What to Expect from this Year’s Flagship Smartphones
Flagship smartphones are unlikely to become irrelevant in the near future. They are still some of the most anticipated and coveted tech products in the years ahead. As the 2014 Mobile World Congress is nearing, you may want to know the different features or things to expect from the flagships of the world’s most recognizable and most anticipated smartphone brands.
Here’s a roundup:
Apple’s iPhone 6
The newest version of the iPhone is expected to offer significant changes. This time, the changes include something literally big: a bigger display. This new display is rumored to be aiming for a higher pixel density that could compete with those of Android flagships. 2K seems farfetched but something closer to the 441 ppi screens of 2013’s Android flagships is probable. The bigger display is believed to be in the 4.7” to 4.8” region. On the other hand, the camera if the iPhone 6 is also expected to get an upgrade. The most notable changes would be the 10 MP sensor (2 MP higher than the iPhone 5s) and the swappable resin lenses. The front camera is likewise expected to get a bump in the megapixels. Other expected upgrades in the upcoming iPhone include the more power efficient IGZO screen tech and an updated operating system version, iOS 7.2. Expected unveiling of the iPhone 6 is on the second to the third quarter.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5
The leading Android flagship is believed to be pulling all stops to offer something compelling. It will even be announced on February 24, earlier than the usual Samsung flagship release schedules. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is believed to be the Korean mobile device manufacturer’s attempt at reversing the downtrend in last year’s earnings.
The new features of Samsung’s 2014 flagship are rumored to include a slightly larger 5.2” AMOLED display with WQHD resolution (2560×1440) that translates to a 560 ppi pixel density. It will allegedly be using two processors (just like the S4): Qualcom’s latest chipset, the quad-core Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.5GHz and Samsung’s homegrown Exynos 6, a 64-bit ocat-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz. RAM will be similar to the Note 3’s while the battery will be getting a huge bump, bringing the overall capacity to 3200 mAh. The rear camera, on the other hand, will also be upgraded to a 16 MP sensor possibly using Samsung’s ISOCELL technology for better low light performance.
Sony’s Xperia Z2
Sony may not be having a major share of the smartphone market but it enjoys a good amount of hype and acclaim. The water-resistant Xperia Z series is surely carving a niche of its own and continues to excite fans. The latest Xperia flagship will allegedly sport a slightly bigger display at 5.2”. However, it is said to keep the FHD resolution instead of going into the 2K territory, which does not really prove to be a sensible upgrade considering that more pixels only mean more work on the device’s CPU without offering noticeable improvements. This is according to “leaked” screenshots of the device’s user interface.
Other features to expect in the new Sony smartphone are the compulsory water resistance, 3GB RAM, and Adreno 330 GPU. The processor, unlike in Samsung’s case, will still be a Snapdragon 800 although it will be clocked slightly higher than the one used in Xperia Z1. In terms of imaging, the camera module will be the same as the one used in the Xperia Z1. However, software tweaks are expected to produce better low light results as demonstrated by the recently leaked Xperia Z1 vs. Z2 comparison photos. Expected release date is in the first quarter of the year.
HTC M8 or HTC One 2
HTC may be in the red but this does not stop the Taiwanese Android phone maker from releasing a new flagship. The successor to the HTC One, the HTC M8 or HTC One 2, is expected to come in a body very similar to the HTC One’s. The specs expected will be as follows: a twin-sensor improved Ultrapixel camera that is said to be able to create a sense of depth in the resulting photos, a 5” 1080p display (slightly bigger than the 4.7” in the HTC One), and Android KitKat right out of the box.
Last year’s LG G2 proved to be one of the better Android flagships with its remarkable design and very excellent performance. The way LG made the body smaller than common 5” smartphones despite the bigger 5.2” display was a notable feat. Likewise, LG’s 1080p IPS display in the G2 was and is still one of the best in the market. As such, prospects for the G3 are getting more exciting. Rumors suggest that the LG G3 specs will be giving the Galaxy S5 a run for its money.
Slated for a third quarter release, the LG G3 is said to have a 5.5” display with a 2560×1440 resolution. This translates to a 534 ppi pixel density, nearly double the iPhone’s Retina display. The processor could be the latest Snapdragon from Qualcom or it could be the Odin octa-core, LG’s own chipset. RAM will be 3GB while the camera is believed to come with a 16MP sensor and optical imaging stabilization.
So which flagship excites you the most? 2014 appears to be an exciting year for mobile tech. Hopefully, these smartphones can also benefit from the glare-free and antimicrobial Gorilla glass. Also, it would be great to see them becoming available very soon.