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Upcoming smartphones are going to be very different from their current designs. Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi are looking to jump-start smartphone sales and are hoping to use design and functionality as booster cables. As tech lovers (and purveyors of smartphones), we have our eye on the trajectory of the industry and wish to share that information with you. We have already discussed 5G and foldable designs, but there are a lot more changes coming to smartphone design and function that I want to share with you.
More smartphone manufacturers are looking to incorporate pop-up selfie cameras into their upcoming smartphones. Therefore, do not be surprised if other companies start doing the same thing. What is a pop-up camera? As the name implies, the camera slides in and out of the smartphone, instead of being fixed to the notch. The pop-up selfie camera comes with a few benefits, chief among them is a larger display.
With a pop-up camera, there is no need for a notch, meaning the screen can be expanded all the way to the top. Furthermore, it gives smartphone manufacturers the chance to differentiate their offerings through different designs. For example, Oppo’s Reno smartphone will feature a sharkfin angle.
Does the back of your smartphone heat up after some time? That annoyance will be a thing of the past thanks to a research team from MIT who have discovered a new material to keep upcoming smartphones cool and prevent overheating. The new polymer-based material is cheaper than glass, plastic and metal. So, what does this mean for consumers? You no longer have to worry about your smartphone heating up after gaming or watching videos. It also means future smartphones might be cheaper because the polymer is more affordable than glass or metal.
Samsung filed a patent for a wrap-around design. Filing patents does not guarantee a tangible product will come to the market, but we have reason to believe that we will be seeing an alternative to foldable phones soon. First, some information on the ‘wrap around’ smartphone. The front screen extends from the bottom over the top and a little on the rear. Put simply, the screen ‘wraps around’ the smartphone body removing the bezel and notch.
The design opens up new functions for upcoming smartphones (which is why we think it will become a reality in a few years). Features include dual microphones, dual selfie cameras, live translation modes and display notifications in parts of the display. The wrap-around design has a lot of potential to grow.
What if upcoming smartphones were no longer just tools for private consumption but for public service, as well? The ‘Fix It Cincy’ app demonstrates the potential of smartphones in city maintenance. If citizens in Cincinnati city discover potholes on the road, they can take a picture and send it directly to the local government. Thus, the Cincinnati local government now efficiently collects information on potholes in the city and, therefore, the government can deploy resources more efficiently. There are other smartphone apps to handle other public services like parking services, making it easier to manage scarce resources.
Samsung is not the only one filing patents for new designs for upcoming smartphones, given that Xiaomi filed its own license for a brand new smartphone with a reverse notch. In conventional smartphones, the notch takes up valuable space on the bezel, space that could be used to enlarge the display. According to the new designs, the reverse notch will not be on the bezel, instead, there will be a rain-drop shaped notch at the top of the smartphone. The new notch design consists of two cameras and a single earpiece. Naturally, this will also lead to larger screens from which you can enjoy your movies and games.
Upcoming smartphones are coming with incremental shifts that will alter the way we use mobile devices. These changes include pop-up selfie cameras, new materials for smartphones, tools for public service and innovative designs that could pave the way for brand new features and functions. We feel like these changes have a lot of potential for consumers, especially if the new designs change the way we use our smartphones.
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