In the early 2000s, who would have guessed that we would soon be able to order a cab through a smartphone? These days, an iPhone supported by Siri seems almost blasé when it comes to cool tech. Here is a list of tech in smartphones that still manage to impress us:
Faster Download Speeds
If you tried to access the internet using a smartphone two or three years ago, you would have noticed just how slow it was compared to a desktop. Smartphones have since come a long way in improving speed when accessing the internet and downloading content.
In 2017, the world was introduced to mobile internet speeds that could reach as high as 1,000 Mbps. In other words, the Gigabit mobile internet. Qualcomm’s X16 modem is what made this possible. These days, you can experience faster download speeds than internal storage writing speeds in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. That is not a minor accomplishment.
Smartphone enthusiasts are excited about 5G LTE, where mobile internet speeds will shoot through the roof. It’s not quite the reality just yet, but likely will be in the next 5 years.
Storage Comparable to Computers
Smartphones are convenient, but when it comes to computing ability, laptops and desktops are still far ahead. However, smartphones may be closing in on laptops in at least one area: internal storage. Apple led the way by introducing the iPhone 7 with 256GB of storage, something that would have been nearly unthinkable 5 years ago. This amount of storage is comparable to what you get with a small budget laptop. Even more expensive laptops with SSDs have just about the same internal storage.
More internal storage, of course, means more space to store data. It also increases the speed of the smartphone. Consumers have long wondered whether they should rely on mobile devices or tablets for work purposes. With internal storage in smartphones slowly matching that of smaller laptops, it looks like smartphones are winning the handheld gadget war.
When big, user-friendly smartphones were first introduced, they came with a small caveat: charging that seemingly took forever. We now use smartphones nearly all throughout the day. So newer devices cannot afford to take more than two or three hours to charge. As a result, high-end smartphones now come with fast charging batteries.
No other phone demonstrates quick charging better than the OnePlus 5, which came with a Dash charger to facilitate impressively quick charging. The charger is designed to keep the smartphone juiced without demanding high voltage levels.
If you understand the basic principles of electrical engineering, then you would know that the higher the voltage, the faster a battery would charge. There’s a big problem with higher voltage: high temperatures and risk of overheating. The Dash charger works around this problem by keeping the voltage consistent but increasing the amps.
The Dash charger method prevents temperature levels from overheating as well. Samsung’s QuickCharge 3 similarly offers fast charging features. In the future, we can expect smartphone makers to improve this technology to further decrease the risk of overheating.
It’s not just that smartphones can charge faster, they can also charge wirelessly now. This kind of technology was once thought to be the stuff of science fiction. Apple introduced wireless charging with the iPhone 8. Other well-known smartphones with wireless charging include the Samsung Galaxy S6 and up, Huawei Mate RS, Microsoft Lumia 920 and up, LG G6 and up, and Nokia 8 Sirocco. Even the Blackberry Priv has wireless charging.
If the smartphone doesn’t have inbuilt wireless charging, you can use an adapter. Wireless charging tech is still developing. Right now, you can only wirelessly charge over very short distances. But soon, we might be able to wirelessly charge from just about anywhere.
Displays that Support VR and AR
Virtual and augmented reality is all the rage when it comes to smartphones. The Pokémon GO app showed the potential AR and VR has for these portable gadgets. VR tech is still in its infancy. But even if VR tech is a major possibility right now, smartphones must have great displays to support it.
Smartphone makers are now pushing displays to be highly VR-compatible. Top-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the HTV vive have displays that are not so different to VR headset displays. Smartphone displays are becoming more pixel-dense and color accurate. To support VR, these devices also offer increasingly higher fields of view. The future looks good for smartphones.
Facial Recognition for Security
The iPhone X was released with much hullabaloo aimed at FaceID, a technology that unlocks the phone by making a 3D scan of your face. Other smartphones are catching on to the trend by using facial recognition to unlock the phone interface. It looks like fingerprint ID and drawing patterns are so 2015.
This is an impressive feature that even computers don’t have. Unlocking a phone by just looking at it is indeed a convenient and very futuristic feature. We can expect facial recognition tech to improve in the coming years and perhaps become useful for more than just unlocking a smartphone.
When we think of a camera zooming in on an object, we assume the lens is refocusing the image. But that’s not what really happens with most smartphones. Unlike DSLR cameras, smartphones have digital zoom. The camera is not zeroing in on an image, but rather is digitally enlarging an already captured image. That’s why smartphone zooms can sometimes look blurry.
Apple is once again leading the pack when it comes to changing digital zoom in smartphones to optical (real) zoom. The iPhone 7 Plus was the first to show “lossless” zoom. That is, introducing 2x optical zoom on a secondary primary lens without adding extra bulk to the smartphone.
Like Apple, other smartphone makers are looking for ways to include DLSR camera features in smartphones without making the device heavy and big. We will most likely see similar camera features in upcoming phones.
The above-listed aspects are just some of the tech already available for smartphones. Futuristic concepts include smartphones with flexible screens, inbuilt projectors, and superior voice control features. It looks like smartphones in the future would look and feel a lot cooler than even the desktop computers of today.