Enough time has passed in 2016 to note a couple of mobile tech trends that deserve your attention. I'm calling it now: these three trends will be the source of hot discussion for the rest of the year, and are sure to top everyone's "2016 tech trends" lists at the end of the year. Look at you, all ahead of the curve already. 

The top 3 mobile tech trends of 2016

#1: Ridiculously amazing cameras

cameraThe cameras on the latest smartphone releases have been ridiculously good. Take the Samsung Galaxy S7 as a perfect example - in theory and in specs it’s actually weaker than the one on the S6. In practice, however, it blows almost every phone camera out of the water.Slowly but surely, cameras have reached the point that they’re just as good as point-and-shoot cameras, making the latter obsolete. Why carry a POS (point and shoot, don’t let your imagination carry you away) camera with you when you can snap all the pics you want right on your phone, and share them in an instant?Plus, a ton of other photography tricks have been embedded in phone cameras, making them that much more attractive.
  • Timelapses and hyperlapses are a tap away
  • Burst mode now creates nifty animations that can even be shared on Facebook or Google+ (yes, people use Google+. There’s dozens of us! Dozens!)
  • Low light photography has started to excel in phones. When I got my hands on the Nexus 6P I was blown away at how well it took pictures even with the flash off. Then the Galaxy S7 came along and its low light performance was even better.
Not only are the cameras on our phones better than the slim point-and-shoot cameras, but if you’re like me you’re in a real dilemma: is it worth taking your DSLR along on a weekend getaway? Naah… let’s just stick with the phone.

#2: VR is here to stay

VRI remember seeing the Oculus Rift for the first time a couple of years ago and being intrigued. Then for the longest time I was curious why nothing else appeared on the horizon. But nowadays, holy smokes are there VR headsets everywhere!And the reason is that companies have learned from Oculus’ flaws and improved them. Some even incorporate smartphones in the mix and allow you to experience virtual reality with just an app on your phone.There’s now a wide range of VR devices, and the list seems to grow larger every week. From the cheapest - like Google Cardboard - to the most expensive, they can all transport you to a different realm.All that’s left now is to actually build those realms. We have the technology, we have the hardware, but we’re yet to see a revolutionary use of it. Here’s hoping this is what the rest of 2016 will bring!

#3: Privacy scandals abound

privacyIf you haven’t heard about Apple’s latest privacy scandal and fight with the FBI, then hi! Welcome back to the internet! Privacy and encryption scandals are nothing new, but it seems like they’re ramping up lately. The FBI has been pursuing Apple to create a backdoor to the iPhone, allowing them to hack into the San Bernadino terrorist’s phone. Apple refused, saying it would be a step we can’t go back from.And the move has united tech companies, as they all say that users’ privacy is not something they take lightly. The abundance of encrypted chat and email apps proves that the users themselves are in agreement with the tech companies, and even the latest investigations prove that terrorists don’t actually rely on encryption, but rather on burner phones.

What's Next: Filling out your privacy consent in VR goggles

By the end of 2016, you'll be downloading powerful encryption software in a VR environment while taking professional photos with your infrared smartphone camera. What trends do you see shaping up in 2016 so far? Did we hit the nail on the head with the three above?Image sources: cnet.com, argyllfreepress.com, echo.msk.ru

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What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

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