Your cookie preferences

We use cookies and similar technologies. You can use the settings below to accept all cookies (which we recommend to give you the best experience) or to enable specific categories of cookies as explained below. Find out more by reading our Cookie Policy.

Select cookie preferences

Skip to main content

Future mobile phones: what's coming our way?

For many of us, smartphones already rule our day-to-day activities, but there is still plenty more to come.
Share this guide
futuristic transparent mobile phone

The mobile phones of the future are expected to be even more closely embedded in our day-to-day lives than ever before. Predictions about the direction of smartphones from futurists and industry experts range from having moderate involvement to literally running our lives.

And with the Nothing Phone having launched in 2022, the future of smartphones might be closer than you think. One thing’s for certain: the technology involved in mobile phones and mobile networks has developed rapidly over the last few years, in the current trajectory the future is going to be an exciting ride.

Here is a list of some of the things we might be able to expect from the phones of the future.

Under-display cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Whether it's a notch, a hole punch, a teardrop or even a shark fin, front-facing cameras are still taking up space on our smartphone screens. Most of us have gotten used to them by now, but that hasn't stopped phone brands from trying their best to give us a  100%  unblemished screen.

Samsung is currently the sole smartphone manufacturer capable of concealing a camera beneath the display of a commercially available smartphone. This pioneering technology, known as UDC (Under Display Camera), made its debut in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and, three years later, continues to be a standout feature in the new Galaxy Z Fold 5. The question arises: has UDC seen any enhancements?

Regarding the hardware aspect, Samsung maintains the use of the same 4MP UDC camera for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, consistent with its implementation in the previous Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 models. This 4MP Under Display Camera boasts an f/1.8 aperture, 2.0-micron pixels, and an 80-degree field of view.

True to its name, the Under Display Camera is positioned discreetly behind the 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. It remains hidden behind a circular region that is only partially obscured by display sub-pixels, allowing it to capture light and produce photos while maintaining an almost imperceptible presence.

Hopefully, eventually phone makers will be able to completely hide the front-facing camera, which would give us an immaculate display that reaches every edge of the phone. This would be a welcome upgrade for people who like to stream TV shows and films on their travels.

Zero ports and wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy S23
The Samsung Galaxy S23

While wireless charging has been around for a number of years, it's still not practical enough for most people to rely on it day in and day out.

But with wireless charging speeds increasing dramatically each year, it's becoming ever-more likely that they'll push out charging cables in the next several years.

Rather than having to leave our phones plugged in for hours at a time to get a full charge, fast wireless charging will allow us to simply put our phones down for 15 or so minutes, get all the charge we need, and carry on our day.

One of the most advanced wireless charging versions on the market right now is the Samsung Galaxy S23. This smartphone supports "Fast Wireless Charging 2.0," allowing for wireless charging at 15 watts when using a compatible charger.

Compare Samsung Galaxy deals

Browse our range of pay monthly deals for Samsung Galaxy phones.

This 15W wireless charging speed is on par with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, Apple's latest offering, making it a competitive feature. With both Samsung and Apple in the market, you have a choice between these two major players, and the decision often comes down to individual preferences, ecosystem, and other unique features each smartphone offers.

If wireless technology continues to take over the smartphone, there won't be any more need for ports, which can get dirty, damaged and stop working. And with wired headphones falling out of favour more and more each year, you can expect a complete lack of any ports on your smartphone in several years' time.

Foldables everywhere

foldable phones
The Samsung Galaxy Flip

Foldable phones have become a firm part of the smartphone scene, thanks to Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip series and other designs from the likes of Huawei and Motorola. But for reasons that are probably quite obvious, their price and inconsistent quality have put a lot of people off so far.

Despite the challenges, folding phones hold immense potential for shaping the future of mobile devices. As materials and hinge mechanisms improve, folding phones are likely to become more durable and affordable over time, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Larger foldable displays could revolutionise productivity, enabling more efficient multitasking and fostering creativity through enhanced digital drawing and note-taking experiences and represent an exciting frontier in mobile technology, pushing the boundaries of innovation and design.

Holographic displays

From the realms of Star Wars to the high-tech suits of Iron Man, holographic displays have long been a staple of sci-fi and futuristic cinematic creations. However, recent prototypes under development are proving that this technology may not be as distant from reality as one might imagine.

One such remarkable prototype, the Holoflex, has been unveiled by researchers at Queen's University in Canada. True to its name, the Holoflex merges holography and flexibility, permitting users to bend the device to explore the 3D display from various angles and actively engage with the on-screen images.

Deemed the world's inaugural holographic, adaptable smartphone, the Holoflex is still undergoing development and won't be readily available to consumers in the near future.

Educational tools

Mixed race teen school girl distant school or college student virtual remote e learning using mobile phone app and laptop in bedroom.

Through the analysis of the evolving landscape of mobile phone usage and its growth rate, some experts envision a transformative impact on the way we both acquire and impart knowledge.

As more than one in three school children now possess a mobile phone, the prospect of these devices serving as versatile tools for learning and teaching gains credibility. We've already witnessed education authorities employing text messages to inform parents about truancy issues and to notify students of classroom schedule changes.

Leveraging the multifunctional capabilities of mobile phones for educational purposes is poised to become increasingly prevalent, especially as high-quality camera phones become more widely accessible and affordable. 

Envision a future where mobile phones are used to capture photos and take notes during field trips, fostering a more dynamic and informal approach to learning.

If you're considering a mobile phone for your child, explore our selection of the best phones designed for children.

Eco-friendly and refurbished smartphones

sustainable handsets

In a constant quest to reduce their ecological footprint, companies are actively exploring ways to make their products more environmentally sustainable, and smartphone manufacturers are no exception. Researchers are delving into sustainable materials and cleaner energy charging methods.

The rise of eco-conscious phones like the Ecophone is indicative of a growing trend, with phone makers also committing to achieving net zero status by 2050. This heightened focus on environmental responsibility is reshaping the landscape of smartphone technology.

For insights on the latest environmentally friendly phone options and sustainable tech, be sure to explore our guide.

Furthermore, the resurgence of refurbished phones has been particularly notable in recent times. No longer synonymous with low quality and poor performance, many companies are now dedicated to offering top-notch refurbished phones in near-pristine condition. These devices make a significantly smaller impact on the environment since they don't necessitate the creation of new emissions before reaching the market. 

If you're aiming to make a more environmentally-conscious choice, refurbished phones could be the solution you're seeking.

Check out our refurbished iPhones page

image of a refurbished iphone

Read more about mobiles...

Best smartphones 2022: top 16 mobile phones ranked | Uswitch

Choosing the best smartphone in 2022 is a challenge. That's why we've ranked our top 16 mobile phones available to buy on the market right now. Read it here.

Learn more
lots of old mobile phones lying on a yellow background

History of mobile phones | What was the first mobile phone?

Mobile phones have only been around in the last 25 years but a lot has changed.

Learn more
Transferring your number guide young man on his mobile phone

PAC Codes | How to keep and transfer your old number

Find out how to transfer your old mobile number to your new handset. Save yourself the needless hassle by keeping your old phone number.

Learn more