The coming of a new year means a lot of changes, and smartphones are no exception to the rule. From touchscreens to Wi-Fi, mobile devices have come a long way over the past decade, with one innovation after another changing the way we think about them. What new developments do we have to look forward to in 2018? Here are some likely trends that you may want to keep track of:
The Return of the Flip Phone
Once the most popular phone format on the market, the flip phone—or clamshell phone—fell from favor after it was eclipsed by the touchscreen phone. But if you miss the satisfying snap that these phones made when you shut them, you might be in luck: The flip phone may be on its way back. Samsung introduced a smart-looking new flip phone in China in December of 2017 that combines modern design with classic features like a number keypad, and other models are sure to follow.
The Rise of Mobile Payments
What if, instead of fumbling for your credit card in the checkout line, you could simply pay using your smartphone? Mobile payment software has been around for a few years—think Apple Pay and Android Pay—but the trend hasn’t quite taken off yet. However, the convenience and security offered by mobile payments are undeniable, and the number of smartphone-based payments in the U.S. continues to rise every year. This is one trend that’s sure to catch fire sooner rather than later.
The Arrival of In-Screen Fingerprint Sensors
Fingerprint sensors may have made it faster and more convenient to access your phone, but one innovation remains elusive—successfully placing the sensor inside the phone’s touchscreen. Synaptics announced in December that it has developed a working in-screen fingerprint sensor, so you can probably expect this feature to start rolling out on phones across the world in the coming year.
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