How can the design of devices change in the next couple of years, how can you beat the large screen diagonal and are all modern smartphones really the same type of 'bricks' …
For a long time, design was considered one of the main disadvantages of modern smartphones. After the amazing variety of 'push-button' phones and smartphones during the heyday of Nokia, the same type of 'bricks' on Android looked downright boring. Even such a banal thing in the old days as a clamshell smartphone has become a rare exotic, available only in some Asian countries.
The main reason why modern smartphones look alike is very simple. This is a huge screen that takes up most of the front surface of the smartphone and greatly limits the imagination of designers. In fact, their task boils down to making such a 'shovel' as compact as possible, and there is no time for design delights and decorations.
But since you cannot properly work on the form factor and the appearance of the case, then who is stopping you from doing the design of the screen itself? Only technical limitations, which have recently become less and less. For example, we can take Samsung devices with the Edge prefix, where the screen is just the brightest and most memorable part of the design.
What will happen to smartphone design in the coming year? In my opinion, there are three main directions here.
First of all, the further development of rounded displays. Samsung will surely be the winner here. There are already a lot of rumors about the same SGS8, for example, they say that the flagship's screen will be rounded from all four sides at once. True, for this, the company will have to abandon the physical Home button, but this is just quite expected.
The second direction is frameless smartphones. Here the palm traditionally belongs to Sharp. Although the word 'frameless' is now present in every second press release of any modern device, the old Sharp Aquos Crystal remains unrivaled.
Review of the Japanese smartphone Sharp Aquos Crystal (305SH)
And this is how the new smartphone from the company called Sharp Corner R will look like. Very little details are known about it, but with such a design, technical characteristics in any case fade into the background. They will definitely buy it not for the sake of the processor.
The third direction is folding devices, which will become a kind of development of the idea of 'clamshells'. Or Sony Tablet P devices, if someone still remembers that.
A lot of companies are now working in this direction and the first such devices may just come next year. True, the price will clearly be high and the technical characteristics average. But the first pancake is always lumpy.
For example, we can cite one of the latest Samsung patents, which is no longer just about the concept of a folding tablet, but about a very specific design. Perhaps this is what their first commercial device will look like.
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The option LG looks much simpler, but in practice it will be more a plus than a minus.
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Below is a kind of teaser of a certain unnamed smartphone from an unknown company … which runs on MIUI. Which automatically narrows the 'circle of suspects' to one single company. According to rumors, Xiaomi already has a working prototype of such a phone, although the video clearly shows only one display.
And then there is such a thing as flexible smart bracelets. Rather, they are not exactly there, but they are clearly looming somewhere on the horizon.
Now everything rests on the technical side of the matter, but there is every reason to believe that in the next couple of years all issues will be resolved. And all kinds of companies will suddenly remember the heaps of patents that have been gathering dust under the cloth for years. At least Apple, LG and Samsung have a lot of them, because at one time these companies were seriously interested in such a form factor. According to the initial plans, such devices were supposed to appear on the market in large quantities in 2015, but in reality everything turned out to be much more complicated.
Although you can try to cheat and get around the existing technical limitations right now. For example, Samsung suggests using many small ones instead of one large display. The device will look like an ordinary smart watch, with the difference that the dial will always be strictly in front of the user's eyes, no matter how he turns his hand. I do not think that the company will really present something like that next year, but everything can be.
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With smartwatches, the manufacturers have not turned out very well so far, so maybe it will turn out better with smart bracelets? Unfortunately, we still have to wait a couple of years to answer this question.