Every year we’re always privy to something new from our handheld tech. Whether it’s the emergence of fingerprint scanners or the inclusion of mobile assistants, our smartphones never fail to impress us year on year.
So, heading into 2016, what is the next major mobile trends for us to keep an eye on? We’re here to take a look at some of the most intriguing ones we can find, so if you’re eager to figure out what could feature on some of the upcoming smartphones of 2016, you’re in the right place.
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Having already made an appearance in 2015 thanks to the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, 4K displays are set to be one of 2016’s biggest trends for our smartphone and tablet devices.
For those not in the know, 4K is the next step up from QHD, and rocks a resolution of absolutely ridiculous proportions. Sometimes referred to as UHD (Ultra High Definition), 4K boasts a 3840x2160 resolution that is remarkably sharp.
The biggest problem stopping 4K from going mainstream is the sheer amount of power that’s required to get these kinds of display working. Many phones simply don’t pack the battery to support this kind of screen, but given the advances in smartphones and the growth of our devices, it seems much more plausible for a breakout 2016.
With Sony already sporting the resolution once before, the tech has already made its debut, so expect to see it talked about more and more as we progress through 2016.
Interested in a dual screen phone, but don't want to wait? Take a look at our LG V10 review.
First we had small screens, then we had big ones, following that we got curved screens, but now it seems that it’s dual screens that will be taking major steps throughout 2016.
One of the first smartphones to truly go in on the dual screen trend is that of the LG V10, which sports an individual screen above the primary display. It allows users to access a quick settings panel at all times, as well as displaying things like notifications and music controls, all being completely separate from the normal screen.
This might quite different to having two full screens to play with, it could prove a real trend through 2016, with mobile users constantly requiring a way to handle multiple tasks at once, something this kind of set-up allows for.
Given that LG has already run with the concept once, don’t be surprised to see more manufacturers make a go of a second screen device throughout the next 12 months.
Iris scanners have been rumoured for multiple phones over recent years, with talk of Apple, Samsung and the like all apparently working on the technology, but we’ve yet to see it feature on a mainstream device in the UK.
Of course, fingerprint scanners have been all the rage over recent years, quickly solidifying their place on our high-end devices thanks to their user-friendliness. In fact, they’ve proven so successful that they’re now being used for mobile payment features like Apple Pay, so why can’t our eyes do the same?
The technology would be more secure and more reliable than fingerprint scanners, and wouldn’t be affected by things like dirt or water, something which is a common issue with fingerprint scanners. This makes it the most logical upgrade in terms of mobile biometrics to date – hopefully 2016 will be the year for it to make its announcement on the mainstream market.
Not the fanciest feature on our list by any means, but certainly one of the most useful in this day and age. Front flashes allow mobile users to boost their selfie quality markedly, and will likely be making a real name for themselves through 2016.
With the likes of Instagram and Snapchat taking precedent on our phones, smartphone manufacturers would be crazy not to consider including a front facing flash this year, even if it does make the phone a little bit bigger.
A number of phones, including the likes of the Sony Xperia C3 – so don’t be shocked if you see Sony use the feature again. Also, manufacturer’s like Apple and Samsung could be considering the feature for their high-end launches through 2016 as well, so it should be more widely recognised this year.
Written by Luke Hatfield