We’ve mentioned this before, but high-end Android smartphones nowadays hardly differentiate themselves through sheer hardware specifications. Most top-tier handsets offer the same Snapdragon 800 processor, roughly the same amount of RAM, full HD screen resolution and more or less the same amount of storage. As such, most manufacturers have focused on differentiating their products through design, camera capabilities, software enhancements through proprietary user interfaces, and by implementing other technologies such as fingerprint scanners. It seems that every company out there has its own philosophy on how to make their products stand out. For instance, Sony has focused on making its high-end smartphones waterproof, whereas HTC emphasized greatly on the all-aluminum unibody design.
In other words, it’s not all about hardware performance, and there’s a lot of money going into R&D. Some technologies work, others don’t. The latest (somewhat failed) attempt to make things interesting came from both Samsung and LG, when they’ve launched the Galaxy Round and the G Flex respectively – both of which deliver a flexible display. But, this is not the only type of new technology that these giants are working on, and since Samsung is the biggest spender in the R&D department, you can bet that the Korean giant has a lot of clever ideas that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
Will Solar Powered Smartphones Become The Norm?
One of the oldest concepts that haven’t really managed to break into the mainstream is the idea of having a solar powered smartphone. Both Apple and Samsung have worked on this type of technology for quite a while, but now we’re getting fresh reports, indicating that at least one company might have made some real progress in this direction.
Some of you might already know this, but last month Apple has applied for patenting its solar charging technologies for the iPhone. Fresh reports now indicate that Apple has actually continued to work on this tech, and according to the Korean media, the Cupertino-based giant might’ve come up with a feasible way of implementing solar charging into its future smartphones.
More interesting for Android enthusiasts, is the fact that Samsung might also focus more on this type of technology in the near(ish) future. Sources claim that, while the company’s main efforts are currently directed towards displays, Sammy is soon going to shift its attention towards solar charging as well. It sounds to me like Apple and Samsung will once again battle it out in an attempt to be the first company to deliver this tech to the masses.
Without taking any sides, we should remind you that Samsung has a lot of experience in the solar power charging field. Back in 2009, the Korean giant has unveiled a solar powered smartphone called “Blue Earth” (image above). However, the technology was too young and the device never made it under the spotlight. More so, back in 2011, the Korean company also launched a laptop boasting solar power charging capabilities, dubbed the “Samsung Sense NC 215″. Unfortunately, this device failed to make an impact as well, simply because, once again, the technology was too young. The laptop was able to regain its juice by sitting in the sunlight for 2 hours, after which the laptop would run for only one hour. Not ideal.
But, we’re nearly in 2014, and the technology has evolved. Could this be the way of the future? Can Apple and Samsung deliver solar powered smartphones that would actually work in the real world? I suppose only time will tell.