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What we want from smartphones in 2018


For smartphone fans there's every reason to get excited about the next 12 months: Apple, Google, Samsung and the rest will all be back with flagships for 2018, and we're looking forward to seeing what's in store. Here are our wishes for what we want to see, and we hope some of them come true.

Of course, there are restrictions on what smartphone makers can do with their handsets. Despite these pressures on cost, design and the rest, we're hopeful of another bumper crop of phones in 2018. Still, as impressed as we were with the flagship phones of 2017, there's definitely some room for improvement.

1. Better value

Prices for the iPhone X start at $999 and go up from there, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2 XL aren't all that far behind – buying a flagship phone in the first year of its life has become a very expensive business.

Does it have to be this way? We're not sure exactly how much it costs Apple, Samsung, Google or anyone else to design and build their handsets, but we're guessing there's quite a hefty margin when it comes to the difference between how much these phones cost to make and how much they sell for.

The iPhone X starts at $999

Oh for the days of the Nexus 5, the flagship phone Google unveiled in 2013 and put on sale for just $349. Even adjusting for market prices four years ago, that was an awful lot of phone for not much money.

Unfortunately, phones that are both high-end and affordable are hard to find these days, though congratulations to OnePlus for finding a way to do flagships on a budget – the OnePlus 5T starts at just $499 and is one of the best value phones of the moment. Let's hope other manufacturers start to follow its lead next year.

2. More battery life

Ever since Apple put the smart into smartphone with the original iPhone in 2007, it feels like handset makers have been in a constant battle to find the right compromise between power and power draw. Phones have come a long way since then, but having just about a day's worth of battery life between charges remains the norm.

Can we expect anything better in 2018? The phones that are going to appear over the next 12 months will be faster and more powerful than what has gone before, putting more demands on the battery packs inside them, especially as displays continue to get bigger and more vibrant. Keeping all those pixels illuminated is no easy task for a battery.

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