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WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2019: THE YEAR OF THE SMARTPHONE

We’re now four weeks into 2019, and plenty is going on in the world of technology.  People are getting stoked for 5th-Generation LTE, Apple’s X-series iPhones are still selling like crazy, Samsung has its S 9 and Note 9 devices in the hands of over 40 million Americans.  Companies like OnePlus, Google and Pocophone are making waves competing for space in your pocket as well as in your wallet.  I’ll go over what to expect in 2019 from these companies, the devices they’re offering, and some light specs for the nerd in you.  Don’t just let advertisers tell you what you should buy! We’ve got your back when it comes to tech this year. 2019: The Year Of The Smartphone!

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YAAAS! TECH ROCKS!

5TH-GENERATION LTE

You may have heard of a newer generation of LTE network, one that may offer speeds of up to 100 times 4G speeds (you read that right!) and change forever not just the way you interact with the Internet, but also the way your refrigerator interacts with your toaster, and your car interacts with the lights in your office space.  It may sound like science fiction, but it’s actually called “the Internet Of Things“, or I.O.T. for short.

However, despite companies like AT&T and Verizon touting 5G-compatible devices, don’t expect them to come complete with a 5G network anytime soon.  Think of 5G the way you think about your ‘dual-band’ home internet router.  It broadcasts the Internet into your home in two signals, 2.4 gig and 5 gig.  The 5-gig signal great for delivering fantastic speeds but only in short distances, whereas the 2.4 gig signal is better for getting average connections over greater distances. 5G is like the 5-gig signal.

The biggest problem with 5G is building the infrastructure to accommodate it.  We’re talking about cell towers EVERYWHERE, in almost every streetlamp and ceiling on every floor, in every room.

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How 4G works vs. 5G signals

The reason for this insane kind of infrastructure is because, like your 5-gig router signal, ANYTHING that gets in the way of the higher frequency getting to your handheld device is going to cut the connection completely.  Things like walls, bad weather, a seagull flying overhead, or even your hand could stop that super-duper signal dead in its tracks!

Bottom line, we’re nowhere near a full transition to the next generation of Internet connectivity. Don’t get suckered by “5G compatibility” if you’re in the market for an upgraded smartphone.

SAMSUNG, APPLE AND THEIR COMPETITIONS

You may have dropped some serious coin on your most current smartphone, if you bought an X-series iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S 9.  All devices in this category of smartphone heavyweights feature what we’ve always wanted: large amounts of storage, blinding speeds, amazing pictures, and tons of computing power for mobile gaming and multitasking.

Samsung is already looking to announce their Galaxy S 10 next month, and it’s supposed to be boasting an upgraded operating system (Snapdragon 855) along with THREE (yes, three) rear-facing cameras as well as fingerprint sensors that live right on the screen!

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SHOWN: the future of bling. Note the absence of external buttons on the front!

Apple, not to be outdone, is planning to release their newest set of iPhones this fall. While it may be that they JUST got the iPhone 10’s out to the public a few months ago, Apple wants their next major device releases to have plenty of new features that iPhone users want; like three-dimensional cameras and awesome OLED displays.  There’s even talk of a new chip that may blow the current A12 Bionic chip in last year’s phones out of the water! Hey, more power is cool.

Other players in the smartphone market you may know, like LG and Motorola.  Others you may not, like OnePlus.  Their current OnePlus 6T runs Android just like Samsung, LG and Motorola, and it was the first on the block to have the fingerprint sensor in the display, WAY AHEAD of Apple’s home button.  It also ditched the traditional “notch” at the top of their device which houses the front-facing camera.  OnePlus plans to build on that design by adopting a pop-up camera, thereby saying adios to notches altogether.

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OnePlus makes for great competition on Apple & Samsung’s turf!

For those of you on a budget (let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to save money?) 2019 has already brought us Google’s “Pixel 3 Lite“, a phone that steers away from premium build to save you money.  It has a plastic back, runs Android Snapdragon 670 operating system, and even made room for a headphone jack!  The price of this baby might run as high as $600, but when you’re looking at the price of a beefed-up iPhone XS Max at $1249 it might make sense to go with an economy-priced device.

WRAPPING UP

If you’ve got the dough, feel free to upgrade at leisure and get your hands on the latest and greatest.  Better specs and performance doesn’t just mean a jaded customer base, it means the market is doing exactly what it needs to be doing: providing the needs of its customers through competition.

I hope I’ve cleared up some misconceptions and these insights can help you when it comes to getting to know tech in 2019: the Year Of The Smartphone!

~Ben On The Bull

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