The evolution of the smartphone: From productivity to creativity

When the smartphone revolution began nearly a decade ago, a lot of attention was focused on how these connected devices would change the way we do business.

By giving us access to information and each other in new and important ways, these pocket-sized supercomputers would – and have– shifted the workplace landscape in massive ways.

But those predictions were simple – what we might not have foreseen is just how much these devices would open up our personal lives to new methods of self-expression. Smartphones are not just about productivity; they’re about creativity.

And so, when consumers look for their next smartphone, what they’re really looking for is the phone that best empowers them to express themselves. Our devices are a gateway to the vast social media networks we cultivate and interact with daily, and it’s through the photos and videos we take that our friends and loved ones get a peek at the person we aspire to be.

What sets one device apart from another? The tools it gives us to fully realise our creative vision, the hardware and software that makes it simple for us to capture and share that amazing meal, that beautiful sunset, the smile on a child’s face.

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To achieve this, we need devices with the best camera, fine-tuned to take not just the perfect selfie, but the perfect “groufie” – a photo of you and your closest friends and loved ones that truly captures a moment for posterity. Smartphone cameras have improved by leaps and bounds – for most of us, it’s replaced our point-and-shoot and represents the true potential of a smartphone as a convergence device. But the real change that’s come alongside smartphone cameras is the way they’ve made taking photos more intimate and more immediate. Photos are not simply taken for posterity, but to be shared in the moment.

And it’s not just about photos – we’re also capturing a world in motion. And when consumers look for their next device, they’ll look for one with simple, accessible editing software that lets them take raw footage and turn it into something truly expressive. Smartphones give us not just an HD camera in our pockets but a full suite of editing options that, only a short time ago, were the domain of expensive professional equipment alone.

A truly creative smartphone is equipped with the tools needed to not just shoot video, but turn it into a reflection of our experiences, whether it’s a short Vine, an animated GIF or a full-length film. From a funny joke amongst friends to a priceless shared moment between loved ones, phones must be able to capture and share these important experiences. And sharing is just as important as capturing. From Facebook to Instagram to Vine and beyond, our social media lives are driven by the moments we share.

Our smartphones first proved their value as productivity and media hubs – places where we could store and access our music, videos and the online world, where we could keep in touch with friends and colleagues.

What they’ve become is something entirely more than that – they are not simply where we consume, they have become the place where we create and share. The best smartphones are not just smart, they’re empowering – they don’t simply make us more productive, they make us more curious and more expressive.

They are constant companions that help us not just capture and store experiences but shape them for ourselves and share them for our friends and families.

Richard Ren, President of Huawei Device Western Europe

Image credit: Shutterstock/Maxx-Studio