It shouldn't be an exaggeration to say that 2016 has been a game-changing year in the smartphone arena. Taking a look at the individual players, there is nothing common between them over the year. Some companies like Huawei have had a great year with a great sales volume and growth, while the same has been worst for some including Samsung.
Despite the differences in what they have achieved over the months, there have been some aspects that are common among different manufacturers. Some of these are becoming increasingly clear and are widely implemented by many companies across the smartphone landscape.
As the smartphone market is evolving at a fast pace, a lot has changed in 2016, but not all changes are a hit. There are a few notable changes that have become trend setters and almost every manufacturer wants to use the same. Today, you will get to know some of the smartphone trends that we saw in 2016.
Dual Camera Setup
It appears like all OEMs have agreed with this camera setup on their smartphones. They seem to have come to terms with the fact that the dual camera setup is better than the use of a single sensor. Big players such as Apple, Samsung, etc. have resorted to implement the dual rear camera setup on their premium offers. Contributing to this trend, even the chip makers have come up with upgraded chips supporting the dual camera technology.
However, one thing that you need to know is that the implementation of the dual camera sensors differs from one brand to another. To add more sense to this, iPhone 7 Plus makes use of the second rear camera sensor to get 2x zoom. On the other hand, Huawei P9 uses the same to get more light. The low-cost dual camera smartphones use the secondary snapper as the depth sensor in order to differentiate between the background and foreground to render artistic defocus effects.
Modular Smartphone Design
Ever since the Project Ara was initiated by Google a few years back, there were some or the other delays and Google couldn't bring the modular smartphone concept into reality. But, the South Korean tech giant, LG managed to achieve the same with the launch of its flagship smartphone, LG G5 earlier this year.
The LG G5 sports a modular design allowing users to swap the components such as battery, camera, etc. on the requirement. Despite being a metallic phone, it features a removable battery. Also, the phone comes with many components that can be purchased and used on it to give a better user experience. Following LG, Motorola owned by Lenovo announced the Moto Z series of smartphones with Moto Mods that can be added to the phone via the connector at the back to give additional features such as sound boost, optical zoom, battery life, etc.
Smartphone manufacturers have suddenly started feeling that the audio jack is inconvenient. The USB Type-C port has been in existence for a few years, but it became mainstream only lately. Now, with the importance given to the USB Type-C port, an extra port serving as the audio jack seems to be bothersome to the smartphone makers. Already, smartphone makers such as Apple, Motorola, HTC, etc. have starting moving to the jack-less world. We can expect this trend to catch up soon in the next year.
Undoubtedly, bezel-less display has become an emerging trend in 2016 as some smartphone brands have already released smartphones with absolutely no or very little bezel around the display. Smartphones such as Xiaomi Mi Mix are examples of bezel-less display phones. These phones are designed to offer a higher screen-to-body-ratio. Such smartphones are pretty impressive to look at and seem to have a much bigger display than the one they actually use. This is an emerging trend and we can expect more such smartphones launching in 2017.
Near stock software
These days, more smartphone manufacturers are looking forward to cut down on the Android customization options as well as bloatware. The reason behind the same is the aim to get more efficient and faster user interfaces. For instance, HTC came up with Pure UI and ditched the duplicate apps in the Sense UI and also Coolpad and a few other are testing their stock Android options.