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Top 5 smartphone trends for 2016

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What all the best-dressed smartphones will be wearing.
samsung galaxy s7 concept

These days smartphones tend to improve gradually over a few years rather through sudden, revolutionary overhauls.

But that’s not to say 2016 doesn’t have some big changes in–store for mobiles.

From tweaked screens to all–new designs, here's a selection of the developments that are going to shake the world of smartphones over the next 12 months.

Curved screens

iphone curved screen

The success of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, coupled with some phone-makers' tendency towards 'borrowing' features from rivals' hit handsets, suggests that the next year is going to be all about curved screens.

LG has already released its own curved screen-toting smartphone. And rumours have been abounding for some time that Apple may include a curved screen on a future iPhone.

For its part, Samsung is said to be readying the Galaxy S7 Edge for release as early as February.

Fancier front–facing cameras

hollywood selfie

2015 was the year that smartphones' front–facing cameras stopped being the poor relation to their fancier stablemates round the back.

Apple and Samsung both delivered impressive five-megapixel efforts up front in their flagship phones.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge's front camera even offered video recording in lush, crystal clear 2K.

Meanwhile, HTC’s One M9 was given the M8’s older, but still impressive UltraPixel camera up front.

With selfies as popular as ever and Instagram booming, expect front–facing shooters to be even better in 2016.

The end of home buttons

iphone touch id

There’s been plenty of chat about physical buttons going out of fashion. And, if you believe what you read, Apple is leading the charge.

Reports point to the company including its Touch ID fingerprint scanner and home button as part of the screen on next year’s iPhone 7.

This will doubtless lead to either other mobile-makers trying to gazump their big rival, or copy plans once Apple’s efforts are revealed.

Thinner design

iphone air concept

Smartphones are thinner than ever.

And although right here, right now some would happily accept a heftier phone in return for an extra few hours of battery life, that’s not a trade-off anyone would have to make in an ideal world.

Happily, the designs of smartphones due this year are likely to be even slimmer thanks to trimmed down batteries that still manage to be more power-efficient.

Apple is also reputed to be planning to do away with the headphone jack from the next iPhone to make it as thin as possible.

USB–C

usb-c apple

The futuristic charging method is already in place in Google’s Nexus 6P and the OnePlus 2.

But word is that Samsung and possibly even Apple could add the standard to their 2016 flagships.

If they do, it could mean we at last have a charging method that doesn’t cause phones to take an age to reach full battery and make file transfer much quicker to boot.

Category: Features
Tagged: smartphones

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