A general lack of enthusiasm has gathered over the mobile market like a dark cloud. Another phone with a tack-sharp screen and metal design? Yawn. It’s been this way going on a few years now. Nothing is unique, everything is the same.
That’s not to say smartphones released recently are bad, quite the contrary. But consumers can only tolerate so much iteration before getting bored. It’s like eating the same meal over and over. At some point it’s going to lose its flavor. I think that’s why we were so disappointed by the Galaxy Note 7’s recall. Here was a device with an identity, one that brought new ideas to the table. Sadly, it was a pyromaniac.
The problem is—and has been—the cruel progress of technology. A few years ago, a new innovation popped up every few months; Touch ID, curved displays, dual cameras, wireless charging. But these ideas quickly gave way to a beehive of uniformity. We entered a purgatory where nothing was exciting. And when new ideas did come around, they needed time to percolate while technology caught up.
Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. With Mobile World Congress on the horizon, we have hope the innovative drought will come to an end; it’s time for a new cycle of ideas to reinvigorate what has become an increasingly stale market. Handsets with iris scanners, advanced AI, fingerprint sensors embedded beneath screens, AR cameras, and displays that go on forever. At last, creativity is coming back to mobile, and we couldn’t be more excited.
At the forefront of this mobile revolution will be Samsung and LG, both of which are gearing up for big new releases. These companies have been among the more innovative over the last few years; Samsung with curved displays and LG with the V10 and V20. It’s time for these two to start exploring a new frontier.
From what we know about LG’s G6, the device will sport a QHD+ display that’s said to be virtually bezel-less. According to a recent report, the screen-to-bezel ratio will be greater than 90 percent. That will surely turn heads, and hopefully spark a new trend for 2017.
The device is also rumored to feature Google Assistant, wireless charging, and a premium glass design, which we glimpsed in a picture shared by The Verge. The G6 won’t feature the modular functionality of the G5—an innovation that simply hasn’t worked in mobile—but it will reportedly be water resistant, something that’s finally becoming standard industry-wide.
The Galaxy S8 is another phone worth getting excited about. The good news is Samsung’s upcoming flagship, which we’ve heard a lot about, is very likely going to live up to expectations while pushing the market forward in a meaningful way.
Based on what we know, there will be two versions of the Galaxy S8, both with curved displays that are nearly bezel-less, similar to the G6. The devices are also said to feature a visual search function, advanced AI, an iris scanner, and maybe even support for Samsung’s S Pen. It sounds like Samsung’s best-ever smartphone, something that’s much-needed following the Note 7’s early demise.
That’s not to mention new handsets coming from Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola, OnePlus, BlackBerry, HTC, and Apple, the latter of which is rumored to introduce an iPhone with the fingerprint sensor embedded beneath the display. Not to mention Google Pixel 2 rumors are already floating around, with suggestions Google will make its mobile camera even better.
It was all about perfecting a formula these past few years, but now it’s time for manufacturers to start experimenting with new ideas. The LG G6 and Galaxy S8 should be the start a shakedown of the mobile market, a future where batteries last longer, screens lack bezels, and AI is right out of a science fiction movie.
This is all to say, if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, wait to buy one. A brand new cycle of super-advanced devices is just over the horizon—I’m talking weeks from now—so it’s worth it to hold off—at least for a little while. And if you don’t like what’s released over the next few months, there’s always the Google Pixel or OnePlus 3T (if you can find them).