality smartphones should have high-resolution displays to provide a stunning visual experience.
3. Faster chips
The graphics will be crisp and applications will operate much faster on smartphones. Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 835, which could be deployed on some premium smartphones from large mobile companies. Some could opt for the Helio X30 from MediaTek, which has 10 CPU cores, the largest number of mobile processors. This implies a lot of processing power and the devices will be closer to the overall performance of a PC.
In 2017, USB-C will replace the old micro-USB 2.0 ports on Android devices. USB-C is extremely versatile – in addition to recharging, it can be used to connect mobile devices to high definition monitors, headphones, flash drives and external storage devices.
5. Faster LTE
LTE speeds will gain momentum thanks to modern technologies. Smartphones such as Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 7 can download data over LTE networks at a maximum speed of 600 Mbps (bits per second) and load data at a speed of 150 Mbps. Download speeds could reach About 1Gbps with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 modem, which should reach the devices in the second half of 2017. Please note that speed also depends on the capabilities of the company’s network.
6. Faster recharges
Smartphones will recharge much faster with USB-C cables, which can charge more power to a battery. There is also technology such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4, which will help smartphones operate for five hours after only five minutes of recharging. The technology will hit smartphones next year.
7. Wireless Audio
There is a good chance that most smartphones will still have a headphone jack, but like Apple, some more will have the option of removing it. Removing the headset jack could allow thinner and lighter devices. Some smartphones like LeEco and Motorola have already switched to wireless audio.
8. Smart Devices
The augmented reality of Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro smartphones can recognize objects, make room maps and present required data about objects in sight on the device’s screen. That’s a good example of how smartphones will evolve to enrich the user experience.
Deep learning techniques on smartphones could also help make them friendlier. For example, a device might learn how a particular application is using the hardware and, over time, better refine the use of power to improve battery life. Smartphones can now recognize images and voice through online services, but improvements in deep learning could bring those capabilities to the offline scope.
Having extra storage space on a smartphone is never too much, either to store videos, photos or games. Currently, the internal storage reaches a limit of 256GB to 512GB, but this year SanDisk showed a prototype 1TB SD card. The company did not provide a release date for the product, but the highest capacity SD cards are on the horizon.
10. Bluetooth 5
The devices could soon have the Bluetooth 5 wireless specification, which will double the speed and quadruple the range of its predecessor, Bluetooth 4.2. A Bluetooth 5 connection could reach up to 400 meters in a clear linear view, but with obstructions, a range of 120 meters is considered more realistic by analysts.
One can use the mobile device to operate a Bluetooth wireless speaker or to unlock the doors of a car at a greater distance.