2017 tech roundup
2017 tech roundup

2017 year in review

2017 has been great year for many innovations starting with CES 2017 where number of companies unveiled their tech. There were new player with unique features such a Razer brought 120Hz display refresh rate for their phone. LG and Samsung brought 18:9 ratio screen and bezel-less display. we thought to shout a 2017 year in review to highlight some amazing technologies of 2017.

January

Dell Unveiled a 32-inch 8K Monitor

Dell UltraSharp UHD 8K monitor
Dell UltraSharp UHD 8K monitor

One of the biggest debuts at #CES 2017 was Dell’s incredible 32-inch 8K monitor. UltraSharp UHD 8K monitor features 33.2 million pixels (a resolution of 7680×4320) and delivers a pixel density of an astonishing 275 PPI. The retina standard for this monitor (the minimum distance required for the human eye to no longer be able to distinguish between pixels) is just 12 inches. On a standard 32-inch 4K monitor, that distance doubles to 25 inches.

#DeleteUber movement

During January 2017 the #DeleteUber movement led to a flurry of account deletions by customers upset about the company’s ties to President Trump. It lost more than 200,000 customers in just one weekend.

CEO Travis Kalanick resigned amid an investor revolt, many of Uber’s other top executives resigned or were forced out, shady business practices were revealed, and more than 20 employees were fired as a result of an investigation into bad behavior in the workplace that includes sexual harassment.

Asus Debuted Its New ZenFone AR

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Asus debuted their ZenFone AR, the first VR- and AR-capable smartphone on the market. While you’d expect it to be a bulky mess, the phone is exceptionally lightweight and slim, and features a tri-camera front display with a 23MP sensor and f/2.0 lens, 6GB of ram using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor oh, and a fucking headphone jack.

February

Xiaomi launched its own smartphone processor

Xiaomi Redmi
Xiaomi Redmi

Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi launched its own smartphone chips to cut its dependence on suppliers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek.

The move makes Xiaomi the fourth smartphone maker in the world – after Apple, Samsung Electronics and China’s Huawei Technologies – to have the ability to put processors designed in-house into commercial use through their devices.

Xiaomi’s Mi 5C, the first smartphone to be powered by the processor

Meizu technology can charge a smartphone in 20 minutes

Chinese smartphone maker Meizu claimed its Super mCharge technology can recharge batteries in as little as 20 minutes.

To prove its point, the company demonstrated the superfast charging capabilities during a press conference on the show floor of Mobile World Congress, which was held in Barcelona.

HMD Global unveil rebooted classic Nokia 3310 phone

HMD's Nokia
HMD’s Nokia

Nokia finally took the wraps off its rebooted feature phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today.

The Nokia 3310, released in 2000, sold 126 million units worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling mobile phone.

It achieved cult status due to its impressively long battery life, durability, and the addictive game Snake II.

Blackberry keynote unveiled

The Keyone, unveiled ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) tech show in Barcelona, has been built by Chinese manufacturer TCL Communication as part of a new deal to make BlackBerry phones.

BlackBerry has struggled to match many of its smartphone rivals in recent years, slipping to a 0% share of the global smartphone market earlier 2017, according to reports, having once been one of the biggest manufacturers in the world.

March

IBM unveiled Blockchain as a Service based on open source Hyperledger Fabric technology

“Blockchain as a Service” was unveiled by IBM, which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric, version 1.0 from The Linux Foundation.

IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service that customers can use to build secure blockchain networks. The company introduced the idea last year, but this is the first ready-for-primetime implementation built using that technology.

The blockchain is a notion that came into the public consciousness around 2008 as a way to track bitcoin digital-currency transactions. At its core blockchain is a transparent and tamper-proof digital ledger. Just as it could track bitcoin’s activity in a secure and transparent fashion, it’s capable of tracking other types of data in private blockchain networks.

April

Samsung unveiled S8 and S8+

Samsung galaxy s8 & s8 plus
Samsung galaxy s8 & s8 plus

Samsung has taken the covers off its latest flagship handsets, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. This launch may well be one of the worst kept tech “secrets” of 2017 so far, but that doesn’t mean there is no reason to be intrigued – even perhaps excited.

Baidu talked with several auto makers to use its technology

Baidu Inc. planned to share software technology it is developed for self-driving cars in a bid to catch up with competitors including General Motors Co. and Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Apple CEO Cook says ‘US will lose its leadership in technology’

“I think the U.S. will lose its leadership in technology if this doesn’t change,” Cook said to The Plainsman, the student newspaper at his alma mater. “Women are such an important part of the workforce. If STEM-related fields continue to have this low representation of women, then there just will not be enough innovation in the United States. That’s just the simple fact of it.”

May

HPE unveils ‘world’s largest’ single memory computer

A prototype computer with 160TB of memory has been unveiled by Hewlett Packard Enterprises. Designed to work on big data, it could analyse the equivalent of 160 million books at the same time, HPE said.

Single Memory Computer
Single Memory Computer

The device, called The Machine, had a Linux-based operating system and prioritised memory rather than processing power, the company said.

HPE said its Memory Driven Computing research project could eventually lead to a “near-limitless” memory pool.

“The secrets to the next great scientific breakthrough, industry-changing innovation or life-altering technology hide in plain sight behind the mountains of data we create every day,” said HPE boss Meg Whitman.

Lyft, Waymo Agreed to Work on Self-Driving Car Technology

In the race to the self-driving future, Lyft has agreed to work with Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google’s parent company, to bring autonomous vehicles to the masses.

The announcement comes as Waymo has accused Lyft’s biggest competitor, Uber, of stealing trade secrets from the company to advance its own self-driving operation.

Samsung is testing self-driving car technology in South Korea

The company’s home country of South Korea has approved Samsung’s plans to test self-driving cars on real roads, not just test courses. According to the Korea Herald, Samsung isn’t building cars itself. Instead, the company is working on developing sensors and computer parts that are backed up by its artificial intelligence and deep learning software.

June

VIVO unveiled under screen fingerprint demo

vivo onscreen fingerprint prototype
vivo onscreen fingerprint prototype

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has apparently become the first company to perfect a fingerprint sensor under the display of a smartphone. The company is about to introduce the technology, jointly, with Qualcomm, at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai.

water and dust proof, will support wet hand operations.

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, however, is widely rumored to have none of that. Instead, the fingerprint scanner is said to be embedded directly into the screen.

July

Jide shut down consumer products including Remix OS

Remix Ultra Tablet
Remix Ultra Tablet

#Jide Technology founded by x-googlers burst onto the scene with Remix Ultra Tablet (a Surface Pro clone) running the company’s own ‘Remix OS’ ROM in 2015, and later released Remix Mini a small desktop PC as well as a version of Remix OS for standard x86-based PCs.

Jide has posted a statement to its various social media profiles, explaining that the company is shifting away from consumer products:

Over the past year, we received an increasing number of inquiries from enterprises in various industries, and began helping them build great tools for their organizations by leveraging Jide software and hardware. We see huge potential in the role that Jide can play to revolutionize how these businesses operate. And given our existing resources, we decided to focus our company efforts solely on the enterprise space moving forward.

Tesla opened official store in Dubai near Burj Khalifa

Tesla Store Dubai
Tesla Store Dubai

Revolutionary electric car maker Tesla officially opens store in Middle East located at Shaikh Zayed Road near Dubai Mall next to Metro Station under the same rules it has applied elsewhere.

This facility is not showroom but store and being managed directly by Tesla not through any local dealer.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) Launched Virgin Mobile in UAE

virgin mobile UAE
virgin mobile UAE

Following the successful launch of du, nearly 10 years ago, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), launched its second brand, Virgin Mobile, in a strategic decision to strengthen its telecommunications offerings.

Samsung launched refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7

 

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Samsung announced to sell the refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The smartphone dubbed as the Galaxy Note 7 FE, where ‘FE’ stands for ‘Fandom Edition’.

August

King of Bezel-less design Sharp launched AQUOS S2

SHARP AQUOS S2
SHARP AQUOS S2

Sharp has just announced its new, bezel-less smartphone, the AQUOS S2. This handset had been leaking for weeks prior to its announcement, and it’s more or less what we’ve expected. Interestingly enough, this phone got announced in China, which is something we’re not used to seeing from Sharp, but considering that the company is now owned by Foxconn, we’ll be seeing more such launches, that’s for sure, not to mention that Sharp announced that more than one ‘bezel-less’ smartphone will be coming to China in 2017.

Blackberry licensed It’s Android Based OS with DTEK to OEMs

We had some report about Blackberry licensing its own custom Android OS to third parties.

This Operating System will have all Blackberry’s features including #DTEK security app. As per reports Blackberry has a licensing agreement with TCL in China, Optiemus in India and BB Mera Putih in Indonesia. So soon we can enjoy Blackberry security on non-Blackberry brands.

Google launched Android 8.0 Oreo

Android Oreo
Android Oreo

Google launched Androd 8.0 Oreo with picture-in-picture mode and many other features. There was also Android Oreo Go edition for low end phones.

Lenovo decided to switch to stock android

Motorola’s focus on an unbloated pure android experience allowed its phones to stand out, and its parent company Lenovo has confirmed that it is abandoning its Vibe Pure UI skin in favor of stock Android.

MediaTek Helio X30 powered first smartphone

Mediatek
Mediatek

The Helio X30 a 10nm deca-core chip clocked at 2.6GHz with PowerVR 7XTP-MT4 powered first smartphone Meizu Pro 7. This chipset support Imagiq’s Dual Camera Zoom offers 2x optical zoom in a super slim form factor.

September

Huawei announced Mate 10 lite as Maimang 6 in China

Mate 10 lite
Mate 10 lite

The Huawei Mate 10 lite is powered by Kirin 659 SoC with octa-core processor, and sports a 5.9-inch display with 2160 x 1080 pixel resolution and it is company’s first 18:9 aspect ratio smartphone.

Mate 10 Lite comes with Android Nougat not Android Oreo

RAM is 4GB, while internal memory is 64GB. Talking about camera, there’s a 16MP+2MP setup on the back, and a 13MP+2MP setup on the front for selfies. Measuring 156.2 x 75.2 x 7.5mm and weighing in at 164g, the phone runs Android 7.0-based EMUI 5.1 and packs in a 3,340mAh battery.

Xiaomi launched Mi Mix 2

Mi MIX 2 Special Edition
Mi MIX 2 Special Edition

While Xiaomi has changed a few things for Mi Mix 2, most of which seem to be improvements on the original’s radical-but-sometimes-flawed design and they took idea from other small phone makers.

Design of Mi MiX is combination of infinity display and tri-bezel-less design of Doogee Mix or UHANS MX and some enhancement by Xiaomi to add smaller chin.

Apple announced iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus along with bezel-less iPhone X

iPhone X
iPhone X

Apple announced 3 iPhones with a glass back panel that supports wireless charging, a water-resistant design, the new A11 Bionic processor, and TrueTone display technology for adjusting the screen’s white balance based on the surrounding lighting. In other words: whether you choose the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X

October

Gates foundation launched Blockchain-Powered Mobile Payment System

Mojaloop is open-source software for creating interoperable payments platforms that connect all digital financial providers and customers. It was designed by a team of tech and fintech innovators, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to make digital financial systems more integrated and inclusive, especially in developing markets where many people don’t have access to basic services like bank accounts and payment cards.

ZTE announced Axon M with Two Displays

 

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ZTE and AT&T announces a new phone, one that is unusual smartphone. Usually, we have seen smarpthones with dual display. Well, the Axon M is quite different, sporting dual displays (side-byside), both measuring in at 5.2″ and 6.75″ combined, with the phone featuring a foldable design.

Yup, big things happening in the design department at ZTE, people!

Huawei unveiled trio mate 10

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Huawei unveiled 3 variants of Mate 10 after Google’s first Android devices that will run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. But they’re not going to be the only new Android devices running Google’s latest operating system right out of the box this year.

We might see Android Oreo Phones from Lenovo or other makers this year.

The first iPhone “killers” with Oreo on board have been unveiled and they’re not made by who you might’ve guessed.

Qualcomm officially filed lawsuit against Apple in China

Apple vs Qualcomm
Apple vs Qualcomm

Apple issued an antitrust lawsuit to Qualcomm in the beginning of 2017 and the battle between the two has been playing out ever since. Moreover, Qualcomm decided to file a lawsuit against Apple with the intent of having all iPhone production and sales halted in China.

November

Razer launched smartphone with 120Hz refresh rate

Razer Phone
Razer Phone

Gaming laptop and peripheral giant Razer surprised everyone with its entry into the smartphone space with 120Hz screen refresh rate, born from the acquisition of contentious, but fondly remembered Nextbit. The result of this new partnership is one of the most powerful phones we have ever used, which is marred by a familiar issue its creators still can’t seem to conquer.

HTC unveiled U11 Plus bezel-less

HTC U11 Plus
HTC U11 Plus

Moreover the HTC U11 Plus is the first near bezel-less smartphone from the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer HTC. The new U11 Plus device sports a 18:9 aspect ratio, 6-inch Super LCD screen.

Screen resolution is QHD 1440×2880 pixels protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Although there are still pretty little bezels if you look closely but it is a major improvement over the original HTC U11 earlier released.

Robot XiaoYi Passed a Medical Licensing

Robot XiaoYi passes medical exam
Robot XiaoYi passes medical exam

Experts generally agree that, before we might consider artificial intelligence (#AI) to be truly intelligent —that is, on a level on par with human cognition— AI agents have to pass a number of tests. And while this is still a work in progress, AIs have been busy passing other kinds of tests.

Google optimized youtube for 18:9 aspect ratio

YouTube is now optimized for 18:9 aspect ratio bezel-less Android smartphones. Dubbed as pinch-to-zoom, this feature allows users to change the aspect ratio from the traditional 16:9 to 18:9. Feature was available for Pixel 2 phones only, now company is rolling out it for other 18:9 aspect-ratio Android smartphones.

December

Google shut its original AR project. Tango

Search giant announces to shut its original AR project. Tango, originally Project Tango, that came out in 2014 and made use of special sensors and cameras on devices to display virtual objects. ATAP, Google’s advanced technology and projects lab, developed Tango but it was soon succeeded by ARCore.

Google Assistant made available for Android 5.0

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Virtual Assistant of search giant made available on older phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and tablets running either Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat.

True Wireless charging “at a distance” became reality

WattUp MidField Transmitter
WattUp MidField Transmitter

The FCC has approved the WattUp Mid Field transmitter, a wireless charging system that works at a distance of around 3 feet. The solution can charge multiple devices simultaneously, including non-smartphone products.

The system hasn’t been announced for any commercial products yet, but we may learn more at CES 2018

Wrap-up

2017 brought technological innovations, especially in the world of Android. We saw new players such as Essential and Razer, old experts like Huawei and Vivo grow exponentially, and Samsung’s prowess even after the Note 7 fiasco.

Most of the companies joined bezel-less warship along with new display ratio of 18:9

Just like any other year, we also saw plenty of lawsuits – this time between Qualcomm and electronics manufacturers across the world.

LG finally switched to OLED panels with the V30 this year, Huawei is looking to expand in the US smartphone market, but most importantly, phones are becoming way too expensive! 2017 saw a few phones that brazenly crossed the US$1,000 mark, and now, with the OnePlus 5T costing US$500, I fear it’s only a matter of time before $1,000 becomes the norm.

What other events, news, and moments would you include? What do you think 2018 will bring? Let us know by leaving a comment below!