Looking ahead: what we like to see in the smartphone world in 2018
Smartphone design changed a lot in 2017. It was the first year we saw 18:9 aspect ratio displays, and now phones with more traditional 16:9 screens are becoming scarcer. Those stretched-out screens are also resulting in less bezel, which can be good or bad depending on how you use your smartphone. This past year we also saw the introduction of the notch, prominently displayed on the iPhone X and Essential Phone. We even got a smartphone with a 120 Hz display.
Phones are getting sleeker and more innovative, and in 2018, we don’t want that innovation to stop.
thinking outside the box
Seeing as most of the affordable phones on the market can perform the same basic functions as the $1,000 phones, OEMs need to think of new ways to entice users into their ecosystems. In 2018, that could mean new products that enhance the functionality and go hand-in-hand with our mobile devices.
Samsung’s DeX was one of the most underrated product launches of 2017. For $150, you can plop your Galaxy smartphone into the dock and use it as a desktop computer. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a novel idea with a great execution.
Samsung isn’t alone in this space, either. Huawei launched an awesome feature with the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro that essentially does the same thing as DeX without the dock. All you need is a USB Type-C to HDMI cable and you can turn your Mate device into a computer.
More transparency from manufacturers
When you buy a new smartphone, it’s an investment. Not only is it literally an investment of money, but you’re also investing in the company that made your phone. When those companies don’t keep you up to date on software updates and shipping times it can be super frustrating — especially if you’ve just spent $1,000 on a smartphone.
One OEM in 2017 is getting an A+ in my book when it comes to communication and transparency: Essential.
Ever since the Essential Phone first came to market, the company made it a point to hold bi-weekly AMAs on Reddit to answer any questions its users may have. In the AMAs, Essential customers get the opportunity to ask Essential execs about anything: camera updates, software update timelines, when new colors will come to market, why Essential made certain decisions when making its phone. It’s a great way for Essential to show customers it cares.