Computing Magazine

Smartphone Innovation – What’s Next?

Posted on the 16 May 2014 by Savita Singh @Compgeekblog

Ever since the introduction of Apple’s first iPhone back in 2007, the pace of progression for modern smart phones has been staggering. Although just seven years ago, the likes of the first iPhone, the HTC Dream and Palm Pre look positively archaic, with their relatively basic functionality and keypads technologically dwarfed by today’s all-singing, all-dancing super-computers in your pocket.

Features such as FaceTime, Siri or high quality camera and video recording were stuff of science-fiction even then, and yet can we expect similar major innovations in the coming years? Perhaps not.

Of course society has proven incredibly poor at predicting future technology in the past – just look at 2001: a Space Odyssey or Back to the Future 2 as examples – however the pace of change in the latest iterations of our favorite devices has notably slowed. This article by Matt Hamblen on breaks it down very nicely indeed.

However that doesn’t mean we aren’t still getting excited about this year’s new smart phone releases, and here at Fone Angels repairs we can’t wait to get our hands on them. So what can we expect to see in the coming months?

Samsung Galaxy S5

Officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress back in February, the S5 is looking to build on the success of the hugely impressive S4, placing an emphasis on improving build quality and resistance rather than software and hardware.

Although this may be disappointing news to tech heads who love nothing more than getting to grips with some brand new functionality, as a company who repairs smart phones we understand the importance of durability.

First of all the Samsung S5′s rear cover is dimpled to improve grip – a feature you’ll recognize as beneficial if your smart phone has ever slipped from your hand. In addition, the S5 is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. In fact, the phone can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water, ensuring you won’t have to worry about dropping it in the sink or a puddle again – though we still wouldn’t recommend it.

Further improvements include a 16-megapixel camera as opposed to the 13-megapixel S4 camera, and a 2.5 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 801 system compared to the 1.6Ghz quad-core CPU of its predecessor, however Samsung have been criticised for not doing enough to justify upgrading from the S4 to the S5.

HTC One M8

Similarly to the Samsung S5, the HTC One M8 is not a radical departure from its predecessor, the HTC One, in terms of software or hardware.

Although the hardware within the One M8 has been upgraded – a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 GPU similar to that used in the S5 – there are no major new additions in terms of software for us smart phone geeks to get excited about. The camera is also a disappointment, and although it performs admirably in low-light environments, when it comes to image quality it falls short when compared to its rivals.

In fact perhaps the most notable difference about the HTC One M8 is the new ‘Dot View Case’ that will be available, with the cover featuring a grid of holes to allow the user to view the clock, weather forecast and notifications without opening it up. Meh.

iPhone 6

We don’t know a lot about the 6th generation of iPhone – expected to be released in autumn this year – and as such the internet has been awash with rumours about what Apple may have up its sleeve.

The most prominent rumor has been in regards to the screen size of the iPhone 6, with a range between 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches suggested as opposed to the 4 inch screen featured on the iPhone 5s. This may also include a slimmer bezel and chassis.

In terms of hardware, it has been reported that the iPhone 6 will feature a 20-nanometre A8 chip from TSMC, a GPU expected to offer an improvement of around 30%, the same margin as that of the iPhone 5s over the original 5.

Rumours of major innovations are thin on the ground, however the suggestion of ‘Gigabit Wi-Fi support – offering speeds up to 3-times faster than the existing networks – is potentially exciting in terms of consuming content via our phone.

Regardless of the innovation, or lack thereof, present in the latest generation of smart phones, if we know smart phone fans (and we think we do) they’ll still be queuing up around the block to get their hands on them.

“This post was written by John Rooney in partnership with Fone Angels – providers of mobile phone and tablet repair services across a wide range of brands.”

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