As a new year comes, it's time to recognize it: more than our smartphones, it's their screens that are the real stars of the show. And as such, the future of this product category is intimately linked to them.
Every year, we watch new smartphones come out with the same sparkling eyes. And yet, every year, deep inside us, lies the desire that the new models are drastically different … and yet just as natural to use as the previous ones.
This ambiguity in the market means that the smallest innovation can push us to pack. Yet, it is time to simply recognize an obvious star of the show, that we look without necessarily emphasize: our screens. It is from them that all revolutions will come. See instead.
Passive of the smartphone
Smartphones have evolved significantly since the first steps of the very smart mobile. In his early days, he wondered whether it was really necessary to use only the finger (like the first iPhone) as support interaction, or if a stylus was needed to make things more natural. Moreover, some like BlackBerry have even tried to make it closer to the PC by integrating a full QWERTY keyboard.
And then, the years have passed. The effective power of our devices has only been increasing, of course, but that's not the only thing: the capacitive has defeated the resistive, the screen definitions have only increased while the resolution has become more important in the eyes of consumers, keyboards and other extensions have gradually disappeared. The sRGB color spaces were conquered and then conquered again by the DCI-P3.
And above a mountain of gold, the main supplier of the Samsung market is only laughing laurels acquired. It must be said that he was the one who convinced the market to go beyond the limit of 5 inches diagonally thanks to the Galaxy Note; since, a 5-inch smartphone has become a small format, when the average is now between 5.7 and 6 inches. And what's more, it will have been the true flagship of OLED tiles against LCD tiles, which has now become the standard of the best quality available on smartphones.
While we can of course highlight other developments of the same time, we must not forget how much the screens have changed over time. In a decade, we now have better slabs in our pocket than those of our television screens, whose quality is only surprising year by year the specialist DisplayMate. Their contrast, brightness and rich color range continue to improve day by day, although we are not always aware of it.
The latest market trends
Because yes, the screens often go unnoticed … except in 2018, where the trend has been to transform them enough to be seen at first glance. First of all, the good old 16: 9 ratio of our TVs has been dropped for 18: 9 or even 19.5: 9, more optimized for mobile use where the portrait orientation is used more than the rest.
While in itself it may seem minor, this evolution freed the smartphone from its links with other products in the market in terms of how to consume content. More general, even if it is not the subject that interests us today, the content itself has finally adapted to the mobile rather than the opposite; no wonder then that the smartphone is released from its chains to become the major product.
This change has also been accompanied by the idea, always growing, that the screen must now occupy the entire front surface. Thus was born the notch, which allows the screen to come erase at least in part the front and the chin of a smartphone to occupy as much space as possible. If 2018 is the birth of a real movement, 2019 will be a year of maturity: the perforated screens, highlighted by the Galaxy A8S, the Honor View 20 and the Huawei Nova 4 just weeks from the New Year, represent the continuity.
Few people have happily welcomed the notches, since they represent only technical limits. The "holes in the screen" are just a continuation of this movement, simply trying to remove some bad aspects: here, the aesthetic aspect is much more acceptable.
Another trend has been observed: that of integrating the fingerprint reader under the screen. Vivo Nex S, Huawei Mate Pro 20, OnePlus 6T, they have been many to do this year to release space again. However, some people previously preferred to integrate the back, which did not hinder for a penny the idea that the screen takes the entire front surface.
The future goes through the screen
The reason is simple: it's the future. If we think little about it, we were able to determine here how the screen was one of the points that received the most innovations over the years. From now on, it becomes the nerve center of smartphone innovation.
The idea in 2019 is no longer to optimize the body of the smartphone, but to fit all the components we need on the screen. Samsung should not be long in proving it at CES 2019, when it is expected that it finally presents its screens directly integrating speakers thanks to a new slab vibration technology.
That's not all: if the notches are still present, their disappearance is imminent and Samsung – once again – works there, naturally. We're talking about a next generation where the photo sensor is simply hidden below the screen, and would take a picture between two very brief pixel extinctions to work. This is a technological feat that will really push the industry forward, such a possibility that can open many other avenues.
Another revolution expected in 2019 is none other than the appearance of smartphones with folding screen. Samsung was one of the first to present its idea in this sense, and will unveil the final product shortly, but other competitors like Huawei or ZTE are in the starting blocks. And as such, here is another evolution in which the screen is central: the new foldable smartphone concepts are after all possible thanks to the screens themselves.
The philosophy of the smartphone
Why suddenly want to gather everything in the screen? Naturally, the technological evolution plays in this: all the technologies which we were able to benefit in 2018 and of which we will benefit in 2019 were developed over years, it is natural that an idea can not immediately become a product.
Not everything is said. As smartphones become more and more common in the world, developing massively even in developing countries and even taking the place of our blue cards, they are now freed of any other tool. The dominant global support is becoming our mobile, in the consumption of content as in our daily habits.
And as such, what is most interesting for this product is none other than … its screen. This window to the digital world and our possessions made of 0 and 1. Now aware of its impact, the smartphone does nothing more than focus on perfecting the experience he has defined for himself. And it is simple: it is confined to the screen, without which nothing would happen.
No wonder then that we even come to observe the first steps of technologies of transparent screens: what appeared as science-fiction a decade ago is now very real, and can go further again. And all this will necessarily pass through … the screen.
Read on FrAndroid: When will the notch die on smartphone? Certainly not in 2019