With each passing year, we always hope that this year will be a big year for mobile tech. 2015 ended up being one of the more impressive years for mobile in recent history, with phones like the LG V10 and BlackBerry Priv arriving on the market, as well as a renaissance of sorts for Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile (complete with actual flagships). But it’s 2016 now – a brand new year – so it’s time to look forward to see what innovations we will see this year in mobile.
CES is a great event that showcases some of the technologies and gadgets that we hope to see later in the year. CES 2016 is currently in full swing, with the event officially kicking off yesterday, January 6, and lasting until Saturday, January 9th. Already we’ve seen some pretty interesting stuff surface for mobile: Acer will be joining Microsoft in making smartphones for Windows 10 Mobile; a “Nuu” rival popped up for the affordably priced (and wildly popular) Moto G; Intel unveiled their “Project Tango” smartphone with 3D camera; and Huawei may have caught your eye with the impressively large Mate 8 smartphone, a device with a 6-inch display and, more importantly, a 4,000 mAh battery. Of course there’s much more than just those few devices to see during CES this year, but these are just a few that have been headlined thus far.
Huawei’s Mate 8 stuck out to me; I think that Huawei is the first among (what I predict to be many) manufacturers to take the same route. I think 2016 is going to bring us a lot more devices like the Mate 8 – big phones with big batteries.
It seems like a safe assumption. The smartphone industry has been steadily heading down a path of larger and larger smartphones over the past several years. The original Apple iPhone released in 2007 had a 3.5-inch display, which then became “the norm” for a while. When the HTC EVO 4G came out in 2010 with its 4.3-inch display, it was considered gigantic. When the Samsung Galaxy Note came out with its 5.3-inch display, it was almost laughably too big and would almost assuredly never succeed at such a ridiculous, unwieldy size.
Obviously that prediction was incorrect, with the Note being 5 generations in now with an even larger 5.7-inch display. Not only that, but even larger phones have surfaced since then as well. Just look at the 6-inch Motorola Nexus 6, the appropriately named 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega, and a slew of devices that expand all the way to a 7-inch screen size as well. We live among giants, and at this point it is more normal than not to have great big flagship smartphones. As much as I love to wave my banner around showing support for compact flagships, I have officially given up hope. I think 2016 will only bring a larger set of smartphones.
I also mentioned that I thought battery life would be a big focus this year, which is something that I’m sure everybody could get on board with. Huawei promises that the Mate 8 will not only have a massive battery, but it also reaches a full charge in just 30 minutes. That’s an impressive stride for smartphone battery life. It might not be the week-long battery life that we cherish and remember in our flip and feature phones, but I'll take it over the "maybe" day-long battery life we get in many of our smartphones today.
I guess I can’t really say that companies will care as much about battery life as Huawei does with the Mate 8 as much as I hope that they do. When Apple released the Smart Battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s, I felt that they did (without officially saying) admit that the battery life on the smaller iPhones could have been better. And I liked what the battery case did for my iPhone’s battery, but I firmly believe that what the Smart Battery Case did for the iPhone should just be included in the phone instead of focusing on making it as thin as possible.
The same goes for any other company: good battery life is still very important. And I hope to see a lot of it this year.
Readers, what do you think 2016 will bring? Let us know in the comments below!