MWC 2018: It’s The Year Of AI, Notches and Stock Android

by John Nieves  March 3, 2018

This year is going to be hell for people who hate notches

We’re just about to leave Barcelona today, but before we depart on our long ass flight, we’re going to give the lowdown on the three interesting trends we saw during our coverage in the halls of Fira Barcelona.

The notch is here to stay

Hate the iPhone X notch? Sorry, but that trend isn’t going to go away. ASUS’ new ZenFone 5 and 5z proudly displayed their almost bezel-less phones during the show, and much to the chagrin of notch-haters everywhere, they had iPhone X-style notches at the top of the display. This particular design choice is a polarizing one, and while the notch can be overcome by good coding, applying a black bar on the sides to make it disappear when it counts, there will still be people who balk at the idea of the notch.

While ASUS is the latest company to embrace the notch, companies like OPPO are prepping to launch their own phones that have the same design choice.

AI will be everywhere

AI is the latest buzzword this year, with many manufacturers using the term liberally to our chagrin. But smartphones are certainly becoming smarter, and chipset makers like Huawei, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung are producing new SoCs to take advantage of the new trend. As integrated 4G modems became the norm a few years ago, expect integrated APUs, or artificial processing units to become standard on mid-range and high-end processors offered by said companies moving forward.

Nokia is starting a stock Android revolution

There’s not enough manufacturers rocking stock Android on their phones, and that bums us out. We’ve always been advocates of using the purest form of Android on our devices, and apparently HMD Global sees the value of that. While the company has run stock Android on their Nokia Android phones from day one, they’ve gone above and beyond by launching their latest handsets during MWC with Android One.

Nokia’s the first phone brand to do that, and it may just be the catalyst that other brands need to stuff in pure Android into their devices. Clearly HMD Global sees the value in that, and maybe other manufacturers will too.


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