Tech forecast for 2019
From flexible phones and drones to laptops powered by Qualcomm 8cx, 2019 will be a dream year for gadget lovers
- Published 29.12.18, 10:50 PM
- Updated 29.12.18, 10:57 PM
- 3 mins read
Samsung Galaxy S10
The rumours for the next Galaxy S device keep getting bigger and bigger — expectedly so since 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Samsung’s flagship series. An all-screen display with a cutout for the selfie camera much like the Infinity-O display we’ve seen on the recently launched A8s, an in-display speaker and an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, Snapdragon 855, all available in a bunch of size variants, including a Lite variant and a 5G variant — the S10 is going to pack a punch early on in the year!
Expected mid-2019, the original “flagship killer” brand is expected to upend the smart TV space with a premium, flagship experience while still offering their characteristic value proposition. The TV is expected to ship with a 4K LED display and will act as a smart home hub that can respond to voice commands, much like the independent voice assistants that retail today.
Honor View 20
While we wait for Samsung to launch the Galaxy S10, Honor’s set to launch the View 20 globally as early as January and its feature set is 2019-grade, with a punch-hole for the front camera, a massive 6.4-inch display, a 48MP rear camera and the same 7-nanometre chip that powered the brilliant and recently launched Mate20 Pro, all for under $500.
From being dismissed for their odd design to fast becoming a ubiquitous sight on streets and airports, the Apple Airpods have been the most Apple product of late in terms of being incredibly intuitive to use and rock-solid reliable. The AirPods 2 are right around the corner, likely launching in March, and are expected to bring water resistance, noise cancellation and maybe even biometric heartrate sensors to the diminutive wire-free earphones. They’re also expected to arrive in a case that charges wirelessly like the rest of the iPhone lineup.
Laptops powered by Qualcomm 8cx
Qualcomm’s got a brand new processor purpose-built for always-connected Windows laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles, instead of the tweaked mobile chips it had tried to pack into laptops previously. Even though the ‘x’ stands for extreme, it’s unlikely 8cx laptops will target rival performance-oriented chips from AMD or Intel. Instead, they’re expected to power thin, power-efficient laptops with all-day battery life and — you guessed it — built-in LTE cellular connectivity!
Vivo NEX Dual Display
Meet the Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition, a phone that does away with the notch by kitting the phone with two Super AMOLED displays, a 6.4-inch on the front, and a 5.5-inch on the back — who needs a selfie camera when there’s a second screen on the back of your phone for precisely that purpose? There’s no pop-up camera like the 2018 NEX, instead, it has three cameras, a 12-megapixel, 2-megapixel and a time-of-flight sensor. You can unlock the device with the in-screen fingerprint sensor or flip it around and use the rear cameras to perform a face-unlock. Vivo’s clearly not shy at making a splash with its arguably adventurous design!
Trends for the year
Drones Take Flight
With the drone regulation finally in place in India and retailers experimenting with drone delivery across the world, 2019 is looking to be the year that drones finally go mainstream and are picked up by the average consumer. That’s if incidents like the one at Gatwick Airport doesn’t throw governments into a tizzy and take drone restrictions back a couple of years in the process!
After threatening to launch for the past couple of years, it’s clear that 2019 will be the year of the foldable phone – from the Samsung Galaxy X (or is it the Galaxy F) to rumoured Moto RAZR reboot and a flexible LG phone, everyone seems to be taking a crack at foldable displays next year. I’m not entirely sure what market these super-expensive phones are likely to target, so let’s wait and watch how these new form factors unfold (quite literally!)
First Steps for 5G
Yeah, we’re still adopting 4G across the country, but the world is moving onto 5G, the next generation cellular network that promises 20Gbps speeds (that’s 100-200x faster than 4G) and low latency rates (down to almost real-time response times). Imagine playing a response-sensitive game like Fortnite on a VR headset while travelling in a self-driving car — that’s the promise of 5G networks, and I can’t wait for the first set of 5G devices in 2019 to start turning this potential to reality.
2019 will see Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning become so mainstream, it won’t even find a noteworthy mention in the marketing materials of your next smartphone — AI and ML will be all pervasive, powering a diverse set of smartphone experiences. From making your camera more intelligent and optimising your battery to learning your usage patterns and being able to suggest apps, content and services when you need them, smartphones and digital assistants will finally start getting “smart”.
Broadband Joins the Party
If you thought Jio had a profound impact on the country’s 4G connectivity, wait till Jio GigaFiber broadband service arrives at the home broadband party. With the 1Gbps service expected to start full rollout in March, expect the incumbents to drop prices — it’s already happening somewhat in anticipation! A solid #win for consumers!
Tushar Kanwar is a tech columnist and commentator.Follow him on Twitter @2shar. Mail your tech queries to firstname.lastname@example.org