As the year 2016 comes to an end, it goes with many memories, not all positive but in the smartphone industry there has been important developments. This year we saw the debut of the S7 Edge, arguably the best phone this year along with iPhone 7. OnePlus released two mammoth phones which packed a punch for the price, and Xiaomi recently made headlines with its movement towards a global product launch (fingers crossed CES 2017). However this year has also been controversial with the Galaxy Note 7 suffering from a dangerous battery in a few phones which had the tendency to explode, whilst it was not on a huge scale, it was blown out of proportion by the media. Samsung are now working hard to fix their prestigious image and hope to wow the industry again with the S8.
At the start of the new year I expect to see Snapdragon continue on with the battle against Apple and Mediatek over the crown for the fastest smartphone processor, whilst Apple dominated with the A9 & A10 these years, Snapdragon is recovering from the 810 chip which was very controversial. The new 821 has put Snapdragon back in the race for the fastest SoC. Apple's 7 Plus saw 3GB RAM come to it, however OnePlus packed twice the power in the 3 and 3T for a lot less than the astronomically high priced flagship Cupertino produced. Displays have become top notch with the S7 Edge having the best display on any smartphone with the 5.5 Super AMOLED monstrosity. Beautiful blacks, vivid colours and resolution of 1440 x 2560 allowed it to pack 534 pixels per inch. In the Xiaomi department the Mi Mix stole headlines with a gorgeous display with a 91.3% screen to body ratio, creating the best looking phone ever made. Despite all of the battling the best smartphone of the year has to go to the S7 Edge, closely followed by the innovative 7 Plus. The S7 Edge ticked all the boxes except for the price, but considering what you get, no one can complain.
2017 will no doubt make 6GB of RAM the norm and 1440p displays may get a hike to 4K (even though there is no point in having that many pixels). Snapdragon will almost certainly unleash the 830/835 SD SoC and Apple will rival that in September with the A11. Smartphone manufacturers HTC and LG have been very under rated and have failed to sell many units of their flagship phones, I do hope that neither of them quit the business as the HTC 10 was one of the best phones this year. LG also attempted to bring modular fashion and offered a removable battery and a SD card slot, something we rarely see these days. Sony also released two flagships this year and the XZ seems very promising but we must say goodbye to the Z line that has finally been discontinued with the Z5 Premium leaving with a bang. Xiaomi have also wowed India with the Redmi Note 3 and Mi Max, phones with a low price tag and amazing performance due to the 650 SoC from Snapdragon, whilst the limited release disappointed Western Europe fans, Xiaomi is contemplating a global launch of their next flagship the Mi6.
Battery life needs to improve in every single phone especially with Apple, even with all the advances in tech, phones are struggling to last a single day or two on a single charge, this is not expected. Moto Z packs a pathetic 2600 mAh in a 5.2mm package, plenty of us would not mind a thicker phone if it means battery life will be better. Overall the year has been pleasing and the hype for 2017 has arrived, hopefully Samsung do not kill of the Note line as the Note 7 was looking to be the most promising phone this year but the battery issues have damaged the brand. Maybe 2017 marks a new chapter for Samsung, with a lot of promise.