The evolution of smartphones has now reached such a rapid pace that perhaps it makes more sense to say that smartphone tech itself exists in a dynamic state. Before new devices and features even hit the market, manufacturers and consumers alike have set their sights on the next big thing. Imaginations run wild and it’s not long before companies are pushing products that toe the line between plausibility and science fiction. Remember when the notion of a curved screen seemed fantastical? So when some of what is being predicted for 2015 sounds equally farfetched, keep in mind that it’s today’s hopes and dreams that form the basis of the technologies in our pockets tomorrow.
Here’s some of what you can expect to see:
In 2014, Chinese manufacturers started forcing the big players in the Android gear space to scramble to keep up with devices like the ZTE ZMAX. This year the phone to watch for is the OnePlus Two, an upcoming release from the Oppo spinoff. Unlike the OnePlus One, which was plagued by issues ranging from sexist marketing to its confusing invite-only pre-order system, the Two may just deliver the promised flagship-grade specs in a mid-priced device.
LG revealed the G Flex 2 at this year’s CES, but as exciting as its amazingly durable flexing curved screen is 2015 won’t be the year of the curve. The upcoming release of the G4 is much more thrilling. Leaked specs suggest that this device featuring Snapdragon’s mobile technology is going to be hot with shutterbugs thanks to a juicy 20.7 megapixel camera. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is also rumored to have some bodacious specs that will make up for the disappointing sales of the S5.
If you think a phone can never be too powerful or too thin, check out the Oppo R5 and the Vivo X5 Max. The former may not be on the lips of many outside of its home market (China) but will be soon thanks to Oppo’s ability to squeeze solid specs into what is nearly the world’s thinnest phone at 4.85 mm thick. The latter measures in at more than .1 mm thinner, however, making it half the size of the Nexus 5 or LG G3. Other than that, both phones have remarkably similar features – including their rarity. Much easier to get in the US will be Blu’s Vivo Air, a 5.1 mm device that will cost just $199.
Forget being able to customize your display – that’s so last year. Think of Project Ara as the LEGO of phones, making 2015 the year modular devices will finally hit market in a limited pilot. You get a phone built to your specifications featuring (almost) everything you could want in a handheld. Like a second battery for twice the power, a bigger speaker or even something as nichey as a night vision camera. Planned obsolescence and the unending upgrade cycle may be a thing of the past starting later this year.
If nothing above sounds like the phone of the future you’ve always dreamed of, don’t despair. Smartphone manufacturers who are serious about competing with Apple aren’t going to rest on their laurels while tech fans and artists sketch out concepts for the next big iPhone release. The one constant in the smartphone world is that everything is always changing and change happens fast. Keep hope alive for long enough and soon you’ll wake up to the device of your dreams.