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Mobile tech trends everyone should be excited for

Xtreme
Tech is accelerating at dizzying speeds, as evidenced in the smartphones we enjoy today. It has progressed from a mere brick with few technological knick-knacks into a sleek, pocketable device that allows you to do so much more in just a decade. This year, the experience will be a notch better.   
Smartphones trends that users should look forward to in 2020: foldable display, 5G, 7nm 6nm 5nm chipsets, 120w charging, and more
Smartphones trends that users should look forward to in 2020: foldable display, 5G, 7nm 6nm 5nm chipsets, 120W charging, and more

Smartphone trends that will shape the new decade 

2019 wrapped up with innovative smartphones that would make one think we are really living in the future. And smartphone manufacturers are wasting no time in pushing this idea forward. Here are tech trends you should be excited about.

1. Design: Can we still call it a smartphone? Have smartphones taken an entirely new form? Technically, through call and text features, devices of today still fall under the smartphone category. But fresh, innovative takes on design make us think otherwise.
The Oppo phone with an under display front camera
The OPPO phone with an under-display front camera

Foldable, wrap-around displays have found success in the form of Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X, and it looks like other brands are following suit. Leaks of Xiaomi's new concept foldable clamshell and wrap-around display phones surfaced recently. Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip, meanwhile, is looking to take on Motorola's new Razr with its sleek clamshell design. 

We are also seeing the rise of completely bezel-less phones, and those with under-screen front camera and audio. 

OPPO, at the last MWC, unveiled a smartphone prototype with a selfie camera that’s hidden behind the screen. Xiaomi is also ditching the display notch with its own version of the under-display camera sensor. This is possible through a special low reflective glass. 

Speaking of glass, OnePlus is also keen on ‘hiding’ its cameras from plain sight. Shown in its Concept One smartphone, the device makes use of electrochromic glass technology--similar to several high-end vehicle sunroofs to make its cameras seem invisible. 

LG, meanwhile, has a vibrating screen for a speaker much like Sony Bravia’s Acoustic Surface. The LG G8 ThinQ is said to have a Crystal Sound OLED display that produces sound as it vibrates. 

These integrations give way to a seamless, no-hole form factor that is not only aesthetic but is also functional.

2. Display: Screens that can game In late 2019, 90Hz displays became a must-have for flagship smartphones. OnePlus upped the ante with the 7 Pro and 7T, which featured buttery smooth graphics thanks to a 90Hz refresh rate. 
The Asus ROG Phone 2 has a display with a 120Hz refresh rate promising smooth graphics
The ASUS ROG Phone 2 has a display with a 120Hz refresh rate promising smooth graphics

What does this mean for smartphone users? A high refresh rate means a smooth display: virtually no lags and friction. This gives you an edge let's say for example when you are playing first-person shooter games. You can expect zero delays in graphics which equals better shooting and evading accuracy.

Other phones which feature a 90Hz refresh rate are the ASUS ROG Phone, OPPO Reno Ace, Realme X2 Pro, Google Pixel 4, Xiaomi Redmi K30 5G, among others

Taking it a step higher is the ROG Phone 2 which features a 120Hz AMOLED display. It's a premium gaming phone that sells for PHP 60,000 upwards after all. 

With this challenge, a 90Hz refresh rates may now be the new standard for smartphone displays. 

3. Performance: Supercomputers in your pocket Before, the bigger the computer, the better its performance is; this no longer applies today. 
MediaTek is set to launch a 7nm 5G chip for low-end phones, flagship 6nm chip
MediaTek is set to launch a 7nm 5G chip for low-end phones, flagship 6nm chip

Small is powerful, at least for new generation chipsets. The buzz term is nm, which is a metric for transistor size. You've probably heard of 14nm and 10nm processors, but now we've moved to 7nm, 6nm, and even 5nm. The smaller the number, the more optimized processes are. Demanding tasks take less power and time to accomplish. Power efficiency is to be expected as well.

Apple has jumped on the 7nm wagon with its A12 Bionic chip. Huawei has its high-performing 7nm AI processors Kirin 990 and 990 5G chipsets. Samsung's Exynos 9825 SoC, which runs its Galaxy Note 10 series, is a 7nm EUV silicon chip. Snapdragon’s 855 chip is built on TSMC 7nm process and flagships across brands. Samsung also has the Kirin 990 5G chip.

Samsung and MediaTek have also been reported to have jumped on 6nm chip productions, while Apple’s A14 chip is reported to be a 5nm processor. 

Another feature we'd be seeing a lot on spec sheets is USF 3.0. This is the latest iteration of the Universal Flash Storage which is like the SSD of smartphones.

The USF 3.0 offers sequential reads of 2100MB/s and writes of 410MB/s which means faster copying times and multitasking. Phones that currently support UFS 3.0 include the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series and Galaxy Fold, OnePlus 7 series, Vivo Nex 3 5G, Realme Pro X2.

4. Connectivity: Hello, 5G! 5G is going to be taking over 4G soon. With the groundwork for 5G laid in the country, it’s only natural to see 5G enabled smartphones to come next.
5G connectivity in the Philippines
5G connectivity test in the Philippines

Most flagship devices today are now packed with processors that support 5G connections, but this will also soon be a norm in mid-range smartphones. Some midrange oriented chips that are 5G-enabled include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, MediaTek Dimensity 1000L, and Samsung Exynos 980. Reports also say that 20 percent of midrange phones released in 2020 will have support for this next-gen network.

5. Battery: Move over power banks A smartphone’s battery could be one of the device’s best features or a customer pain point. Manufacturers want to offer the best possible experience to smartphone users and this includes batteries with big capacity and fills up faster. 
The Vivo Super FlashCharge technology can charge a 4,000mAh battery in 13 minutes
The Vivo Super FlashCharge technology can charge a 4,000mAh battery in 13 minutes

The new battery capacity standard has gone up to 3,000 to 5,000 mAh which when coupled with a 7nm processor gives you an extended battery life even with heavy use. Charging is also made faster and safer. Vivo recently revealed its Super FlashCharge 120W technology that is claimed able to fully charge a 4,000 mAh battery in just 13 minutes.

Xiaomi also has announced a 100W fast charging technology that gives a 4,000 mAh battery a full charge in 17 minutes. If these don’t seem tangible to you yet, OPPO's Find X Lamborghini version with VOOC technology can fill up a 3,400 mAh battery is 35 minutes. 

6. Recording: A content creators dream come true With everyone dipping their toes in the content creation scene, smartphones have become tools used to shoot, edit, and post videos on. 
The Nubia Magic 3 is the first smartphone capable of recording videos in 8k
The Nubia Magic 3 is the first smartphone capable of recording videos in 8k

While most are content with HD and 4K resolution videos, we will soon be seeing a whole lot of 8K content with the resolution now being integrated into displays.

The Nubia Red Magic 3 is the only smartphone today that can record in 8K but it is also believed that Xiaomi has partnered up with Samsung to do a version on their own.

New reports also claimed that the upcoming Galaxy S20 phones will have 8K.

Also, expect more and more phone makers to have phones with more than 5 cameras and resolutions over 100MP. There will be new camera techs such as the 16-in-1 pixel binning. Huawei's upcoming P40 Pro could come with a 52MP sensor with such tech.

Which of these trends are you most excited about? Share it with us. 
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