While nearly 1.5 billion smartphone units shipped globally last year, market leaders -- including Apple, Samsung and Huawei -- are set to expand their shipments this year by adding new innovations to their offerings. The major focus nowadays is not towards the entry-level or mid-range segments but on capturing the top-end market. This is the most competitive front as companies need to bring remarkable features to win the race. So what are all the trends that are shaping next-generation flagship smartphone options?
Starting from Apple and Samsung to Huawei and Xiaomi, all key smartphone manufacturers are considering full-screen display panels for their next flagships. The term, "full-screen display", describes a panel that occupies the whole front area of a device to offer a wider viewing space. This is a step ahead of bezel-less (edge-to-edge) displays that were a part of 2015's Sharp Aquos Crystal, Oppo R7 and ZTE Nubia Z9. Samsung is using its 'Infinity Display' technology on top of the full-screen display of the Galaxy S8 to deliveran 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This would also be a part of the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. However, Apple is likely to distinguish its new iPhone models with an even tweaked display panel.
In addition to the trend of deploying a full-screen display, it is a dual-camera setup that has been arriving on all premium flagships this year. Apple began its journey with the dual-camera system last year. It would be expanded with the launch of the anticipated iPhone 8 that will likely to feature two horizontally-placed camera sensors. Likewise, Samsung is planning to shift to a dual-camera setup by launching the latest innovation on the Galaxy Note 8. Huawei's Mate 10 is also expected to have two cameras to stand in the arena of upcoming flagship smartphones.
Whether you are looking for a full-screen display or testing a dual-camera setup, one thing that matters you the most is the regular flow of power current. Wireless charging is a technology that helps you provide with the required charge instantly. Samsung has already been deploying it for a long time. And now, Apple is following the same footprints by enabling wireless charging support on its next iPhone models. Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi are also likely to take a cue from the matured players in the coming future. Ultimately, all this would boost the sales of wireless charging cradles and accessories based on Qi standard in the near future.
Digital audio output
Apple stormed the tech world by discarding a 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 lineup last year. Though some critics had estimated that development as a loss for the Cupertino company, it brought an advanced experience for consumers that would be refined over time. The idea behind leaving conventional jack was to abandon analogue audio and switch to an all new digital technology. This also helped to give space for other components (such as a new Taptic engine and a stereo speaker assembly) on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. At the same time, the new adoption brought better compatibility with modern audio formats. Samsung and other leading competitors are expected to take the Apple way and opt for digital audio output on their upcoming flagships.
The last big trend in the list, which is majorly shaping the next phase of flagship smartphones, is a new system architecture that is based on the 10-nanometre fabrication process. Samsung is the first player in the arena. It picked Qualcomm's 10nm Snapdragon 835 chipset for the US edition of the Galaxy S8 family. In the same sense, Apple would use a 10nm A11 chip in the next iPhone. This significant change will deliver not only a faster experience but a more battery life than the predecessors.
The above points are just the major trends that will be a part of your next pricey smartphone. Certainly, a massive number changes will accompany them to influence your buying decision.
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