If you thought 2017 was a great year for technology, let's raise the curtains on the awesome new tech launches awaiting you in 2018.
Smartphone companies are going full throttle to offer pro camera features, and that’s a good thing. Because competition is good, especially for the consumer. After all, the big boys of the camera world aren’t throwing in the towel yet. Several launches are expected in 2018, both on the compact camera and DSLR front, but if you ask me, mirrorless will be the buzzword.
To start things off, Fujifilm will launch the much-awaited X-H1, which should be a worthy successor to the already mega-awesome X-T2 camera. The upcoming model is rumoured to sport built-in image stabilization, which is a first for Fuji.
However, that won’t be the only launch. Camera giant, Canon, has resisted the full-frame mirrorless plunge, but I reckon it will be taking the dive for good in 2018. Nikon too, is all set to launch its full-frame mirrorless cameras in September at the Photokina. It is rumoured that the camera will use the 45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor plucked from the amazing D850. I am not complaining.
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Mixed Reality Headsets
I am absolutely stoked at the possibilities these mixed reality headsets can usher in. While we did get a taste of Virtual Reality via the HTC Vive and Oculus headsets, things will heat up even more in 2018.
To begin with, Oculus will launch its Go headset, solving a few issues that I faced with the current offerings. First, it will be cheaper (around $200), second, and more importantly it will be a standalone device, which means that I won’t need to slide my smartphone inside the unit and experience awkward VR, nor will I need to connect it to a PC. To offer the best-in-class visual experience, the unit will also make use of a fast-switching 2560X1440pixel LCD display. This will reduce overall lag and Oculus has assured us that the lenses used are a notch above the ones currently used.
There is one more headset I am looking forward to twice as much – the Magic Leap One. It’s been under development for some time now, and the company has finally released official images and a tentative launch date - late 2018. The device will be connected to a small personal computer called Lightpack that you can latch on to your pocket. It also manages to sport 6 tracking cameras on the inside along with spatial sonics for an all-involving virtual experience.
Smartphones and Tablets
If you thought 2017 was the year for stellar smartphone launches, you’re in for a mega year in 2018. We’ll see the launch of some much-awaited devices at the mecca of tech shows - CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2018 – with more at the Mobile World Congress.
Samsung will launch more than one smartphone. While the flagship Galaxy S9 will debut with all fanfare, I am more thrilled about its Galaxy X bendable display smartphone. While this sounds too good to be true, you cannot ignore a confirmation coming from the president of Samsung’s mobile division.
Apple and Google too are plan launches of their latest flagships and budget models in the fourth quarter of the year. This means you will have to wait just a bit for the iPhone 9, its variants and the Google Pixel 3.
On the tablet front, the launch of the iPad Pro X should be thrilling. It will sport a bezel-less design like the iPhone X. It will also have face-tracking and a stonking good camera plucked straight from the X.
Audio and Visual
While Amazon and Google have launched their connected home speakers, we can expect similar products from Samsung and Apple this year.
Samsung should launch its Smart Speaker in the first quarter of 2018 – I believe we might get to see a glimpse of it at CES 2018. You can expect it to be priced at the Rs 20,000 mark. It will run Bixby, with the primary focus being audio quality and the ability to manage connected home appliances.
Another massive launch that is most awaited comes from Cupertino. Apple was supposed to make the HomePod available in stores in 2017, but because of delays, it will finally be in-store in early 2018. While things look exciting on the aural front, it should be a visually spectacular year too with LG launching its next gen 8-series of OLED TVs and Samsung all set to debut its high-end range of TVs at CES.
Now that you've had a glimpse of what’s in stock for us in 2018, what are you most excited for?
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