Trends In Today’s Smartphones And What Comes Next

November 12, 2014 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Let’s talk about mobile trends for a second. China Mobile actually has a good grasp on the diversity of the market today considering a lot of odd choices when it comes to the smartphone market comes from that Asian country. We’re going to focus on a the general state though. Back in the day, manufacturers were trying to make the smallest cellphone possible, then the smartphone era came. Smartphones were relatively big compared to cellphones, but if you compare smartphones from 2009 to the ones today, they’re tiny in comparison. It is completely normal for trends to change, but we’ve come to a time where OEMs manufacture smartphone which are truly gigantic. Samsung Galaxy Note (1st-gen) was huge when it was released back in 2011, really huge. That phone had a 5.3-inch display and was considered a huge phablet back then, these days 5.3-inch screens are included in regular smartphones. LG G3, for example, has a 5.5-inch display and it is considered a smartphone, not a phablet.

Even Google decided to release a 5.96-inch Nexus 6, that phone is huge and it actually worries me what will happen next. Considering the phone screens are getting bigger, bezels have to get smaller. We talked about a bezel-free phone the other day, bezel-free on the sides at the very least. The handset I’m referring to is ZTE’s rumored Nubia Z9 handset which allegedly won’t have any bezel on the side, just the metallic frame which goes around the device. Moves like this one help manufacturers keep devices relatively compact, that handset will reportedly be narrower than the iPhone 4 which has a 3.7-inch display. I actually believe more and more manufacturers will try to remove bezels from their handsets, as much as they can that is, considering they still have to include from facing cameras, speaker, microphone and all kinds of sensors there.

Another trend that is somewhat odd and doesn’t make any sense in my humble opinion has to do with these extremely thin devices we’re seeing lately, like the Oppo R5 and the rumored Vivo X5 Max. Oppo R5 has already been announced and this handset is 4.85mm thin, Vivo X5 Max is rumored to be 4.75mm thin. This is way too thin in my opinion and has 2 major drawbacks, battery life suffers significantly when it comes to devices like this, they’re simply not thick enough for manufacturers to include decent batteries on the inside. Oppo R5 has a 5.2-inch 1080p display and only a 2000mAh unit on the inside to power it on, which probably won’t be enough to keep you running all day. I’m afraid to think how big will Vivo X5 Max’s battery be.

What are your thoughts on all this? Do you think these sub-5mm handsets are too thin, do you believe smartphones are too big these days and would you like to see bezelless phones hit the market?