2018 was an exciting year for smartphone enthusiasts once again. We saw the introduction of superior cameras, bezel-less displays and the improvement of the smart technology that gives smartphones their name.

What should you look out for in 2019? Experts in mobile tech believe these three things will set the bar for mobile technology in 2019.

1. Foldable phones

Never before have mobile phones had the beautiful screens they have today. And they’re getting bigger, which leaves smartphone manufacturers with a conundrum: continue making mobile phone screens larger, or opt for a different approach.

Samsung has already shown us a prototype of a foldable screen at its 2018 Samsung Developer Conference in November. Huawei – now the world’s second-largest mobile manufacturer – also announced that the company was working on a phone with a foldable display for release in 2019, and there are rumours that LG is also has something of this sort up their sleeve.

Experts expect the first foldable devices to be chunky and expensive, but believe that this technology will soon become a staple of the smartphone offering from most of the biggest manufacturers.

2. AI

Artificial intelligence is a buzzword, and one that is being thrown around across a range of industries. AI has been used extensively in mobile phones that were released over the past year, and as Siri, Bixby, Google Assistant and other mobile assistants get even smarter, we’ll increasingly see phone processor chips that have dedicated components for AI calculations.

This means your phone will be able to recognise your voice from others, and will also be able to identify animals and objects simply by looking at them through the camera. We’ve been calling them smartphones for quite a while now, but expect that little device in your hand to be smarter than ever before in 2019.

3. 5G

5G is the next frontier in mobile communications technology, and there has been a lot of talk about incorporating tech that supports 5G compatibility into phones.

Although 5G is only expected to be available worldwide by 2020, it seems that mobile manufacturers are already planning on rolling out the tech in their flagship offerings. Samsung, Sony, Huawei, OnePlus and some other companies have announced plans to release handsets that support 5G over the next year.

And even if 5G infrastructure has not yet rolled out in South Africa, smartphone enthusiasts will still find the prospect of being ready for the next generation in mobile technology attractive when it does eventually arrive. With 5G comes upload and download speeds that are faster than ever before, as well as improved capacity on the network, allowing for more reliable voice and data connections.

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