Smartphones in 2018: the half year report

01 July 2018
It's hard to believe that we're halfway through 2018! So let's press 'pause' for a second and look back at the phones launched this year, pull out some stats and identify some of the key trends for 2018 to date

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  • BLS NE
  • 40%
  • 01 Jul 2018

The state of phones this year is dismal. The prospect of buying a decently fast phone with long battery life and basic features (OS updates) at a reasonable price (300 USD or less) is dwindling by the week.

You can buy a very breakable top-end glass phone for 800-1000 USD. Or you can go the cheap route and buy a phone that is missing at least 2-3 basic features like OS updates.

Manufacturers are most interested in putting a stupid notch on their phones so they can charge 200 USD more for it, than providing any real value.

Just say NO.

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    • Luxor
    • uC0
    • 01 Jul 2018

    I'm actually surprised side mounted fps is at 2% meanwhile under display fps is at 3%. Looks like there will be an increasing trend on that regard soon. It also relief me to see most phone released on Oreo. It also nice on average most phone are 64gb/4gb variant. I like that. So much to say but lets not make lengthy essay here. Thanks Gsmarena.

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      • AnonD-754421
      • r2S
      • 01 Jul 2018

      Shanti Dope, 01 Jul 2018Oh, you mean that EIS that every flagship phone nowadays ha... moreYou're totally wrong, OIS with even a 2 stop advantage (a lot in photography, but low by modern OIS standards) will help in many scenes, you get more useable shots if your hands aren't steady, and even if they are, it allows for longer shutter time which means lower ISOs, which more often than not helps improve image quality because smartphone sensors are still very limiting in this aspect, and each stop lower makes a pretty significant difference.

      As for EIS, there is no EIS for stills, unless you mean frame merge which presents its own set of problems, and also will not engage unless the shutter time is exceptionally long, meaning it's useless at 1/100s-1s where OIS makes a difference.

        Xsever, 01 Jul 2018The unit for RAM is GB not MB. The chart needs that typo fi... moreOr Thousands of MB. You could technically write in the reference "In thousands MB" And it'll be considered as GB.
        (For the nitpickers, 1GB is 1024 MB fyi)

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          • Xsever
          • a0A
          • 01 Jul 2018

          The unit for RAM is GB not MB. The chart needs that typo fixed. Thanks for the great report.

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            • User
            • L13
            • 01 Jul 2018

            The waterproofing comparison certainly doesn't make any sense. It separates IP68 and all others, even though IP67 is already quite waterproof, and less is usually no waterproofing at all.

              S6 User, 01 Jul 2018Thanks GSMA for your meticulous observations. 2 decades ... moreI agree with you here on so many levels!
              Well said!

                [deleted post]I did. And I was like:
                "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh my god WHAT???"
                they probably meant GB though

                  Impressive database. You made up for not publishing the Top 10 list last week. I see what you were working on. Thanks!

                    WAPC1, 01 Jul 2018Phones have been just getting bigger and that's a deal brea... moreOh, you mean that EIS that every flagship phone nowadays have??
                    Sony knows what they're doing. The XZ2 has a camera that's on par with something like the S9, and that is without OIS and a narrower f/2.0 lens. We still have the XZ2 Premium with brighter f/1.8 lens, and an additional monochrome 12MP f/1.6 sensor with 1.55um pixel size.

                    You know why Sony never bothered at putting OIS?? It's because it saves some space without really affecting the overall image quality. That's why the XZ Premium was able to have a 1/2.3" sensor in a 7.3mm thick body and still no camera bulge.
                    OIS will only be effective when the sensor can optically zoom up to at least 5x, where a good hardware stabilization is really needed. Otherwise, EIS will be enough for software zooming.
                    Plus, it won't put some unnecessary wobbling effect when stabilizing.

                      Rick, 01 Jul 2018Just install custom roms, such as lineageOS to get the late... moreOnly if I have enough knowledge on how to do them
                      I only root my phones after I replace them with a newer and better one, and even then I remain unsuccessful at doing something despite the fact that I'm following every single step on most tutorials

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                        • WAPC1
                        • Hq4
                        • 01 Jul 2018

                        Phones have been just getting bigger and that's a deal breaker along with no 3.5mm jack & expandable storage also no OIS(looking at you Sony especially your crap EIS) and why you would buy this year when 5G is coming next year.
                        At this moment no one is making anything deserving of my money and they are charging way to much $1200+ here in Australia is ludicrous.

                          Alien , 01 Jul 2018S9+ and maybe the LG G7 ThinQ. The rest don't have the SD ... moreBut G7 have it lol
                          Don't care about notch hide feature, since you could get it on Play Store for easy.

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                            • Alien
                            • 3RM
                            • 01 Jul 2018

                            S9+ and maybe the LG G7 ThinQ.
                            The rest don't have the SD card slot or they have a NOtch bleahh => NOtch buying it!

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                              • AnonD-754421
                              • w1b
                              • 01 Jul 2018

                              Jamesschwarz987, 01 Jul 2018But not only stupid trends, in this year finally some vendo... more1/2.55" is basically the standard even in current flagships, unfortunately, while Huawei chose to come up with an eccentric "quad bayer" 1/1.7" which performs considerably worse on its own than a regular 1/2.55" bayer, just not helping.

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                                • RTX
                                • LeY
                                • 01 Jul 2018

                                travis999, 01 Jul 2018So the non-usefulness trend continues. Very pricey bad sna... moreIts always nice to see people that still have some sense. Prices are getting astronomically high and manufacturers don't bother justifying them and that's probably cause with a thousand dollars price tag there is no fuking way to justify it. HTC used to make great phones, I still love my m8 and desire eye but now its just another overpriced piece a junk like any other smartphone despite packing some innovation. Nokia was the undisputed king of phone Industry and even in dark days of windows phone they still delivered decent such as lumia 1020 but now its a wolf under sheepskin, owned by a Chinese company that basically just uses the name to sell his crap. Hopefully someday people will understand how things are

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                                  • S6 User
                                  • nGb
                                  • 01 Jul 2018

                                  Thanks GSMA for your meticulous observations.

                                  2 decades ago, alot of us asked ourselves,
                                  'Do we need a mobile phone?';
                                  Now they are essential.

                                  Glad to see batteries getting bigger & better, especially since they're sealed & not user replaceable.
                                  Small sealed batteries was part of planned obsolescence.

                                  Planned obsolescence (manufacturers shortening the life of your product so that you need to buy another one) should be discouraged & indeed made illegal, especially if they affect your safety.

                                  Surely it's better to have the choice to either hang on, hand down or sell your handset, sharing the good experience that you had.
                                  Freeing you up to buy the latest & greatest, a win win for both company & consumer.

                                  But instead of this, the safe enjoyable life of your device is shortened.

                                  Getting 3 annual OS updates over the period of time that they're selling the product is reasonable, but to stop sharing the Security Updates the moment they stop selling is not, especially with the huge rise in Cyber Crime.

                                  The point is with these phones increasing from 100's into the 1'000's of £, $ or €uro's, less of us buy these phones on day 1, or even in year 1.

                                  Currently you can buy yourself a brand new smartphone from a top brand without realising that you won't be receiving any Security Updates from day 1.

                                  There should be a minimum of 2 years Security Updates from when they stop selling the phone, and a minimum of 5 years protection from when it was first available).

                                  Maybe 'Security support' could also be included in these reports?
                                  Even if it's just how long they shared their Security Updates after launch ;)

                                  Design & Build (Size):

                                  I think we're topping out on the height of these handsets & I'm not a big fan of tall & skinny,
                                  Not >18.5:9 (2:1) ratio,
                                  18.5:9, is fine but not taller for me & if I can't fit it in my pocket, I'm not gonna buy it.

                                  These fragile designs also need to be put in a case, or even a charger case making them less pocktable.

                                  Consumers shouldn't have anything forced upon them,16:9 ratio screen should still be an option for Small & Medium sized handsets.

                                  I think some people were quick to dismiss foldable phablets, it'll be interesting.

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                                    • ragael
                                    • 3Y2
                                    • 01 Jul 2018

                                    wow 4.3MB RAM average niceee!!!

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                                      • sadh
                                      • tDQ
                                      • 01 Jul 2018

                                      Avg = (Xi * X) + ... + (Xn * X) / n

                                        travis999, 01 Jul 2018So the non-usefulness trend continues. Very pricey bad sna... moreI Totally agree, the prices have just become ridiculous for no particular increase in usefulness. I'd rather buy a last year flagship which price have now reduced by half than any of this year crappy phone that cost more than they offer.