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7 Most Amazing Smartphone Features We’ve Seen this Year




In 2013, we saw better hardware, Touch ID fingerprint scanners, waterproof phones, and even curved displays in the form of the Galaxy Round and the G Flex. This year, we have a new set of features that debuted in smartphones – so without further ado, let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. Heart Rate Monitor

back-galaxys5

Aside from water-resistance and the fingerprint scanner added in the Galaxy S5, Samsung went on and introduced a heart rate monitor on the back of their flagship phone. Some may argue about its reliability, but it works great paired with S-Health. For a few people, this might even have removed the need for additional fitness devices, and with Samsung keeping it in devices like the Galaxy Alpha and the new Galaxy Notes, the company clearly has no plans on abandoning it just yet.

2. Laser Autofocus

While Samsung has placed every feature idea that they can on their phones regardless of necessity, LG has taken something that has existed already on digital cameras and placed it on their LG G3 – it’s laser autofocus.

lgg3-button

Basically, this allows the device to shoot lasers into a subject to detect depth, allowing faster focus for the camera. Other companies have taken different approaches to how they’ll achieve faster focusing, but this technology takes the cake for us this year.

3. Better Rear Cameras

Cameras get undoubtedly better every year, but this year, smartphone manufacturers have introduced shooting modes for imitating bokeh, duo cameras on HTC devices, and even 240fps video on the new iPhones.

htc-onem8-camera

The Galaxy Note 3 had 4K video already back in 2013, so it isn’t really a new thing this year, but you do have to note that it gained more attention and maturity in 2014.

4. Better Selfie Cameras

This year wasn’t only about rear cameras improving; this was also, in a way, a year of selfies! We’ve seen higher resolution selfie cameras this year, and we’ve even seen front-facing LED flashes up front in the likes of the Xperia C3.

oppo-n1-manila

If that wasn’t crazy enough, there were several devices this year with rotating cameras that act both as the front and the rear shooter (ex. Oppo N1, N3). Then, it all goes up to the ultimate selfie phone which is the HTC Desire Eye, from hardware to software.

5. 2560 x 1440 QHD displays

Led by phones like the Oppo Find 7 and the LG G3, devices started getting crazy high resolutions towards the second half of 2014. We thought 1080p was enough last year, but apparently not since we have exceeded pixel densities beyond 500ppi.

note4-gaming

We don’t think we’ll be seeing higher resolutions next year just yet as manufacturers have yet to solve performance and battery issues with current handsets. Nevertheless, our displays just keep getting better.

6. Fast Charging

Since battery capacities are getting larger every year to power our smartphones, charging them takes more time. It was the latter part of the year when the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 started boasting a feature called fast charging. However, we think Oppo started it all with their VOOC on the Find 7a.

nexus-6

We don’t think this one needs further explanation as it really is just about charging your smartphone faster (imagine 30% full in 5 minutes, 70% full in 30 minutes). It might not seem much, but it is useful if you need to juice up fast on the go.

7. Virtual Reality

samsung-gearvr

The Oculus Rift and virtual reality as a whole is cool and badass – but what if you can have that not just on your gaming consoles but also on your smartphone? Google released kits and a simple device called Google Cardboard which allowed you to experience virtual reality easily. Samsung even takes it a step further by introducing Gear VR for the new Galaxy Notes. No doubt, virtual reality will be seen more of in the future.

8. Bendgate

When Apple introduced the iPhone 6 Plus, there was a hidden feature that can only be unlocked when you put it in your pocket – and everyone is calling it bendgate, allowing the iPhone 6 Plus to curve just like its Samsung competitor.

iPhone 6 Plus Note 3  bends

What were the smartphone features this year that blew you away? Feel free to leave it in the comment section down below.



Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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30 Responses

  1. Rozelle Reyes says:

    #8 made me Laughed hard. hahahahahahahaha and still on going. hahahaha

  2. fce says:

    No problem with the article except that perhaps the title should be ” 7 most amazing Android phone features we have seen this year ”
    All the features are paid tributes to Android O/S phones, with the exception of feature #8 LOL LOL LOL.

    Dude, I am not an Apple fan but listing #8 was a “low blow”. Not cool but maybe it was added in the list as a flame bait.

    Of all the listed features, only the fast charging battery appeals to me. The rest are all gimmicks that I can do without. Just my opinion on this.
    How about other features that are more relevant to the primary use of phone, as a communication tool. like frequency signal, reception, connectivity, etc.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      The article was written as it is, with the 8th as crossed-out to inject some sense of humor into the article.

      Sorry if it did not come out as funny to iPhone users.

      As for the features you mentioned, we think those are old ones and were not introduced/popularized in 2104. That’s why they were not included.

  3. peeyaj says:

    Ang bobo talaga ng bob freking na to sa paglista sa no. 8.. T%nga ka ba talaga, tol? O gusto mo lang magtroll?

    Feature ba yung bendgate? Yuga, tanggalin mo na tong si Bob Freking sa site mo.. #metangangwritersayugatech

  4. Felipe says:

    ito ba ang totoong contact ng lazada

    Calixto M. Egot
    Metro Manila
    09193301175
    [email protected]

    may bibilin kasi aklo na unit
    check lang if totoo po ito

  5. Papy says:

    I like the idea of having a rotating camera. It just seems like such a waste that you have a better camera on the rear of the phone, but then you can’t use it for selfies or video conferencing. Having one good camera do double duty makes sense, as long as it can be built to last.

  6. Al says:

    Funny nung 8.. anyways, for those who complains, its just a joke, why so serious? besides, it will not affect the sales of iphone… just be cool ok? just for a moment.

  7. sharingan_yeah says:

    Napaka se-sensitive niyo naman, kala mo naman afford ang iPhone 6 plus.

  8. ewanlangha says:

    parang may nakalimutan dito ah,

    yung Edge? ng Note Edge?
    di ba kasali yan dito?

  9. Pedro says:

    hahaha #8 made my day!

  10. penduko says:

    Yugatech = Troll
    show some class writers..

  11. Neil says:

    It’s kinda sad that Bob is amazed by the heart rate monitor. It’s totally old tech and not even a hardware “feature”; it’s all software. I don’t know if they released on Android but iOS has had a heart rate monitor since 2010 and was even covered in CNN and NYT: https://appsto.re/us/ShMAy.i

    Research. Do some. Nice jab on the iPhone, though. It might have been funny if it wasn’t so stale. Seriously, where else is that still being talked about? Besides, this isn’t some random forum. Yugatech, keep it professional, please.

    • Manenay says:

      It is hardware if it uses specialized sensor to accurately measure heart rate and not just the phone’s camera. Otherwise, some android developers would have made an application similar to what you’ve just posted. Seriously, know your hardware vs software and the underlying technology behind these things.

    • Neil says:

      Hi.

      Did you even follow the link? Or are Android cameras so backward for the last 4 years since, as the saying goes, there’s literally an app for that that ran on an iPhone 4S in 2010?

      Just so you know, the only technology required besides the actual camera and the software is the flash. The way the Samsung S5 does it is exactly the same with how the iOS app does it. Now, I don’t know if you’re a sock puppet but either way, what did I say about research again?

      A quick Google and I found a highly-rated heart rate app for Android by Runtastic (which also puts out great iOS apps) here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runtastic.android.heartrate.lite

      So yeah, other Android phones that are not the Samsung S5 *can* have it. You seriously couldn’t take 5 seconds to check if it or a similar app exists on Android? Who doesn’t know his/her hardware and software now?

    • Anti-iSheep says:

      STFU apple fanboy. don’t be such like a crying kid bullied by real men (android users)

    • iSheep 2 FloatUrBoat says:

      WORD! Samsung’s ”heart rate” monitor utilizes laser and light sensors, pretty much what iOS apps had been using for the past years. And yes, it might be a case of software vs hardware but what good would it make if the “hardware feature” is not even reliable? How is it amazing if it can’t return an accurate measurement on a regular basis?

      And iSheep? Really? Tss. Fandroid.

  12. Tony says:

    Virtual reality is the most promising feature. Fast charging is hindi masyado kasi people look forward to Solar or wireless charging tho tina try na ng companies pero bubble pa rin gang ngayon.

    Heart rate monitor? Totally useless! Lahat na yata ng pwedeng ilagay e nagawa na ng samsung. Note edge? Alam naman ng lahat na madaling magasgas yung gilid ng smartphones. Project ara by google should also be one.

    Hindi rin maganda yung rotating camera. Pwede naman ng lakihan na lang yung front camera.

  13. inday cleopatra says:

    this is a repost from phonearena! :(

  14. Tinoy says:

    Napaka-bias nito. Especially number 8. Yeah I know its seven pero what’s the point of putting number 8?

  15. isheep says:

    hahaha nagpapanic n c samsung kc nilalampaso n cla ni apple.. kya ilalabas n nila ang S6 ng mas maaga… mlamang bulok n nmn tong phone n to kc minadali…

  16. justhere says:

    High blood ? for the no. 8? I dont see the point blowing the author. Class ? do we need to criticize his legibility as a writer for that simple joke?

  1. December 14, 2014

    […] Yugatech.com, a site dedicated to all things technology, recently published an article that showcases the best smartphone features of the year! Here are some features that really impressed us. For the full list, click here: 7 Most Amazing Smartphone Features We’ve Seen this Year. […]

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