2018 was an incredibly exciting year for smartphones, and we're predicting that 2019 is going to be even bigger. Thanks to sneak peeks from some of the world's biggest smartphone manufacturers we even have an idea about some of the features which are set to be a big deal in the next twelve months.
From hole punch cameras to lightning-fast 5G, here are a few smartphone features users can look forward to in 2019.
Currently, most of us will rely on 4G to make calls and surf the web on our phones. And while it might not feel that long ago since we made the jump from 3G, there's already new tech on the way.
5G, which is short for fifth generation, is right around the corner. Before the end of 2019 it's expected that the first UK cities will experience a 5G connection and enjoy lightning fast speeds up to 100 times faster than the current 4G offering. In short, you might be able to take advantage of broadband-like speeds on your smartphone before 2020 hits.
Curious to learn more about 5G? Check out our in-depth look at the technology behind it, and discover which UK cities will receive 5G first.
A fast processor is an absolute essential of any smartphone, and the all-new Snapdragon 855 chipset from Qualcomm is likely to be huge in 2019.
Unveiled at the Qualcomm Summit in December, don’t be surprised if you see the Snapdragon 855 mentioned in every new high-end smartphone’s spec list. What’s so great about it? This state-of-the-art chip will be able to clock speeds of 2.84GHz, keep up with 5G and support Bluetooth 5.0 with superfast speeds. To summarise, it’ll help your device to run as efficiently as possible.
Android’s next operating system is currently known as Android Q, following on from Android P (aka Android 9 or Android Pie) which launched on August 6th 2018. You might actually still be waiting for Android Pie to make an appearance on your phone (Android likes to make its annual OS updates available in stages), but that hasn’t stopped the brains at Google HQ from moving on. Everything is still hush hush about Android Q - we don’t even know the operating system’s name - but there are a few features to be sure of.
The first? Screen continuity for foldable smartphones. Set to be another huge 2019 feature, foldable phones are just that, handsets that are capable of folding in half. The new Android operating system will be able to support this feature so everything can transition seamlessly on screen.
Next up is multi resume. It’s an improvement on the well-received split screen feature, and now two apps can also run side-by-side, as well as being viewed at the same time. It’s believed Android Q will also provide warnings when users attempt to download apps designed for an older operating system too.
As with previous years, a new iPhone is expected to be released in September 2019. Currently we have no idea what it'll look like, but one thing we do know for sure is that the next big update to Apple's operating system - iOS 13 - will likely be released alongside it.
What can we expect from iOS 13? Despite online rumours, nothing is set in stone yet, so watch this space for updates as and when they're announced.
The 'hole punch' selfie camera
Finally, everyone’s been talking about the new hole punch camera already previewed by two major smartphone manufacturers: Samsung and Huawei.
A design feature created to replace the screen notch found on many of 2018’s top-rated phones, the hole-punch front-facing camera will be embedded into the screen instead, leaving a small circular space on the display. The Samsung A8s and Huawei Honor View20 will be two of the first to offer this less obtrusive design, however it’s believed neither device can provide the same facial recognition features the original smartphone notch was created for. It seems we’ll have to wait a little longer to discover whether the hole-punch camera has the ability to support the most advanced AI tech.
Can’t wait for a new smartphone? Get your hands on the latest tech for less, at Mobiles.co.uk.