Multiple processor cores. Tons of RAM and internal storage. Double and triple cameras taking amazing pictures. Better sensors, faster modems, higher-resolution screens, safer handsets. These are all innovations introduced in the world of smartphones in the last few years – and these are the features smartphone manufacturers keep improving with every generation.
But are these enough to keep people interested in their new releases? The sales numbers say otherwise. The flagship handsets’ sales keep decreasing, with more of us realizing that you can follow social media updates, watch clips, listen to music, read the news, back your team and place your bet online without spending a small fortune on a device. The only innovation that stirs up the still waters of the smartphone market is the foldable phone – but we don’t expect to see one at least until later in the year. But is this really what people are looking for? Here are a few upgrades the smartphone of tomorrow truly needs.
The first smartphones – before the iPhone was released – didn’t have the capabilities that we expect from smartphones today. They were simpler, sturdier, and had a much longer battery life – you could actually use them for days without having to recharge. Today, the smartphones’ screens have grown huge, and so did their power consumption. The powerful hardware inside them makes us dependent on power outlets or other means of recharging our phones, from portable battery packs to solar panels.
Smartphone makers should probably stop trying to make phones that are two millimeters thinner than their competitors’ and focus more on giving them better batteries that will extend their normal usage to at least two days – maybe more. This is one feature that only a handful of handsets have today.
One of the worst things that can happen to a smartphone today is falling – especially falling on its screen. Although the glass cover used on smartphone screens is getting better and better each day, smartphones are still way too vulnerable (and replacing a screen can be pretty expensive). Perhaps instead of making our phones (and their screen protection) thinner, smartphone manufacturers might want to focus more on keeping the screen intact not only by using tougher glass but also by losing the screens around the edges and building phones that resist better to shocks.
Faster software updates
Last but not least, there is one thing many smartphone owners would like to see happen in the future generations of handsets: faster software updates, perhaps handled by Google itself (a bit like Apple does today). The new Android versions rolled out by the manufacturers often months after their official release undergo heavy customization before reaching our handsets – if they reach them at all. This leads to the serious fragmentation of the smartphone market with only less than half of all Android handsets running a recent version of the operating system. If the developer handled the updates – perhaps only to the core of the OS – this vicious circle could be broken, and more of us could benefit from the latest security updates and new features as soon as they become available.
What features would you like to see in the coming generations of smartphones?