2017 is shaping up to be a particularly exciting one in the technology niche, with many of the biggest players in consumer electronics preparing intriguing gadgets. Smartphones, photography, video games and computing will all benefit from major new releases. So without further ado, here is a rundown of all of the key items anticipated for 2017.
The tenth generation of the Apple smartphone should result in a particularly special iPhone 8 release in 2017. The rumor mill already believes that Apple will freshen up its most important product by including such features as OLED displays and wireless charging. This should be a considerably slicker, redesigned and radical departure from previous iPhone releases.
The Nintendo Switch is a particularly interesting video games console due for release in 2017, notable for the fact that it doubles as both a living-room machine and mobile gaming tablet. Nintendo has already announced that this will arrive in the early months of 2017, and it will be interesting to see what the modular controller, already confirmed by Nintendo, delivers in reality.
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Nintendo is also acclaimed for producing some of the greatest software on the market, and the Nintendo Switch is certain to be supported by classic titles such as Mario and Zelda early in its existence.
It would be fair to say that the existing console generation has not gone entirely according to plan for Microsoft. The technology and software giant has been on the back foot pretty much from day one, considering the poor public relations job that it did with the Xbox One reveal event.
But it is expected that Microsoft will come out swinging in 2017 with the release of the awesomely powerful Xbox Scorpio. Microsoft claims that this next generation console will be armed with 6 teraflops of gaming power; ensuring that it is a superb performer both in the 4K resolution and VR fields.
Rumors have been prominent that Microsoft is preparing an 8 CPU core machine that will seriously rival gaming PCs. However, there is no doubt that the corporation will face massive challenges in delivering such a machine at an affordable price point.
The Galaxy S8 will be the Samsung response to the Apple iPhone 8, and is arguably the most critical device in the history of the company. The reason this bold assertion can be made is that the Korean manufacturer suffered the ignominy of completely withdrawing one of its devices from the market in 2016. The exploding Galaxy Note 7 was a complete disaster for Samsung, and now the company must attempt to recover and restore its image with the Galaxy S8.
Samsung is expected to produce a bezel-free design for the Galaxy S8, while there have also been suggestions that it will come equipped with 4K resolution capabilities and an emphasis on curved screens. Virtual reality could also be a focus, and Samsung is likely to produce a spec-packed smartphone, as is its wont.
We won’t have long to wait to find out what Samsung has in store for the Galaxy S8, as the device will probably appear in February.
The Nikon D760 will probably be the highlight of the photography year in 2017, with the follow-up to the D750 undoubtedly exciting consumers. This fantastic full-frame shooter was critically acclaimed when it was released a couple of years ago, and is considered to be particularly comfortable and intuitive, so the sequel will be eagerly awaited.
Specs leaked ahead of the release of the camera suggest that the Nikon D760 will retain the same 24.3MP, full-frame CMOS sensor, but the processor will be upgraded to be extremely slick Expeed 5, resulting in major performance improvements. Frame rates are also expected to be increased, with shutter speed also heading in an upward direction.
Panasonic 4K OLED TV
Samsung has become the dominant player in the television marketplace, but Panasonic has a serious ace up its sleeve for 2017. Panasonic’s 2017 OLED panel, available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, will be both extremely slim and seriously powerful. No concrete specs have been released for this device as of yet, but the reception for the television set at the IFA 2016 trade show was particularly favorable.
The iMac probably remains the most admired and envied desktop computer in the world. And Apple is set to update the iMac range in 2017, probably placing a particular emphasis on virtual reality functionality. USB-C also seems a likely addition to the capabilities of the machine, while Touch Bar integration has also been mooted. This 5K capable machine is certain to attract its fair share of customers once more, especially considering the classic design that Apple utilizes in its production.
Google Pixel Watch
Smartwatches remain niche devices, but Google will attempt to change this in 2017 with the release of the Google Pixel. Rumors indicate that there will likely be two models of this particular smartwatch, with these versions having been codenamed Swordfish and Angelfish. Circular screens will be the order of the day, and Google will be hoping to eat into the dominant market share of the Apple Watch.
Windows 10 VR headset
Also anticipated in 2017 is the release of a virtual reality headset compatible with Windows 10, Considered very much an entry-level device, the $299 Lenono VR headset will enable larger numbers of people to get in on the ground floor of the VR revolution, and it could lead to virtual reality being more cemented as a mainstream technology.
Fitbit perpetually updates its fitness trackers, but this is expected to come with a twist in 2017. Fitbit has stated that it is exploring new form factors for its products over the next 12 months, which sounds like an interesting proposition. The actual reality of this has remained rather vague, but it will be interesting to see what this popular fitness tracker delivers in the next calendar year. It does seem that the Fitbit product may expand beyond wrist-based hardware.