HashTag Trending – faster phones; notch no more; and maybe even 5G

More cameras, less notch, the year of 5G, and super-charged phones turns foldable.

It’s all the tech news that we predict will be trending in 2019. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. Over the holidays we’re taking a break from covering trending technology stories to predict what we think we’ll be trending in the near future.

Trend number one: foldable phones. Foldable phones were predicted in 2018, but it looks like they will finally take off in 2019. Samsung showcased its first prototype foldable phone on November 7th during the Samsung Developer Conference. With that said, it isn’t the first to market, that honor belongs to the Royole FlexPai. In addition, Huawei and LG are also developing their own foldable phones. As with all hot new tech, don’t expect them to be affordable; rumor has it that Samsung’s new foldable phone will cost a whopping $1,500. Yikes!

Trend number two: war at 7nm. With its recently released Snapdragon 855 SoC, Qualcomm has officially joined Apple and Huawei in the 7nm processor war. While Apple and Huawei continue to argue over who first created a 7nm chip, they each brought tremendous performance gains over their previous generations. Apple’s A12 Bionic chip produced the highest benchmark scores in our Geekbench test, and though Huawei’s Kirin 980 trailed behind, it still bested the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in processing power. Now that Qualcomm finally has a proper contender, expect them to show up in flagship devices in 2019.

2019 should start the downfall of notches as well. Trend number three is hole-punch cameras. Numerous phone manufacturers have announced plans to reserve small holes for the front camera instead of embedding them in a notch. You won’t even need to wait until next year to see this trend kicking off, the hole-punch camera design is already available on phones like the Honor View20 and the Samsung A8S.

Whereas cameras will be less intrusive on the front, expect more of them to spurt on the back. Trend number four in 2019 is even more rear-facing cameras. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is rumored to tout four, and Nokia apparently is toying with five. They should boast higher resolutions, too, as a few manufacturers are planning to feature 48MP sensors. While it will be interesting to see how they all work together, we hope phones of the future don’t end up looking like honeycombs.

And last but not least, we’ll see 5G network gain traction in 2019. Released alongside the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile chip is the Qualcomm X50 5G modem. 3GPP has also announced plans to accelerate the initial phase of 5G New Radio. In addition, Huawei, OnePlus, Sony, Samsung, and LG are all planning to release 5G-enabled phones through many carriers. With that said, there’s a reason why Qualcomm didn’t include the 5G modem on the processor itself. Although 5G is undoubtedly the future, the supporting infrastructure has yet to become widespread. And by offering it as a dedicated component, manufacturers can save some cost by excluding it from their lower-end devices.

That’s what will be trending in 2019. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC podcast network. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Happy new year!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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