Long before smartphones displaced PCs to become the darlings of personal computing, the latter iterated not until to a point where upgrading from a yesteryear flagship to a newer one no longer made sense like in the previous years with a few exceptions of course, as innovation somewhat came to a standstill. As a result, the PC upgrade cycle took no shorter than an average of 4 years and very many people stuck to old time machines not until newer  computing alternatives came in as smartphones whose upgrade cycles rotates around a year or two.  

Speaking of smartphones, these have seen sporadic rise to dominance but innovation too, is somewhat stalling to an extent that new innovations are more gimmicky than functional. We are in an era where flagships of yesteryear are as capable as current ones giving more reasons for people to buy yeasteryears smartphones than current cosmetic flagships if you are to factor in price.

This has led us to ask what should we expect of a smartphone in this year given almost every manufacturer gives little to no reason to upgrade. The reason could lie within these listed below, of what we are to expect from smartphones as we have just started 2018.

In terms of RAM & ROM

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The two things we ought not under look when buying a smartphone this year are RAM and ROM. Whereas RAM helps to power/run applications and task on your smartphone, ROM on the other hand handles storage issues. Our apps grow bigger everyday and as such, execution of their tasks requires more muscle that comes in terms of RAM in conjunction processing power of the system on chip (SoC).

To address this, manufactures need to give us more of these. Gone are the days of 2GB RAM + 16GB configurations. At least this year let us look at 4GB + 64GB in both RAM and ROM respectively so as to stay with the times, as apps get more heavier and require more system resources now than ever. Goodbye to application has closed down blah blah notifications.

The Cameras better be good

It is my number one reason as to why I’d buy a smartphone.The camera better be capable. Whereas dual cameras are becoming a mainstay in flagships, the Google Pixel 2 has proved that it is not about how many cameras you carry at the back, but the intelligence that comes with it. So we shall skip the dual camera debate for this year on whether smartphones should have one or not.

However for  any smartphone to attract attention, it better have a nice and capable camera. It is no longer a compromise when it comes to making choice on what smartphone to buy. Surprisingly this is no longer limited to flagships, we have seen mid-rangers doing well in this category.

One important note is — it not all about the megapixel count but rather about optics like camera sensor size in conjunction with everything else involved image processing and how this software is optimized with the hardware to give you that nice shot you feel like sharing on social media.

Better screens

So you have a smartphone, but how you’re able to navigate it involves the use of the screen. These come in different resolutions and technologies behind them like LED or OLED. We shall put the technologies aside and focus our attention on resolutions as any crisp screen will always dare you to look at it the more.

It is high time we said goodbye to HD (read 720p)  screen resolutions and anything below it. At least those should now be reserved for entry level smartphones. So this year, Full HD (read 1080p) and above should be the way to go as screen components become even more cheaper.

The cat race is left for Ultra HD resolutions and above where the top tier smartphones compete.

Design

Galaxy s8 iconsThe design is what puts together all components of what we have come to appreciate as smartphone. Samsung has pushed the boundaries so high with their S-flagships starting with the near concept Note Edge, S7 and now S8 with the S9 in the pipeline that Apple joined on the bandwagon. The 18:9 aspect ratio is the new thing, with the screen to body ratio decreasing significantly over the past year.

It about that time that we continue with the trend this year. Most smartphones shouldn’t just be good in speed, cameras and screens. The design should carry the wow factor with them together with good security checks like a fingerprint reader and maybe faster charging. Preferred design materials should at least be a fusion of glass or metal with less and of plastic.

They should be more affordable

This is the most sensitive factor when it comes to who owns what smartphone. While at the highest of ends, the smartphone has become more pricier, it is a different situation when you look on the other side. Low-end and mid-range smartphones are becoming at least cheaper. Yesteryears flagships make the situation even more appalling. These can be gotten at a fraction of what they costed the prior year.

Keeping other factors constant, we expect smartphones to be cheaper this year than they were the previous years especially low and mid-range ones.

Network compatibility

At least this should give you guts to upgrade. Faster networks have been ushered in and telcos are making a killing advertising them to the masses. If you’re still holding onto your 3G smartphone, it is high time you tried out the faster 4G network as smartphones supporting 4G networks have started to flood the market.

So in 2018, any smartphone worth your dimes should at least support 4G but keep in mind that 4G comes in different standards. Basing on your preferred network provider, choose one that he supports

Everything else

The battle lines were drawn a long time ago, you either go Android or iOS. Others should go sort themselves out and the same trend continues this year. Also how these operating systems are optimized with their hardware should be a point of concern. A fluid experience is the way to go.

Stuff like iris scanners, gesture controls, wireless charging, the headphone jack, phone brand among others will be up to your personal preference.

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