While 2016 was a year many of us will choose to forget, it did not fail to astound us on the tech front. A host of exciting flagship releases throughout the year paved the way for a variety of difficult choices, and while 2017 certainly has a lot to live up to, here’s a look at 10 devices that should get the world buzzing.
The much-awaited comeback. Nokia will look to rebuild its brand in 2017, under HMD Global, with a host of Android devices. The D1C is tipped to be the first of the lot and is rumoured to be a mid-range smartphone, equipped with a Snapdragon 600 series chipset, 4 GB of RAM and a 13 MP rear-facing camera. A high-end variant of the phone also looks likely, perhaps as Nokia’s new flagship device.
It’s hard to not expect magic from this levitating little thing. With 360 degrees of sound from its floating omnidirectional speaker unit and a subwoofer embedded within its levitation base, the PJ9 is sure to raise a few eyebrows. The PJ9 will also be equipped with Multipoint technology, letting it connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Its expected battery life is close to 10 hours.
GOOGLE WEAR 2.0 SMARTWATCHES
After several delays, Google has finally confirmed that it will launch two smartwatches early this year. These devices will be the first to feature the new Wear 2.0 software, and several other smartwatches will be updated soon after. This version will contain apps that do not require a smartphone to function, and will support Android Pay. The watches will also carry the branding of the OEM manufacturing them, instead of the Pixel branding.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S8
The redemption. After the debacle that was the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung will look to re-establish credibility in the smartphone market with the Galaxy S8. The home button, a traditional part of most Samsung devices, looks set to be scrapped; an edge-to-edge display with an embedded fingerprint sensor is likely to feature instead. The 3.5 mm audio jack may also be left out in favour of a universal USB-C port.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid home and portable gaming console that looks to truly change where, how and whom we play games with. It is designed mainly as a 720p tablet, with slots on both sides to clip on two controllers, and can be connected to a television through a docking station. Nintendo hasn’t released any specifications as yet, but recent leaks suggest the console will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chipset. The Switch is expected to be released in March.
APPLE IPHONE 8
2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and Apple is expected to celebrate it in style with the iPhone 8. Rumours of a radical redesigning have been floating around for months, and Jony Ive may inch a little closer to his vision of an iPhone, which resembles a single sheet of glass. The iPhone 8 may also feature Apple’s new 10-nanometer A11 chip, and will likely ignore aluminium to re-adopt a glass body.
2017 looks set to be yet another big year for the gaming industry, and Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio will certainly be one of its highlights. While it won’t kick-off a new generation of consoles, the Scorpio is likely to make 4K HDR and VR gaming far more accessible. Microsoft intend to make this a really powerful unit, so expect to see AMD’s next generation of CPU and GPU architectures to be present, and a mammoth 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM.
THE NEW APPLE IMAC
With the emergence of the Microsoft Surface Studio as a worthy opponent, an overhaul of the iMac seems inevitable in 2017. However, Apple has been quite hush-hush about what we can expect from its all-new desktop. The 27-inch iMac is likely to contain an AMD graphics chip, and may also be equipped with Intel’s Kaby Lake processor. No major design changes are expected, although the new keyboard may feature a Touch Bar, like the Macbook Pro.
After the remarkable success enjoyed by the OnePlus 3 and 3T, all eyes are now on the 2017 release from OnePlus. Rumours suggest that it will be known as the OnePlus 5, skipping 4, perhaps as the number is considered unlucky in certain Asian countries. The phone is expected to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or 835 processor, with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of storage.
SAMSUNG’S QLED TELEVISION
The third generation of Samsung’s Quantum Dot televisions may finally win the battle against OLED and rule the segment in 2017. The models are expected to deliver light outputs of at least 1500 nits, 50 per cent higher than 2016’s HDR 1000 marked models. Reports of a ‘Q HDR’ trademark application also suggest that Samsung will focus on using the Quantum Dot technology to deliver a more premium HDR experience.