What the hell is happening with mobile phone tech currently? The simple answer is — not a lot.
The last big thing that I can recall happening was back in 2013, when Apple released the iPhone 5s with fingerprint scanning. While it has had its benefits, like unlocking your phone and other apps or using PayPal, but has it really taken off?
The first phone I had with fingerprint scanning was a Galaxy S5, then a Note 4, while I did use this feature, I only lasted for a few months before going back to a PIN or my preferred, a swipe pattern. I am now using an outdated Z5 which also has fingerprint scanning, but I still use the swiping pattern. While I haven’t tried a lot of phones with the feature, the main issue I have is that it is a little slow or takes a couple of tries to log in.
Since then, facial recognition has started appearing on some phones, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 has iris scanning, which sounds great… if it’s fast.
But what other major tech has been introduced to mobile phones in the last few years? Faster CPUs, more RAM, slightly better cameras, better screen, wireless charging, curved screens and a whole lot of other gimmicks that no one ever really uses or really need. While these small advancements are beneficial and of course good for the general market of mobile technology, there hasn’t been that one new feature that makes me squeal like a little kid heading into a lolly shop.
So, it’s nearly the middle of 2017, why can’t we get batteries that last more than a day? Surely that’s one of the most important things that any mobile user wants. I also want a good camera with better sensors, these are the first things I look at in a new phone. Plus, the standard things, a 5 to 5.6-inch display, maybe slightly bigger if I really like the phone, 3-4Gb of RAM, a semi decent CPU and robust screen. I also want it to be water proof.
Now, surely a battery that can easily last 18 hours isn’t some type of advanced sci-fi voodoo magic type stuff, but why is it impossible to get? Expertreviews has a comprehensive review on phone batteries and how long they last. Top of the list by a considerable margin is the Lenovo P2. Ironically — before it exploded into a blazing inferno and was taken off the market — the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 briefly held the number one spot.
So, what tech are we going to see in phones in the next few years? If you had asked me that question a few years ago, I would have answered with quite a few varying ideas. There would be holographic screens, or chips implanted inside your head, totally transparent phones, screens that could fold in half or batteries that never require charging. Maybe I should patent the idea of nuclear power mobile phone batteries, surely, they will take off. I just Googled it, apparently, this is already being looked at.
But is there really anything in the near future being released into the market? Over the next few years we should start seeing more virtual & augmented reality type software becoming readily available. Augmented Reality will tie together the internet, accelerometers and GPS to superimpose digital information on the real world. Traveling to a new city? Point your phone at a building and it tells you anything from the history of its construction to visiting hours to restaurant reviews. Phones that are fully sealed and usable underwater, imagine taking a dive around the Great Barrier Reef and being able to video it in 4K and then upload it directly to YouTube or Facebook. HDR is becoming a big deal and not only in the mobile market.
What I’m getting at is that all this stuff is great and I love advancements in technology, but is it all useful? Do you need it? I used to upgrade my phone fairly regularly cause there was the need — better and bigger cameras and screens, faster CPU’s, but over the last few years I haven’t found the urge to do so. I loved my Note 4, I would still have it if it hadn’t decided to have a melt down and turn into a paper weight. My current phone I’ve had for nearly two years and I can’t see myself updating until this one plays its last tune.
But before all of this is released, before Augmented Reality and VR, what I think is more important than all this right now, is better god damn networks, plans with larger data allowances at a good price, more speed and larger coverage areas, why? Because this is what all this new technology will need to run on.