Welcome to the mobile phone industry in 2018! The hardware is faster, the software is smarter, the cameras are sharper, and well, the prices are higher too. 2018 got us all up in our feelings with the sleek features that debuted on mobile phones. Today, we highlight the top 5 outstanding smartphone features we saw this year.
The Essential Phone debuted the display notch, the iPhone X made it mainstream, and everyone else jumped on the train. The notch was deemed ‘necessary’ because of the quest for more screen real estate. While most phones stuck to the notch style seen on the iPhone X, phones like the OnePlus 6T brought the cute teardrop notch that’s a little less intruding than the others.
They were usually embedded in the home button at the front of the phone but eventually moved to the back when phones started needing higher screen-to-body ratio. Fingerprint scanners have found a new home – right under your phone’s display. You can now unlock your phone by placing your finger on the part of the screen that has the scanner underneath it.
Even though the technology is not yet mainstream, one major OEM– OnePlus, has finally pushed the in-display fingerprint to the major smartphone market. Companies like Vivo also demoed devices earlier in the year that had a functional in-display fingerprint scanner.
More and more cameras
Dual cameras trended in 2017 on most phones. Their setups use a second camera (usually telephoto lens) to accurately judge depth and offer features like 2x zooming, portrait shots, and wide-angle photos.
The number of cameras increased further with the Huawei P20 Pro spotting 3 rear cameras, and the Samsung Galaxy A9 with its 4 rear cameras.
Mobile phone OEMs are using the power of AI to drive better user experience and make their software experience more immersive. Google uses AI to power the portrait mode and unbelievable image processing on their Pixel phones. Google Assistant is also getting smart enough to make calls on your behalf – all driven by AI. Apple employs artificial intelligence for imaging and animation. Their smartphones include a dedicated “neural engine” that powers the “TrueDepth” front-facing camera system for authentication.
Screen Time/Digital Wellbeing
Apple users running iOS 12 or higher, and Android users running Android 9.0 Pie can now receive full information about their smartphone usage patterns. Both platforms have a dedicated dashboard where you can view your app usage data.
Social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram also give information on how much time you spend using them, allowing you to mute notifications for awhile to avoid distractions.
The digital health of smartphone users has been a long-standing issue in the tech space. Thankfully, it got addressed in 2018.
Featured Image Source: Engadget