7 gadgets and technologies to watch out for in 2023
While 2022 was a year for interactive upgrades in terms of smartphones, 2023 is shaping up to be the year that paves the way for tech in the years to come. The flagship smartphone launches have already begun with the iQOO 11 5G announcement. The next device to look forward to is the Galaxy S23 Ultra which launches on February 1, followed by the OnePlus 11 on February 7. The first half of the year will be jam-packed with slab phone announcements leading up to the Mobile World Congress in late February to early March.
CES 2023 also showcased various new technologies that could be coming to the next device you buy, and the Qi2 wireless charging standard is one of them. Apple is helping the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) to introduce the Qi2 wireless charging solution to the Android world.
The mobile world will see a new foldable rise in the form of Google Pixel Fold expected in May, so Samsung will finally see competition in the foldable segment in markets aside from Europe and China. It will lead up to the launch of new Samsung foldable in August, and the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 around September.
The more exciting launches will come in the second and third quarters of 2023. Apple is rumored to be gearing up to introduce its first AR/VR headset, which is speculated to be called the Apple Reality headset. It could potentially change the way we interact with AR/VR content. While the company has already launched new M2 chips alongside its latest MacBook Pros, the much-anticipated 15-inch MacBook Air is still under wraps.
Here are the gadgets and tech trends you need to watch out for in 2023.
1 SmartphonesSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The first Samsung flagship of the year will be launched on February 1. It is said to feature a simpler design language. The phone will be powered by the latest Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, paired with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. On the optics side, it will have a 200 MP primary camera, alongside an ultrawide-angle sensor and two telephoto cameras for 3x and 10x optical zooming needs. The pre-orders are already open, and you can expect it to be released by mid-February.
2 Google Pixel Fold
Since the launch of the first Galaxy Fold in India, Samsung has had virtually no competition. The Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold series are the only options for you if you want to buy a foldable smartphone. However, 2023 could be the year when foldables penetrate further into the smartphone market because of more competition.
The Pixel Fold is an exciting proposition because the design leaks show it to be more of an Oppo Find N-like foldable than the Galaxy Z Fold 4. For the unaware, the latest Galaxy Z Fold features a slim front display, which is hard to type on. Moreover, most of the apps have scaling issues on the display. These two are major problems solved by the China-exclusive Oppo Find N and N2.
The Pixel Fold will feature the Find N-like design. As per the leaked renders, unfolding the Pixel Fold would give you a large tablet-like display in landscape orientation. There are big bezels on the top and bottom of the inner screen. The top bezel could hide a 9.5MP camera for selfies and video calls. The Google Pixel Fold is not confirmed to make its way to India, but you can expect it to go official at Google’s I/O in May 2023.
3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
For years, the Samsung Galaxy Fold lineup has had a “crease problem”. If you don’t know, the screen on Galaxy Folds doesn’t sit flat. But it could change with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. As per some accounts, Samsung will change the hinge design on the Fold 5, which will change the way we interact with the Galaxy Fold series.
As for speculations, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is expected to sport better optics in the same three-camera design. It will still work with an S-Pen but don’t expect an S-Pen slot in the device. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is likely to launch by August 2023 and will be Samsung’s second flagship of the year after the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
4 iPhone 15
The base iPhone 15 is likely to be the most popular choice among Indian consumers in 2023. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the iPhone 15 will get Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro. The feature was introduced in 2022 and was kept limited to the Pro models. It is likely to be powered by the in-house A16 chipset. Other than that, there’s nothing major rumored for the next iPhone. You can expect the same dual camera hardware and no design changes when it launches in September 2023.
AR/VR headsets:HTC Vive XR Elite
HTC announced its Vive XR Elite at CES 2023. It is the latest version of HTC's VR/AR headset and might be the best Vive so far when it's released in late February for $1,099. The India launch date and price remain unknown for now.
With the Vive XR Elite, the company has shrunk the VR headset down to almost normal glasses size, which is a big deal for any AR/VR headset. It features adjusting dials or diopters that can change the lens prescription in real-time, so you won’t have to wear glasses or contact lenses to operate the headset.
5 Apple Reality headset
The Apple AR/VR headset is touted to be the next big product from the house of Apple since the iPhone launch in 2007. You can expect it to launch later this year. It is expected to redefine the AR/VR industry and open new ways to interact with the technology. With the kind of support Apple has from developers, the company has a lot going for it.
The Apple Reality headset is speculated to be incredibly lightweight, as the battery could be worn around the waist. It is tipped to feature a hot-swap design for the battery, which will make the reported one to two hours of battery life digestible. The new Apple product could be made out of aluminum, carbon fiber and glass, while offering a very high-resolution display and thin optics. It is rumored to offer a 120-degree field of view that would surpass other VR headsets.
One reason why the Quest 2 or the HTC Vive haven’t breached the divide between AR/VR and consumers is that there are not many developers making apps for the currently available hardware. However, the Apple Reality headset could change that with its Reality Kit software, while the hugely popular Unity developer kit might also be supported. That being said, it would still be challenging for Apple to justify the rumored $2,000-3,000 price of its headset. A new report from Bloomberg also claims that Apple is already looking to make a cheaper alternative for its Reality headset, which could be launched in 2024.
6 Wireless TVs
CES is a big show for TVs. From Sony to LG, all the big names showcased their flagship lineups of the year at CES. While Sony didn’t showcase any Bravia TV this year (which is a bit odd), Samsung and LG went all-in with OLED. But the standout TV was the $3000 wireless one announced by a company called Displace.
The Displace wireless TV relies on batteries rather than a power cord, which makes it truly wireless. And if you are anything like me, hating a messy wired situation going on with their tech, this must be exciting news. However, convenience comes at a cost. Since there are batteries, they’ll be needing charges. According to the company, if you were to use the TV for six hours each day, you’ll have to recharge the batteries at the end of the month.
7 Qi2 wireless charging
I love having wireless chargers on my desk but there are times that the phone rings or vibrates and my phone slips from the charger, thus pausing the charge. Apple came with the MagSafe charging that solves this exact problem by using magnets. And now, the company is working with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) to introduce Qi2 (pronounced chi-2) wireless charging solution.
Qi2’s magnetic power profile opens the door to an entire future ecosystem of snap-on accessories. It is a much-needed upgrade from the Qi wireless charging standard for convenience as well as functionality. And it’s always lovely to see companies using the standards to make things that reduce friction between consumers and their products.
In a statement given to The Verge, the WPC said that it will also mandate the size and strength of magnets to ensure a strong connection. While Qi2 is likely to be made available in 2023 for phones and earbuds, the consortium says it will bring an updated Qi2.1 wireless charging standard that will add support for smartwatches and tablets around mid-2024.