Last year was marked by some radical changes in the smartphone industry. The notch got widespread use, In-display fingerprint readers started to appear in more and more devices, and wireless charging and NFC finally got their way to mid-range smartphones. Let’s take a look at what we predict will be the top trends for this year. These are not necessarily new technologies, but already available features that will become more popular and more widely used.
Pinhole Front facing camera
The notch was just an intermediate step in making the screen stretch all the way to the top of the phone. It did not take long for manufacturers to realize that they can do better so by the end of the year we already saw some interesting concepts. The pinhole camera will take off big time this year, especially in the first half. We already saw some new releases with such a camera setup on the front from most manufacturers, with more to come in the next few months.
48MP main camera
Another trend that we will see everywhere is a 48MP camera on the back. Both Sony and Samsung have such sensor available and many manufacturers will incorporate them in their future smartphone. Even mid-range devices like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 or the Umidigi S3 Pro have such a sensor on the back, with even more smartphones being planned for release in the upcoming months. Let’s just hope that they will work on software as well since it is as important in photo quality as the sensor. Just look and what Google can achieve with good software.
Most high-end devices will have a version released next year that features 5G connectivity. It will be more expensive than 4G models and won’t be as widely available, but every manufacturer will rush to deliver a 5G smartphone as soon as possible. The tech won’t be available in mid-range devices yet, mostly because the cost will be a lot higher but with a bit of luck, next year will be better. Also, some B-Brand manufacturers will try to find other solutions, like Doogee, who will offer an external 5G module for their modular phone.
Pop-up and sliding cameras
Another solution for the notch was a pop-up camera or a sliding mechanism that hides the front-facing camera behind the screen. At first, only high-end devices had such functions, but this year the tech will come to mid-range smartphones as well. It already started popping out (pun intended) in smartphones from Elephone. More and more manufacturers will offer this as a way to offer a screen-to-body ratio as big as possible. The dual-screen tech, even though it is very cool and interesting, won’t be that widely used and mid-range smartphone won’t come with such features due to cost.
In-display fingerprint reader
We saw some devices that had an in-display fingerprint reader this year, but, few manufacturers included it due to it’s slower unlock speed. However, with the new tech implemented by Qualcomm for this and with improvements in the sensors and algorithms, things will change this year. More and more manufacturers will include a fingerprint reader in the display (or underneath it). The tech will also be cheaper and even mid-range or high-mid range smartphone will offer this. This will also be good news for screen tech since this type of fingerprint reader will only work on OLED panels.