The Most Anticipated Smartphones of 2014
It is the middle of the year and one would think that all the big phones are out by now. Well not exactly, so yet another anticipated list. Anybody keen enough will know there are two time of the year when the manufacturers like to bring out the big guns. At the start of the year around march,they release the phones to sell for the year,and around September they announce the phones to bring in the holiday sales,and more often than not,these are the killer phones. With the exception of Nokia who scrapped the McLaren 3D phone project,all the major manufacturers are present on this list. So which phones are people waiting to get their hands on this holiday season?
5. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Yes, you read that right compact,not mini. Sony have been very clear that the Compact is not another run of the mill mini,like made by other manufacturers. The successor to the Z1 Compact,the Z3C is rumoured to be coming alongside the Xperia Z3,with Sony completely skipping a Z2 Compact. If you followed the Z1 Compact,then you would know that Sony makes their mini flagship very differently from other manufacturers. Instead of using less powerful,cheaper components in their mini,the Z1 Compact shared hardware with the big Z1,except for the screen,which was obviously smaller,and the battery,also obviously smaller due to size. The Z3 Compact is said to continue this trend,meaning the Z3 Compact will share the 20.7MP camera, front facing speakers,thinner bezels around the screen and IPS display technology expected on the Xperia Z3. A smaller 4.6 inch display will be at work,with a HD 720p resolution instead of Full HD 1080p anticipated on the Z3,but still resulting in a super crisp 326 ppi pixel density due to small size. With identical internal hardware to the flagship Z3, the Z3 Compact is already set to wipe the floor with all other minis in the performance segment,and anyone wanting a small phone with serious power,should look out for the official announce some time in September.
4. Motorola Moto X+1
The Motorola Moto X was criticised for not having flagship specifications,running a dual core processor and 720p display when everyone else was on quad core and 1080p at that price,but Motorola are looking to correct that mistake. With the phone expected to be announced with the Moto 360 smart-watch in September, details have already leaked to the all knowing internet. A 2.5Ghz Snapdragon 801 processor,2GB DDR3 RAM,13MP camera and 5.2 inch 1080p display certainly tick all the right boxes. The absolute latest version of Android 4.4.4 is expected to come installed from the factory,with an update to Android L immediately it is available to manufacturers. Very good news indeed,and more than some manufacturers can promise. The Moto Maker customisation website will continue to work,allowing extreme customisation of your phone before purchase,from wooden back covers,engraving text on the back, to changing the colour of the camera ring and volume buttons to your taste. Sadly,the site only works for US citizens but it is a unique feature all the same.
3. Samsung Galaxy note 4
If you thought Samsung were done after releasing the Galaxy S5 you were oh so very wrong. Samsung continues their tried and true method of throwing everything into their high end devices,and the Note 4 is not an exception with a mouth watering specification sheet. A 5.7 inch QHD 2560×1440 AMOLED display is expected to front line,two times 1080p with a crushing 500+ ppi pixel density,only rivalled by two other phones,the LG G3, and OPPO Find 7. Those two however do not feature AMOLED technology,which Samsung is expected to have improved since the Galaxy S5,unlimited contrast in tow for punchy colours. The 16MP camera makes a return,but now features Optical Image Stabilisation (aka optical anti-shake) and an insane 4GB of RAM. The Octacore Exynos processor will return packing the latest Cortex A57 and A53 cores (4 powerful cores and 4 battery saving slower cores that activate depending on use) Ultra Power Saving Mode and 32Gb storage. Waterproofing,a bevy of sensors and a new S Pen design are also expected. A European website also inadvertently leaked the price as 600 Euros,and it is also expected to have a Gear 3 smart-watch bundle for a bit more, like the Galaxy S5 had with the Gear Fit. Not cheap at all,but with such leading technology it comes as no surprise. The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be announced on September 3 in Berlin.
2. Apple iPhone 6
What’s this,Apple are second? September is a busy month and Apple are expected to drop a new iPhone to take on the competition. The biggest change is that Apple will finally use a larger display on the new iPhone. Rumours expect a 4.7 inch display,with a higher resolution to maintain sharpness,significantly larger than 4.0 inch of the iPhone 5S and 5C,and 3.5 inch of the 4S. This means that the design will see a change,with dummies made by “people in the know” of Apple’s supply chain,showing the power button moved to the right side of the phone,which makes sense as reaching for the top of a taller screen would be uncomfortable. Other design changes seem from the dummy to include a more rounded look,like the iPad Mini Retina and new iPod Touch,and a thinner thickness. There are rumours that the new display will feature sapphire glass for protection,the same glass that protects the 5S camera lens and fingerprint scanner. Sapphire glass is very tough,and highly resistant to scratches,and Apple have invested quite a sum in the technology. It remains to be seen if the glass will be ready by production time,so it may or may not show up. iOS 8 already announced by Apple is expected to début on the device,with a bevy of new functionality. Pricing is expected to remain constant to a new iPhone at $649 for 16Gb before taxes,and $100 for every extra 16GB. Other rumours suggest that the iPhone will finally support NFC and wireless charging,but Apple have never been big on such features,so it is a wait and see on that one. A bigger iPhone is definitely a huge deal (pun intended) and it may just steal the show from other manufacturers.
1.Google Nexus 6
Back at Google I/O Developer Conference in June Google announced a new version of Android, Android L. A strange name yes,but it was only a developer preview,for developers to test what apps will look like in the new Material Design. The consumer version was then promised for “this fall” aka September-ish to November. Material Design changes the way Android looks,and is going past the phone into your tablet,TV,watch and car with a unified look across devices. The idea is that your apps will look the same no matter where you use them,and your devices will be able to “talk” to each other so that if you started doing something on your tablet at home,you can continue in your car,and finish on your Chromebook at the office. The developer preview can be installed on the Nexus 5 right now,however rumours are abound that the new version of Android will see consumer release on a new device,much like the previous android versions. Suggestions have been made that Google is working with Motorola,on a device codenamed “Shamu” which could actually be the Nexus 6 that brings Android L officially. According to benchmark sightings, the phone features a 5.2 inch QHD display,3GB of RAm,13MP camera , 2.6 Ghz Snapdragon 805 processor and 2.1 MP front camera. WiFi,NFC and Wireless Charging are also almost guaranteed from previous Nexus devices having them. If these specifications prove true,and the Nexus’ aggressive pricing carries over from the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, then the value for money will be phenomenal,effectively getting an LG G3 or Samsung Note 4 for more than half price. The Nexus 4 and 5 saw intense demand,with back-orders for weeks,even with availability only in select markets. As the first phone with a brand new Android in tow,the Nexus 6 is poised to be the show stopper of the year,and is rumored for a late October or November release.
Which one would you like to get for Christmas? Is a smartphone you are waiting for missing? Let us know in the comments section below.