From the likes of the iconic Nokia 3310 from the early 2000s to the latest Galaxy S22 Ultra from 2022, smartphones have certainly come a long way. With so many people believing that smartphone innovation has reached its peak, these modern handsets can seem boring at times.
However, we believe the best is yet to come; here are six features we want to see in future smartphones that will transform the way we use them.
1. Graphene battery
If there’s one thing that almost every smartphone user complains about, it’s battery life. Sure, your phone might have a 5000mAh battery, but it’s still made from lithium-ion, which means it’s going to degrade to the point of causing problems in about three years anyway.
In comparison, graphene is a much better material for making batteries because it is lighter, stronger, more flexible, more conductive and has a higher capacity. This means thinner phones, longer battery life, faster charging, slower degradation and less overheating for consumers.
We’ve yet to see a mainstream flagship carrying a graphene battery, but we do know that Samsung has been working on the technology for some time now. So there is reason to believe that we could see a Samsung device coming with a graphene battery in the next few years.
2. Improved under-display front camera
We’ve seen plenty of smartphones with an under-display camera before, such as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, ZTE Axon 30, and Xiaomi Mix 4, but the tech is still nowhere near good enough for large flagships. audience.
At best, you can get photos that look somewhat usable (but still underwhelming) in ideal lighting, but in low light or other challenging conditions the image quality drops off quite a bit. rapidly.
So, to counter this limitation, we use aggressive image processing algorithms to sharpen the image and reduce blurring. But a side effect of this workaround is that the chances of your selfie photos and videos looking over-processed are also higher.
Software alone cannot compensate for hardware deficiencies; we need to improve the billboards. Of the other features set to drop from flagships in the next few years, the front camera cutout is the one we want to see removed.
3. Truly frameless display
It’s not just the front camera cutout that needs to go, but the chin as well. Smartphone chins exist because the component that connects the display panel to the motherboard is at the bottom. You must have seen that budget and mid-range phones often have huge lower bezels. The good news is that we already know the solution to this problem; the bad news is that it’s expensive.
You see, with the launch of the iPhone X in 2017, Apple showed how it managed to minimize the bottom bezel by tucking the display panel into the device itself. This way, the component that connects the display to the motherboard doesn’t need to be at the bottom but rather behind it, making the device look almost bezel-less.
Although Apple has removed the bottom bezel, its top bezel still looks awkward on the iPhone 13 series. That’s why Android smartphones have more to gain from this upgrade. With the lower chin gone and the front camera cutout removed, you can expect a beautiful, completely bezel-less display.
4. Over-the-air wireless charging
We’ve expressed our disapproval of wireless charging before because the technology doesn’t live up to its promises. The end goal of all battery technology is to relieve you of the stress of having to worry about the life of your battery, including the pain of charging it. In other words, a good battery is forgotten.
With the wireless charging technology we have today, you always have to keep your phone in one place, i.e. the charging station, for your device to get its juice. As soon as you pick up the device, charging stops. Ideally, your phone should charge without you having to move.
While we’ve already seen some companies, including Xiaomi and Motorola, show off their true wireless charging prowess, the technology needs more time to become commercially available. Combined with a graphene battery, battery issues will be a thing of the past.
5. Less bloatware
Almost all tech gadgets come with bloatware. While iPhones and standard Android phones offer clean software, cheaper Android phones have useless pre-installed apps that take up your storage space and run in the background to eat up your battery.
Bloatware is one of the main reasons why Chinese phones are so cheap compared to other Android alternatives. By letting carriers dump their applications into software, OEMs can reduce their margin on hardware, leading to increased sales.
If all you want is a bargain when buying a budget phone, bloatware is a tolerable pain; but this is absolutely unacceptable for mid-range phones and flagships. We want this problem to go away as soon as possible; the less bloatware, the better.
Talking about technology is impossible without mentioning its detrimental effects on the environment, and the smartphone industry is no stranger to this fact. Today, many tech giants are on a mission to reduce their carbon footprint by using recycled materials in the manufacturing process and rethinking the supply chain. And even if it is a good initiative, it is not enough.
In addition to using more recycled materials, we also need to make phones more repairable and provide longer support for operating system updates. For example, Samsung is now offering four years of software support for its 2021 and 2022 flagships, which is a step in the right direction. But that’s still far from what Apple offers for its devices.
Modern smartphones are already powerful enough that you don’t need to replace them every three years. People often replace their phones due to the outdated battery, so you can replace the battery to make your phone feel new again without buying a new one. Simply using your phone longer is the best way to minimize your carbon footprint.
The best is yet to come for smartphones
Smartphones are one of the fastest growing technologies of our time, if not the fastest. While it won’t happen overnight, the introduction of the features above will propel us into the next era of mobile technology: an era where phones can last up to a full week of use, are less harmful to the planet, have a truly uninterrupted display, and deliver a seamless software experience.