2018, in all its glory, was an average year for the smartphone industry. Few phones introduced a unique and useful feature. Most went for a traditional spec bump while others went for mostly gimmicky features. But 2018 is about to end and we are really excited about what 2019 has in store for us.
1. Emphasis on Gaming
Fortnite proved one thing in 2018, console-quality gaming is possible on a smartphone. The game looks gorgeous and a new update allows it to run at 60fps at epic settings which is insane! Fortnite has started a trend and we are going to see more companies joining the party. Gaming on phones is going to have 2 parts
- Phone manufacturers experimented with gaming phone in 2018. They were decent but nothing killer. 2018 saw phones like Xiaomi Shark, ROG phone and Razer phone. These were dedicated gaming phones. 2019 will change this as manufacturers will try to incorporate gaming features in normal non-gaming phones. This means better performance over extended periods of time
- Game developers will push for the mobile market seriously. After seeing how successful Fortnite on mobile has been, developers have started considering mobile phones as a viable platform. We already know that big developers like Blizzard, Konami and Bethesda have games coming for mobile phones. These include games from famous series like Diablo and Elder Scrolls.
2. Foldable Phones
Foldable phones have been a dream. Samsung displayed the concept named “Youm” back in 2013. Since then we have been anxiously waiting for it. But the wait might be over in 2019. Every big OEM is expected to announce a foldable phone in 2019. Huawei, Samsung, LG, and even Sony have bendable phones in their product pipeline. Samsung even demoed a working foldable phone last month. To make the case even stronger, Google has been working on a flavor of android that is designed specifically for the foldable screen.
But that doesn’t mean that the phones will be made with everyone in mind. These phones are expected to have skyrocket prices. Here’s hoping that at least the implementation is good for a first gen product.
3. In-Screen Finger-Print Sensor
2018 saw the introduction of on-screen fingerprint sensors. Phones like OnePlus 6t and Huawei Mate 20 Pro were few of the phones that had on-screen fingerprint sensors. But 2019 is going to see almost every other phone expect iPhone to adopt an in-screen fingerprint sensor. But the bigger breakthrough, in my opinion, is the shift from optical based sensors to ultrasonic-based sensors. We have seen that OnePlus 6t’s implementation is futuristic but not fast enough to be practical. Ultrasonic based sensors will be faster and more secure.
4. More Cameras
We have been stuck at 2 cameras for a long time now. Multiple cameras have opened up new opportunities for photographers. They allow for features like portrait mode, portrait lighting, optical zooming, and wide angle shots. 2019 will improve upon this trend by cramming in more cameras in phones.
Nokia 9 has been leaked multiple times depicting a 5 camera setup, while LG has filed a patent for a 16 camera phone. Samsung has even introduced a 4 camera phone and their upcoming flagship, Galaxy S10, is expected to multiple cameras as well. You might ask what’s the point of having multiple cameras? Well, these allow for more features like a wide angle and telephoto lens at the same time, or better depth mapping for better portrait shots, or maybe just improving the overall image quality.
5. New Notch designs
Notches have been one of the biggest issues for users in 2018. While many tried with smaller notches and sliding phones, the problem existed. 2019 will fix this by continuing with sliding phone but introducing a notch design, hole-punch display. Huawei might even announce a hole-punch display phone before the end of this year. Samsung’s upcoming phone Galaxy S10 will be launching with a similar display or as Samsung likes to call it Infinity O display. Hole-punch displays allow for minimizing and effectively hiding the notch and allowing for a more immersive display.