2017 Roundup: The Best Smartphone Technology

Smartphone tech is constantly becoming more powerful as impressive handheld devices make everyday living easy. Every year, new features are released by leading smartphone manufacturers–and this year, those awesome advancements include intelligent face detection technology, speedy processors, and futuristic features that make last year’s smartphones seem outdated.

Though this year’s newest phones have just been announced, the industry is already looking ahead to the future. Smartphone companies generating buzz with speculations about future concepts such as a foldable smartphone, which is already in the lab being tested. Virtual reality (VR) capable smartphones are also in the initial development stages, and leading manufacturers are in cutthroat competition over these smartphones of the (near) future.

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As these crazy and almost unimaginable technologies become reality, you’ll want to stay on top of the latest smartphone updates and upgrades. Here are the latest, greatest innovations you should keep an eye out for in upcoming smartphone technology:

Increased Safety Features: Samsung’s Iris Scanning and Apple’s Face ID Technology

Samsung released the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 with iris scanning technology in 2016, but the technology was still in its infancy and the model was not widely accepted. In fact, this leap forward in smartphone tech was largely ignored–but now it’s back, and everyone is racing to adopt more secure scanning options. This year, scanning technology has gotten cheaper and has been more thoroughly tested, which makes it the highlight of Samsung’s flagship smartphones. Hold your phone up to your face, and it will scan your eyes’ irises to unlock the screen.

Apple is jumping on the bandwagon, too, with the recently released iPhone X and 8 models. Both of these phones come with an augmented facial recognition called Face ID, a step behind the Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 7 use of embedded iris sensor technology. Apple’s innovation uses the front-facing camera equipped with sensors to detect the details of the user’s face to unlock the phone screen.

This same innovation was also featured by ZTE, including the Eyeprint ID and Hawkeye, which uses biometric face detection for users’ security. Developed by EyeVerify, the scanning feature was a highlight of the company’s flagship phones including the Grand S3, Blade S6, and the initial Axon model. As these face and eye scanners become increasingly refined and effective, you can expect this tech to make its way to every smartphone model on the market.

Charging Without Cords: Qi Wireless Charging Capacity

Do you still plug your phone into a charger when it’s time to recharge your battery? Those days are almost over thanks to new and increasingly popular wireless charging technology. Several smartphone flagships already have the qi (pronounced as “chee”) technology available, and more are adopting it every year. Wireless charging is making it convenient to power phones without the cumbersome wires that are often easily damaged with regular use.

Nokia was the first to release wireless charging capable phones with its Lumia 820 model back in 2012, followed by the leading industry giants Samsung. With the release of the newest iPhones this year, Apple is finally catching up and offering the same technology. Google is also expected to join the game and release their own wireless charging enabled phones in the coming months.

Wireless Power Consortium is the leading qi charging system provider. All of the top smartphone companies acquiring their services include Samsung, LG, and Apple. Flagship smartphones from these industry giants already have a built-in qi charging system. Though wireless charging is currently catching on, the technology is still being advanced: AirFuel is an emerging wireless charging competitor with a slightly different charging compatibility, one that could become the new standard in just a few years.

A Better Computer: More Powerful Hardware Upgrades

Though you probably don’t compare your smartphone to your computer, remember that your favorite device is powered by an inner CPU–and making that CPU run more efficiently with more capabilities is key to advancing the latest models. Mobile CPU optimization is at the top of every smartphone manufacturer’s priorities list. Android will be launching a new processor this year, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which is powerful enough to lessen the constraints of battery life among smartphone flagships. This CPU is also going to revolutionize the industry with nanomaterial makeup that will make gadgets lighter while providing optimum speed and strength.

Among some of the intended advantages of this new processor, apart from making the internal processing speed faster, would be the increase of display capabilities of the phone. Better processing means greater possibilities, such as more than 4K screen resolution capacity, which makes every detail you see on your screen exquisitely intricate and precise.

Considering cutting the cable cord? You aren’t alone. By the start of 2018, 22 million people had already ditched their cable companies according to Variety.