Every user wants the best for their money when it comes to buying stuff and that includes smartphones. Most people nowadays consider phones as a necessity. It is used mainly for communication, getting constantly in touch with social media, productivity on-the-go, and even entertainment. So as much as possible, we want the best smartphones in 2018 that most people can afford.
Surely, a lot of people would say that in order to get the best mobile device, you should choose the flagship phone models. Giant smartphone brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Apple, etc. should be the first things that come to mind. But they all have flaws in some aspects and of course, they are pricey.
So what makes the ideal smartphones in 2018? Or in any case, what makes a smartphone the best? The following are the aspects that most experts look for when reviewing or considering a smartphone.
Aesthetics and Feel
The first impression may not always be the lasting factor in smartphones but it matters. Just look at how a lot of people would describe Samsung phones. The details of design that are put on their every mobile phone are exquisite. One look and you already know that it is from the South Korean giant tech company.
Sadly, not all beauty is reliable when toughness is at stake. Just look at the material used on the latest iPhone X. It is made of glass so you can imagine how vulnerable that is on ample height drops.
Aesthetic should also come with ergonomics in mind. It has to feel good while it looks impressive. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the top candidate for this aspect. Unfortunately, it has an issue with its fingerprint placement.
The Blackberry KeyOne’s rubber grip gets a point due to its added security feel when handling the smartphone. Also, OnePlus 5T has an aluminum frame worth considering as it is both sturdy and does not get a lot of smudges from usage.
The tactility on buttons should also be included. The satisfying clicking sound is as important as the size of the buttons itself from volume rocker to the power button. The fingerprint placement on Galaxy Note 8 is just ridiculous so hopefully, Samsung will consider putting it somewhere else like maybe at the lower part of the camera.
Battery and Charging Times
Who wants a smartphone that can last longer than just the average one day? I guess it is safe to say that everybody wants that feature from their smartphone. A battery power that can last a week with heavy usage and gaming should be the greatest of all at this era. Maybe someday someone will invent a smartphone that does not need recharging but until then, a week’s worth of charge is superb.
For the year 2018, a mobile device that can last 2-3 days with heavy usage will do wonders for all. In fact, it will surely get a lot of people turning their heads. This year, the average battery capacities range from 3000mAh-4000mAh. Hopefully, this 2018 will be the year for 4000mAh-6000mAh battery capacities or perhaps more, if that is even possible. So let’s just cross our fingers for surprises from giant smartphone manufacturers.
Also, the quick-charge from Qualcomm or the dash charge from OnePlus 5T should be a universal thing. Not everyone has the time to wait around for their smartphones to fully charge. In fact, there are still cases of smartphones getting 100% battery charge in more than two hours.
True Wireless Charging
Recently, there have been rumors about “true wireless charging”. It is said that the technology can charge your phone without the use of a wireless dock. Yes, your smartphone can recharge wherever you are in the room without putting down your device. As to when the new tech will hit the consumer’s market, there is still no definite news.
Currently, the wireless charging with a dock is not as competent as the wired ones. They are terribly slow and quite expensive compared to charging bricks.
The “graphene” battery technology is almost here. As of recent news, Samsung and some mobile tech companies are currently developing the battery that can hold more electric charge without the issue of exploding or slow charging. Perhaps, graphene is the one to deliver the one week’s worth of power charge for the smartphone in 2018. We will be crossing our fingers for that one!
Presently, the camera is one of the major selling points for smartphone manufacturers. Somehow, the image output quality of the built-in camera is the standard for a phone device to be worth buying. That makes sense though. A lot of people are into selfies and there are some who are photography enthusiasts.
Last year 2018, fake dual cameras on smartphones are rampant. Fooling people to buy smartphones because of a dual camera system is not a good practice. It is basically scamming.
Smartphone cameras should have a decent low-light feature. Not all great moments happen in daylight so manufacturers should be considerate of that fact. If they cannot provide a flagship class camera sensor, they should at least make an effort to put a decent flash to deliver a well-lighted image.
Also, the software for the camera should be revamped to function smoothly and fast. The camera user interface should be simple yet complete with all the basic and important functionalities. A better dynamic range is also a must-have. The wide angle lens would be pretty sweet if that is included like on the LG V20 and the current Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup.
Speakers and Audio Features
It is understood that USB type-C is finally a thing of the year 2017 onwards. But manufacturers should realize that the age for headphone jack obsolescence is not yet at hand. Not for the smartphones in 2019 or for the next two years at least.
Headphones and earphones are cheaper compared to Bluetooth audio devices. And they last longer as well. In terms of power usage and longevity, 3.5mm devices still rock.
Hopefully, this 2019 is the year for better internal DAC for smartphones. Since media consumption nowadays is done through smartphone devices, manufacturers should still be considerate of consumer’s wants and needs.
Speaking of Bluetooth speakers and earphones, they should improve those on battery capacities and better audio output. With a microphone that can actually deliver when it really matters.
The speakers should be enhanced as well. Just look at how Razer phone did with their speakers. Despite them being a bit late for 2017, they still managed to get a lot of head-turn with their 120Hz screen refresh rate and awesome speaker output. And if the bezel-less screen is not an included feature, they should at least make good use of the front bezels for speaker placement. Enough with the low audio sound, please.
Processing Power and RAM
We all know that the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 will make any smartphone pricey. At least manufacturers will start at $500 minimum to compensate for that budget. But it is not just the Snapdragon 800 series that are capable of playing decent games and multitasking.
It is worth noting that not everyone is a gamer or a power user. There are those who are easily satisfied with just Clash of Clans, some word games, and even some low-graphic apps. So a decent processing power that can handle most tasks should be a common thing for smartphones in 2019.
Those mobile devices maker should stop releasing smartphones with less than 1GB of RAM. Come on, how much can a 512MB RAM do for a user? A call and text? What about decent media consumption and multitasking? It sucks for those people who want a good value for their money but are not technically knowledgeable about hardware specs. They end up buying a smartphone that is only good for the first week or so of usage.
2GB should become the minimum RAM inside all smartphones this year. If possible, 4GB and up will be the norm for 2018.
Extra Features on Smartphones in 2018
Although they are called “extra features” doesn’t mean that they are not as important as the rest. One big example is the water-proofing for smartphones. One of the most common causes of damage for smartphones is water. IP67 and IP68 should be a common thing for smartphones in 2018. No ifs and buts, just get it done.
The screen-to-body ratio should improve as well. There are a lot of small mobile companies that proved that it is doable without raising the price exponentially. So why not make it a common feature for smartphones in 2019?
A Reading Mode
A built-in font customization should also be included since most people love personalizing their devices. A reading mode feature is a great bonus. A battery-saving feature for those who prefer reading through their handheld machines is a great treat too.
AR and VR
The AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) is another plus feature. Last I checked, the low-end Mediatek MTK 6735 is capable of VR rendering. It may not be a fantastic experience but it is possible. Besides, developers are improving the AR and VR tech to accommodate users through software level output.
We have seen the rise of Face ID authentication on iPhone X and the beastly fast face scanner on OnePlus 5T. The Iris Scanner on some recent Samsung flagship devices is also worth praising. But still, the best security feature is the fingerprint scanner. It does not require any lighting condition and it is relatively fast too. Since there have been a lot of low-priced smartphones that have a fingerprint scanner in them, why not make put it on all smartphones in 2019 as well?
The in-display fingerprint is a trend now. Well, for flagship and midrange phones, this should be plausible. Perhaps a couple more years and the budget devices will have this feature as well.
It may be inevitable that smartphones will start raising their price tags this 2019 but let’s hope and pray that it will not be the case. Hopefully, small mobile phone manufacturing companies will start making better phones with most if not all the features mentioned here. But it should be affordable still. Just like Xiaomi did with Pocophone.
Calling out China phones! Please, show these giant tech companies that it is possible to make great phones without compromises (wishful thinking). But yes, we do hope that some better-known tech companies will not follow the trend of making their handsets expensive just because they added better features and qualities.
Pure Android Experience
Lastly, the pure Android experience should be for everyone. Stop with the customized Android versions that are heavy on bloatware and ads. If it really has to be included at least make it removable. Don’t push it down the user’s throat just so you could have your way. You already profited when they bought the device, so give them the option to keep or remove the unnecessary apps on their Android OS. The smartphone is already their property so don’t leave stuff in there that are just completely useless for them.
So these are the features that I think should be in smartphones in 2018. Let me know what you think about them. And if you have more to add, feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section.