Excited about what your next phone could look like? Us too. To get an idea of what's coming up in 2014, we've asked to the people in the know...
The march of mobile progress is relentless, and we’re always keen to find out what big handsets are coming up next that really demand our attention. Our eForum Community Experts have already hinted at more connected phones, bendy screens, wearable tech and a lot more besides, but what about those closer to the source?
We’ve been speaking to our friends at some of the biggest websites in tech to see what they think 2014 is going to be all about. Which big trends will dominate the mobile market over the next 12 months? Time to find out…
Chris Davies – SlashGear
“2014 is set to be the year of wearables, as our smartphones and tablets hook up with sensors like fitness bands and tiny life-logging cameras we strap to our wrists and lapels. It’ll take some time before the lead players emerge, though, which could leave many with drawers full of unworn tech as today’s gadgets turn into tomorrow’s gimmicks. Best advice? Buy into as open a platform as you can, and look for those companies who provide context not just raw data.”
Ben Sillis – The Gadget Show
“Your phone is already blazingly fast, with a screen so sharp you couldn’t spot the pixels under a neutron microscope – from here on out, it’s not going to be about what your phone does, but what it works with. More and more devices are supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, so you’ll be able to control them all with your phone.
“And then there’s Google’s plans for smartphone integration in the home and the car: between its purchase of smart thermostat maker Nest and the recent establishment of the Open Automotive Alliance, 2014 marks the year Android leapt out of your screen and into everything else – don’t expect Apple to sit about while it does, either.”
Joe Svetlik – Freelance Contributor, CNET UK
“App makers will start to unleash the full potential of Apple’s iPhone 5S, so expect a whole new generation of smarter apps. On the hardware side, mobiles will become more personalised, as shown by the Moto X, and the various ‘modular’ mobile concepts that have been floated.”
David Phelan – The Telegraph
“This year is going to be the year of companion gadgets – more smart watches, fitness bracelets and smart glasses (if we must) that all work best by talking to your mobile. And it’s a development that benefits Apple: Android may sell more phones but developers are still iOS-focused first.
“This year is going to be the year of companion gadgets – more smart watches, fitness bracelets and smart glasses.”
“Energy prices continue to be headline grabbers so expect more apps and gadgets to switch the heating on or off when you’re on the move – from your phone, of course – these will be key to 2014. And phones themselves will continue to evolve, including NFC by default, more hardware built in to measure our movement, temperature and heart rate, and a rush to shrink SIM cards to nano size beyond the iPhones and Nokia handsets currently sporting them.
“There’ll also be more attempts to square the circle of how to put in a bigger, better screen without making the phone any larger. Battery life will extend miraculously again, but as ever we won’t notice any difference at all because we’ll be using our phones even more.”
Michael Sawh – Trusted Reviews
“Chipmakers like Qualcomm and Nvidia are going to be playing catch up with Apple after it unveiled its 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5S last year. That should lead to more smartphones running quicker than ever before and mustering up the kind of power needed to run console-quality games. Inevitably, smartwatches will have a big say in 2014 after initial efforts underwhelmed in 2013 and the entire industry anxiously waits to see if Apple will finally enter the wearable domain.”
Rhi Morgan – T3.com
“Wearable tech is already huge and will only get bigger, especially if Apple launches a smartwatch and devices start to get a bit trendier so that it’s not just the tech heads who are adopting. We’ll see the rise of the smart home this year, too – home appliances controlled by apps – with Google and Samsung leading the charge. We’ll probably see a lot of curved and bendy tech smartphones, but whether people actually buy into this expensive fad is another matter.”
More, more more… If it’s clues about what’s coming up in 2014 you want, look no further than our recent raft of exclusive manufacturer interviews.