The smartphone market, despite the big movers and shakers that ship millions of phones, has been semi-stagnant in the design department. In order to make people upgrade, manufacturers will keep trying new things. It’s hard to get rid of the candy-bar phone format, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from trying to bring back the slider and flip phones. Once a buzzword in the phone circles, the folding phone had a brief moment of fame and glory, before it was plagued by issues.
The phone as a platform for design innovation and experimentation is clearly very much alive. Phone innovation may have hit a plateau but there are new design trends that we foresee will be part of your next smartphone purchase.
“Infinity screen” and beyond
The race to create bezel-less display smartphones is on. By doing so, everything that is on the front had to go. The fingerprint sensors have been moved onto the back of most phones to make way for an all-screen front. More recently, in-screen fingerprint sensors made an appearance on newer handsets, to ensure that the latest phones look sleek from any angle.
A screen to body ratio of 91%, is the highest available on the market today. Gone are the days of physical home buttons on the front of the phone, although you still can pick up past generation phones with a 60-70% ratio for a good deal.
Speaking of infinity screens, there is one big caveat, and that is…
Notch Or Hole
Notch, teardrop or punch hole? These are the new terms that have been coined by the mobile phone enthusiasts to describe the attempts of smartphone manufacturers in their creative ways to integrate the front camera and sensors into an increasingly crowded phone face.
Several smartphones solve this with a pop-up camera, either manually activated or with an elaborate camera module slider system.
However, the next trend will be the in-display selfie camera has been demonstrated by two different smartphone companies, Oppo and Xiaomi. The selfie cameras are hidden underneath the screen, yet function fully as a regular camera would. No phone has been announced with this technology yet, but look out for it.