How might smartphones evolve in the future?

Mobile phones have come a long way since their introduction to the UK in 1985. We’ve gone from big and bulky to pocket-sized, flip-screened and eventually touchscreen, with Apple and Samsung taking over as the most popular manufacturers. It’s easy to wonder just how much further developers can take them – but while small changes are more likely than revolutions, there’s still plenty of scope for improvement in the coming years.

These minor improvements will still make a big difference over time too. With smartphones already becoming ingrained in almost everything we do, advances promise to make these activities faster, easier and more enjoyable.

Below are five areas we can expect smartphones to progress in.

Camera quality

Camera quality has been one of the most marked improvements over the years, to the point that many people now rely on their phones over traditional cameras. But there are several changes on the horizon that could help them win over even the keenest photographers.

This includes lenses that deliver sharp photos now matter how much you zoom in, as well as improved manual control features similar to those offered by high-end cameras.

Battery and charging

Poor battery life is a common complaint among smartphone owners, particularly those who’ve owned their device for a little while. It’s possibly even suffered as mobile software has progressed and become more demanding. But potential advances include longer lifespan, faster charging and improved shelf life.

The development of USB’s used for charging has already improved charging speeds, while some manufacturers are rolling out larger or dual-battery solutions.

Augmented reality

While virtual reality is still yet to really take off in the mainstream, augmented reality promises more functional improvements to everyday activities such as navigation and shopping.

The concept involves blending digital elements with the real world through interactive camera functions. Have you tested it out while shopping for clothes or furniture yet, for example?

Folding phones

Foldable displays allow the user to flex their devices to suit the task at hand, be that crafting messages, watching videos or simply fitting in a pocket.

Some already exist, yet for now at least, foldable devices are a little too pricy for the majority – and concerns remain around durability. But more efficient manufacturing should at least give foldable phones a chance to take off.

Ultrafast networks   

With the recent (and unnecessarily controversial) rollout of 5G, our phones are now able to access faster download speeds, on the move, than ever before. But while these networks are still in their infancy, there’s already talk of 6G on the horizon.

The technology could support more than just mobile phones too. Smart-home networks and automated cars could even be powered by it – though not for some years yet.

What smartphone changes would you like to see?

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