5 new features for smartphones in 2018

YOU GOT TECH - Abe Olandres - The Philippine Star
5 new features for smartphones in 2018

The smartphone is a very saturated market, and while shipments indicate that sales are slowing down, vendors will continue to push for more innovation and new features in hopes of capturing a bigger piece of the pie.

Here are five new features that will become more commonplace in smartphones this 2018:

The notch. While not really a feature, the notch has become a symbol of innovation. First introduced in the Essential phone, the notch became a prominent fixture with the release of the iPhone X.

This was not intentional, of course, but a by-product of expanding the screen real estate and reducing unnecessary bezels.

The new Zenfone 5 has it, as well as the upcoming Huawei P20, LG G7 Neo, Vivo V9, Oppo R15 and few other lesser-known brands like Leagoo, Doogee and  Ulefone. We’ll certainly see more phones with the notch this year.

4 cameras. Dual cameras became the norm in 2017. In 2018, we’ll see more of them – dual-dual cameras or a pair each at the back and at the front.

Huawei originally introduced this in the Nova 2i, one of its more popular mid-range models from last year. Once Huawei continues to popularize this in more of their phones, we might see other vendors doing the same.

AI. Artificial Intelligence has been a buzzword in the smartphone industry for the last six to 12 months with Apple and Huawei leading the way with their AI-capable chipsets. With Qualcomm joining the bandwagon, we’ll certainly see more Snapdragon-powered smartphones from other vendors brandishing the same feature. Asus has already revealed this in the Zenfone 5 running on the Snapdragon 636.

Face recognition. As an alternative security feature to the fingerprint scanner, facial recognition has been added as an additional layer of security.

Facial recognition became more useful when Apple decided to completely take out the fingerprint  scanner from the iPhone X. This leaves the facial recognition technology as the sole biometric function for most of the security requirements.

Apple’s excellent use of facial recognition on the iPhone X will likely get other smartphone vendors to incorporate face recognition into their new devices. This feature should slowly become a standard offering in most smartphones this year.

Under-display fingerprint scanner. While facial recognition is a viable alternative to the fingerprint scanner, it seems they’ve found a better solution.

By integrating the sensor directly under the display, the smartphone can retain fingerprint scanning on the front panel without taking away space from the active display.

This was shown to work quite well with the Vivo X20 Plus UD and the Doogee V, both of which uses in-display sensor developed by Synaptics.

Vivo also showed a concept phone called Apex during the recent MWC in Barcelona.  It uses a more advanced sensor that spans almost half the entire bottom display of the phone.

With more smartphones that have very high screen-to-body ratios coming out, the idea of incorporating the fingerprint scanner could be a compelling proposition so we should see more of that later this year.

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