Nearly everybody has a smartphone these days. It’s gotten to the point where new smartphone announcements are treated with great fanfare and large headlines. Release days for these gadgets lead to thousands or even millions of people all over the world waiting in long lines to get their hands on the latest smartphone creations.
Mobile devices from Apple, Samsung, and more are the predominant piece of technology people own, with more people using them than desktop computers. With this in mind, there’s great anticipation for what future smartphones will bring to the table. Already we’re seeing a number of trends that will come to smartphones in 2017, so it’s easy to get excited for what the future holds.
Here’s just a few that you’ll want to keep an eye on.
The Rise of Virtual Reality
2016 was the year that virtual reality really came into its own. With the release of new VR headsets, many consumers could finally buy into the craze.
While it may seem like smartphones have little to do with the VR trend, they actually might get integrated in various ways. Many new smartphone models will likely have the capability to be plugged into these headsets, allowing users to watch movies and television shows, play new video games, and use newly created VR applications. The technology may be a little rough at first, but expect this trend to continue to develop over time.
Faster Internet Connection
This trend should be a given considering past developments. Smartphones continue to get bigger upgrades to their internet connections. What started as 3G turned into 4G, then it transformed into LTE 4G.
As fast as download times are right now, consumers always want more, and smartphones will deliver that next year. Could that mean the introduction of 5G networks? That remains to be seen, but you can expect LTE speeds will continue to increase.
More Processing Power
Handling the download speeds of faster networks and virtual reality applications means smartphones need to have faster processing chips. Smartphone manufacturers are responding accordingly by introducing better chips, like the Helio X30 with its multiple core microprocessors.
Technology is advancing in this category all the time, so it’s no stretch to think smartphones will follow suit. With more powerful smartphones will come more powerful capabilities that all consumers can take advantage of, much like businesses are using converged systems. Many smartphones will have all the specs that you’d normally find in a desktop computer.
So Long Micro-USB
The micro-USB 2.0 port has been a part of most smartphones for years. That might not be the case for too much longer. New smartphones may end up using the USB-C port.
This port does many things that go further than simply charging the device. Users will be able to connect a mobile device to other gadgets like flash drives, high-definition monitors, external storage devices, and more.
More Storage Space
Speaking of storage, you can expect new smartphones to have much more storage than they have today. With all the things people are downloading to their phones these days, extra storage space if pretty much a necessity.
While many of today’s mobile devices have internal storage anywhere from 256GB to 512GB in size, 2017’s models may be released with up to 1TB of storage space. That would be in addition to easier connections to external storage devices, as mentioned above.
Reduced Charging Time
If there’s one major annoyance with smartphones, it’s the need to charge them daily in most cases. While charging will still have to happen frequently, it will also take a lot less time. Thanks to the new USB-C port, battery recharges can happen quickly. Some of the latest batteries may can even be charged in just a few minutes. If this features makes it to next year’s smartphones, you won’t have to worry so much if your device is running out of juice.
These trends don’t even begin to touch on the new designs that companies will unveil to the public in 2017. No matter how you look at it, the next year will be an exciting time to check out what new smartphones have to offer.
Rick Delgado is a business and technology consultant and writer based in Utah.