Android flagships in 2017: Where next for high-end phones?

Gear VR accessories
Gear VR accessories

It's true that mid-priced Android phones are better than ever right now, with handsets like the OnePlus 3 making top-tier performance and build to more attainable than ever. And as a result, the gap between a $400 phone and a $700 device has never been narrower.

But that doesn't mean the days of traditional flagship phones are over. There are still many valid reasons to spend top dollar on a phone in late 2016 or early 2017. Even as the majority of cheaper smartphones become basically good enough, mobile innovation hasn't completely stalled.

Let's take a look at how phones can still be exciting in the future, and why you still might want to buy one of the very best Androids out there.

These days, phone performance is pretty much good enough across the board. Well, with a few exceptions —

  • The manufacturer got the balance of hardware wrong (hey there phones with a 1080p display and Snapdragon 615)
  • Cases of crappy software optimization (hey there Moto X Play and LG G Flex 2)
  • When you're buying a super-low-end phone with garbage internals (hey there Wileyfox Spark)

In most other instances, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is mature enough to run well on any reasonable level of hardware. So why would you want to go beyond this baseline?

Expect VR to usher in an age of 4K screens and ever more powerful silicon to drive them.

Well, the first is a niche area, but one that's primed for massive growth in the next year — virtual reality. With the arrival of Google's Daydream platform, VR will act as a catalyst at the high end. We've already explored how the jump up to 4K displays in upcoming phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 might be driven by VR, with super-dense screens needed to provide a sharp VR experience.

And as you increase display density, ever more horsepower is required to push those extra pixels, particularly if you're gaming in VR.

Indeed, a big part of Google's Daydream initiative has to do with making sure the hardware's up to scratch. Daydream-certified phones have to meet certain standards in terms of performance (so the thing runs smoothly), thermals (so it doesn't overheat in the process) and latency (so you don't experience nauseating lag when moving around). And those are likely to become major factors in future high-end CPUs — the ones that'll drive phones at the $700 level, but not necessarily $400 and below.

Even if you're not interested in VR, other areas of mobile technology are far from plateauing — in particular battery tech. While we're more or less used to charging our phones (at least) overnight, new types of battery chemistry are in the works which could drastically improve battery life in the near future. While most current gadgets use lithium-ion batteries, future batteries based upon lithium-sulfur cells could pack significantly more charge into a smaller space, while also being much safer.

From our recent Smartphone Futurology series:

The most likely candidate for the next-generation in smartphone battery life is lithium-sulfur. It's almost ready for mass production, and has shown promising results in both its capacity and safety improvements whilst being relatively cheap to manufacture. [...][Lithium-sulfur] is an extremely attractive replacement for current technologies as it's just as easy to produce, has a higher charging capacity. Better still, it doesn't require highly volatile solvents which drastically reduce the risk of fire from shorting and punctures. Li-S cells are actually near production and are being tested, [however] its non-linear discharge and charging response requires a completely new charging circuit to prevent rapid discharge.

This is likely still a few years off, but when next-generation lithium-sulfur batteries arrive you can bet that flagship phones will have them first. Battery anxiety is a daily problem for a lot of us, and thus yet another area for more expensive handsets to provide meaningful differentiation. Or to put it another way, if your margins are already slim at the $400 level, chances are you'll think twice before splurging on a next-generation battery. At $700, you've got more wiggle room.

MORE: Smartphone Futurology: Exploring the next big thing in battery technology

Huawei P9

The same is true of smartphone cameras, another area where there's plenty of room for technological growth. Sure, most phones — even really cheap ones — can take good photos in daylight. But producing crisp, noise-free photos in a dark bar or outdoors by streetlight is still challenging, even for the very best of today's flagships.

Expect to see even more dual-lens cameras in 2017.

That's why we've seen this year's flagships focus on low light photography, with ever wider apertures and larger pixels, and more advanced optical stabilization. Once you're at the 12-16 megapixel mark, you don't really need any more pixels — and so engineering effort can be spent in other areas. In the year ahead, expect more high-end phones to pack dual-lens cameras, especially if the iPhone 7 gives momentum to this trend, as is widely rumored.

There are countless examples where a dual camera setup could add real value. The most obvious is different types of lenses — the LG G5 is a great example, with its secondary wide-angle camera. Similarly, it's not hard to imagine a second or third camera adding magnification — effectively letting you zoom in without relying on digital zoom. Or, like the Huawei P9, a second camera might be used to enhance contrast and assist with autofocus duties.

That quality smartphones are now highly affordable is a great thing, but that doesn't mean flagships are a thing of the past. And while another iPhone-style revolution in this area may be a decade or more away — if it ever comes — there'll be still plenty to entice buyers looking for the latest and greatest.

What do you want to see from the next generation of Android flagships? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • So it seems battery life, cameras and VR will be the focus. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hope they pay more attention to battery life.
  • with Android N battery life is expected to increase
  • They say that with every OS update, but I still wish the manufacturers would pay more attention to it as well. I mean, I would rather the phone stay the same thickness from the year before and have a bigger battery than shave a 0.05" off and reduce the battery to have the same life as the year before even with the OS battery increases.
  • This is what we're trying to focus on as well. In our latest announcement, we're working on some optimizations that should improve battery and usage.
  • +this!
    Samsung's Galaxy S6 almost lost me as a future customer for this, but it looks like they've learned that lesson
  • I highly doubt it. I would say yes to vanilla Android but a lot of manufactures have custom skins and installed apps that the regular consumer can't get rid of which also degrades battery life. Posted via the Android Central App on Moto G3 16/2 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • Same, especially through software optimization. Sure, I want a good battery, but I also want the software to be well-optimized for power consumption so I can get more out of my battery without having to be really frugal.
  • Exactly. I would like to see a phone that you can do a full days work on. They should be aiming for 8 hours in screen time now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'd like to see that SOT plus an uptime of more than 20 hours on one charge on medium-heavy use.
  • That already exists. Galaxy S7 Active.
  • They won't, they will obsess with "4K VR amazing future" and the battery will go back to 2007. And you can bet everything you have that many manufacturers will start talking about 8K, and then 16K (don't know how that works), and the whole "let's make the phone paper razor thin because thin=best" that apple started won't go away anytime soon, and battery life will be sacrificed in order to achieve that thinnest (also, yaaaay more protuding cameras!) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Apple didnt start that. The Thinnest craze has been around long before Apple started making phones. The Moto Razor is an obvious example.
  • VR is at odds with battery life improvements... And I think new battery chems are pretty far off anyway. I wouldn't expect big basic IQ jumps in smartphone cameras either, there's no way to fit in larger sensors without a modular approach or something radically different, and current sensors aren't gonna get much better. No amount of software trickery will change things dramatically. Dual camera/lens modules will yield new choices, like different focal lengths on the G5 (genuinely useful), but not drastically better IQ.
  • "When you're buying a super-low-end phone with garbage internals (hey there Wileyfox Spark)" So I want to know what Alex REALLY thinks of the Wileyfox.
  • Wileyfox Spark only has 1gb of ram which make it a very weak device. I learned the hard way with Moto G 1st. One gb of ram is not enough to even run a couple apps. Facebook app alone uses all the damn free ram and the phone becomes a frustration. Many non tech users don't know how to deal with slow phones. Just my opinion Posted via the Android Central App on Moto G3 16/2 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • On last weeks podcast a reference was made to Alex not being happy with the phones, and then this article. Looking forward to reading his actual review of the phones.
  • Yep. U hope he doesn't just limit his criticism to this phone though. My brother law just moved from a Lumia 520 which never let him down to a Galaxy J1. He absolutely hates it, slow, terrible battery life etc. But he got it because it was free on a cheap contract. I would like to see AC compare the Spark to phones like this before they give it too harsh a review. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tell me about it. I have a Microsoft 640 as spare phone because it is fast. If Microsoft where to fix the problems of apps, windows phone would be awesome. That's the only reason I do not use Windows phone because it doesn't have the apps I need and I'm not talking about games. Posted via the Android Central App on Moto G3 16/2 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • I think we will see more devices that can work on every carrier without needing a special version. Moto is doing this (to an extent) samsung finally seems to be moving that way (with their unlocked devices that actually work on verizon) and now just hope more OEM's continue the trend. Make an unlocked model that works with all of the carriers. That and I think we are starting to see the demise of the $700+ smartphone as the "mid range" devices continue to improve.
  • Would love to see more phones contain everything. iPhones can do it, why don't other flagships. Another reason to buy a Nexus I suppose Posted from my One M8 running a version of Android other than what HTC intended
  • I think with Samsung making a truly unlocked phone that works on all carriers shows that more OEM's are getting serious about unlocked, because Samsung was one of the last ones to make a 1 phone that works on all carriers model. Hopefully this trend continues. 
  • Nexus phones have everything ?
    Does that include an ad card slot ?
  • I hope you mean an SD card slot, Google provides all the ads you need without an ad card. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Although it's not released in the US yet ZTE has done that for $449. The Axon 7 has CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint just aren't saying when they will allow it but it has all the necessary bands. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And that is the big thing. Nexbit said the same with their robin phone and then pulled the CDMA variant. Hopefully that does not happen with the Axon 7, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out. 
  • There will always be high end phones, as there will computers. When I was a PC devotee, before I switched my allegiance, as it were, to phones;I always used to spend 2 thousand pounds on a computer, if I wanted a new comp. now I would still spend 2k, despite now being able to get a perfectly serviceable machine for a tenth of that price. Posted via the Android Central App
  • More like battery which has not been cracked yet and VR. many mid range phones are not compatible with Cardboard because of the lack of a Gyro. The more features a phone has the more expensive it becomes Posted via the Android Central App on Moto G3 16/2 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • "The manufacturer got the balance of hardware wrong (hey there phones with a 1080p display and Snapdragon 615)"
    What exactly is wrong with that combination?
  • I don't know. My 615 and 1080p phone perform remarkably well considering the price i paid.
  • Moto X Play?
  • I'm with Alex on this one. I've read reviews of so many phones with this combination having stuttery performance. SD615 is just not good enough for a 1080p display. SD615 in general is bad - heating issues in so many phones, average battery life, average performance.
    Moto X Play is one of the very few phones I've heard that are decent using this combination. Even then it took an update or two for Moto to fix the performance issues.
  • Battery and durability Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes phones are becoming somewhat boring. Many cheaper phones now offer good performance whereas in the past you needed a high end phone for an enjoyable experience. I have no interest in VR so the next thing I would like to see is a continuum like experience on phones so I can really replace my desktop PC with a phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can't justify the price for a flagship. I'm typing this from a Nexus 5x I picked up through Project Fi for $250 + $20-30 to try Fi for a month. Sure a quad screen would be neat, stereo sound would be fantastic, it could be faster, I'd like expandable memory... But am I going to drop $699 for an S7 for those nice to have things, nope. The flagships are like fancy cars now: first to get tech everyone else gets in a year or two. And with North American pricing making sense now without the deceptive 2 year contracts, the value the phone matters more than ever. So for a few incremental benefits a flagship doesn't do it for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very solid points! Posted via the Android Central App
  • This. Perfect phone to replace the girlfriend's Nexus 5. Great phone at a great price, and she's happy for at least two years. Me on the other hand, selling my Nexus 6p for a 1+3. Too much good stuff going on at that price. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "And with North American pricing making sense now without the deceptive 2 year contracts" And how exactly is the installment plan not like a 2 year contract? Seems like the American public just gets to pay full retail price for a phone. Want to leave? You have to pay off the phone, effectively the same thing as an etf. Contracts were a good way to get expensive phones for free or heavily discounted.
  • Free? Ha! Pricing makes sense now because it is out in the open how much you're paying for the phone. That gives the shopper a clear picture of how much they're paying and so many will bring their own device, purchased at a lower price elsewhere, instead.
  • 360 cameras. I'm calling it now Posted via the Android Central App
  • In a phone? How would they even build that thing?
  • One lens that sticks out on both front and back of a phone... :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Absolutely this. The LG stick is the perfect example of what could be done. 360 camera and VR is where everything is heading so it's only natural for camera to follow this lead. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just like 3d TVs.... Posted via.... Who really cares?
  • Different materials. I want a ceramic phone. What LG did with the V10 was nice too. Even a soft touch, grippy plastic would be an improvement for many. Better in hand feel and reasonable durability are my goals. Also gimme more battery screw thinness Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agree. Wish they would move away from Glass and use more durable materials. Love the feel of the v10 back. 
  • I like this idea too. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Phones have definitely become boring to me as I'm still very content with my almost two year old Note 4 (even on KitKat yet as I'm NOT a fan of various UI changes in newer OS's). It still runs great with very good battery life and ticks all the hardware features I value most (ex. large screen, user-replaceable battery, soft touch type back, S-Pen). Then again I have no interest in VR or better camera features (rarely take pix anyway). Only thing of interest stated here is better battery technology, although when that happens I'd still prefer it be user-replaceable (no built-in obsolescence! Not to mention all the freedoms that come with it).
  • When I sold my M8 and kept the M7, I thought it was because of the absence of OIS on the M8, but recently I put the S7 Edge back in the drawer and continued to use my Note 4. So yes, they have definitely become boring. ☺
  • It seems that the processing power in many mid-range phones are quite capable of handling the majority of the average user's daily needs, ie... text messaging, social media updates, streaming audio & video. Photography, internal storage, battery life, and screen resolution, are also (for the most part) "adequate" for the general user. So assuming photo processing capabilities begins to even out in 2017 where both the high end and mid-range phones take really decent pictures, and battery technology (which phone manufacturers are at the mercy of that technology) improves across the board, what is going to drive the difference between a high end and a mid-range phone? Dual lenses? VR? An IPV6 rating? Increased storage capacity? Better speakers? Better integration with other devices? I'm getting tired of shelling out $500 - $600 for a phone every 18 months (give or take) and am going to expect a lot of "Wow" factor in 2017. In my opinion, improved processor speeds, better screens, power optimization, etc.. are all natural evolutions of technology, and shouldn't necessarily be looked on as "wow" factors. David
  • Yeah, I agree with you... Many mid-to-low range phones are now competing with flagships for e.g. Moto g4 plus has a rock solid camera and I've heard that according to benchmarks, it does competes with phones like Nexus 6p and others so I think it's better to save some $$ rather than splurging on top the line phones.... And the epitome of this is the SE, same specs as Iphone 6s with little trade-offs and huge savings. Posted via the Android Central App
  • People are beginning to realize that you don't need to upgrade every year or even every two years anymore, because it's just not cost effective to sustain. Which is why carriers came up with these Jump programs to entice customers and keep them on the rope. But folks are even wising up to this neat little trick and keeping phones they are happy with much longer. Having a new device just doesn't impress anyone anymore, especially when your last device did exactly the same thing. I know that next time I upgrade, I'll be looking for quality that lasts, a decent battery and a sense that I've found the right device for me. Even if that means returning to the iPhone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been frustrated enough with security and OS update issues in Android that I would also consider an iPhone for the next phone. But the iOS interface is so boring and regimented that I can't quite bring myself to go there - yet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • User replaceable parts. I'd like to be able to replace a broken screen without a lot of hassle. Make it so I don't have to use a case, so I can enjoy it how it was intended. If I drop it, i can snap on a new back. Being able to upgrade RAM and internal storage would be awesome. They should be completely unlocked. If you're paying $700+ for a phone, there should be no bloat on it period.
  • 5.1.1 is not crappy at all with the LG Flex 2 The Snapdragon 810, though outdated, is still powerful enough for most users paired with 3 or 2 GB LPDDR 4 depending on version. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. I can't believe the amount of hate the Flex 2 gets still. It deserved it at first...but updates dramatically improved the experience. And now 6.0 is rolling out to some varients. Hoping for a G Flex 3 this year!
  • I'm curious with what LG is going to do with the G6.
  • Do a complete 180 Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • "The manufacturer got the balance of hardware wrong (hey there phones with a 1080p display and Snapdragon 615)" If there are plenty of phones with Snapdragon 400-range and 720p display that no one complains about (to the contrary the Moto G is beloved) and of course the flagships have Snapdragon 800s with 2K display (and the Sony Xperia Z5 gives a 4K with a Snapdragon 810, not even an 820 like the latest LG, HTC and Samsung phones) whatever is the matter with a 615 driving a 1080p? Seems to be a good match of CPU and display?
    Snapdragon 4XX = 720p
    Snapdragon 6XX = 1080p
    Snapdragon 8XX = 2K
    That is about how it should go, right?
    To put it another way, the Snapdragon 6XX is roughly equivalent to the best Intel mobile chips (while such things still existed). The Asus Zenfone 2 had the Intel SOC and a 1080p panel, and there were no complaints that I was aware of?
  • The Zenfone 2 Lasers with the 615 and a 1080p display perform fine. Most app animations run at around 60fps, especially after the Marshmallow update which for whatever reason resulted in fewer dropped frames in a lot of apps, whether it be new graphics API options that the hardware can use or whatever. Not to say that performance was bad at all on lollipop, but I'm annoyingly sensitive to that sort of thing. Most people probably don't notice or care when the frame rate drops to something significantly below 60fps for a moment, but it kind of bugs me.
  • This was kinda the case with Moto X Play as well. The performance only got good with the MM update (And an update to the Google Now Launcher as well).
  • You are correct regarding the combinations but the SD615 was just not very good for a 1080p display. Many phones using this combination have average performance, crappy battery life and heating issues.
    The new generation 6XX chips like the 650/652 are certainly much much more powerful and have no issues driving a 1080p display. Even the newly announced SD625 seems much more power efficient than the 61x processors.
  • Wait. Moto x play does very well with marshmallow and shows a really outstanding battery life thanks to its hardware choice. Not the most powerful, but a nice tweak Posted via the Android Central App
  • 2017 Flagships?!? I'm still waiting on ZTE's flagship for THIS YEAR!!
  • Eh. Smartphone hardware isn't going to see real innovation: just faster processors, better GPUs, USB 3.1, Bluetooth 5, perhaps better NFC and 5G down the line. The strategy needs to shift. First: Google needs a better strategy with the "accessories." It is amazing, for instance, that at least 100 million Android flagships (when you add together the Sony, HTC, Huawei, Xiaomi LG, Samsung, Motorola and Nexus top-end devices) sold every year, but there are somehow less than 30 million Chromecasts, 5 million Android Wear devices, 3 million Google Cardboard and 1 million Android TV devices in the wild. Android Wear I can understand to a degree: they actually do cost about $150-$350. To a degree Android TV also: the Razer Forge and (defunct) Nexus Player were $99, as is the Chromebit. But Chromecasts only cost $35 retail, meaning that they cost Google as little as $15 apiece to manufacture and ship. As for Google Cardboard, Alcatel was able to just turn each OneTouch Idol 4S's packaging box into one. (Also, an Android TV dongle could cost as little as the $39 for the Fire TV stick, and Google could come out with Fitbit-esque wear devices based on Brillo for as little as $50, the price of a Jawbone UP and actually 3 times the cost of a Xiaomi Mi Band ... hey does Rick Osterloh have a suggestion box?). You would have to think that Google should be able to work something out with these OEMs where a Chromecast and a VR viewer is shipped with each flagship or even upper midrange (at least $400) device. Or Google would provide a coupon code with each flagship or upper midrange purchase that would be good for a free Chromecast+Cardboard from the Google Store, or a $50 discount off another device such as a Chromebook, Wear or OnHub device. Second: Google - and their hardware partners - need to spend the next 2-3 years focusing on better apps and services. That is where the real gap between Android and the competition (especially if Microsoft is able to do anything with their UWP strategy) lies. It is great that smartphones are more powerful than PCs were 10 years ago, but all that power is wasted if there aren't good tools for productivity and power users. And Android apps coming to Chromebooks only makes this even more of a need. New hardware stuff is only going to be incremental. A case can even be made that beyond new CPUs, batteries, cameras, biometrics and improved NFC/Bluetooth/WiFi/mobile radios, companies shouldn't even aim for major advances in those areas more than every 2-3 years. (Which is why Google needs to make their own phones, tablets and laptops but another story for another day.) In the meantime, getting the hardware ecosystem into the hands of more users and improving the apps and services quality should be the main emphasis.
  • Stuff vr,its the next big flop.
    How about going towards devices that are really proper palm pc's.
    This will only mean a total change in cpu design.
    It makes me laugh when idiots equate phone cpu's with what is in laptops and then complain that their phone struggles to run two apps at the same time.
    What we should be aiming for is real mini personal computers that happen to be useful for communication uses as well.
    Pity Intel decided to do the same thing as everyone else and have failed at that as well,that's put the achievment of real ppc's back a decade at least.
    There are plenty of folk who are not interested in games,you tube,th,etc etc but would love to be able to do real computing with a mini pc that can run widows and other real computing programs,no Ikea at the moment are just flash toys for boys,useful for a few fringe uses,but about as much use for productivity as a cracked empty jam jar...
  • I'm with you. Because of my current lifestyle I no longer own all the latest games consoles and an enormous costly Apple Mac, I just have my phone. So as far as I'm concerned my mobile can never have too much processing power. I know for the average user who only makes calls, uses sms and e-mail, watches cat videos, and plays the odd game a mid price phone has all the beef up its kilt they are likely to need. But for my requirements I want all the power that's available, so that will always be a flagship device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well that is not likely to happen since Intel quit making the Atom series.
  • Two words; FLIP PHONES!!!
  • Projected screens right out of the Camera Flash Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'd like someone to emulate the superb PureView cameras of the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020, along with a xenon rather than led flash. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "We've already explored how the jump up to 4K displays in upcoming phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 might be driven by VR" The Moto Droid Turbo phones have been 4K for a couple of years now.
  • I'm fairly sure they aren't 4k. Yep, I just checked they are only 1440x2560
    4k is 3,840x2,160 They are, however, quad HD, perhaps that has caused the confusion.
    Have a look here to see what all the HD names mean- Posted via the Android Central App
  • Three camera lenses/sensors in a tight row or triangle could provide HDR with no delay because the three images would be simultaneous, not sequential and the parallax would be negligible. And the same software performing the HDR could also compensate for parallax if necessary.
    A bigger lens is very difficult to do without increasing the depth of the camera, but multiple coordinated lenses/sensors should be relatively easy.
  • If you had an arrangement like that, and proper processing, you could probably do things A LOT more interesting than instant HDR... Take a look at the things Olympus and Pentax have done with their IBIS (in camera stabilisation achieved by moving the sensor around)... With the E-M5 II, Oly can eke out genuine 40MP images out of a small (relatively, micro 4/3) 16MP sensor that rival those of a much larger full frame sensor (not just in resolution but also color fidelity, less moire by multiple sampling per pixel etc). Pentax does something similar with their DSLR. The downside there is those modes require a tripod (since IBIS isn't being used for stabilisation in those scenarios but to enable those special modes) AND fairly still subjects. That could change in the future, but multiple camera modules could make that happen now... It'd take quite a bit of processing power to generate the images tho, possibly more than what people are willing to wait for (they already get antsy at HDR as it is and this is much more computationally intensive)... Plus it's not exactly easy to sell or explain. I'm not sure we'll really see anything like that anytime soon. More than likely they'll stick to doing multiple focal lengths a la G5 (still genuinely useful, just not a bump in IQ), or simpler tricks like two frame HDR and noise averaging/subtraction based around a two camera arrangement.
  • Tango sounds very useful. I'd also like google to allow more reporting on process and wakelock state its no good knowing that a C2DM wake lock is draining your battery if it can't tell you which process or account created that wakelock. My phone ither easily goes all day or drains by lunchtime, unfortunately its the later lately.
  • I think that companies soon be releasing special edition phones to make extra money. Nobody of us has any clue where it goes. I see in 6 years we all wearing a watch and have a screen in our pocket. So the watch does all and sent everything to the phone. That's why the price of a smart watch are so high right now so we getting use to the high price tag.
  • Nothing really changes much unit they get bendable or roll-up screens. That's when they can get away from the slab form factor which severely limits everything.
  • Please, please, please for all that good on this green earth make the hardware and software more optimized and efficient. Android has this formula of pushing as much specs and features into their phones to the point where it's hardly not giving us anything in return. Let's take an Apple approach and optimize optimize optimize. No more crazy specs, nobody cares about them anyways. We need better, not more. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I actually think there ISN'T much room for improvement in smartphone cameras; at least not as far as base IQ, not without a complete rethink of how they're built. Dual lens/modules might enable some software trickery but it's not gonna improve single/instant image capture much. Things like the G5's dual focal lengths are novel but that aren't bumping up IQ or low light perf either. A modular approach could yield big dividends but all modular implementations thus far have been pretty gimmicky. Take those $700 you might spend on a flagship and throw them at a Sony RX100 (any of them) or a Canon G7x / G9x (the most pocketable of the bunch) and you'll see a HUGE improvement, like going from a flip phone to a current smartphone. I think a modular smartphone approach might enable shoehorning a 1" sensor module that could still be pocketable in it's own. (think Sony QX but without zoom and with less component redundancy) The sensor sizes that currently fit inside a typical smartphone profile are simply at their limit. Smartphones killed the cheap P&S market because they essentially featured the same sensor size, minus zoom, and any camera in the world better than those old P&S is essentially better because of a larger sensor. From the 1" sensor in the aforementioned P&S, to the M4/3 sensor in something like a GM1 or the OM-D various AC editors use, to the APS-C and full frame sensors in DSLR and other mirrorless models... None of them are realistically gonna fit inside a phone regardless of any tech advancements.
  • What new android devices come in market form next few years. Please let me know.