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Consumer tech in 2018: From invisible fingerprint scanners to smartphones with four cameras

 

From long-lasting graphene batteries to four cameras in a phone, consumer tech will take a leap in 2018.

Invisible Fingerprint Scanners

We are used to seeing fingerprint scanners near the screen or on the back panel, fast becoming the default, thanks to taller displays with 18:9 aspect ratio.

Soon, manufacturers may not have to compromise because Qualcomm and Synaptics are working on fingerprint scanning technology that works through glass, aluminum, and displays, including LCD and OLED. You’ll probably start seeing phones with this tech in the first quarter of 2018.

Lightning-fast, Long-lasting Graphene Batteries

Low battery anxiety is a real thing. We need our smartphones to last us through the day and we need them to charge faster than they currently do. Well, if graphene batteries get the go-ahead, it could spell the end of the portable battery pack too.

By using graphene — a form of carbon — instead of the common lithium, batteries could hold 45% more charge in the same size and go from 0% to 100% charge in 10 to 12 minutes. In 2018, we are expecting at least one major announcement for graphene batteries in phones.

Snapdragon 845 Will Snap Up Everything

This is the next-generation flagship system on a chip (SoC) from Qualcomm and will be in all the major phones: Samsung Galaxy S9, Xiaomi Mi 7, OnePlus 6, Google Pixel 3, LG G7, LG V40 and so on. This is an octa-core chipset with four Cortex A75 cores and four Cortex A55 cores based on 10nm FinFET manufacturing.

There will be significant improvements in performance, including a 30% jump in graphics performance, support for 4k video @60fps, 720p slow-motion video @480fps and the chip will support up to seven cameras on one device!

Four Cameras Are Better Than Two

Four cameras in a phone (two each in the front and rear) can overcome the limitations of mobile phones compared with cameras. Honor launched the 9i with this camera setup in 2017. Multi-camera is where mobile phone photography is headed. 2018 is when we are going to see a triple rear camera setup or possibly even quad rear camera: one standard camera, one ultra-wide, one telephoto and one monochrome.

Taller Displays as Standard

Sometime in the middle of 2017, phone makers figured out that they could fit larger displays into phones without increasing the footprint — just by changing the aspect ratio. These taller 18:9 displays — twice as long as they are wide — also need app developers to start making apps that take advantage of the increased screen size. Whatever the case, 18:9 displays are here to stay and it should become the standard for Android phones across all budgets, starting as low as Rs 7,000.

Get Used to Using Your Face

Face unlock existed before the iPhone X but no one paid any attention because it was slow, ineffective and not very secure. You can credit Apple for bringing it to the mainstream again by using advanced tech like dot projectors and infrared cameras.

Huawei has already showcased its own version of the advanced tech while others like OnePlus showed off its camera-based face unlock that’s even faster than what the iPhone X offers. Going forward, you can expect face unlock on more laptops, iPads, and desktops.

Plus: 512 GB of built-in high-speed storage Apps and devices with machine learning Apps and devices that can be voice-controlled. Improved virtual reality & augmented reality features. Super slow motion @ 980 frames per second.

Displays: More 4k resolution, 120Hz refresh rates, OLED & High Dynamic Range (HDR).

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