The smartphone industry has been growing leaps and bounds in the past demi-decade, and the year 2016 just upped the game by one level. Phones got sleeker, smarter, powerful, intelligent in fact, a changeover of sorts happened.
Let’s take a look at some of the major transitions that happened this year as far as smartphones are concerned.
Headphone jack, USB ports, and MagSafe, all had the same fate
It appears as if Apple is adding new features to its products at the cost of most essential ones. First, it killed the headphone jack on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. We get that it’s a step towards future, a step that makes wireless audio playback more prominent. But, what we don’t get is the fact that why fiddle around with something (3.5mm audio jack) when everything works just fine as it is.
And if this weren’t enough, Apple killed the standard USB slots on the newly launched MacBook Pro in favor of the USB Type-C slots which are yet-to-be mainstream. Besides, it had also killed the MagSafe connector and SD card slot which makes it one of the worst transitions of the year.
Single camera to dual camera setup
Until recently, dual camera setup on smartphones was a distant dream (or it was regarded as a flagship affair at least). But, with the introduction of smartphones like the Honor 8, Coolpad 1 Dual, Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, and the like, dual camera smartphones have become more prominent in the sub-Rs. 30,000 category.
Also, Qualcomm had earlier announced Snapdragon 653, 626, and 427 chipsets all of which offer support for dual camera setup. So, expect more smartphones with the setup at affordable prices in the next year.
Despite the fact the Google couldn’t deliver its Project Ara smartphone — a one-of-it’s-kind modular phone, a couple of other vendors like the LG and Lenovo-owned Moto have released semi-modular phones this year.
The highlight of these phones is the fact that they allow you to swap hardware like camera, batteries, camera, speakers, and much more thereby enabling you to upgrade parts of the phone instead of the phone itself.
Also Read: Most Embarrassing Tech Fails of 2016
Flat panel displays to curved and near bezel-less displays
There were no more than a handful of phones with curved or bezel-less display before 2016. But, the year 2016 has changed everything (just like every year), and every alternate phone has a curved design now. Although bezel-less displays are not as common as curved ones, a good number of smartphones have been launched with near bezel-less displays.
Augmented Reality support for smartphones
With the introduction of Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, Google gave us a sneak peak of its one of the most ambitious operations called Project Tango which is based on Augmented Reality (AR). Recently, Apple had also been granted a patent to use AR technology in its iPhones.
For those who are not aware of Project Tango, it is a tech based on Augmented Reality that allows your smartphone to capture objects in your surroundings in 3D for various real-life applications such as mapping and navigation, architectural designing, depth perception, gaming, helping visually impaired.
3GB of RAM is the new 2GB RAM
Not so long ago, having 2GB of RAM was a big deal on smartphones. But soon, phones with 6GB of RAM like the OnePlus 3 were launched. And smartphones with 4GB of RAM (and 3GB of RAM) are standard now. For instance, think of a few smartphones and every alternate phone that comes to your mind, in all its likelihood should pack 3GB of RAM, if not 4GB.
Death of Nexus, the birth of Pixel
Google, killed its iconic and one of the most appreciated Nexus lineup to pave the path for Pixel series of smartphones. Apart from being the first set of smartphones made by Google inside and out, the Pixel and Pixel XL have a good number of unique features up its sleeves. Read this article to find out what makes Pixel phones unique.
USB Type-C: One for all, all for one
Already, a good number of companies like Google, Apple, OnePlus Samsung had adopted the USB Type-C standard in the year 2016. And the adoption rate is only increasing. There’s a good reason for the sudden surge. USB Type-C can do so many things that the microUSB can’t. For example, apart from allowing one to charge smartphones, it allows audio playback, faster-charging speeds, and moreover one can plug it in any orientation.
Faster chipsets, equally fast charging technologies
Every year, Qualcomm announces its latest SoCs which are not only faster than its previous iterations but also support faster-charging technologies. And this year was no different. Smartphone chipsets (including the likes of Apple’s A10, MediaTek’s Helio X25, Huawei’s Kirin 950) got faster in 2016.