If you plan to buy a cheap smartphone next year expect to get LTE, an HD screen and a good-looking device, as competing manufacturers and chip vendors lower prices.
Smartphone manufacturers have always put effort into the development of entry-level smartphones. But growing competition will result in some real improvements for consumers in 2015.
This year, it was disappointing to see that smartphones in the sub-$200 segment didn’t get bigger upgrades. Motorola’s Moto E and the new Moto G lack LTE, and droves of competing products like including the HTC 510 and LG G2 Mini still have low-resolution screens.
But next year both LTE and high-res displays will become standard features on entry-level smartphones thanks to the availability of better systems-on-a-chip, the basic building blocks of smartphones. For example, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 family, which is used by devices like the Moto E and Microsoft’s Lumia 535, is getting LTE for the first time next year with the arrival of the 210 model. It will start powering smartphones and tablets during the first half of next year.