Modern mobile phones are already leaps and bounds ahead of their predecessors from a decade ago. Can you imagine a phone with a 1.6 Ghz dual core processor and an 8 megapixel camera back in 2003? Nowadays, specs like that can be found on budget and midrange smart phones, as top of the line ones come with quad cores and 16 megapixel cameras. However, technology usually accelerates along a straight line, and now that mobile phone manufacturers have already got the ball rolling, we can only expect more advancements to come in the feature.
New Improvements You Can Expect from Upcoming Phones
Manufacturers are always trying to get one step ahead of their competition, in order to launch "the next big thing." With the number of mobile phone manufacturers these days, we can expect the competition to be even more aggressive and the advancements to come out much faster than before. Here are the new wonders of upcoming phones that we need to keep an eye out for:
Network Improvements - bandwidth has been increasing at a steady rate these past few years. And while some countries still have problems with affordable bandwidth, most of the world already has internet speeds that make activities that require fast speed data transfer possible, such as HD video streaming, lag-free online gaming, and various applications of cloud technology. Upcoming phones will not only move data at broadband internet speeds, mobile carriers will also be able to support various modes of connection, such as WiMax, and Wi-Fi, as well as the TV, DVB-H, or MediaFlo - all of which will be working together via IMS.
What is IMS?
IMS stands for IP Multimedia Subsystem, and its main function is to allow any type of data packet - be they voice call, music, video, or even HTML - to be sent seamlessly on any network regardless of protocol being used. For instance, you can start a voice call on your cell phone but seamlessly transfer the signal to VoIP when cell signal weakens. Or you can watch a TV show on your handset via online streaming, then transfer to your couch and watch it on your PVR. This basically allows you to enjoy access to any kind of information regardless of the device you are using, and to shift between different devices seamlessly. However, this may take some time before it becomes widely available as IMS needs to be widely deployed and supported before the benefits can be felt.
Various Improvements to the Design
durability is one of the key areas that will see a lot of improvements in the coming years. Manufacturers have already started incorporating Gorilla Glass technology into their handsets, which allowed many phones to withstand things that would have scratched or broken screens in the past. But there could be something better: manufacturers are now looking into manufactured sapphire, which is multiple times more durable than gorilla glass. In fact, manufactured sapphire is second only to diamond when it comes to its ability to withstand damage. It is said that screen with even a light coating of sapphire will be able to withstand things that can scratch gorilla glass, such as sandpaper.
New handsets that are coming out these days have already featured crisp, clear screens that are capable of rendering in HD resolutions (such as 720p and 1080p). We can expect many developers to take advantage of this in order to produce true TV and console-level mobile phone games, not to mention high quality movies. Add the fact that some phones now have the ability to output to an HDMI TV along with some phones that can work as a projector and you now have mobile phones as a one-stop solution to any multimedia need.
Another aspect of mobile phones that will see improvements in the coming years is battery life. Improvements in this area will not come as a result of new battery technology (as we have already maximized that area), but with smaller batteries coupled with more powerful processors that are energy efficient (and thus consume less power). Design improvements can also allow manufacturers to include larger batteries (with larger capacities) even on phones that wouldn't have been able to accommodate them in the past. Mobile phones these days are expected to withstand a couple of days of uptime during moderate use. Expect that standard to lengthen in the future.
As far as cameras are concerned, the future looks bright. It was only a few months ago when the first 8 megapixel cameras started appearing on non-budget phones. Now, high end ones are coming out with 16 megapixel ones as the norm. And don't forget that Google has recently partnered with Nikon to create a new camera for their upcoming phones. In time, mobile phones will have cameras that can replace stand alone DSLRs, not to mention third party applications that can do image processing in the same level as a desktop PC.
Smartphones - Rapid Development
Expect Bendable Phones in the Future
In the past, the solution that manufacturers came up with when faced with the dilemma of screen size vs. portability is clamshell or foldable-type mobile phones. It worked for a while, as it allowed phones with large screens to be folded into a more manageable size. Unfortunately, these designs came with a trade off as the hinges served as a weak point that can be damaged over time, rendering the phones less durable than non-clamshell designs.
Various manufacturers are now testing a new type of screen that is almost paper thin, and can be folded and bent without getting damaged or broken out of shape. With this new bendable type of screen, there will no longer be any need for unreliable hinges as the phone and its screen can be folded like a piece of paper or plastic. This new type of screen will allow many manufacturers to produce phones with large screens, without worrying about portability (as it can be folded) nor durability (due to the lack of moving parts).