An Apple employee adjusts an iPhone X on display in London in November. Photo: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You don't have to wait until 2018 to get a good sense of what next year's smartphones will look like.

What to expect: Because the chips that power such phones have already been designed, we already know that high-definition displays, augmented reality capabilities and support for faster networks will be key among the key features. Also on tap for next year: more competition from Chinese brands and advances in facial recognition technologies.

More bandwidth: Qualcomm executive VP Christiano Amon says to expect more phones with 4K resolution displays as more video is being delivered in mobile format and more network providers have the bandwidth to support it.

  • To that end, one nerdy-but-important feature will be support for gigabit LTE — a faster version of today's 4G networks and a piece along the road to the next version of cellular networks, known as 5G.
  • "Many devices have already come out, but it will become mainstream with all top handsets coming out next year," mobile strategy consultant Chetan Sharma told Axios.

Cameras and sensors: Qualcomm has already said that its new high-end chip will feature improved security as well as support for two features found on the latest iPhones — a portrait mode camera and the use of facial recognition for unlocking the device.

  • Current Analysis' Carolina Milanesi says the better facial recognition is an easy outgrowth of companies wanting to put improved sensors on the front-facing cameras to support augmented reality.
  • Speaking of which, Google is looking to add augmented reality support to more Android phones. (Currently ARCore, its rival to Apple's ARKit, is supported only on the Pixel 2 and a couple popular Samsung models.) Look for a lot of next year's high-end phones to support that as well.

More choices: You can also expect more brands in the mix, especially some Chinese brands that have been popular outside the U.S. "Chinese players – Huawei and Xiaomi — are likely to make a big push for the U.S. market," Sharma said.

AI hits the phone: Artificial intelligence will also make its way deeper into the operation of smartphones. "Consumers will feel this in more personalized and better performing apps," Sharma said.

The X factor: Given its more open ecosystem, it's easier to see what's coming to the Android world. Less clear is what Apple will bring when it updates the iPhone in the second half of the year.

  • That said, one likely trend is to see iPhone X features like facial recognition make it to more of the lineup. Apple has also said it sees augmented reality as a big deal, so expect to see advances on that front as well.

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 19,769,560— Total deaths: 729,351 — Total recoveries — 12,030,061Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,041,573 — Total deaths: 162,913 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

Go deeper: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning