2019 is here all of a sudden (Happy New Year!) and I feel like we should be looking at what’s to come. We should be getting excited about the next wave of tech, right?
We should be speculating on who or what the big winner of 2019 will be, analyzing every meaningless Galaxy S10 rumor, wondering how early the Russian blog reviews of pre-production Pixel 4 units will arrive, and preparing to laugh at the 110th story written about this year being HTC’s last chance. No? Should we look at our wallets and apologize for the 5G future they will soon experience or pre-write a story about why T-Mobile and Sprint weren’t actually able to lower prices after merging?
The Galaxy S10 will fully usher in an era of hole-punch phone displays, which will undeniably be better than last year’s notch era. But what else are phone companies doing to get us to upgrade? I guess everyone will now copy Google’s Night Sight, and that’s great. Camera improvements will always be welcomed. What else, though? Displays, which are already large and surrounded by less bezel will get slightly larger with even smaller bezels. There’ll (unfortunately) be glass on glass on glass still. We really all going to do these bad gradient paint jobs? Is 2019 really going to be the year of gradients? I’m assuming that more headphone jacks will disappear, more dongles will be required, battery tech won’t improve or bring us longer charge life, and updates will remain as slow as ever for non-Google or Android One phones. Samsung will fold shit too at prices most will want no part of.
Let’s see, what else can I complain about. Oh! Essential is making an “AI” phone which is, lol. If Google sticks to its trend of finalizing hardware to match design trends 8 months too early, the Pixel 4 might be another Pixel 3 XL. There could be a mid-range Pixel 3 line-up coming, which exists for reasons I cannot yet understand, because we know they won’t be reasonably priced for the tech offered – this is Google we’re talking about.
Smartwatches running Wear OS are fully doomed since we’re relying on Qualcomm to provide all chips, even as they show no interest in or motivation to actually provide improved chips. We might need a Wear OS update to realize some of the potential of the 3100, but come on, nothing is really going to help this old ass silicon.
I think Android TV will see a big boost this year as Google ramps up availability and adds a bunch of new partners. That’s great, because Android TV provides a solid media experience today, I’m just not sure more devices running an experience that’s been out for a year is something to get sweaty about.
Chrome OS tablets are supposed to be a thing, but Google’s Pixel Slate feels like all the reason to not get excited there. I can’t even bring myself to review the thing, it’s so bad. It’s jittery in tablet mode (fix coming!), all of the keyboards for it are awful to use, it weighs 8,000lbs, Android app support for it is not good, and the price is embarrassingly high.
2019 won’t be the year of 5G no matter what carriers and their partners tell you. 2019’s version of 5G is going to suck. It’s going to be super limited and expensive. You’ll be misled about it. It won’t change your life. Maybe it will in 3-4 years, just not this year.
Ugh. 2019. Please surprise me. Someone tell me what I can be excited about.