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What 2022 taught us about smartphones

This has been a landmark year for the smartphone industry, with mobile devices experiencing massive evolution amidst a larger push to bring foldable technology to more consumers.

There are dozens of new smartphone releases that many of its fans have been anticipating, including the iPhone 14 series, the all-new iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Samsung S22, and solid new entries from Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo.

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iPhone 2022

Unlike its loyal followers, the iPhone series launched this year, leaving little to shout about unless you’re in the market for the ultra-premium iPhone 14 Pro Max — the only device from the latest series to feature Apple’s updated chipset.

Even so, with the European Union clamping down on standard smartphone charging mechanism – we could see next year’s iPhone feature Android’s Type-C charging port along with a brand new upgraded series, given very few updates this year.

Design cues set new directions

IOL highlighted three new design tweaks, which have become evident among a series of well-known manufacturers. The three trends included the popular new notch, retaining room for the front-facing selfie camera and other functions, larger, sharper camera lenses and rear color variations.

These design trends have been seen across a range of smartphones. At the same time, new devices from Huawei, Oppo and Vivo embody the latest trends. It could be a tale of widely adopted design trends in the coming year.

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While most of the premium range smartphones feature new trends, economies of scale could drive down production costs, resulting in affordable devices featuring design cues in 2023.

fold rise

Foldable smartphones were a figment of the imagination only a few years ago. Despite this, 2022 ushered in the era of foldable smartphone proliferation, one of the latest design formats to pay homage to mobile devices.

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Previous years have seen good attempts by Samsung and Huawei while exploring design format.

However, both showed their entries upgraded to the format this year – with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 introduced by the South Korean manufacturer and the P50 Pocket Premium and Huawei Mate Xs 2 from their Chinese competitor.

Based on introductions to previously launched devices – foldable smartphones were once only seen as a space-saving gimmick without using much to fold beyond an enlarged screen.

Meanwhile, offerings from Huawei and Samsung boasted more use of the fold, fewer creases left behind and increased functionality of the larger screen when unfolded.

While it’s too early to tell if the Fold will be widely adopted by the public, many smartphone manufacturers have either released or disclosed their intentions to release a device with the design format, including Apple, which may only release one device. In the next two years according to online rumors.

Being an early smartphone trend, it only appears among the most premium ultra-devices, which fetch hefty price tags.

Although, just like other design trends, if the public is widely sought after, costs could come down due to economies of scale, and next year could see the launch of a more affordable foldable smartphone.

IOL Tech