Top 10 Key Technology Features to Expect in Future Smartphones in 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

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2015 is a common year for smartphone industry, as well as a year of most fierce competition. With no astonishing technology coming up, most smartphone OEMs announce their 2015-year flagship smartphones with same features in the phones’ appearance modeling, material color blending, performance and specifications. The similarities again increase the competition and shrink the profit of the global smartphone business. After years’ development, many new technologies will be introduced and become the mainstream trend of future smartphones in 2016. And here are the top 10 key technology features to expect in upcoming future smartphones in 2016.

1. Smartphone Hardware and SoC

1) More powerful CPU and GPU

In 2015, the number of CPUs used in smartphone SoC is up to ten core such as MediaTek MT6797 (Helio X20), a ten-core processor that includes two A72 CPUs of 2.3-2.5GHz clock speed, four A53 CPUs of 2GHz clock speed and four A53 CPUs of 1.3GHz clock speed. When the future smartphones with MT6797 needs more power for system use, the most powerful two CPUs can be activated to reach up the most effective performance of the deca-core SoC.

According to the development of GPU Core, the superiority of MALI is becoming more and more obvious. Top-level chipset manufacturers begin to adopt MALI GPU architecture in their SoCs. This is really a bad news for IMG, but this case is normal since most chipset manufacturers are using ARM CPU after MALI is getting more and more mature and steady. And chipset manufacturers do not want to be in a disadvantage situation to use GPU core from third party for the cost and the project process consideration.

2) Larger internal storage capacity

In 2016, program storage of ROM has been upgraded from eMMC5.1 to UFS2.0 with an increasing transmission speed. 64GB of internal storage will be the standard configuration for flagship smartphones, some big storage future smartphones will be with the upstage configuration of 128GB internal storage.

Faster data memory of RAM like LPDDR4 for flagship future smartphones is surely to be predominated. And most future flagship smartphones will adopt a big memory up to 6GB of RAM, while the mainstream future smartphones should sport 3-4GB of RAM. After all, not every manufacture is able to design such high configuration future smartphones with so high cost under the fierce competition, as the cost for each GB is about 6-7USD.

3) Stronger ISP

In 2015, the structure of ISP is becoming more and more common. As it is coming to 2016, what main functions will be integrated into ISP? We believe it will be improved from several aspects as below:

A. Stronger PDAF processing ability. As we all know that in 2015, the PD process mode of PDAF can work on sharp focusing only under strong light (more than 50lux); but in 2016, the new PDAF process technology of future smartphone is said to have effect on sharp and quick focusing only under 10+ lux.

B. Stronger HDR processing capacity. HDR is essential for strong contrasting illumination situations. Real-time HDR processing capacity is going to be more and more important for future smartphones.

C. Better 3A process performance, better noise reduction and sharpen performance.

D. Higher Pixel processing power. 24M or even higher pixel resolution configuration will be used on the mainstream flagship future smartphones.

E. Dual camera processing capacity and algorithm; in the past 2015, dual camera technology has been applied to some mainstream devices. And in 2016, dual camera will at least be a highlight technology which might not be too impressive.

4) Superior Codec. For high-end flagship smartphones, the built-in audio frequency Codec becomes higher and higher in performance and specification. The SNR performance of middle-high end mainstream chipset Codec can reach up to 105dB and more. If not seeking the best SNR advertising effect, the extra position high-end Codec is not necessary and most smartphone consumers cannot distinguish differences in this.  

2. Smartphone battery and power techniques

1) Quick Charge technology. There will be 3 mainstream quick charge technologies in the market in 2016: Qualcomm QC3.0, MTK PE+2.0 and the VOOC flash charge technology from OPPO. From technology implementation aspect, both PE+2.0 and QC3.0 can difficultly solve heat dissipation problem from large current charge. VOOC will not be a main quick charge technique for future smartphones in 2016, but it will still be a trend in the future for quick charge technique. The maximum current for quick charge technique in 2016 will not surpass 5A.

2) High voltage and new material battery technique. Battery life is always a big problem for smartphones. It is a technique trend to apply higher energy density battery in future smartphones. High voltage and new material are an effective way to realize this. 4.5V High voltage technique and new material will come out in 2016 with energy density up to 750Wh/L.

3. Smartphone display techniques

1) 2K touch screen. Due to the huge power consumption and no more than 680Wh/L battery capacity density, for the consideration of ultra-thin appearance, stand-by time and cost considerations, few high end smartphones have used the 2K touch screen in 2015. How about 2016? With the developing of narrow bezel device and technique, as well as the improving of energy capacity of battery, we believe that 2K touch screen will come up again at the end of 2016. After all, in image effect, smartphones of 2K touch screen has obvious advantages in providing more details than FHD screen smartphones.

2) Shadow casting technique. No matter how big the touch screen is, the size is limited anyway, but shadow casting technique can realize supra maximal display area. With centralizing promotion of Lenovo, shadow casting technique may be applied on pad firstly, but might not be the main technology in 2016 for its big size.

3) 3D display. Nowadays, 3D movie has been the mainstream at the cinema. Then it can be foreseen that 3D video will become a trend in future. 3D display will be certainly used in future smartphones as mobile devices is a very important channel for watching video content. From the PPTV warm-up, we see the germination of 3D video on cell phone. 3D display might not be the mainstream in 2016, but more and more companies will be glad to try 3D display in their future smartphones. What is more, the 3D display resolution ratio halve problem can be made up with 2K or more than 2K screen.

4. Advanced smartphone in-device technologies

1) On-cell/In-cell technique. Lighter and thinner smartphones are an inexorable trend in the future. Therefore, mobile phone practitioners have always been trying to make LCM and CTP thinner and thinner. Among the several technology implementations in ultra-thin CTP, it has been improved in 2015 that OGS full lamination has been abandoned. Which one will conquer the market in 2016 in the touch screen technology field, on-cell or in-cell? According to the tendency, the south Korean Amoled is going to be the future trend, and on-cell full lamination might be better for some time. However, from the preliminary situation in 2016, in-cell full lamination may be the mainstream for future smartphones.

2) 3D touch technique. Both Apple and Huawei have introduced 3D touch technique. But according to parts e-pal, usage experience is very bad due to the application of pressure induction. The blooming of 3D touch in the future is depended on mobile operating system and optimization on pressure experience application. At the same time, when the cost is beyond 4USD, it is hard to introduce this on lower-end smartphones. in 2016, most flagship models will bring in this function, but it is hard to form large scale use for future smartphones in 2016.

3) Fingerprint identification technology. In 2015, Coating fingerprint identification technology has been applied massively and also some applies glass cover-plate fingerprint identification technology. According from the technique development, 2015 is a start-up stage for fingerprint identification technology while 2016 will be an outburst growth period. In 2016, Coating technique, with its economic efficiency in cost and simplicity in color matching will still be the main technique for future smartphones in the market, and glass cover-plate fingerprint identification technology will also be applied more. However ultrasonic and IFS will not be leading the market since it is not steady enough and the cost is high. Meanwhile, secure payment will also become a hot application for fingerprint. 

4) Gesture control technique. At present, there are four kinds Gesture control techniques. Firstly, it is the gesture recognition technique based on touch screen (gesture starts an application in real time); then it is the action gesture based on ambient light photoreceptor (Can be applied to turn books, browse the web, or pictures); thirdly, it is the action gesture based on action photoreceptor (Can be used to unlock or telephone answering, etc); at last, it is the image identification based on action and this needs photograph recognition algorithm. It will also become the main technique in the future action recognition which can be used control photograph and application program trigger.

5) Phonetic technique. This can be divided into three level of applications. Firstly, it is the speech control command which has pushed Gionee speech King to a new high stage; and then it is the vocal print technique which can be unlocked by the user ID formed according to the personal voice features; in the third, it is the semantic recognition technique. Apple SIRI has brought this technique to a certain height but it is far from perfection. However, smartphone manufacturers can work on the third level to make a difference from the other manufactures on technique.

6) Visual identity technique. This is a higher level of bionic technology. In the future, it can imitate the human eye and the identity of ID to distinguish. Among this, using Camera to identify the characteristics of face recognition or eyes will become the focus of the 2016 future smartphone technology. Since face recognition does not need special camera module, it is easier to implement software with less strength on the recognition precision. It is all right to unlock but it is hard to be taken as the security payment technique. While the iris identification and eye print identification is much safe due to its Living recognition characteristics. The application scenarios are limited to iris identification due to the fact that it needs Infrared Camera. You may need an extra camera or use the swappable lenses in high cost. Based on eye print identification, there will be an application space for it.

7) Brain wave control technique. Now it has a preliminary rudiment and can simply Control Object by detecting brain wave. It will not be mature in 2016 but will be a technology used in future smartphones of 10 years later.

5. Smartphone software system

With the evolution of technology and market expansion of Android mobile OS, in years to come, basically the first choice will be Android system for smartphones except for Apple. Then, what functions will be hot for latest OS in futurer smartphones? The possible aspects will be like below:

  • Multi-user; multi-window
  • Better permissions management
  • Better traffic control
  • More rapid start-up technology
  • Better system security
  • Interface can be customized
  • More energy saving operating system
  • Cloud backup and restore system more perfect
  • Marketing online home

6. Smartphone photograph technology

In taking pictures technology, these technologies should be more and more popular in the future:

  • Under low illumination scene of PDAF focusing technology
  • Ois technique: OIS remains the stabilization of 1.2 degrees can only solve a small Angle
  • Laser focus technology: The question now is focus distance is small and hope there will be a long laser focus application
  • Real-time HDR technique
  • RWWB technique
  • Dual CAM technique
  • RGBW Color temperature detection technology
  • Beauty, beauty makeup, interesting transformation technology, 3d scenery technology

7. Smartphone music and audio technology

In the time of smartphone, with the improvement of quality of the user and the external impact on the environment, the effect of the amp will be more and more important. How to build the perfect effect for smartphone music sound? Now some of the leading enterprises in the domestic manufacturers like VIVO, OPPO and Meizu are in the leading position. Through the perfect HIFI hardware circuit, high-end headphones (currently huawei introduced high-end noise cancelling headphones) and world-class audio algorithm (such as dolby, WAVES, DTS technology) the introduction of the building's top mobile phone music effect.

For voice technology, 2015, uplink noise reduction technology has been gradually known by users, in 2016, it should be further strengthened, and will gradually introducing active noise reduction technology at the same time, further strengthening in noise scene or the effect of directional scenarios.

8. Smartphone Radio-frequency technique

Multi-frequency and multi-mode technology will become a flagship model of a main direction, according to the Chinese market the concept of the whole net. Now, of course, in order to realize the cost of the multi-frequency and multi-mode remains high, space is big, this limits the scope of practical net com.

Although 2015 4 g technology for scale application, 4 g is still just as data applications, of course, at the same time can keep can't support 4 g at the same time. In 2016, 4 g voice and double 4 g technology should become a flagship model of the key technologies.  

9. Smartphone appearance and solid material technique

2016 mobile phone flagship product, metal frame or body should be the inevitable trend. Glass material at present, drop resistance, weight and cost have some problems, should not have too big quantity. At the same time as the appearance and the requirement of integration of strengthening, for radio frequency (rf) and the challenge of the antenna will be bigger and bigger.

10. Smartphone outer aspects new technologies

Future smartphone in terms of ease of usage and the pursuit of power has no end. All promotions for use of more convenient interaction and reduce the better technology, will slowly spread. what would become a bright spot in 2016 on the outer aspects technologies?

1) TYPE-C Interface Techniques. Type-C as a new kind of data interface, with a great improvement on the transmission speed, charging performance, reliability, and security has made it an inevitable trend in the development of data interface. The flagship model in 2016 should popularize the interface.

2) Sensor Hub technique. Let future smartphones to complete the motion detection, as well as minimize power consumption; with the growing of the speech detection, control and the rise of motion detection technologies is, Sensor Hub become a necessity in the high-end models.

3) Wireless charging. In the three wireless charging standard, Qi now is one of the most promising wireless charging technology. At the same time, because of early QI technology can only support around 1 a current charging, it is really too small for high-end smartphones with 3000 ~ 5000 mah battery capacity. If you want to input wireless charging technology, wireless quick charge is inevitable. Next year the wireless quick charge (10 ~ 15 w) should be the basic configuration of wireless charging.

future smartphone , features , technology

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