Smartphones in 2016: What to expect

by January 14, 2016 0 comments

Users will witness many new devices with foldable displays, improved optics, more powerful processors, longer battery back-up and much more. India witnessed some real action in the smartphone category in 2015 and is considered as the fastest growing smartphone market in Asia Pacific.

Battle of Chips: Apple A10, Snapdragon 820, Exynos 8, and Helio X20 To Bring More Power, Better Battery Life And VR To Smartphones In 2016

As the smartphone industry grows by leaps and bounds, manufacturers are gearing up to entice users by giving them more processing power and speed. Exterior design will not be the center of attraction in 2016 as we have already seen slimmer, bigger screen size and even curved display smartphones this year like LG G Flex. Next year major companies like Apple, HTC, Samsung and Xiaomi are looking on the inside components to stay ahead of each other.

We have been witnessing more powerful chips with each passing year and 2016 won’t be any exception. Chips next year are expected to deliver better battery life, virtual reality and other features to offer seamless user experience.

Apple A10

Released last year, the iPhone 6s is the fastest smartphone in the market, but according to a new rumor, Apple is planning to make a huge leap with its A10 processor in the iPhone 7 that will turn the device into an unbelievable speed monster. Jumping from two core A9 chips to six-core architecture chips, the next generation A10 chip will focus primarily on multi-threading.

Expected Smartphones – iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip didn’t live up to expectations in 2015 and smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 810 suffered badly from overheating issues. The Snapdragon 820 features Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU that is expected to churn out 40 per cent improved graphics performance compared to the Adreno 430 GPU. As previously announced, this chipset supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, which is approximately 4x faster than conventional charging methods, and 38 per cent more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0.
Like the 810 chip, the 820 will once again support 4K displays, but it’s not official yet whether Samsung and LG will update their 2K screens to 4K, though 4K does opens up big opportunities in virtual reality (VR).

Expected Smartphones – LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC One M10, Sony Xperia Z6, Nexus 7, Xiaomi Mi5

Samsung Exynos 8

With the Exynos 8 Octa 8890, Samsung will follow Apple’s footsteps as the new chip will be designed around ARM’s processor architecture. The chipset is likely to support 4K video resolutions thanks to the Mali-T880 graphics chip, which means that we can expect Samsung to debut a 4K smartphone or tablet in 2016.

Expected Smartphones – Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Galaxy Note 6, Galaxy S7 Edge+

MediaTek Helio X20

Taiwan’s MediaTek is known for powering majority of low-end smartphones coming out of China in recent years. The Helio X20 will power mid-range smartphones that can offer the experience of a flagship for the price of a midrange device. One of the key features of X20’s is its 10 core architecture organized in three clusters which are aimed at handling light, medium and intensive workloads. According to Mediatek this new chipset will consume 30 per cent less power.

Expected Smartphones – HTC One M10, Xiaomi Mi5, Acer Predator

Smartphones with Foldable Displays

Samsung showcased a Note 4 variant with a curved display last year, and this year Samsung unveiled Galaxy Note Edge featuring a curved edge screen on one of its sides. It also released the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ with dual edge curved display. It is expected that the Korean giant is going to bring some interesting smartphones with foldable display technology in 2016. Codenamed Project Valley or Project V the devices will be available in two internal storage options.

samsung project valley smartphone

One of them will be featuring the Snapdragon 620 chipset whereas the other one will be coming with the Snapdragon 820 chipset. Both the handsets will be featuring 3 GB RAM.

The technology will have some positive impacts on smartphone usage. Curved or foldable displays offer better visibility of content because they tend to cause less reflection of light, which in turn leads to better color contrast and accuracy for reading or watching videos. This also means less consumption of battery as a display with better viewing angles requires less brightness. The technology can also enhance portability as a foldable display will turn a 10 inch tablet into a regular 5 inch device for a convenient fit in your pocket.

Battery Revolution: Time to Power Up in 2016

While smartphones are growing more advanced and are becoming as powerful as laptops but with high-definition screens and professional camera technology they’re still limited by power. The battery hasn’t advanced in decades. But we’re on the verge of a power revolution. Although as the mobile tech advanced, battery life has dropped from several days to roughly a day. If you consume more multimedia or play heavy games it is likely to last less than 5 hours.

Solidstate Battery

SolidEnergy’s new technology works by replacing the battery’s conventional graphite anode material used by most lithium-ion batteries with an ultra-thin sheet of lithium copper metal foil. This arrangement will reduce the size of the battery for the same capacity, allowing the saved space to be used for extra capacity. SolidEnergy has also successfully demonstrated that its prototype can go through 100 recharge cycles while retaining 80 per cent of its original energy than competing advanced Li-ion technology, meaning that non-replaceable batteries won’t be such a problem in the future. The first commercial battery using this technology is scheduled to arrive for smartphones and tablets in 2016. In other words we could be very close to a battery revolution.

The innovative e-ink phone

Smartphone manufacturer Yota Devices has demonstrated an innovative way of lengthening a mobile’s battery life in its YotaPhone 2. This dual-screen device looks resemble your phone, with one key difference – there’s an e-ink display (like the Amazon Kindle’s) around the back.

yotaphone2
The basic principle is to use the low-powered e-ink touchscreen to check your notifications, read and reply to messages and only turning on the main power while watching video or surfing web. The idea can work wonders in near future, as those backlit displays are the main power-sucking element of any mobile.

Wireless charging

One of the new developments in battery tech is wireless charging that allows you to get rid of your power cables and add extra simplicity and ease to your life.

wireless charging

The technology is still evolving and since most of the energy is lost between the charging station and the receiver, and the power transmitted has a one watt limit, just about enough to power a smartphone. But as research continues, we’re hopeful that wireless charging will replace those irritating cables entirely in upcoming years.

Flagship smartphone wars will more intense

Sony is expected to bring the successor of its flagship Z series with Z6 and some affordable smartphones that will be powered by MediaTek chipsets and will compete with the domestic smartphone manufacturers. The HTC One M9 impressed us with unibody design and top notch camera. So, we expect HTC to continue that with HTC One M10 which is said to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor having 3GHz of speed and featuring a 4K display. Similarly, the much praised LG G4 with its laser autofocus camera will see a successor (LG G5) with improved set of optics and faster processing power.

New entrants will continue to keep established players on their toes

Motorola’s G series got famous by launching low-cost handsets with good specs, but this year’s Moto G (3rd gen) didn’t impressed us much and did not live upto the same expectations as its predecessors. It will be interesting to see if Motorola Moto G (4th gen) will be able to reclaim the budget Android crown back. It is expected to include a Full HD display. If Motorola manages to bring Full HD screen in a low-priced device which the competitors have not accomplished yet, then it could be the device worth checking out.

Asus has successfully captured a large segment of the market with its Zenfone series which is affordable yet feature rich. It is expected to showcase Zenfone 3 series in January 2016 at CES. OnePlus 3 will be a successor of OnePlus two and the device is said to be more efficient and powerful than its previous version. The Oneplus two is famous for its camera and performance and the next device may come at the end of the year.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has made its name by introducing budget high-end smartphones. The upcoming smart phone is said to have Ultra HD 2160 x 3840 pixels Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM and 21-Megapixels back and 13-Megapixels front camera.

The domestic players will continue to grow

Domestic players such as Micromax, Spice and karbonn will also introduce their share of smartphones and will continue to maintain a large share of the market. This year Micromax has already launched some affordable 4G LTE devices powered by Snapdragon 210 chipsets. It will be interesting to see what micromax has to offer in 2016. We can also see the more of Android One devices ranging between Rs. 6,000-12,000.

Expected flagship smartphones in 2016

Apple iPhone 7

iphone-7
The Cupertino giant has always kept its rivals on their toes with their iPhones. Continuing that tradition iPhone 7 will pose a major threat to all the competitors and is sourced to pack a number groundbreaking features. According to Apple, iPhone 7 will have an integrated projector allowing you to display presentation slides; the battery will be built with organic materials thereby will be more efficient. The most amazing feature of the device will be “The Protective Mechanism for Electronic Device.” It will keep the display undamaged even though it falls accidentally from your pocket or hand. It will also pack the quad-core processor, A10 chip and 20-MP rear iSight camera making it a powerful contender for the smartphones to watch out in 2016.

LG G5

lg-g5

LG G5 will equip a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 hexa-core processor with whopping 5GB of RAM. With the 5.6-inch display, 20-MP rear and 5.1-MP front shooters and features like dustproofing capabilities, shock proofing sensors, wireless charging technology and Retina eye scanner LG will try to outsmart the Galaxy smartphones and the iPhones.

Samsung Galaxy S7

galaxy-s7
This year, Samsung has achieved a huge round of applause with the Galaxy S6 smartphones. The next-generation Galaxy S7 will have the faster 2.9-GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 5.2-inch P-OLED display. According to Samsung, S7 will pack 30-MP and 7-MP shooters to capture vibrant photos.

HTC One M10

htc-one-m10

It is said to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor having 3GHz of speed. The device may also equip the latest quad-core chipset, 4GB RAM, a 3,500mAh battery, and 64GB and 128GB internal memory variants. It will pack either a 5-inch or 6-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. Rumor has it that the HTC One M10 may have an ultra-high definition display of 4K pixels.

Microsoft Surface Phone

surface-phone

The Surface Phone is expected to arrive in 2016, with a 5.5in Quad-HD AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 64- and 128GB storage options (with microSD support), a 64-bit Intel processor and 21Mp rear- and 8Mp front cameras. The Surface Phone could also get a Surface Pen and a USB-C port.

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