Smartphones: technologies, features, design… What awaits us in 2023

The article was updated on January 3, 2023 with our file dedicated to the iPhone 15 and its variants.

15 years after the release of the first iPhone, manufacturers are marking their time in the innovation race. But while 2023 may not be the start of a new era for smartphones, we can expect some features to raise the bar for supercomputers in our pockets.

Some of next year’s advancements are long overdue, like the iPhone potentially switching to USB-C (in part because Apple was forced to do so by European regulators). Other models are expected to emphasize artificial intelligence for photography, better Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, and brighter screens.

It’s a little more exciting than the few innovations we’ve had this year.

Of course, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island notch and the new satellite SOS feature for the iPhone 14. Samsung has brought the S-Pen stylus to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. And the Nothing Phone 1 brought a breath of fresh air with its original light board. But apart from that, this year was not rich with really interesting innovations.

The only major thing that has changed this year, in my opinion, is the improvement of the folding terminals
Nabila Popal, research director of IDC, says. He believes that most phones have only seen minor improvements. A finding that stands in stark contrast to Samsung President TM Roh’s words that the S22 series offers ” breakthrough photo opportunities ”and Apple CEO Tim Cook, who called the iPhone 14 series “ the best iPhones we’ve ever made “.

Ultimately, the promise of a truly innovative smartphone may rest on technology that won’t be around for a few years. One of the best examples came this year when LG announced its stretchable display. Motorola also showed off a prototype with a rollable display. This opens promising prospects for the future. But in the meantime, here’s what we can expect for smartphones in 2023.

Folding smartphones are gaining momentum, but remain elitist

This year’s Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are updates from their predecessors. They didn’t see any price cuts, but they did benefit from S Pen functionality, better software, and improved hinges. We can expect the same next year with marginal updates but at a price level that will remain high.

According to Nabila Popal, this could be suitable for customers buying the most expensive phones. Although they still only account for a fraction of the 1.24 billion phones sold in 2022, foldable smartphones doubled from last year to 16 million units in 2022, and that number should continue to grow. Given that the cheapest foldable phones, like the Samsung Z Flip 4, cost about the same as the iPhone 14 Pro, it’s no surprise that high-end phone buyers are starting to turn to these alternatives.

If the manufacturer introduces a more affordable model, more consumers will be tempted. We don’t have any information on that, but we do know that the next Motorola Razr could be priced lower than its predecessors.

“Classic” smartphones in 2023

Apple will be forced to replace Lightning ports with USB-C by 2024, and may do so with the iPhone 15 next year.
Bloombergthe more expensive Pro Max model is expected to have more features and be called the iPhone Ultra to distinguish it from its larger-screened, cheaper iPhone Plus counterpart.

Android smartphones will continue to improve slowly. according to
Ice UniverseSamsung may switch to a 200-megapixel photo sensor in the next Galaxy S23 Ultra.

While there aren’t many rumors about the Pixel 8 series yet, we can expect Google to find new ways to use Tensor chips.

Compared to last year’s models, these improvements may seem minimal, but it’s worth noting that most consumers upgrade their smartphones every two to three years, not every year. Therefore, when they buy a new mobile phone, the developments seem more important to them.

Smartphones after 2023

Real technological evolutions for smartphones are probably a few years away. Until then, the next high-end Snapdragon chips are expected to improve privacy by hiding notifications when others are looking at your screen. Artificial intelligence will continue to add filters and effects to all our photo and video chats. Google and Apple will further develop augmented reality features in their navigation apps, while also making phones the hub for tap purchases and remote unlocking of cars and smart homes.

Other folding terminals could also see the light of day. Samsung has shown off many designs at the Consumer Electronics Show in recent years, some with triple screens and others with transparent panels. The 2023 edition of CES should be an opportunity to explore other concepts.

The future of phones may also be in the things they connect to: watches and smart homes, of course, but also augmented reality glasses. According to some rumors, a pair of Apple Glass could arrive in 2023. See you next year on new adventures on planet Tech! article adapted from CNETFrance

Photo: Andrew Lanxon/CNET

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