The rate at which innovation happens in the smartphone industry is simply amazing. Every year, there are new features on flagship smartphones that make the phones from last year or even worse, two years ago, seem so awfully outdated.
When you’re considering the options to see which model to buy as your new smartphone, the feature sheets can quickly get very confusing. That could be because the names can be technical and unclear, or due to the fact that manufacturers like to attach their own proprietary terms to their software and hardware innovations, thus making it hard for customers to keep track of exactly what features are on any particular phone. Here’s a breakdown of five key features to look out for in your search for the perfect mobile companion:
10-bit HDR Capture
You probably already know that HDR is a camera mode that produces awesome looking photos. 10-Bit capture is a vast improvement of what’s on most phones. It makes the picture and video modes capable of capturing a wider range of colors (more than a billion) and details. This makes for images that are much more detailed and lifelike, with comparable quality to what you’d get on professional cameras that cost thousands of dollars. The feature is already on the Sony XZ2 and should come to other flagships soon.
AR is a combination of different technologies that allow you to merge digital information with the real-world environment. For smartphones, developers have begun to focus on apps that take advantage of the technology to provide a user experience that’s as immersive as possible.
Even giant companies like Amazon, Ikea and others have incorporated AR into their apps to promote user engagement. The camera and graphics capabilities of your phone will largely determine the quality of the AR experience so having a phone like the Google Pixel 2 will enable you to maximize it.
High Resolution Audio
This feature is one that you might not fully understand until you’ve tried it, and then you won’t want to go back to listening to music the way you used to. The term refers to a branding term that encompasses audio technologies that enable high-fidelity music playback at much higher frame rates than what you’d get with CDs or MP3 files. Most of the new devices that use the 845-chipset come with this feature, and you’ll also be able to stream 24-bit audio to a compatible headset using Bluetooth.
It’s not quite 5G, but it’s certainly not just 4G either. The new Snapdragon chipsets allows for download speeds to reach a peak of 1.2 Gbps, far surpassing the previous standard. It’s already available in some locations and most manufacturers have indicated their intention to include it in their new top-range devices.
There are few things as frustrating as the low battery notification coming up on your phone’s screen. With fast charging (also called dash charge and other names by different manufacturers), you’ll get much more juice from a short period of plug-in time. You can keep an eye out for wireless charging as well, though you should keep in mind that the market is yet to fully settle on any particular standard.