Well 2017 is in the books. If you’re like me, then you probably feel like the year flew by. But before we look forward to 2018, let’s take a moment and reflect on 2017 and the top stores to come out of the the tech industry.
Galaxy S8 vs iPhone X - Courtesy: CNBCIconic devices
2017 saw several iconic devices launch. LG continued its flagship line by releasing the G6. Sporting the first 18:9 bezel-less screen, impressive dual rear cameras, loads of memory and an IP68 waterproof rating, LG had an instant hit on their hands. Not to be out done, Samsung had two big iconic phone launches in 2017. First was the impressive Galaxy S8 and S8+. Samsung continued the trend of 18:9 screens while managing to keep the overall footprint of the phone down. In addition, the S8/8+ came packed with a lightning fast processor, expandable storage and Samsung’s new digital assistant, Bixby. Next, came the much anticipated Galaxy Note 8. Looking to put memories of the Note 7 behind them, Samsung did that and more. Packed with a solid features, including a fast processor, excellent dual rear cameras, and expandable memory, while at the same time creating new and creative ways to use the Stylus pen, the Note 8 showed it was still contender as one of the best Smartphones. Lastly, Apple debuted the iPhone 8/8P and iPhone X. While the iPhone 8/8P appeared to be more of an evolutionary step up from last years iPhone 7/7P, the iPhone X was a different story. Apple elected to remove the home button in favor of having a bezel-less screen while giving their users new features like facial recognition, portrait mode, and wireless charging.
Quality mid-range devices
One thing that impressed me about 2017 was the number of quality mid-range devices we got. Normally mid-range equals, cheap, low quality, and uninteresting devices, but this year was different story. LG came out with the LG Stylo 3, Samsung had the J3 Emerge and J7 Perx, while Motorola debuted the Moto E4/E4 Plus. All of these devices had excellent build quality and many of them came with unique features that you would normally expect to find on some of their premium counterparts. This is definitely one trend that I hope continues into 2018. If you want more information other some of these phones, check out my blogs on the Samsung J3 Emerge, the LG Stylo 3 and check out @OKCRyan's blog on the Moto E4.
5G on the horizon
It’s no secret that everyone is always looking towards the future. Sprint is no different and back in May, Sprint announced their intentions to develop and launch a 5G network by 2019. It’s no secret that Sprint has a lot of spectrum and as reported by Engadget, Sprint will look to leverage their 2.5GHz spectrum as they partner with Softbank and Qualcomm to develop out their 5G network. 2019 may be a ways off, and things may evolve between now and then, but it’s nice insight to see which direction things are heading towards.
Smart Speakers - Courtesy: WhatHiFi.comBattle of the Smart Speakers
While smart speakers like Google Home and the Amazon Echo have been around since 2015, 2017 really feels like the year they caught our attention and companies began duking it out in the marketplace. In an age where science fiction is starting to become a reality and our lives are becoming more and more connected, the smart speaker is coming along at the right time. While Google and Amazon are the two biggest names in the field right now, that isn’t stopping other companies from getting in on the action. As reported in the Verge, LG announced that they will be debuting their own smart speaker at this January’s CES tradeshow. And that’s not all. Facebook is rumored to be developing their own smart speaker for release in the first quarter of 2018. And if that wasn’t enough, you knew it was only a matter of time before Apple developed one of their own. Aptly named the HomePod, the smart speaker will be powered by the same A8 processor that’s in the iPhone and will be Siri enabled. I personally have a Google Home and love it. It’s app integration is great, the voice response is pretty accurate and I was honestly surprised at the quality of the audio given the overall size of the speaker.
VR - No longer just an fad
Oculus Rift - Courtesy: PopularReviews.netWhile Virtual Reality has existed for several decades, my first recollection of VR was the 1992 film, the Lawnmower Man. In retrospect, the film is pretty bad, but i remember being awestruck at the possibility VR promised. Sadly, those dreams never seemed to materialize and VR was relegated to the dustbin of history until the Oculus Rift debuted. 2017 saw the market explode with several companies, including Google and Samsung releasing VR headsets that can be used with your Android smartphone. And it doesn’t end there. Companies like Sony and HTC have released their own headsets that can be used with the Playstation 4 and PC. One has to wonder how long before Apple jumps into the game.
Well that’s it folks. 2017 has come and gone and what an awesome year for technology it was. 2018 will no doubt be just as big of a year, but until then, leave a comment below and let me know what your thoughts were on the biggest tech stories of 2017 were.