The Wrap – The phones and tech trends of 2019

Ahead of CES, we’re looking at what’s expected to make headlines in technology in 2019. It’s a special five minute preview of technology today, joined by Fergus Halliday and Adam Turner, and it’s our 100th episode. This is The Wrap.

Transcript

For the first week of January 2019, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you can believe it, we’re at our 100th episode, so happy 100 to us.

More importantly, it’s a new year. The new year. With the fireworks all cleared and new years resolutions in effect, hopefully anyway, we are officially in 2019, and that means you’re about to see some new technology. There’s always something bigger and better on the way, that much is true, but that will be helped by CES, which is next week in Las Vegas.

Ahead of that ever important gadget show, we’re taking a look at what this year’s trends will be, starting with one Australia already has, even if it’s in only in a select few places.

It’s called 5G, and as the name suggests, it’s the follow-up to 4G, the high-speed mobile connection most of us with a phone are likely relying on. Almost every phone sold around the world has access to 4G, and its successor comes in the form of 5G.

While these might just be numbers to you, the difference between 4 and 5G is speed, with the newer technology much, much faster, and good for more than just downloading voice, music, and videos.

Unsurprisingly, trends connect when high-speed mobile internet is involved, with both augmented reality and virtual reality likely to be bolstered by the speeds 5G has to offer. There are also foldable phones, which will have a lot to do with tablets by the time they come out, and means the speed of 5G could become more useful for mobile productivity. It’s something PC World’s Fergus Halliday confirmed was exciting.

Fergus Halliday: Foldable phones. They might be terrible, but they also might be different enough to offset the early growing pains that affect most products and offer up something that you can’t really get elsewhere.

In fact, 5G is a topic that’s on the lips of many a journo for this year. Sydney Morning Herald’s Adam Turner told us that 5G was one of the technologies expected to make an impact in 2019.

Adam Turner: I think 5G is the big one to watch. We’ve been talking about it for so long that it’s interesting to see that it will finally start to roll out. No one’s going to have a 5G handset the start of January for making calls, but the beginnings of that and see how it actually delivers on the promises and then what kind of handsets we see come along during the year.

Mobile connectivity will, of course, extend to phones, and there are quite a few of those to look out for, especially in the first half of the year.

We’ve heard rumours of no less than three Samsung Galaxy S10 variants likely being announced, each with massive screens complete with a hole punched out of the top right to do away with the dreaded notch, while Huawei will likely have a phone with four cameras in the back with the P30 Pro, which is due some time in the next few month.

Nokia will likely attempt to outdo Huawei with its own impressive smartphone camera rig, arriving in the five camera PureView Nokia 9, and it’s possible Oppo might get the first 5G phone, possibly in the R19 Pro.

Mobiles and the new 5G network aren’t the only tech trends you should be excited for either, with more on the way.

The smart home will continue to get smarter, with more voice control for the lights, cameras, and sensors that your home can be set up with, while cars will also get smarter, leading to more companies likely to unveil their driverless and electric vehicles.

And there’s even movement in the TV world, where 4K may not dominate for that much longer. Those of you with more money than the rest of us may find 8K TVs available to purchase, though you may be left without content.

While you can expect a handful of cameras able to shoot and capture in the 8K resolution, we’d say there’s very little chance of finding movies and TV shows available in 8K resolution for those new 8K TVs this year. I mean, we only just in the past couple of years started to see a wider availability of 4K footage. We’re not sure how much is shot in 8K, but would hazard a guess of “not much” being close to the truth.

The upside to all of this is that 8K TVs could push 4K TVs down in price, which may push Full HD TVs out altogether. That’s good news if you wanted to buy a 4K TV this year, because it could mean the price is right.

But we’ll know more about what there really is to look forward to next week at CES, where you can expect the first half of the year’s products, and possibly then some.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap can be found every Friday at Podcast One, Apple Podcasts, and the Pickr website, and we’ll be back next week for more tech in the space of five minutes. Until then, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.