With 2015 already half complete, companies remain hopeful that they can reinvent the smartphone before year's end. Some alterations are more significant than others, but with time and a few generations, Samsung or Google could change the way we see our phones.
Here are some of the latest efforts to change the smartphone market:
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Out Now
Samsung has been showcasing flexible display screens for a while now. At the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, the company first unveiled its YOUM display allowing the phone to bend, wiggle, and fold in the demonstrator’s hands. Perhaps as a means of showing us they haven’t scrapped the idea, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 4 Edge, which features a screen that curves around the right edge where it acts as a thin second screen. Critics have varied between whether they find the phone redundant or innovative, but it shows that Samsung hasn’t given up on giving users a phone they can bend.
Google’s Project Ara: Anticipated 2015
Google’s latest foray into the smartphone market is intended to get users involved in how their phones are built. Currently known as “Project Ara”, the phone will feature a “modular platform” that allows users to customize their phone’s hardware, even after purchase. New batteries, cameras, processors, and more will all be available for separate purchase from outside retailers, allowing users to create a phone that fits their needs and personality. The base product is also meant to be a cheaper option to the market's current popular smartphones, starting around just $100.
Light Phone: Currently Looking for Backers on Kickstarter
The project has already raised nearly $150,000 on Kickstarter, and is looking to end the growing reliance people have on their smartphones. The ultra-thin device doubles as a flashlight and is meant to do one thing: make calls. There is no large display, no app support, and no camera. The Light Phone works with prepaid minutes and a SIM card independent of your carrier. While other companies are trying to get you more invested in what your phone can do, Light is hoping to bring you back to reality by simplifying the smartphone.