The iPhone X was the first mainstream smartphone to offer a notched screen. (Photo Credit: Mashable)
The iPhone X was the first mainstream smartphone to offer a notched screen. (Photo Credit: Mashable)

Smartphones have come a long way in the last decade – long enough for their hardware to catch up with desktop computers in certain aspects, and their evolution is far from being complete. Smartphone fans have gotten everything they wanted (perhaps with the sole exception of batteries that would last for more than a couple of day tops): they have enough hardware to run everything from simple tasks like messaging or the Betway app to complex and hardware-hungry games like Fortnite and PUBG, loads of internal storage coupled with the cloud… there are even phones with Dolby-certified stereo sound, 120Hz screens for better gaming, and similar features that wouldn’t have made sense just a few years ago.

Now smartphone makers are setting new trends, it seems, as simply offering a faster and more powerful configuration doesn’t cut it anymore when last year’s model is almost as fast as this year’s new flagship handset. But some of the new trends brought to life by these new trends seem a bit controversial – they all have both supporters and haters among the users.

The “notch”

The iPhone X was the first mainstream smartphone to offer a notched screen (the Essential Phone was the absolute first to feature such a thing) and it seemingly started a new trend. While Google isn’t necessarily a fan of this new way of expanding the phones’ screens – its upcoming Pixel models won’t have a notch (despite what many rumors keep repeating), and it’s not exactly a fan of this new feature when it comes to Android either. At least this is what its new design guidelines suggest – Google made it clear that it wants to limit the number of notches the upcoming smartphones can have.

There are people out there who like the new design of their smartphone but there is an equally numerous crowd for whom the notch is an absolute deal-breaker. At the same time, an ever-increasing number of smartphone manufacturers use it on their latest handsets, seemingly following a trend that not everyone likes.

Multiple cameras

Camera phones were a great innovation back in the early 2000s and they never went away – they just evolved. For a smartphone, a camera is a standard feature – but every smartphone owner knows that smartphone snappers are far from being professional. Now, in turn, cameras have turned into selling points for smartphones. And smartphone makers are trying to attract buyers to their side with constantly improving cameras (among others). And, more recently, by adding more than one of them on the phone.

The first dual-camera phone was HTC’s EVO 3D, released in 2011, capable of snapping 3D photos. The concept disappeared soon, only to re-emerge in 2016 on HTC and LG handsets. Today, the dual camera is a standard for many – but why stop here? Huawei has already launched its first triple camera smartphone, and rumors speak of Nokia planning to release a penta-lens camera smartphone. For most average users, the dual-camera is already overkill, not to mention the triple-camera setup. Unless the penta-lens setup brings something truly revolutionary to the table, it will probably be just another of (the smartphone) evolution’s failed experiments.