Tech predictions: New smartphones for 2015

Phones are about to get bigger and a lot better. We reveal what's in store for smartphones in 2015. Also see: Best smartphones 2014/2015; Best Android phones 2014/2015; Best budget smartphones 2014/2015; Cheapest 4G phones 2014/2015; Best phablets 2014/2015; Best selfie smartphones 2014/2015 and Best dual-SIM smartphones 2014/2015.

It’s been another big year for smartphones, which have yet again been one of the most popular gadget sectors. Major handsets have been launched by Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, Google, Motorola and a raft of smaller rivals.

Although smartphones have, to an extent, hit a bit of a ceiling in terms of innovation and new technology we’re hoping for some interesting and useful breakthroughs next year.

Screen sizes have been increasing on average, with even Apple launching the massive 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus, but we saw little in the way of bendy or flexible screens. The LG G Flex was too big and more of a concept phone than a recommendable product while the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge was the most interesting, with its curved section on the side able to display different content to the main part.

In 2015 we’re hoping to see (but probably won’t) the next generation of the flexible screen in smartphones where the device itself is malleable rather than simply having a display fixed in a set arc. A phone you can properly fold or roll up would be cool and possible indestructible. The tech should also mean improvements in the wearable market where a curved and flexible screen makes so much sense.

An area we’ve seen almost no development in is battery life and it’s something we all want improvements in. The smartphone remains most consumers’ primary piece of daily tech and we desperately want to get back to the days of only charging a handset once a week or even less often.

Charging time will almost certainly be reduced, but that’s a smaller victory. Whether smartphone battery life improves by the battery packs themselves or more efficient components or a combination of the two, we should see a noticeable difference compared to this year’s devices. A new type of memory is touting battery life of multiple weeks. Also see: Best power banks 2014/2015, How to charge your phone or tablet faster and How to extend smartphone battery life.

Modular smartphones will make their debut next year and that’s an exciting, if not proven, concept. Google’s Project Ara is tipped to arrive as early as January. The idea is that you buy a phone but you can chop and change different parts of it as and when you please. It has the potential to completely turn the smartphone market on its head.

A modular smartphone is made up of building blocks, so you will be able to upgrade individual components just like you can with a desktop PC. If you fancy a new processor, more storage or a better camera, then just slide that module out and insert your new one. This concept is being developed by Phonebloks.

Last and in a way least, we could well be seeing fewer smartphones come to market than currently. Manufacturers such as HTC have already gone this way and the big player that is Samsung has announced it is going to cut the number of devices it produces by up to a third.

Also see: What's the fastest smartphone 2014/2015?