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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Bigger battery to more cameras: How 2019 changed our devices like never before

Technology Trends of 2019: This year there were some critical changes in the personal tech space impacting smartphones, cameras, laptops and tablets. We at Indian Express take a look at some of the defining trends.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2019 12:47:27 pm
Yearender 2019, Best of 2019, 2019 tech trends, 2019 gadget trends, 2019 trends on smartphones, Galaxy M30s, Smartphone batteries Here is a list of trends from 2019, that will change how you use gadgets and what these devices mean to you in the coming years.

In 2019, there were some critical changes in the personal tech space. Some technologies became more popular, some morphed to do new things, some finally became what they should have in the first place. Here is a list of trends from 2019, that will change how you use gadgets and what these devices mean to you in the coming years.

Better battery life in smartphones

If you are in the business of selling battery packs for smartphones, then bad times are here. This was the year in which batteries that last over a day, or 24 hours of usage, became the norm across Android, and even iOS, devices. The Samsung Galaxy M30s was able to offer a 6000 mAh battery in a slim chassis, thus finally overcoming a problem of physics that has held back smartphones for long. The new iPhones too offered batteries that could charge really fast and then hold the charge for well over a day. In short, 2019 was the year in which smartphones got over their biggest pain point, that of battery life.

More cameras that do more

Yearender 2019, Best of 2019, 2019 tech trends, 2019 gadget trends, 2019 trends on smartphones, Galaxy M30s, Smartphone batteries The iPhone 11 Pro series offered triple lenses, but also something the other phones could not: the ability to shoot on all modes with all the lenses. (Image Credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

In 2019, triple and quad cameras became a norm across price points. The combo of ultra-wide, regular and telephoto lens became so popular that even phones that are in the budget range now sport the trio. Some phones even started pushing the envelope by offering quad cameras and more, though the jury is out on how much value users get from more lenses at the back of their phones. The iPhone 11 Pro series offered triple lenses, but also something the other phones could not: the ability to shoot on all modes with all the lenses. Also given the power of these phones, there are now apps that let you record 4K footage at the same time from all that four cameras on the phone — the front camera included.

Also read| Seven consumer tech trends to watch out for in 2020

Mirrorless cameras become popular

Yearender 2019, Best of 2019, 2019 tech trends, 2019 gadget trends, 2019 trends on smartphones, Galaxy M30s, Smartphone batteries It is the Alpha range from Sony that is changing the equations in the camera business after many decades. (Image of Sony Alpha 6400) (Image Credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

For many years now, the mirrorless camera segment has been on the fringe. However, this year, across price points, mirrorless cameras were able to make an impact and maybe even sell more than traditional DSLRs. Finally, even professionals were now looking to upgrade to a mirrorless from their full-frame DSLRs given that these perform better in low light and are a bit lighter and more versatile than the traditional cameras. It is the Alpha range from Sony that is way ahead of everyone else in this range and that is changing the equations in the camera business after many decades.

Thinner, lighter laptops

Yearender 2019, Best of 2019, 2019 tech trends, 2019 gadget trends, 2019 trends on smartphones, Galaxy M30s, Smartphone batteries Even gaming laptops were now much thinner and lighter than before. (Image of Asus ZenBook Edition 30) (Image Credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Thin and light laptops are nothing new. In fact, Intel has been pushing its Ultrabook concept that touts just this for close to a decade. But this year, thin and light dehyphenated themselves from the price points of laptops. In other words, you could but an entry-level laptop that did not give you cervical spondylosis in a few weeks. And a lot of this has been achieved because companies like Asus tied up with AMD and powered affordable laptops with Ryzen processors that cost a bit lesser than what Intel has to offer. This combo also meant even gaming laptops were now much thinner and lighter than before. In 2020 it will become pointless to launch a laptop that is heavy and thick.

PC software on the iPad

Yearender 2019, Best of 2019, 2019 tech trends, 2019 gadget trends, 2019 trends on smartphones, Galaxy M30s, Smartphone batteries In fact, the iPad became so empowered that it can now run Adobe Photoshop and other software that could make even some laptops break into a sweat.

As the laptop got thinner, the tablet got powerful. In fact, the iPad became so empowered that it can now run Adobe Photoshop and other software that could make even some laptops break into a sweat. This is significant, for after many decades we will have Adobe Photoshop users who know how to use the software only on a touchscreen, with no context of using it on a desktop. This means the app will evolve to become lighter and more relevant to the tablet user and not be the wide-ranging PC product it was. And we wait to see if using Photoshop on a tablet is a more natural way of being creative. Plus, it is the first time Photoshop had access to a camera and that opens up uses cases and workflows of its own.

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