[2020 Outlook] Invisible cameras, foldable screens, and more: gadgets to look out for this year
Consumer tech is one of the fastest evolving areas in the world today.
If 2019 was about mobile gaming, voice-enabled virtual assistants, quad-camera phones, and truly wireless earbuds, 2020 is expected to be about foldable screens, 5G iPhones, gaming laptops, 8K televisions, and penta-camera smartphones.
Smartphones will continue its rapid growth around the world, with shipments estimated to reach 1.4 billion in 2020, according to IDC. China’s “ambitious push” for 5G will lead to high-growth, with sales of 5G-enabled handsets projected at 190 million.
Additionally, the global gaming laptop market is also projected to grow over 21 percent to $2 billion during this year, according to Credence Research.
YourStory drew up a list of the most exciting devices to look out for in 2020.
The 5G iPhone
The 5G iPhone became a talk point ahead of the iPhone 11 launch in September 2019, when renowned Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo hinted at the upcoming feature.
She stated in her predictions that all new iPhones would be 5G-enabled with the global adoption of 5G slated to rise in 2020.
Even though Apple did not roll out 5G in its iPhone 11 range, the company could make it available in this year’s iPhone 12 range. The Cupertino-based giant has started work on its in-house 5G baseband chip, Kuo reveals.
Further, analyst firm Wedbush Securities expects a “meteoric rise” in the demand for iPhone 12. It estimates that Apple will sell 200 million to 350 million 5G iPhone handsets over the next few years.
“A slate of 5G smartphones are set to be unveiled in September that will open up the floodgates on iPhone upgrades across the board,” Wedbush states.
Foldable Samsung phone
Last year witnessed concept images of many “foldable phones” and “flip phones” — some leaked, and some showcased by the company itself.
It led to much polarisation in the smartphone community, with many observers wondering: Does the world really need a foldable phone? Guess we'll find out soon.
At its annual developer conference in October 2019, Samsung teased a new foldable phone concept – a successor to its Galaxy Fold. Samsung’s R&D Head Hyesoon Jeong said at the event, “This brand-new form factor that we’re now exploring will not only easily fit in your pocket, but it also changes the way you use your phone.”
The Galaxy Fold 2, slated to launch in February, will run on an Android 10-based OS (One UI 2.0) specifically developed for foldable interfaces. It is also rumoured to have a horizontally folding screen with glass display, a massive 6,000 mAh battery, a punch-hole selfie camera, and superfast wireless charging.
Interestingly, even Motorola, Huawei, and Apple are said to be developing foldable handsets that could launch in 2020.
Triple-camera iPad Pro
Apple is said to be working on an upgrade to the iPad Pro. The new device reportedly sports the iPhone 11 Pro’s triple-camera setup.
Even though it was expected to launch in 2019 along with the iPhone 11 range, the company delayed it for reasons unspecified.
Image: Apple Insider
However, the new iPad Pro might finally reach users in March 2020.
Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants of the iPad Pro are expected to contain “hardware that is extremely similar to what is featured on the iPhone 11 Pro, and is expected to offer the same benefits to creative video professionals,” according to leaks.
This also means that users can now shoot high-quality 4K videos on the iPad and edit them on the device itself without having to transfer them to a Mac.
OnePlus ‘Concept One’ smartphone
How about a phone with an ‘invisible’ camera? It might soon become a reality. Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus, which leads the premium end of the market in India, teased its upcoming concept phone recently.
The OnePlus Concept One handset, which sports a “groundbreaking invisible camera and colour-shifting glass technology” is slated to debut at the ongoing CES 2020.
The video shared by the company suggests that the phone will contain a triple-camera setup, but without a camera bump. The much-hyped colour-shifting glass would make the lenses disappear (invisible) when viewed from certain angles.
The device reportedly features a stitched leather back with a Papaya Orange finish, akin to that of the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition launched in 2019.
Lenovo gaming laptops
Gaming laptops are becoming a thing now, with more aficionados opting for a full-blown, near console-like experience that can match PC performance.
Gaming laptops of 2020 are expected to consist of cutting-edge technology like Nvidia and AMD graphics cards, Intel Coffee Lake Refresh processors (for higher screen refresh rates), and speedy SSDs for top-notch performance.
Lenovo’s Legion BoostStation, which is slated to launch in May, turns any laptop into a gaming machine by giving it a graphical boost via an external GPU. “The entire package supports various gaming modes such as Mixed and Augmented Reality,” according to gaming analysts.
The BoostStation is also being touted as the successor to the Lenovo Legion Y740, which many have called the “most accessible gaming laptop”.
Xiaomi 108MP camera phone
Xiaomi has been teasing its 108MP camera phone for a long time. The buzz around the device intensified last year when Xiaomi India’s official Twitter handle changed its username to ‘Mi India #108MP IS COMING!’
Image: Android Pit
The company’s MD Manu Jain too announced that the phone would be launching soon. The device — Mi Note 10 — is expected to launch in India in early 2020, after having made its way to Europe and China as the Mi CC9 Pro.
It is one of the first smartphones in the world to sport a penta-camera setup (with a primary sensor of 108MP and 50X zoom), along with a 5,260 mAH battery, a 6.47” Super AMOLED panel, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor with 256GB built-in storage.
The smartphone will also have curved edges and a water-drop notch. Sounds like a beast of a device. Surely, we can’t wait for the price reveal!
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)