The Trends We Saw In The Smartphones Released In 2017
Looking at the smartphones that came in 2017 you can clearly see how the manufacturers are inspiring or copying each other. The phones coming are more similar than they are different.
You can still tell them apart as manufactures still have their own unique design choices that differentiate their products from the competition’s but if someone said they were all designed by one person all you’d say is ‘oh.’
Choice of materials
The glass-metal-glass sandwich design choice is popular right now. That material choice which Sony ran with for years before Samsung took it mainstream was popular in 2017.
The Galaxy S8 and Note 8, iPhone X, LG G6 and V30, HTC U11 Ultra, MAX to name a few, all have glass backs.
2017 was also the year smartphone manufactures declared war on bezels. The Samsungs, the LGs, the iPhone X and the OnePlus 5T among others have their fronts dominated by the screen. These phones have screen to body ratios of over 80%. That means the fronts are almost all screen with no space even for the fingerprint scanner, something which has become a must have.
With bezels that are that tiny, the fingerprint scanners have had to be moved to the back. Samsung chose a very awkward place to place theirs, way up at the top, next to the camera. Most just put it smack in the middle on the back like LG has done for years.
Apple went with a facial recognition system which is secure and fast and ditched the fingerprint scanner altogether on the iPhone X. OnePlus put a facial recognition system of their own which is much quicker than the iPhone X’s but is not as secure.
OnePlus still included the fingerprint scanner on the back to go with the facial recognition system. Most manufacturers had theirs back there too. Almost all the phones that came out this year had a scanner, even the budget phones.
Samsung put in their awkwardly placed fingerprint scanners but also included iris scanners on their flagships as an option.
Most phones released this year have some splash, water and dust resistance. The IP rating system tries to give an indication of how much abuse a device can take. IP68 is the highest rating on any phone. IP68 means protection from total dust ingress and immersion beyond 1m.
Apple joined the fray last year, all three iPhones released this year have IP67 rating which is less than what most Android flagships have with IP68 ratings.
The trend is for smartphones to have two cameras on the back. One will be the main camera with the secondary one being used as a telephoto lens, a monochrome camera or as a wide angle lens.
I blame Apple for the trend of removing the 3mm headphone jack. They were not the first to do that but they made it fashionable. Too many manufacturers removed that important jack this year and condemned their customers to the dongle life.
So that was 2017 in a nutshell. What do you expect to see in 2018? I for one would like to see the headphone jack make a comeback but I won’t be holding my breath. I would also want the senseless fascination in producing the thinnest phones die down. Let’s have slightly thicker phones with bigger batteries.
The fact that we are even talking about the headphone jack as one of the things we would like to see means phones have gotten so good we are spoilt.