The 10 Features Every 2018 Smartphone Must Have


2018 is just around the corner and we’re all excited about the next 12 months and what amazing new hardware we’re going to see launched, but only smartphones with all 10 of these features is going to get our pulses racing.

Hisense Full-Screen

Full Screen, 18:9 display

A pretty damn obvious feature we know, but we wouldn’t be surprised if at least one smartphone maker tried to launch a ‘flagship’ device in the new year with the old screen standard.

Full screen is one of those features that you won’t know that you need until you actually try it, and once you’ve used it it’s hard to go back.

The good news is that pretty much all new smartphones out of China are being launched with Full-screen panels, not just the flagship devices either! So there is already ample choice and prices are dropping by the day.

2 day Battery Life

Before you all start chanting “But we already have a 2-day battery life with (insert phone name here)” I’d counter that you don’t, not unless you’re using the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, which even today blows me away with how much battery life it has!

We’re sure that Chinese phone makers are really going to focus on battery life in the R&D and also their marketing now that Apple dropped the ball and admitted it’s purposely slowing phones down with forced updates. Customers are pissed and they’re looking for a new device to jump ship to. Why not a brand new shiny Chinese phone?

Xiaomi waterproof phone

Waterproof Nano Coating

Samsung has been selling waterproof flagship phones for years already so it’s about time other phone makers started to coat their phones with waterproof nanocoating too.

We’ve already seen Elephone state that they’ll be using this method to protect future flagships, but we want to see this feature used more often. There is really no reason a phone can’t be made waterproof in 2018.

USB Type C

Again you might think that Type C is the default standard these days but it’s still not used across all new Android devices. I’ve received phones from Vivo this year that still use micro USB which is simply not acceptable.

USB Type C is a much neater standard and is used across various different product already, so we expect all Android smartphones to come with the format in 2018.

Latest Android Release

Chinese phone makers are much better at releasing phones with the latest Android operating system but it’s still not widely accepted by all phone brands.

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What we’re seeing is large brands rolling out updates and small vendors releasing new phones with the latest OS, but then phone makers in the middle ground are still content with rolling out their latest ROMs based on old operating systems.

We’d love to see Flyme, Colour OS and Funtouch all keep up with the Android update curve in 2018, but in reality we don’t think this is going to happen.

on-display-fingerprint

Beneath The Screen Finger Print Scanners

It’s no secret that fingerprint scanners beneath the display are going to happen (in fact we have a feeling that Vivo will be the first to launch the feature at CES this year) but 2018 is finally going to be the year that we see it go in to product and become available for us to use.

We don’t think that all phone in 2018 should come with this next generation security feature, but we do expect all flagships to get it especially those from the larger phone brands.

Quality Camera Optics

Im still amazed by how poor some cameras are on Android smartphones. I’m even more shocked that certain high-end phone makers seems to have reverted back to the strategy of simply speccing a higher value sensor in a phone rather than improving the lens and software behind of the camera app.

Just like with many of the items on this list, it’s going to be 2018 there’s no reason why a phone should ship with anything but an excellent camera.

Headphone Jack

As much as I love Type C USB, I’m still not a fan of having Type C as the only option to plug in a set of headphones. Yes, you can buy cables that convert a 3.5mm headphone jack to Type C USB, but that’s the type of hack we expect from Apple devices, not quality Android phones.

We’re already seeing rumours that Samsung could launch the S9 with a 3.5mm headphone jack so let’s hope other phone makers follow suit.

Innovation

Remember rotating cameras and dual screen phones? t’s sad to say this, but it is true! Most phones launched in 2018 have been a little underwhelming in the ‘Wow’ department and very few, if any, have really stood out with innovative new features.

Just a few years ago, smartphone makers were taking risks, launching niche products and testing the waters with features that really made the Chinese tech industry exciting, but those days seem to be behind us.

We hope this isn’t so, and that 2018 might be the year innovation comes back.

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9 Comments

  1. Don Yee
    December 26, 2017

    Title should read “every 2018 smartphone” 🙂

  2. Billy Williams
    December 26, 2017

    My top 10 List for Must Have Features For FlagShips.

    1) 18:9 aspect ratio
    2) OLED Panel
    3) 2K resolution (seriously with the 1080)
    4) Advanced software with the cameras. Google has set the bar…let the dual cameras die…just do it well with software.
    5) Multiple unlock methods. It seems that the industry is splitting here between copying Apple with Face ID and implementing underglass finger print scanners. More options i good, but I hope to see flagships introduce both as possibilities. Even if the Face ID sucks its convenient for some purposes.
    6) Wireless Charging. No excuses at this point.
    7) Better use of battery life. There is no reason that the processors every year claim to be 20% better than the previous year, batteries seem to be getting bigger in every phone and YET, I’m still getting 6 hours of screen on time. Huawei has done it right with Kirin 970. Although it is a bit too aggressive with shutting down background tasks, it really does save battery life.
    8) Oreo. Everyone needs to get with the program or stop calling your phone a flagship if you refuse to update to the current software.
    9) NPU, this seems to be the future, so everyone hope on board. I believe all the companies will find ways to implement this in their own ways but, it should be interesting to see what we get in the future. It should be a huge deciding factor in the future as to what phone you buy, the same way we view dual cameras now (mono/RGB, Wideangle, zoom, etc)
    10) Honestly, I want the innovation to come back. Everyone seems to be waiting for the next big thing to happen and other companies are MAKING the next big thing happen. I like that Apple went the extra step this year with the IPhone X, regardless of whether I like it, its a huge step forward for Apple. People love the OP5T but what exactly did it innovate? I like what we got from Essential, I like what we got from LG V30, Huawei Mate 10. I wasn’t too happy that the Mi Mix 2 took a step back instead of forward but I was pleased that the Mi Note 3 has the best camera that Xiaomi has ever made and can be had for around $300. Lots of good things happened this year. I want that to continue but I want companies to push themselves to make more creative phones, to think outside of the box and instead of giving consumers what they want, give them a vision of the future. That to me was the difference between the original Mi Mix and the Mi Mix 2. The original was like holding the future, even with all its flaws…its was something unheard of, you just had to respect it because it was so ambitious. The Mi Mix 2 tried to be a phone, the bezels got bigger, the technology disappeared and when you’re grading it as purely a phone then you’re much harder on it. When you’re grading it for it vision, then you’re more forgiving because you’re holding art. Companies need to take that approach. Make mistakes…challenge yourselves and do what others won’t. That is the difference between success and mediocrity.

  3. Jez Humberston
    December 26, 2017

    Personally I’d be looking for regular and consistent support (updates and quick upgrades to the latest version of Android), quality 2k OLED front screen, the Meizu Pro 7 secondary screen was actually useful, if adopted it would allow for space saving on the phone front where the front camera is, and allowing superior rear cameras to be available for selfies too. Under screen fingerprint technology, quality sound via DACs. Of course, dreaming of the first truly foldable graphene screen phones to appear, but fear they are a couple of years away. Proper modular technology in micro format too.. ie camera, battery upgrades.

  4. Don Yee
    December 26, 2017

    Title should read “every 2018 smartphone” 🙂

  5. Jez Humberston
    December 26, 2017

    Personally I’d be looking for regular and consistent support (updates and quick upgrades to the latest version of Android), quality 2k OLED front screen, the Meizu Pro 7 secondary screen was actually useful, if adopted it would allow for space saving on the phone front where the front camera is, and allowing superior rear cameras to be available for selfies too. Under screen fingerprint technology, quality sound via DACs. Of course, dreaming of the first truly foldable graphene screen phones to appear, but fear they are a couple of years away. Proper modular technology in micro format too.. ie camera, battery upgrades.

  6. Tomm
    December 27, 2017

    + dual audio.

  7. Guest
    December 27, 2017

    + dual audio.

  8. Julian Richards
    December 27, 2017

    What I would like to see would be a multilens system capable of good shallow depth of field for video and the ability to shoot that video in a flat colour profile standard like Cinestyle or Log. Then you will get an immensely powerful movie making machine,

  9. Julian Richards
    December 27, 2017

    What I would like to see would be a multilens system capable of good shallow depth of field for video and the ability to shoot that video in a flat colour profile standard like Cinestyle or Log. Then you will get an immensely powerful movie making machine,