Unlike the automotive industry where we have a lot of new innovations happening (self driving cars, electric cars, etc), the smartphone world is experiencing a stalemate at the moment, everything seems to be revolving around the same specs. Same dual camera stuff, same notch display and so on. In fact, there’s not a lot of difference between 2016 phones and 2018. Everything seems recycled. As a tech reporter, I report based on facts not easily carried away by those big technical terms they throw around just to squeeze out more cash. Because of the slow innovations, we’ve seen a lot of budget smartphones coming with some flagship features and top flagship makers are under pressure to show they are worth the price paid to upgrade from budget-friendly models. Now my points are based on facts, my argument really doesn’t have anything to do with money, it has everything to do with facts. Next year 2019, there will be a major upgrade in smartphones such as 5G, flexible display, higher camera sensors and so on, it’s better to wait.
The notch designs have been around since 2016 as concepts. Yeah you heard me, long before Apple released the iPhone X in 2017. Till today, the notch design is still trending in the smartphone industry in terms of design and everyone one is into the notch. Nowadays even budget smartphones like Infinix now have notch display so there’s really no big deal.
4G LTE technology ?
This technology is not exactly new is it ? It has been around since 2009 and the first 4G phone (HTC Evo) was launched in 2010 and in Nigeria, the first 4G network (GLO 4G) was launched in 2011. Today every smartphone has 4G both cheap and expensive, they’re all 4G. If you have an iPhone X of $1000 (300k) and and a cheap iTel S41, it’s the same 4G network. No difference whatsoever. The next major innovations in this aspect is the 5G which is coming fully next year 2019. Until then, I don’t see any reason to splash huge cash on any flagship.
Everything about display quality has to with resolution and the best resolution in any smartphone right now is the 4K display with HDR which came with the Sony Xperia Z last year 2017 with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, which equates to a whopping 807 pixels per inch. Now everyone is expecting all top flagship makers to start making flagships with 4K display but they didn’t because the difference wasn’t that visible to the human eye. Latest Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 plus have Full HD+ and a lot of budget phone also have the same resolution.
Battery and Processor ?
In terms of battery improvements, there has been very little. Most flagship phones have 4000mAh with fast charge capabilities,same with cheaper phones which is not exactly new. I’m not even going to talk about those Chinese makers that come with 8000 mAh, 16000 mAh etc. Snapdragon 845 which is the latest processor still does everything it’s predecessors are doing. If you have a phone with older processors, you can still multitask, play heavy games very well.
OS updates ?
Most flagship phones from 2016 down to 2018 are already getting the latest Android Oreo and iOS upgrade depending on the smartphone maker so buying a new phone just because you want to use the latest OS doesn’t make much sense to anyone. Android pie and iOS 12 have been announced, the upgrades will also be received.
All the phone companies still sell their older products till today so if you get a 2016 Samsung Galaxy or iPhone today, you have nothing to lose because it’s almost the same functionality. The technology hasn’t really improved that much.
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