TECH
17/12/2018 10:28 AM IST | Updated 17/12/2018 10:28 AM IST

5 Tech Gadgets To Look Out For in 2019

From smartphones and tablets, to the technologies that will change how we use our devices, this is what we're looking forward to in 2019.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

As 2018 draws to a close, it is time to not just look back at a year that was super hectic in terms of technology but also ahead to what the next year might have in store for us. Of course, we do not have official announcements and even nomenclature at the time of writing, but there has been enough rumour and talk in the market to give us a fair indication of what 2019 might have in store for us in terms of gadgets and technology.

1. OnePlus TV

Smart televisions are growing more common, and in 2019 OnePlus will join the fray as well. Rumor has it that it will support both Google Home and Amazon Echo, although it’s not clear whether OnePlus will go with the standard Android TV interface. It’s possible that like rival Xiaomi’s Patchwall, OnePlus will also go with a custom solution, the way ti uses Oxygen OS on its phones. Many are saying the OnePlus TV will also have a unique design, with very unusual materials, but at the same time, it’s expected to be priced very competitively. While the Xiaomi Mi TV was a trendsetter in 2018, it might be OnePlus that takes the trend forward in 2019.

2. Apple iPad 2019

Although Apple has the only tablet that’s been truly successful in the market, the company has continued to try new things, such as the introduction of its iPad Pro range. But while these high-end devices get a lot of the hype, the basic iPad could emerge as the real star of 2019, just as it did in 2018.

The 2018 edition delivered a very good tablet experience in viewing and performance terms, and perhaps, most importantly also came with Apple Pencil integration, allowing even those with slim budgets to use Apple’s excellent stylus.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
A current generation Apple iPad.

 

If rumours are anything to go by, the next iPad will follow the iPhone XR format, and come with a smaller, lower resolution display but with some serious processing power and also with support for the new version Apple Pencil, along with the ability to charge it wirelessly.

 

Round that off with a price tag that should remain within reach for most people, and you can understand why we are so looking forward to this tablet rather than the next Pro iteration.

3. Qualcomm 8cx powered laptops

The announcement of a new flagship processor from Qualcomm might have hogged the headlines at its recent event in Hawaii, but perhaps the most important announcement to have come from the chip giant was that it had finally made what seemed like a full-fledged processor for notebooks.

Qualcomm processors have been seen in notebooks in the past, but those were seen as slightly boosted up versions of their mobile counterparts. However, with the 8cx, Qualcomm has come out with a chip that is designed mainly for notebooks. While it is unlikely to give heavy duty notebooks a run for their money in the gaming and graphics-editing department, but for those seeking a portable device with fantastic battery life (some estimates are putting it at 20 hours while connected to 4G/LTE), the 8cx notebooks (or tablets) could just be perfect.

Lenovo’s Yoga and Asus’ NovaGO series of devices are favourites to get this new chip first, and rumour is rife that the chip could give Chromebooks just the sort of push they need to really go mainstream.

4. Poco F2

We know that people will be looking forward to foldable phones from just about everyone, a new iPhone from Apple, the new Note from Samsung, the next Pixel from Google, the OnePlus 7 and so on, but we are going to go out on a limb and say that the phone we really are looking forward to is the next one from Xiaomi’s sub-brand, Poco.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Poco F1.

 

The reason is simple: if the first device was anything to go by, the second one will offer high-end specifications and decent software at a surprisingly affordable price. That could mean something as powerful as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with 6 or 8GB of RAM, and very good cameras at a price that is closer to $350-400 than the near-$1000 price tags many flagships are demanding of consumers. With other “medium-range” phones getting more expensive, it’s good to know that some options will remain.

It will probably not be the most innovative flagship of the year, but it could well turn out to be the most affordable, and that also counts for a lot.

5. 5G powered devices

We are keeping an open mind here—any mainstream device, be it phone, tablet, television, or notebook, that works on a 5G connection, is going to be one to look out for. Don’t expect this in India right away—we’re still adopting 4G here. But 5G rollouts are going to take place in parts of the world, and they’re going to have a huge impact.

 

Whatever device it is that gets on to a 5G network, it will pretty much redefine the connected experience as we know it. It will take time for widespread 5G networks, and affordability will take even longer, but if Reliance Jio proved one thing, it’s that the companies can accomplish this if they’re willing to spend a little of their money.

Come the latter half of 2019, and many gadgets should start dipping their toes tentatively into speedy 5G waters (although not Apple, if rumours are to be believed).

The reason is simple: if the first device was anything to go by, the second one will offer high-end specifications and decent software at a surprisingly affordable price. That could mean something as powerful as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with 6 or 8GB of RAM, and very good cameras at a price that is closer to $350-400 than the near-$1000 price tags many flagships are demanding of consumers. With other “medium-range” phones getting more expensive, it’s good to know that some options will remain.

It will probably not be the most innovative flagship of the year, but it could well turn out to be the most affordable, and that also counts for a lot.