Foldable screens, women’s phones, under-screen cameras, ultra-fast chargers and 5G – where the smartphone market is heading
New smartphone trends and where they can lead to
Despite the global situation that has affected many electronics sectors, smartphones continue to evolve. Manufacturers release many new models, and even more patent. Let’s focus on the new trends and where they can lead to.
Foldable, foldable and foldable
For a long time, manufacturers have come to the conclusion that the ideal and most standard form of a smartphone is the “brick” style. Now no one even tries to experiment with the form, the differences between smartphones come down to the difference in hardware and OS.
Foldable smartphones have become a breath of fresh air. They are not something new, many people remember the flip phones. Only now, instead of the keyboard everything is touch. However, some forms are quite original.
More and more manufacturers began to think about or even release their own foldable smartphones, since technology allows you to make foldable touch screens. Samsung began the fashion, and Huawei and others picked it up, even Apple thought about creating its own “clamshell”, a smartphone from vivo recently came out.
Recently, the Korean tech giant introduced new clamshell smartphones which are called: Galaxy Flip3 and Galaxy Fold3. And on the way the Galaxy Z Fold4.
In addition to the standard horizontal or vertical bend, a smartphone has already been made with a diagonal extension. But all this is not as interesting as folding smartphones.
At the moment, no manufacturer has released a smartphone with a rollable screen, however, some companies have already shown prototypes, such as Samsung, TCL and Visionox.
However, foldable and rollable smartphones have a number of problems that prevent their distribution:
High price due to the complexity of production and the non-mass nature of production. Indeed, for the cost of a foldable smartphone, you can buy a couple of top-end devices or a whole pack of mid-low-budget smartphones.
Low resource and fragility of screens. Sooner or later, bending leads to deformation of the smartphone screen. Also, such screens suffer more from physical influences.
Weak design reliability. The first Samsung smartphones broke very easily, new versions were much better, so sooner or later the level of reliability of bendable devices can be equal to the classic “bricks”.
It is possible that new smartphone form factors will take root, at least they have a good chance. And since many manufacturers are interested in this form factor (even the camera manufacturer FUJIFILM), we can expect mass production and a gradual price reduction.
Charging – fast or wireless
More powerful components require more energy, so the size of smartphone batteries has increased. At the moment, standard batteries have 4-6 thousand mAh. Giant batteries are rare, usually in rugged smartphones that need high autonomy. There are small batteries, for example, as in the iPhone, but new processors consume less energy, which means that you can put up with a smaller battery.
Instead of putting in a huge battery, manufacturers decided that it was better to charge more often. And in order to do this faster, they began to develop fast and ultra-fast chargers. There are already chargers for 120, 125, 150 W, and versions for 200 and even 240 W are also being prepared. At the same time, it is stated that the battery from such a charge may suffer less than from a standard one and 4500 mAh from 0 to 100% is charged in 15 minutes. At least that’s what OPPO claims.
Another way to develop chargers is the development of wireless charging stations. What are now called “wireless chargers” are essentially not devoid of wires to power the station, and they cannot be called “wireless”. They also have one more disadvantage – a limited space for charging, that is, the smartphone must always be on the charging pad, which limits mobility, like conventional wired charging.
But technology does not stand still. Companies are developing wireless charging over the air. Xiaomi has already presented a prototype. This method of charging is more similar to wireless, at least the user can now move the smartphone within the room without interrupting charging.
Whether wireless charging will become more popular than wires is unknown, but if this could lead to smartphones without holes. The only thing that can upset users is the lack of a memory bundled with a smartphone – a bad trend that Apple started.
In general, it is worth saying that sooner or later 5G will become the main communication standard, the speed of the mobile Internet will increase, and the content will be transferred fast enough to support the most demanding applications, for example, the development of mobile VR / AR games is possible.
Multi-camera, one powerful sensor and modularity
In recent years, the trend has taken root to install cameras with 3-4 sensors in smartphones, usually one main and 2-3 auxiliary ones. “Many-eyed” smartphones have become the norm, as a rule, the sizes of lenses and sensors were about the same, but recently there has been a trend towards larger main sensors and small auxiliary ones. And for the development of cameras, they began to connect well- known optic manufacturers.
This trend may lead to the fact that the smartphone will have one big “eye”. But in this case, a number of problems may arise associated with a fixed aperture and focal length. But patents have already been discovered, according to which companies are developing a variable aperture, which the user can adjust depending on the situation.
Other companies continue to race for megapixels. Samsung is developing a 200MP sensor. If these are not invented, but real megapixels, then you will most likely get a camera with a call function.
Of course, smartphones are still far from the level of cameras, but manufacturers are trying to reduce this gap. And apparently there is progress.
Companies are also experimenting with modularity. OPPO wants to bring back swivel-style N-series phones and make them foldable, while vivo has patented a detachable touchscreen camera. Of course, these are not new ideas, but quite interesting ones.
The development of smartphones allows you to create more and more complex games. The mobile app market is already generating billions of dollars. This became possible due to the fact that gadgets have powerful enough hardware to support even games, like PUBG MOBILE.
In order for mobile gamers to play comfortably, manufacturers use powerful processors, large amounts of RAM and top-end drives in smartphones. However, all this does not make gaming smartphones. Gaming smartphones get innovative cooling systems, external, and more recently, internal fans.
Recently, the first discrete gaming accelerator in a smartphone was announced, the pioneer will be REDMAGIC 7. Also, software tricks do not stand still. It was with gaming smartphones that the spread of technology for increasing RAM by allocating part of the drive began.
Some users are already suggesting making a liquid cooling system for smartphones (LCS). But there is too little space in smartphones, so mini evaporation chambers are used.
Also, some gaming smartphones are equipped with hangers / triggers that make the smartphone look like a Nintendo Switch game console or Steam Deck.
China is ahead of the rest and is no longer just preparing, but releasing women’s smartphones. Surely many readers will think: what? female smartphone? How is that? Others will think a little differently.
But everything is much simpler, there are no features that radically distinguish such smartphones from ordinary ones. For example, Xiaomi released the Civi smartphone, according to the company, it was designed for women. In addition to the design, one interesting function was prepared – beauty shooting. The bottom line is to improve portrait photos. Also, HUAWEI is working on a smartphone with a camera to analyze the condition of the face skin.
Huawei is developing a foldable smartphone for women. What will be in it for women is unknown, but the trend can be traced. Chinese manufacturers have picked up on the idea of foldable smartphones, and the same can happen with women. But not only the Chinese are guided by the female sex, for example, Apple has already released a pink iPhone 13, although it did not specify for whom it was released.
A lot of people don’t like the notch on the iPhone, and the selfie cameras on smartphones don’t always look good. Therefore, manufacturers began developing under-screen cameras. The first, as always, were the Chinese. ZTE has released the ZTE Axon 20 5G, the first smartphone with a sub-screen selfie camera. But it turned out that the quality of shooting such cameras is extremely low.
But the stubborn Chinese did not give up and are developing further. Second-generation under-screen cameras have already been released. Many manufacturers are interested in this technology. This means that sooner or later under-screen cameras will become the norm for smartphones. Motorola released its own model – Moto Edge X30 Under Screen Edition.
In general, we can say that despite the total dominance of “bricks”, manufacturers are trying to do something interesting and stand out. It remains to be hoped that in the future good trends will take root, and not bad ones in the form of a lack of memory in the package.