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Smartphones That Introduced Unique, Innovative Technologies In 2020
It's been more than a decade since the smartphone boom reshaped the world. Every year, we see improvements aesthetically and in overall performance of smartphones. While the pandemic shook the globe, smartphone manufacturers kept on thriving to contribute to the ever-growing industry. We've seen some of the best smartphone designs, improved chipsets, better connectivity, and much more this year. Here's a list of everything new and unique we witnessed on smartphones in 2020.
Rise Of Foldable Displays
Foldable smartphones came to light in 2019 itself, but it was this year that it rose in popularity with improved hinge mechanisms. Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, Huawei Mate X, Microsoft Surface Duo, and even the LG G8X ThinQ are some of the top foldable smartphones. Additionally, devices like the Moto Razr 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip brought in the flip-style folding mechanism.
These smartphones clearly indicate that foldable displays are likely to be the new benchmark of premium flagships. Several other OEMs like Xiaomi, Vivo, and even Apple are lining up to foray into the foldable displays.
As remarkable these foldable displays are, LG brought in something new to the picture. The LG Wing with its swivel design has won users all over the world. The LG Wing flaunts two displays with a 6.8-inch full-HD+ P-OLED FullVision primary display and a 3.9-inch full-HD+ G-OLED secondary screen. When switched to the ‘Swivel Mode' the primary screen can be turned to a landscape mode, allowing users to multi-task with the smaller secondary screen. For all we know, LG Wing might have kickstarted a new trend of swiveling mechanisms, something that could be carried forward.
Smartphone camera technology is one thing that's certainly remolded how we click pictures. In the era of click-and-forget, OEMs have redefined camera sensors. The year 2020 brought in high-resolution cameras like the 108MP sensor we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi 10. Plus, the technology is further enhanced with 100x zoom - a feature that shutterbugs loved. And not just 108MP cameras on flagships, in 2020 64MP camera sensors became the set standard for mid-range smartphones as well. Clearly, 2020 set a benchmark for smartphones with high-resolution cameras.
LiDAR Sensors For Cameras
Speaking of cameras, how can one skip the newly-introduced LiDAR sensors on the iPhone 12 series? Apple brought in the LiDAR sensor primarily to enhance the AR implementation on the device. Apart from this, the LiDAR sensor has also helped enhance the photography in low-light conditions. Plus, the depth sensors are also improved in night portrait pictures, thanks to the LiDAR sensors. Apple might have brought in a new definition to mobile photography via the LiDAR sensor.
Improved Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality has gotten a big boost this year. Not only Apple, but several OEMs and developers vouch that AR is the future. This is also why Apple brought in the LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro and the Pro Max models. We've seen a lot of mobile apps bringing AR into the picture this year as well. Several face filters on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram are only the tip of what AR offers. AR is going to be the new way of shopping in the future - from trying out wardrobes to experimenting with furniture, and 2020 might have just kickstarted this trend.
Improved Artificial Intelligence
Not only AR, but 2020 has also enhanced smartphone-centric AI capabilities. According to statistics provided by Review42, 20 percent of mobile queries are done via voice searches, which is significant growth from previous generations. Smartphone manufacturers are also equipping the devices to cater to this growing number. 2020 has brought in several smartphones with a dedicated Google Assistant button to make things easier.
Adding to the list of AI capabilities, 2020 also brought in AI-equipped cameras. Take the Google Pixel devices or the OnePlus flagships, these smartphones offer cameras enhanced with AI technology. Also, the software part of the smartphones has been enhanced with AI, as we saw on the Oppo F17 Pro that allows users to switch to private mode using AI.
Another significant development in the smartphone trend is the rise of 5G-supported smartphones. While 5G is still in its infancy in India, smartphone-makers have brought in future-ready devices. Previously, we saw a lot of 5G smartphones in the premium flagship segment. However, 2020 has brought in several 5G supported smartphones under Rs. 30,000 - well within budget for many. It's uncertain how long 5G would take to be accessible, but 2020 has brought in smartphones that are ready for it!
COVID-19 Detection On Smartphones
2020 would be remembered as the year of the pandemic. Smartphones rose to the challenge to flatten the curve by bringing in new technology via Bluetooth. All smartphones running Android or iOS, received software upgrades where a Bluetooth-enabled COVID-19 tracking system was introduced. This helped governments globally better trace COVID-positive citizens.
Liquid Cooling Technology
The pandemic also gave rise to the mobile gaming boom, where the number of smartphone gamers sharply rose. Once again rising to the challenge, smartphones with advanced liquid cooling technology were introduced. The liquid cooling system on the game-centric smartphone helps keep the phone at an optimal temperature even during intense gaming sessions. Devices like the Asus ROG, Xiaomi Black Shark, and so on featured improved cooling technology.
5nm Architecture On Mobile Chipsets
Another radical development we've seen on smartphones this year is something under the hood. 2020 also brought in the 5nm chipsets, a totally advanced concept-to-reality venture. The new Apple A14 Bionic chipset on the iPhone 12 series has redefined mobile processors. Similarly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset is another 5nm-based chipset. Since the trend has been set, Samsung, MediaTek, and other players are expected to follow suit.
Enhanced Mobile Security, Privacy
What Next 2021?
The above-listed are some of the prominent additions on smartphones we saw this year. Be it advanced smartphone designs, improved camera technology, or even the processor performance under the hood - 2020 has certainly brought in several new additions. We're certain that many of these will further be improved and enhanced in the coming year. And like always, we'll be seeing a lot more in 2021.