Smartphone trends or marketing forces that manipulate buying decisions of general consumers keep varying every few months (In spite of the number of phones pouring in, they aren’t, thankfully, anywhere as transient as apparel trends).
If you are looking forward to buying a new phone and don’t want to miss out on whatever is hot and happening as of today, here are the 5 suave tech trends that you need to know about.
Full view 18:9 displays
Smartphones have been gradually progressing towards the bezel-less fascia for a few years now, but it’s now that the trend of bezel-less or full-view or infinity -or whatever you might call them displays, is in full swing.
You can easily procure 18:9 displays for under 20,000 and in fact, even for under 10,000 INR if that’s your sole priority. But do they add any merit?
Advantages of 18:9 full view displays:
Well, on the positive side, manufacturers can add more screen real estate while still keeping the phone manageable, you can fit more content on your screen, and the overall experience is more immersive.
Disadvantages of 18:9 full view displays:
On the downside, you still won’t find much video content for such screens (which means you’d either get black bars and small screen area for videos or will have to crop and fit them on the screen. Also, the 18:9 panels with very narrow bezels surrounding them are more susceptible to damage and perhaps that’s why more and more OEMs are now bundling one year subsidized screen replacement with such phones.
All said and done, the 18:9 panels do feel like a refreshing change of pace.
Dual cameras are now a smartphone stable, but it’s still surprising that only a few OEMs can get it right.
Dual cameras basically come in three implementations
- Basic ones that let you shoot bokeh shots (aka portrait shots):
- Some combine Monochrome and color sensors for gathering more light, resulting in more detailed and sharper images.
- And others (usually premium phones) use the second sensor for (2X) optical zoom.
In our experience, only Pixel 2 gets the portrait mode right (to the extent that you’d want to use it frequently) and the 2X zoom comes in useful every now and then (but the quality is decent, more often than not, only in good lighting)
So, yes the dual cameras have a feel-good factor to them, and yes, this is could be a great way of offsetting smartphone photography constraints, but at the same time, you won’t be missing out on much if you skip them.
Apple puts a lot of hardware muscle behind the face unlock mechanism of the much revered iPhone X, but there are other devices that include a workable Face Unlock feature. These include LG G6, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or even mid-range phones like LG Q6 and Samsung Galaxy J7 Max.
The Face Unlock is not yet a replacement for or nowhere near as consistent as the good old fingerprint sensor, but it doesn’t hurt either. It doesn’t consume much battery and every now and then you will be surprised by a magical unlock. Obviously, this won’t be a deciding factor while purchasing a smartphone unless it’s iPhone X that you are considering.
Even with the influx of trends like 18:9 display panels, 16nm chipsets, and dual cameras, Selfie shooters haven’t lost there importance one bit.
Manufacturers are still religiously marketing the selfie advantage they have which has resulted in attributes like Live beautification, dual front cameras for portraits and groupies, 4K selfie videos, and even use of A.I. to enhance selfies.
Has selfie quality improved in general? Hmm.. it’s hard to say so. Selfie cameras still remain largely inferior to the rear cameras, in spite of the burgeoning megapixel counts.
Battery backups have improved a lot this year, all thanks to better-optimized chipsets based on smaller process nodes (16nm chips are fairly common these days), but still, fast charging remains to be an unmatched convenience.
There will always be times when you need to scoot but don’t have charge remaining on your device. So, yes, a phone that can help you quickly top up battery juice can be a huge convenience.
MicroSD card slot makes a comeback, 64GB Storage is commonplace
In India, we have endured more than a year of hybrid dual SIM devices. However with the advent of Reliance Jio, when most consumers actually need two SIM cards, manufacturers are finally bringing back the dedicated card slot.
Most affordable phones today either have a dedicated SD card slot or include at least 64GB of storage. Some have both.
The trend counts as a value addition and qualifies as a massive improvement. Manufacturers doling out that kind of storage capacity even in phones under 15,000 INR should definitely help improve the overall budget phone performance, durability, and experience in the long run.
5 Latest Smartphone trends to consider before buying a phone today
So this is our evaluation of whatever is trending and how much priority these particular features deserves while you are deciding your next smartphone. Of course, there are things like USB Type-C port, Stereo speakers, water resistance (still reserved for high-end phones) or AI capabilities, that might be of particular interest to you but if you have no clue about what’s new and might interest you, there are the things you should start with.