Exciting new innovations
2017 promises a more vibrant year for the smartphone industry, as more compelling features and functions are introduced
THE world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona recently, shows a lot of promise of what consumers can expect from smartphone vendors and mobile players, such as smartwatches and tablets.
It’s still early in the year, but word is out that a tiny old phone is being rebooted at MWC. They say what’s old is now new, and it’s taking on some of the big guns of the mobile phone industry today. Nokia’s best-selling model ever, the Nokia 3310, stole the limelight at MWC. Said to practically outlast any smartphone, the 3310’s reliability is touted to be better than ever, boasting a month of battery life too. However, you’ll have to give up your apps and touchscreen. Not a good idea, maybe. But then again, as they say, it’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.
5G is the new hype this year. The fifth generation of wireless technology promises a blazing connection like never before, unlocking potential to new technologies, such as virtual reality and automation of gadgets. It will be a major plus point, in my book, to connect globally with lightning speed. 5G is still a work in progress, but it should be here before we know it.
Virtual reality; the thought of the technology seemed so unreal years ago. Yet, here it is today. It’s already on the list of technology to be incorporated into smartphones with the aid of special devices. I am sure gamers out there are thrilled with this possible addition to our smartphones.
We already have the high dynamic range (HDR) capability on televisions, and now, we will have it on our phones. LG shone at MWC with its LG G6 smartphone with fingerprint scanner, Dolby Vision and HDR 10.
We all know that we love our camera phones. In fact, it’s essential these days when it comes to influencing decisions when buying a phone. Leading the camera functions are iPhone, Sony and Huawei. Sony’s impressive Xperia XZ Premium boasts of its own random access memory to improve performance and supports an unbelievable 960 frames per second slow-motion video, which is a big leap to iPhone’s 240fps. Huawei is back this year with their evolution of last year’s P9. With their Leica-engineered camera, its two-camera combination has boosted to 12-megapixel one colour (RGB) sensor and 20megapixel monochrome. iPhone has yet to unveil this year’s model, but we can be sure that its camera functions will show more improvements than before.
There has been much debate about the embedded Internet of Things (IoT) adoption in phones. This year, we hope it would become a reality. We’re thinking of connected cars, machines and gadgets automation, remote metering and more.
Many phones this year will also offer faster performances, thanks to the new Snapdragon 835 chip. Offering a staggering 25 per cent faster graphic renderings and half the power consumption, it will offer longer battery life.
Pretty all-screen, or bezel-less, phones are in. Optimising the screen to near edges of the phone will allow maximum coverage with very a slim and sizable design. LG G6 features bezel-less design with an 18:9 aspect ratio where most phones are 16:9, which means one can now watch movies on the phone without those pesky side black boxes. Other phones with such design include Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Sony Xperia XA1 and Xiaomi Mi Mix.
There’s also AI assistance coming up, where smartphones are able to interact with us. Now, you can check out the weather forecast, search for information, pen down notes and more with this smart interactive functionality.
Wait, there’s more coming this year. Wireless battery charge, water resistance, fingerprint scanners, home button hideaway and more. The two goliaths of the mobile phone industry, Samsung and iPhone, have been keeping this year’s models under top secrecy. However, rumour has it that we can expect an edge-toedge organic light-emitting diode screen, TouchID scanner, wireless charging and biometric features, such as facial recognition or iris scanners for iPhone 8, while Samsung is expected to unveil their Galaxy S series with fingerprint scanner, bezel-less screen, retirement of the headphone jack, home button hideaway and possibly the new Snapdragon processor.
There’s hope yet for more technology to appear in the later part of the year, so if you’re thinking of changing your phone, you might want to hold your breath and wait a little longer into this year. email@example.com The writer is editor of BOTs, the weekly tech section in Life&Times. Trained in Maths, he has since traded his problem-solving skills with writing about how tech has helped to transform the world for the better
Visitors walking past a 5G logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on March 1.