Top Smartphone features expected in 2017

By Arnab Mukherjee | Published on 22 Nov 2016
Top Smartphone features expected in 2017
HIGHLIGHTS

From edgeless screens to better batteries, 2017 has a lot to offer to your smartphone

A new year is almost upon us. And we in the world of technology definitely know what that means - new tech that is going to make today’s gadgets look positively medieval. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of smartphones. Every new year, smartphones continue to dazzle us with their increased and more diverse abilities than the year before. And 2017 is going to be no different when it comes to smartphone technology. Based on multiple rumours about specific devices as well as things being worked on right now, a few trends that are going to hit the smartphone industry are pretty apparent.

Edgeless display

Edgeless or bezel-less displays are definitely going to pick up pace. Xiaomi recently unleashed its Mi MIX concept phone into the market which has brought us the closest we have ever been to true bezel-free design. And if reports are to be believed, the next iPhone and the next Samsung flagship both will be going down the edgeless road next year. We all know what happens after that! Once these two giants successfully launch their devices, pretty soon the market will be flooded with Chinese and other entrants with their own edgeless display variants. The practicality of using OLED screens to build this design along with the accompanying technology is what will make it possible.

One of the many concept designs floating around for the iPhone 8

Dual Camera

It wouldn’t be fair to say that we are still waiting for this. Quite a few manufacturers, including Asus, XOLO, LG, ZTE make dual camera smartphones. But by next year, you’d be seeing them a lot more and almost on phones of all shapes and sizes. And why shouldn’t you? Dual cameras are taking photography to new levels. For example, the dual camera in iPhone 7 features a wide angle lens along with a telephoto lens. What this offers is a new depth of field mode, 2X optical zoom, and even a quite well done Bokeh effect.

The dual camera on the iPhone 7

Augmented Reality

If you honestly haven’t heard about Pokemon Go, well, you must have had some REALLY important things to do. Jokes apart, if someone would have told an average smartphone user that next year a game will be introduced that will bring Augmented reality (albeit unpolished) to every smartphone out there, I'm pretty sure they would be laughed at. Cut to 2016, Google has already revealed Project Tango earlier this year on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. So it is quite evident that with more powerful internals along with dedicated AR hardware, smartphones are only going to raise their AR game further.

Google's Project Tango hit the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro

Better battery 

We talk about not tech companies not being able to solve the battery problem in smartphones - they still run out of it pretty quick. While smartphones are being launched with increasing battery capabilities regularly, they still have not seen a major leap in terms of battery life, mainly due to size restrictions. All that might change with upcoming tech that allows the designer to literally forget about battery shape and fit a stacked battery literally anywhere they can in the chassis. Also expect LiO2 batteries to increase battery capacity up to 5 times and motion charging to remove the need to plug your chargers.

 

This should be a thing of the past for many of you this time next year

Really tough screens

Apple is using sapphire in the Apple Watch glass. Sapphire is significantly more resistant to damage than glass and Apple manufacturer Foxconn is reportedly preparing to make its own sapphire ready plant in Taiwan. To put this into perspective, Sapphire scores a 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Diamond gets a 10. Well, if Apple does pick this one up we know that a big portion of the smartphone industry is soon to follow, and who are we to complain?

The Apple Watch 2 already uses the tough sapphire glass

Foldable screen

While a number of phones have sported curved displays over the years, Samsung will reportedly be taking it one step further in 2017 by finally revealing the much-awaited Galaxy X. Patent applications have revealed a hinge design much like the Microsoft Surface Book, with the bottom of the smartphone (where you usually plug the charger in) will also be a ticker-like display. This would be very similar to what Samsung already pushes on the Edge variants of its flagships.

A concept design of a foldable tablet from Samsung

Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

One of the necessities to facilitate an edgeless display would be a fingerprint scanner that doesn’t depend on a physical scanner being on the front. And to make that happen, you need tech like an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. Xiaomi’s Mi5s does already feature one and pretty soon, we expect to see them on more phones. While those may not necessarily be edgeless display smartphones, having a fingerprint sensor under the display would still make them pretty cool, don’t you think?

The Mi5s with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

 

What feature would you like to see in smartphones next year? Which one seems a bit too much for you? Do let us know in the comments below.

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