NEW YORK – If you are on a hunt to buy a smartphone or planning to upgrade to the next level, the following few months will throw up a wide variety of opportunity as various new models are on the cards.
The second half of 2014 will see the top two players coming out with their flagship models that will throw up some fierce competition in the market.
Leading the race are Apple’s two new iPhones, followed by the Samsung’s Note 4, the success of which is crucial for Samsung.
The South Korean firm reported that its second quarter sales fell by 4 per cent compared to that of last year. Samsung’s global market share, too, saw a drop of 7 per cent, thanks to increasing competition in China and other emerging markets.
Apple on the other hand reported a 12-per cent increase in sales during the second quarter. This despite Samsung having launched the Galaxy S5, while Apple continued to run the show with last year’s iPhone 5S.
Here we have compiled a list of eight new upcoming models that you should look forward to:
Apple’s next iPhone is expected to be quite different from the earlier models. Firstly, it will have a bigger screen with a 4.7-inch display. The phone will significantly enhance its internal storage with 128 GB, expandable. Apple is also planning to enhance the camera with a 13 MP sensor compared to the current 8MP on the iPhone 5S. Also expected is an improved fingerprint sensor. The new iOS 8 operating system will definitely add some new features that enhance the way apps interact with each other.
It is also expected that the iPhone 6 will finally come loaded with NFC, an A8 processor and possibly wireless charging.
The phone is expected to be unveiled on September 9 and could be priced similar to previous iPhones.
Unable to withstand the pressure of not having a phablet-sized device, Apple is rumoured to be finally considering launching a 5.5-inch phone that it is expected to name iPhone Air.
Apart from the screen size, the iPhone Air could sport a more powerful processor, compared the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, for additional graphics. The current iPhone 5S as well as the iPad Air runs on 64 bit A7 chip. Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about the display features. Earlier, it was believed that Apple could launch the new phablet-sized devices with the unbreakable sapphire displays. We then heard that the supply shortage of sapphire displays could delay the release dates. It was then also rumoured that Apple may not opt for sapphire glass due to shortage.
It is still not clear if Apple will announce the iPhone Air on September 9. Pricewise, reports indicate that the iPhone Air could be priced at about $200 more than the iPhone 6 model.
Galaxy Note 4
Samsung is expected to announce the launch of its next Galaxy Note series on September 3 ahead of the IFA in Berlin.
The Galaxy Note devices have been increasing in size since it was first launched with a 5.3 inches. The Note 2 had a 5.5 inch display. The Note 3 increased in size further with a 5.7-inch display. The market already has many phablet-sized devices such as the HTC One Max, Sony’s Xperia X Ultra and the LG G Pro 2, which range between 5.9 and 6.2 inches. However, it is expected that Samsung will continue to maintain the screen size at 5.7 inches for the Note 4 with an enhanced 2560×1440 resolution at 500+ppi.
Rumours also suggest the company might however opt for two different variations of Note 4 – one powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, and the other with Exynos 5433 8 Core processor. Similarly, one model is expected to sport a curved OLED display and the other a flat OLED display. The camera on the device is expected to be 12 MP. Pricewise the device is expected to cost between Dh2700 and Dh3200.
The yet to-be-launched device has been raising several eyebrows since BlackBerry decided to go public about the design and features.
BlackBerry has named the device Passport as its screen is the exact size of a passport, with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
The Passport has an interesting dimension – a square looking 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440×1440, 3GB of RAM and 32 GB internal memory with an additional slot for expansion.
The phone has a massive 8MP front camera, the rear one is 13MP and comes with a pretty long battery life thanks to the 3450 mAh battery.
According to BlackBerry, the device will come with an enhanced BlackBerry Natural Sound, currently available only on BBM Voice calls.
“On Passport, the same effect has been adapted to work with cellular voice calls, too. There are four microphones onboard that help adapt the audio levels in real time to ambient environment and position of the phone relative to the user’s ear,” notes a blog entry by the company.
BlackBerry has also changed the Qwerty keypad on the Passport as it just has English alphabets and a space bar but without any symbols or numbers on it. Apart from the three lined physical Qwerty keyboard that can also be used to swipe up and down and scroll through the screen, the device will also be equipped with a contextual virtual key board that changes according to the context. BlackBerry also posted a picture of the Passport in white.
BlackBerry has also started a pre-registration programme where users who register with their email can receive the latest information about the BlackBerry Passport and when you can purchase it. The device is expected to be announced around the IFA in Berlin.
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony is reportedly working on its second major release this year – the Xperia Z3. The earlier version – Xperia Z2 – which silently hit the retail stores in the UAE a couple of months ago has the potential to match up to the best among the lot on shelves today.
Sony would be hoping that the Z3 would go ahead and finally beat the rest of the Android compatriots in terms of premium features.
The device is rumoured to sport a Full HD 5.15 inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a Snapdragon 801, 2.4GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 20.7MP camera. This device is also expected to be unveiled at the IFA in Berlin.
HTC One (M8) Windows
Inspired by the popularity of its One (M8), HTC it is said is planning to come out with a Windows phone version of the device.
The One (M8) is known for its metallic design and its dual camera with ultra-pixels.
The Windows version will replicate the design version while and will powered by a 5 inch device with 1080 x 1920 pixels, a Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 processor, BoomSound speakers. Reports also indicate that the Windows version will have a similar camera to that on the Android device – a 4MP ultrapixel sensor.
According to reports the device was first discovered on w Verizon Wireless web server and later listed on the homepage of a Dutch website. The website later replaced it with an image of Sony Z2. For those who can’t wait, the device is expected to be announced on August 19 at an event in New York.
Google Nexus 6
The Nexus 6 will be the first phone to come out with Google’s new updated OS the Android L.
The device could sport a 5-inch plus display, an Octa Core processor 64bit processor with 3 GB of RAM.
The Nexus 6 will also sport a 12 MP rear camera and a 5Mp front camera. There are also rumours that either Motorola which was acquired by Lenovo or HTC could be working on the new devices. Nexus 5 was manufactured by LG. The phone could be released any time after October and could be priced between $400 and $450.
Apart from the Nexus 6 which Motorola could be working on, the company is also working on the next version of Moto X and could be calling it the Moto X+1.
The device is expected to be announced by the end of September and could sport a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5.2 inch display with full HD 1080p, 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera.