Top 10 Dominated Features of Smartphones in 2018
The year 2018 was undoubtedly one of the most interesting in the smartphone market since the popularization of this type of device at the end of the last decade.
The year 2018 was undoubtedly one of the most interesting in the smartphone market since the popularization of this type of device at the end of the last decade. Many brands were working on minimizing edges around the screen, but at the end of last year, Apple came with the iPhone X and left the ball in the hands of companies that would launch smartphones in early 2018.
And with that, the industry went from almost total adoption of iPhone notch in the first half to inventive solutions to abandon said notch in the second. Along with this, several other trends and features have emerged that have made 2018 a curious year, which may be remembered forever as the beginning of a small device format revolution.
Speaking of format, Samsung and some other small brands have even launched or showcased devices with foldable screens, but since none of these devices came to a large extent for the public, let’s leave it as one of the top features of 2019.
Without further ado, let’s go to the list of key features this year that is ending.
10. Gaming Phones
The Razer was responsible for starting a trend in the market: gamer smartphones. Until then, anyone who wanted a powerful smartphone especially to play the latest games for Android and iOS had to simply buy the top of the line of their favorite brand.
Razer then decided to enter that market by bringing specs that would appeal specifically to that audience. With a screen with a refresh rate at 120 Hz and high-performance audio, the Razer Phone was born.
The device was officially launched in November 2017, but no one knew at the time if that fashion would catch on. It did not take long, and other manufacturers got into this wave. The Xiaomi launched the Black Shark in April, setting fire on competition, and Asus has come to make even more serious play with the ROG Phone and its many real gamer accessories.
The strategy of the Taiwanese company seems to have made so certain that, from 2019, gamers and power users will be the main focus of the entire mobile division of the company.
9. Retractable front camera
The first real smartphone of a major brand we saw with this feature was Vivo Apex, which the company showed at the beginning of the year merely to impress the fans and excite the curiosity of technology journalists. Months later, the company introduced Vivo Nex, which made the front retractable cameras in the market.
The OPPO, another brand owned by the same company that the Chinese live, also came into play with the Find X, which not only brought the retractable front camera but all the top of the phone. The mobile part of the Find X lifted all the front and back cameras along with the sensors for the brand’s 3D facial biometrics. So, every time it is unlocked, that part needs to be mechanically raised.
Other gadgets of these and other brands have been appearing on the market with similar features ever since.
8. Colors in gradient
The Huawei has invested heavily in design, and its smartphones were able to reach a new level of beauty in 2018. Earlier this year, the company introduced the P20 line and brought a set of reasonably striking bright colors. One of them was a kind of gradient between blue, green and purple.
The device was so interesting that a number of smaller brands started producing gradient backs, and Huawei itself implemented that concept again in its Mate 20 family models later this year.
7. Digital well-being
The Google introduced the Digital Welfare in Android Pie at the beginning of the year and completed the arrival of this feature in August. It was basically a set of features that could help the user better control their “smartphone addiction” and retake ownership of their lives.
Meanwhile, between announcement and launch, Apple has managed to do something very similar and has begun to distribute practically the same tools to its iOS users, who now can also take advantage of some software features to get off the little bit of the screen in their hands.
It is a software trend on the two major mobile platforms in the world and should be on virtually every smartphone in the next few years as Android Pie begins to reach consumers effectively.
6. Artificial Intelligence
The speech of virtually every software maker and smartphone itself has something to do with artificial intelligence. It did not start exactly in 2018 but has taken on great proportions this year. The Google already had developed a chip specifically to process AI through neural networks in their Pixel 3 and 3 XL, but in 2018, this element was taken to another level.
Huawei, Samsung, Apple and others have started doing the same and are offering much more AI features than before. It is only recently that the market has really started to bring in useful things in fact for this segment.
Previously, all we saw were silly things to embellish photos, such as augmented reality, and control of battery consumption that no longer worked after a few months.
5. Three or more rear cameras
The dual camera era was gone. The fashion now is to have three or more sensors on the back of the same smartphone. Huawei once again pulled the cable car with the P20 Pro earlier this year, and now Samsung has already launched Galaxy A9 smartphones with four sensors in the rear.
Google, perhaps scared to be left behind, also entered the world of multiple cameras but did not jump straight for three sensors. Instead, the company put two front-facing cameras in its latest models but kept the single camera at the rear.
Today, talking in four cameras behind is no longer exactly bizarre, with at least half a dozen different models of big brands already counting on it.
4. Sliding screen
While earlier in the year, leading Android smartphone makers were running after Apple and its notch, things started to change later this year. Some crazy solutions began to appear to avoid the notch, the cut that many people hated, but which could also improve the use of the front face of the screen phones.
The retractable front camera was one of the first solutions, but then Xiaomi with Mi Max 3 and a few other smaller companies brought it back from the slide cell. Now it was possible to make the screen of the cell slide down to reveal the front cameras inside. When out of use, these elements are hidden, and people can take advantage of a virtually borderless display.
3. Rear screen
The sliding screens and retractable cameras can be a problem. Mobile parts are weaknesses in a smartphone, both in terms of wear and penetration and water and other liquids.
As a result, gadgets like the Nubia X began to emerge, with an OLED screen hidden beneath the rear glass of the smartphone. This secondary display is much smaller than the front display but is fully functional. Its main feature is to help take selfies out with the rear camera, but it is also useful for other things.
Models from other brands are coming up with the same design, but Nubia has been on the market for a few months now.
2. Android One
It is not exactly a global trend at the moment, but we can point out that the arrival of Android One in many countries is really one of the highlights of the year.
Android One smartphones are partner-branded devices from Mountain View Giant that launch new handsets or even versions of existing models with completely clean software from Google. Thus, users can have the “experience of a Pixel” without having to buy one of these devices.
1. On-screen digital reader
The final innovation in this year in the smartphone is the popularization of the on-screen digital reader. The feature also began to appear already in January of this year and has since been gradually adopted by more manufacturers.
Again, Vivo with Vivo X20 was responsible for bringing this technology first to users, as more traditional brands like Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Apple went to sleep on the spot.
The first phone to hit the market with this feature was the Vivo X20 Plus UD, which uses technology from Synaptics to read users’ digital with an optical sensor that can see through the display. The same brand has already released other models with this feature. More recently, OnePlus has brought the OnePlus 6T to the market also with this biometric reader built into the screen. Besides, OnePlus was the first company to bring this news to the western market, since Vivo has a minimal role in Asia.
When the first phones with ultrasonic fingerprints begin to reach the market, we may have more brands like Samsung and Apple adhering to the feature.
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