Smartphone aficionados are all agog at the thought of the forthcoming Samsung products for 2019, namely premium foldable phones and the Galaxy S10 anniversary edition. Next year won’t all be about Samsung though, and with more smartphone brands appearing on the market, there’s sure to be some established names working feverishly to come up with new and superior features that will keep them at the top of people’s shopping lists. There are already several promising developments on track for 2019; some that are filtering down from the premium models, and others entering the market for the first time.
7nm production node
Phone users want more and better functionality, but increased battery life as well. The 7nm production node is the premier mobile chipset for achieving both these customer demands, and it looks set to be the standard for the near future. Apple’s latest iPhone XS models have the A12 Bionic technology, using the 7nm node, and Huawei has 7nm in their Mate 20 models. If you were feeling pleased about buying a 10nm phone earlier this year, try comparing the figures, and you’ll see that the reduction in power draw and improved performance of 7nm phones is pretty impressive. 7nm production nodes are going to be even more critical for the new 5G phones coming out in 2019, as they’ll ensure performance and power usage don’t suffer.
In-display finger scanners
In-display finger scanners are already available, for example, the Vivo Nex features this technology. However, their version is an under-glass optic reader, and although it’s anticipated that some smartphones will use optical, the most highly rated scanners of 2019 will use ultrasonic technology. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is reported to be fitted with the Qualcomm second generation ultrasonic sensor, the first time such an advanced in-display finger scanner will have been standard in a mass market handset. This new sensor functions under a screen up to 800 microns thick, 500 microns more than the first-generation version. Chinese giant Huawei is rumored to be using the same second-generation sensor in its Mate 20 Pro and may get their handset to market before the S10 is released.
There’s been much talk about premium handsets moving into AR in the near future, and it seems that the likeliest scenario is for high-end Galaxies and iPhones to have AR 3D sensor kits and gesture recognition technology installed. The Oppo R17 Pro already features a time-of-flight 3D sensing rear camera for AR and gesture navigation functions, and Apple is reportedly working hard on advancing AR capabilities and getting the same kind of technology into their 2019 handsets.
In addition to the 3D sensing rear camera, Apple also hopes to increase the capacitive touch sensitivity up to 50mm from 30mm, enabling multi-finger hovering gesture recognition. In other words, you’d be able to manipulate anything you scanned with your time-of-flight sensor without touching the screen.
The idea of having the ability to fold up your smartphone and stick it in your pocket has massive appeal. For one thing, large smartphones don’t fit easily into pockets or bags, so it would be more convenient to have a phone that folded in half. Most importantly, it’s an incredibly cool piece of tech to own. A display screen that you can fold completely over without damaging it; who wouldn’t want to play with one of those!
Samsung has been the market leader in foldable technology, but it’s still working on the ultimate foldable phone. It’s hoped that this truly bendable handset will appear early next year, although it’s likely to have a fairly hefty price tag. Meanwhile, Huawei and Xiaomi also have their own foldable models on the way, and these will probably come in at around half the price of the Samsung. LG, a company that’s been pretty quiet in the smartphone market recently, is also expected to release a foldable phone in the New Year.
Is it worth getting excited about new smartphones?
It’s clear that for many people, buying the latest smartphone feels like an essential purchase. As well as all the different ways in which they can be used, and their integral role in providing social media content, smartphones are one of the ultimate status symbols. If you feel embarrassed to be seen with a cheap or outdated phone, you’ll be buying a new model as soon as it’s out, whether it’s much of an improvement on the old one or not! It’s easy to spend hundreds (and for premier models, thousands) of dollars on a smartphone, and even so-called cheaper models or refurbished leading brands can still run into the hundreds.
If your phone is important to you, look for the best purchase plans for contract phones. You can also buy new phones on sim-only deals on a purchase plan, so there are a fair few options available. Alternatively, if you want to use credit facilities, make sure you check the rates and repayment terms carefully to ensure you’re getting a good deal. It’s advisable to use a reputable broker who can advise you on the most suitable products, such as unsecured credit cards or loans.
Tech enthusiasts love new smartphones because they have a passionate interest in the latest tech developments, and some of the features promised for 2019 sound like they could have a lot of tech heads counting down the days until each release date. On the other hand, if you’re not concerned about brands, the range of new Chinese handsets is developing into worthy competition for Apple and Samsung. They may cost significantly less, but the Chinese smartphones are proving popular in expert tests and reports, and people who’ve bought them are impressed with what they get for their money.
You probably know that as soon as you make the decision to buy a new smartphone, something bigger, brighter and shinier will arrive on the market; but that’s part of the fun. It looks like 2019 is going to see some exciting technological developments coming to market, so roll on next year!