ZTE Axon M
The ZTE Axon M is the first smartphone to sport a folding dual-screen display released commercially ZTE

By 2018, an estimated total of almost 2.53 billion people around the world will own at least one smartphone, says German market research firm Statista. In one of the most lucrative and dynamic industries, smartphone manufacturers are in a rat race with their own gimmicks and bells and whistles in tow in order to survive.

To win consumers, features are being used by manufacturers as armours more often than not. For 2018, we have already heard a bunch of beef-ups to expect--bigger batteries, larger RAMs, faster processors, QHD displays, thin to no bezels design and more AI-induced techniques, among others.

Also read: Saving up for new phone? Check out the most exciting smartphones for 2018

In this list, however, IBTimes Singapore has compiled some of the most popular features we've heard in 2017 but didn't actually make it into production for some reason. Some features already exist but haven't gained traction yet.

Here are four of the biggest and groundbreaking smartphone trends to watch out for in 2018:

In-display fingerprint scanner

Apple Inc may have failed to pull off the fingerprint sensor that was reportedly planned to be placed under the stunning display of the iPhone X, hopes are high that this feature will finally arrive in 2018. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd also attempted this feature for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus but to no avail.

A prototype of Vivo's in-display fingeprint scanner
Vivo releases a prototype of its next-generation smartphone sporting an in-display fingerprint scanner Vivo

Also read: 5 best smartphones released in 2017, except Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X

Vivo is now in the running to pioneer the in-display fingerprint scanner feature, boasting a prototype of its next-generation smartphone. Are we going to finally see this feature at the CES event in January 2018?

18:9 display aspect ratio

The community had not been unanimously ecstatic when Samsung, out of the blue, used an aspect ratio of 18:9 for the displays of the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. But some analysts believe that the traditional and market-dominant 16:9 aspect ratio will be gone soon as 18:9 will become the new standard. Other phones already jumping on board this trend are Google Pixel 2 XL, Huawei Honor 9i, Oppo F5, OnePlus 5T, Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus and LG V30 and G6.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 display has an 18:9 aspect ratio Reuters

Folding dual-screen displays

For many years now, various patents for dual-screen displays have been reappearing on the US Patent and Trademark Office website, keeping a good ground that phones with such design might soon become available. Based on reports, 2018 is the year that this promising feature will be widely introduced to the public.

Samsung Galaxy Note X fan render
The Samsung Galaxy Note X has been rumoured to sport a dual-screen display. ZONEofTECH/YouTube

Also read: Top 7 tech stories of 2017 that shook the world

The ZTE Axon M already came out early in December, boasting this technology. Samsung's rumoured Galaxy Note X has been said to sport a dual-screen display that transforms into a 7-inch tablet and is set to arrive in the third quarter of 2018. Microsoft, LG, Lenovo and Huawei are all expected to deliver this design next year.

Distant wireless charging

When wireless charging used to be a rumour a couple of years ago, people expected that OEMs will make it work free from peripherals or external devices. This is not the case though as wireless chargers available in the market today are all dependent on charging pads.

Samsung Fast Charge
Samsung has first released the Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad in October 2015 Honou/Flickr

In 2018, a new milestone is expected to take off in the smartphone charging department. Will it be time for a truly distant wireless charger to come out?

Which feature are you looking forward to in 2018?