The gadgets, consoles and phones to watch out for in 2020

2 Jan 2020

Huawei Mate X. Image: PA Media

From foldable smartphones to next-generation gaming, here are some of the tech trends to watch in the year ahead.

After a decade in which smartphones became indispensable, 5G was introduced and Nintendo reclaimed its foothold in the console war, we take a look at some of the gadgets that will set the scene for technology in the 2020s.

More foldable smartphones and a new generation of games consoles are likely to be among the biggest new gadgets this year. Here is a look at what to expect over the coming 12 months in the world of technology.

Apple’s shift to 5G

While some manufacturers have been quick to introduce 5G smartphones even as the network coverage only begins to appear, Apple is yet to bring the connectivity to the iPhone.

Many believe this will change in 2020, with a 5G iPhone introduced alongside a number of other iPhone handsets.

It would be seen as a watershed moment for the technology by some – Apple’s status as a brand means that innovation is not always considered mainstream until the Cupertino firm is involved.

By the time a 5G iPhone arrives, likely to be in September, 5G coverage should be far wider than it is currently – wide enough that Apple feels it is time to add the connectivity to its smartphone.

The new console wars

The new Xbox Series X console, which is a black pillar-shaped console.

Image: Microsoft

2020 looks likely to be one of the biggest and most important years in the video games industry for some time.

Not only is cloud streaming taking off, allowing console-standard gaming on mobile devices, but both Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation will launch their next-generation consoles in time for Christmas 2020.

The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have both been confirmed, complete with high-end specs, which both say will make them the most powerful consoles either firm has ever made.

It will be a redrawing of the battle lines for the two biggest names in gaming, as they compete to set the standard for the next generation of video games.

More foldable phones

A foldable smartphone on display.

Image: PA Media

At the end of 2019, Samsung was the only major smartphone maker that had a foldable device on sale in Europe – expect that to drastically change in 2020.

Samsung itself has already hinted at new types of foldable phones that could be on the way, while Motorola’s revamped, foldable Razr will also become available.

Huawei’s Mate X has gone on sale in China, but could 2020 see it or another Huawei foldable make it to Europe?

A number of smaller firms are also likely to try and break the status quo too – some of which could choose to reveal themselves during the CES trade show in Las Vegas, early in the new year.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Neo

A rectangular device attached by a hinge at the centre, held in two hands.

Image: Microsoft

Not quite fully-fledged foldables, but Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Surface Neo will make their debut in 2020, attempting to offer a new type of mobile device.

Both gadgets have two screens bound together by a hinge and can fold into a number of positions. Both are due to go on sale at the end of 2020.

The Duo is smartphone-sized, while the Neo is closer to that of a laptop or tablet – however, Microsoft is adamant neither should be considered as part of those categories.

In much the same way the tech giant’s Surface helped create the ‘two-in-one’ category of tablet combined with laptop, Microsoft hopes the Duo and Neo can change how people use their devices every day.

– PA Media