Today’s smartphones have pretty standard features. Most flagships now come with an octa-core CPU, loads of RAM, at least 32 or 64GB of internal storage, and – as a new standard for this year – dual cameras that make face recognition incredibly fast and reliable. The bar has been raised once again, it seems, so future smartphones have to come up with brand new features to make them attractive for their prospective buyers. Features that are already starting to show up on smartphones announced – or already available – this year.
A holographic screen
The games you play at Royal Vegas mobile on your Android phone already look amazing on the screen – but how about playing them in thin air? Holographic projection sounds like science fiction for most – yet this is exactly what high-end camera maker RED plans to include in its upcoming smartphone.
RED Hydrogen, as it is called, will be quite a pricey handset – upon its release in 2018, it will cost between $1,200 and $1,600, a lot more than either Samsung’s of Apple’s current flagship. For this price, RED promises something out of science-fiction: a holographic display in your pocket. There’s not much information available about the handset at this time, except that it will have a 5.7″ display, USB Type-C charging, front and back cameras (and they will no doubt be amazing), modular attachments, a headphone jack (today this sounds like an increasingly “retro” feature) and the latest version of Android.
The phone will be available in an aluminum ($1,195) or titanium ($1,595) variant and will ship in the first quarter of 2018.
A thermal camera
Those who wanted to take pictures with a thermal camera (not just a simulation through a smartphone app) had to purchase a FLIR attachment that was pretty expensive (there are two models, a $199.99 one and a $399.99 one). This year, in turn, things have changed – the first smartphone with a built-in FLIR thermal camera has been released.
The CAT S60 is the first smartphone – and a rugged one, too – with a built-in thermal camera. And the phone itself is pretty awesome, with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel camera, a 4.7″ screen, a quick-charging battery, and all the sensors one might think of. Besides, it is also a pretty resistant handset – waterproof, dustproof, shatterproof (it can survive a 1.8 meter or six feet drop) and compliant with the IP68 and the MIL-SPEC 810G specifications. All this for a price of $629.99.
A pocket-sized computer
Smartphones are, in reality, small personal computers with powerful hardware – they are just not made to be used as one. But with Samsung’s DeX, turning your phone into a PC is as easy as charging your phone. The DeX Station is a dock that does more than just charge (and cool) your phone: it is fitted with USB ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI connector, allowing it to connect to a keyboard, a mouse, and a screen. And it will turn your Samsung phone into a desktop computer.
The DeX station comes with a software solution that expands the Android interface into a desktop-like UI, similar to that used by Chrome OS. It comes with a series of productivity and entertainment apps that can be used on a large screen, as well as a new and improved Samsung Game Launcher, which allows users to play standard Android games like they would run on a PC or a console.