With each passing year, smartphones get more powerful and faster, and 2014 will be no different. Based on some of the rumors of exciting flagship models that will ship in 2014, we’re beginning to see a few trends that are emerging for the new year. If you’ve been eyeing a high-end phone–like an HTC One, Galaxy Note 3, or LG G2–this year but haven’t already picked one up, you may want to hold off on your purchases until after the new year to get the most bang for your buck. Here are some trends that we’re beginning to see.
- Larger Displays: Even as recent as a few years ago, displays that were 4- or 4.3-inch were considered large. This is especially true considering that Apple had kept the iPhone’s display at its standard 3.5-inch measurement until the iPhone 5. With 2013 ushering in the 5-inch norm for displays given the huge popularity of the Android-powered Galaxy S4, 2014 will continue to push the boundaries. Phablets are beginning to become the norm rather than the exception and we’re hearing of rumored 5.25-inch or 5.5-inch displays being the new standard based on rumors out of the Samsung and LG camps.
- Higher Resolution Screens: What good is a bigger display if your screen experience results in high pixelation? Fortunately, manufacturers have thought this through and high-end devices will be pushing beyond the full HD 1080p standard for 2014. Rumors suggest that QHD, or Quad HD, will be the new standard for powerful devices in 2014 and that means we’re going to see larger screens with resolutions of 1440 X 2560 pixels or more. Sharper images, 4K video streaming, and vibrant colors will be part of this new equation, and thanks to fast 4G LTE networks downloading higher resolution graphics won’t be a chore.
- Faster Processors: Thought quad-core was blazing fast in 2013? We’ll likely begin seeing true octa-core processors in the new year that will bring an even faster mobile computing experience. Apple is also leading the way with 64-bit ARM processors, and rivals are still readying their rival CPUs based on the 64-bit architecture that will see some of the more expensive devices–perhaps a Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung–push into 4 GB of RAM for fluid, effortless simultaneous multitasking.
- Security: As mobile manufacturers continue to target the stronghold enterprise and government businesses that were once dominated by now struggling smartphone-maker BlackBerry, a focus on security will be important. Though not the first, Apple shows us how the simple fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s could make security convenient for users so that they would want to lock their phones to protect sensitive data. HTC followed with a fingerprint reader on the HTC One Max and it’s now rumored that LG may implement a similar fingerprint tech on the rumored LG G3 flagship. We’re not sure if fingerprint reading will part of Samsung’s plans going forward, but Samsung is already busy promoting its Smasung Knox security suite as well as its LoJack for Smartphones that will help recover a lost or stolen Galaxy phone or tablet.
- Emerging Technologies: We’ll likely see some manufacturers continue their experiments with flexible displays and new form factors. These devices may remain more niche than mainstream in 2014 following the releases of the Samsung Galaxy Round and the LG G Flex late this year. The wearable computing market will continue to pick up pace with fashionable gadgets that can be worn all day as well devices geared towards the health and fitness market.
Add to these hardware trends carrier upgrades to their network and infrastructure to bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband connectivity and we will have some of the best mobile computing experiences in history.
What trends are you spotting and what are you most excited about for 2014?