2017 year roundup: Redefining smartphone technologies
If we have to name a year that changed the way the smartphone industry functions, it was 2017. This year, we saw several new trends and technologies surfacing on the global smartphone market, all of which changed the industry and raked in a lot of interest from consumers. Most of these technologies made it to the budget segments as well and brought in a lot of interest from consumer. Be it narrow-bezel displays or facial recognition features, we have summed it up for you here.
Had this trend didn’t come, we wouldn’t have seen the smartphone industry becoming exciting anymore. Although Xiaomi popularised the ‘bezel-less’ display in last year’s Mi MIX, Samsung was responsible for commercialising the trend with their Infinity Display. Soon, other manufacturers followed suit, including Apple, who changed their basic iPhone formula for the first time in 10 years by using a all-screen display and no home button. Several budget smartphones are losing the fat bezels and it is expected that it will be a standard feature for next year.
Apple has to be credited for this. The company risked their biggest product launch by removing the fingerprint sensor and relying solely on their FaceID. Facial recognition is supposed to change the way we verify ourselves on our smartphones without any physical contact. Apple’s system is an expensive one, using an array of IR sensors to work even in dark ambience. However, OnePlus figured out an inexpensive way to use facial recognition using the smartness of artificial intelligence on their OnePlus 5T, which will be rolled out to older OnePlus phones as well. Both the systems are far from perfect but showcase the future of biometric verification. (Photo: Apple)
On-screen fingerprint scanner
Despite facial recognition ready for mass production, most manufacturers are still relying on fingerprint scanners to keep costs low. We believe that these are faster and more secure in the present scenario than facial recognition systems. Since smartphones are adopting an all-screen display, the need to keep the sensor in the front provides for added practicality. Vivo is slated to use this technology in one of their flagship models early next year, followed by Samsung and other manufacturers. Synaptics’ ClearID optical fingerprint recognition systems already hold a lot of potential for use in commercial smartphones very soon. (Photo: Vivo)
2017 also saw the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on smartphones. Google has put all of its hopes on AI for their Pixel 2 flagship’s success. The Pixel 2 and a bunch of other models from Huawei and Apple have incorporated a dedicated chip to power AI on board. We have seen the Pixel 2 doing wonders with AI for taking portrait pictures with single camera sensor and Huwaei’s Mate 10 helping the overall UI navigation. Qualcomm has already announced native AI support on the Snapdragon 845 SoC, which means more and more OEMs will be implementing it on their flagship models in the next year. (Photo: Huawei)
Foldable displays mark the start of a new era in the world of smartphones. The ability to convert your smartphone’s display into a tablet when required provides users with unlimited opportunities. If the foldable display trend continues, then the tablet market coud soon be dead. ZTE’s Axon M takes the credit for being one of the first ones to take advantage of this new trend. Samsung and Apple are also expected to take advantage of this technology in the near future. (Photo: ZTE)
, facial recognition