Many smartphone manufacturers populate the market today, and with so many to choose from, with many of the best (and most expensive) having the same internal power, rely on external attraction to catch the consumer eye. HTC relies on metal to make its name known to the folks that can afford the aluminium-bodied One line. Samsung has historically relied on amazing displays and a more durable and signal-transparent polycarbonate plastic with more recent frays into aluminium accents and frames. Sony has maintained the still-classy glass-faced design of the Xperia line, improving the internals and display every now and then. And LG has made its own leaps in improving their devices with better displays and faster camera focusing, but the Director of Corporate Communications at LG, Ken Hong, believes something that may have you stumped.
With so many flat, mostly-rectangular smartphones being just that, the introduction of the original LG G Flex in 2014 rocked the market. With its sloping curved plastic display panel, the second generation refined and lessened the curvature and added a 2 to the name of the device. But, as Hong says: “I don’t think we can do much with form factor beyond this at this moment.” He’s referring to curving the display of a smartphone, and he is very much correct, at least regarding LG currently. LG has done the curved screen on a smartphone, and since flexible batteries aren’t technically the best idea yet, no ‘truly flexible’, as Hong put it, phones are available yet.
But, since the whole ‘innovation will rely on refining designs rather than creating new ones’ saying will likely ring true for 2015, what is to be done for manufacturers like LG? According to Hong, LG works on a technology or product, then finds a way to make money off of it rather than market something then find a way to create that something. He also said, speaking with Trusted Reviews, that “I don’t think in 2015 you’re going to see too much in terms of innovation in smartphone design other than maybe colour or what have you.” Hong said, referring to the CES announcement of the G Flex 2, that “The design of phones is restricted by the technology of our component suppliers, so now we can only do what they can create, and they can’t even do very many of [them].”
But, as with every year and iteration of smartphone, manufacturers find new ways to market their devices and services to us using new numbers and features, and we always expect that. LG, especially having lately refined its cross-range, by this I mean more than just high-end or just low-end, design language to a sort of unity that matches the massively popular G3 from last summer, seems to want to make a ‘single device’ and spread it out across all tiers and price ranges. The future of smartphones may not lie in 2015, but it will no doubt bring some rather radical ideas. Are you expecting a huge change from LG for the upcoming G4, or something that looks similar if not identical to the current G3? What feature, physically speaking, do you hope to see on smartphone in the latter half of this and the whole of next year? What part of a smartphone is essential to improve, since we’ve conquered displays apparently? Let us know down below.