With 2019 drawing nearer to a close (yes, I know it’s still only July), I decided to peer into my trusty crystal ball and predict what mobile phones could look like come 2020.
Long-running phone series such as the Samsung Galaxy Note or the Huawei P series will no doubt keep chugging along with a larger screen, more cameras and so on.
But speculating on the annual series in the market isn’t as fun compared to thinking about unique features and designs with the potential to spice up the industry.
Beware Of The Fold
Simply put, the original Galaxy Fold devices that were sent to reviewers ended up unusable after they tore off a part of the device that they thought were screen protectors.
Despite that fiasco, I do firmly believe other manufacturers and brands will attempt to release their own version of a foldable phone.
Personally, I don’t find foldable phones appealing at all because they don’t do anything wildly different compared to a normal phone.
For example, a larger screen and a larger battery are features that can be achieved on a normal smartphone with a little more elegance.
However, I must admit that adding foldable phones to the smartphone market fold (haha!) is not a bad idea. It breathes fresh air into the stale design that we have nowadays.
But at this point in time where only a few brands have stepped in, it feels like a gimmick more than anything, just like the next point…
Moving Away From Notch
A pop-up camera means that your phone will have an additional flimsy mechanism that could be prone to breaking after a few uses.
Let me paint a story for you: You’ve disabled the fingerprint reader of the phone and you forgot your PIN. The only way you can unlock the phone is via Facial Recognition, but the camera won’t pop up. You start to panic.
Obviously, if that happened you’re pretty much screwed and all you can do is reset the phone.
Considering that even budget devices like the Xiaomi Mi 9T are now equipped with pop-up cameras, I predict the trend will carry into 2020, only to be replaced when Apple does something drastic.
Just this June, OPPO revealed that they’re working on another notch-less phone, this time with an under-the-screen camera.
How Many More Cameras?
While having more cameras isn’t new, there certainly will be more phones that are going to fit more and more cameras on the back (looking at you, Huawei).
It won’t be long before a genius decides that adding 10 camera lenses will be a good idea.
Personally speaking, I’d be prone to scratching the lenses on the back if there were 10 of them. Heck, how would you even hold the phone?!
If the rumours are true and the iPhone XI or 11 comes with a 3-camera setup or something ridiculous like 5, the phones that come after it will most likely mimic Apple’s design.
We already have phones that can zoom up to an insane level and in 2020, I believe that will be improved upon. (Stalker-mode, activated…)
Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, teased a flip phone a while back, and during an interview with Engadget mentioned that having an outwards-facing display would make it prone to scratches, which isn’t something the company’s aiming for.
Instead, the phone will feature a clamshell design just like the Motorola Razr of the good old times.
Back when I was just a wee lad, I’d always wanted to get my hands on a Red Motorola Razr. My aunt had one and it made me seethe with envy.
If Motorola is successful at releasing a new Razr in 2019, you might see other brands following in their footsteps and developing flip phones instead of foldable phones.
In my opinion, fold and flip phones aren’t that different in terms of how you would unfold it. One simply folds vertically while the other folds horizontally.
Get Your Flex On
Not as surprising as it seems, flexible phones might just get a boost in the year 2020. While the idea isn’t exactly fresh, we haven’t seen many brands go after this design.
While not a smartphone, the TV sets a precedent that LG could follow and hone into a smartphone.
I, for one, am excited to see what wacky designs these brands will come out with.
However, I’m sure they’ll be equipped with exorbitant pricing that only a select few would be able to afford, just to show off to the masses.
That is until the Chinese manufacturers get their hands on the tech and implement it into their budget devices.
Featured Image Credit: HumanMediaLab.org