Dawn of the Smart EraAccording to a report by news agency Reuters, smartphone sales are expected to grow by about 46% to 687.9 million in 2014.
The festivities are over and done with, and we've put 2013 to rest. The past year has been rather eventful to say the least, with smartphones evolving to finally be worthy of their name.
We truly believe that smartphones have reached a saturation point at least in terms of the processing capabilities, with incremental upgrades seemingly little more than numbers to users. Henceforth, it is more about evolution of the smartphones rather than innovation.
We must admit though, that mobile manufacturers pleasantly surprised us with their offerings in the past year. With a wonderful 'smartphone year' behind us, we look forward to even better things in 2014. Here's a look at some of the most anticipated phones of the new year. We suggest that you carry the entire salt shaker with this one though, as most of the details about these phones are still rather sketchy.
- 2.2 GHz octa-core CPU
- 16 MP camera
- QHD display
- Fingerprint sensor
LG has been playing second fiddle to its more accomplished compatriot, Samsung for quite a while now. 2013 saw the Korean company finally move out of the shadows and spend some much-deserved time in the limelight with its revolutionary G2 smartphone. The company would look to build on the success of the phone and, going by the design of the G Flex, would probably be 'bringing sexy back'. Other purported features include a QHD display, a 2.2 GHz octa-core processor, and a snappy 16 MP camera. With the G3, the company might also just jump on to the fingerprint sensor bandwagon, with the technology all set to be implemented on the device. If the phone is half as good as the specs claim it to be, it would definitely give the S5 a good run for its money.
- Retina scanner
- 2K display
- 64-bit processor
- All new 13 MP camera
Samsung has been at the helm of the smartphone empire for quite a few years now, with all attempts to dislodge it from its mighty abode turning out to be futile. The Korean conglomerate further intends to tighten its grip on the mobile market with the latest in the lineup of Galaxy phones, the S5 is expected to hit the market this year. Rumor mills have been running nonstop for a while now, speculating about the supposed hardware on what is probably the most anticipated phone of 2014. Speculations are rife about Samsung considering to finally ditch plastic, in favor of a metal body for the S5. We won't really bet our money on this though, although there have even been rumors about two different versions being offered. The other more bankable leaks suggest that the S5 may feature a 2K resolution screen (non AMOLED), and a superior 13 MP camera. There are also talks of an Exynos 64-bit chipset with an octa-core processor and a retina scanner, but we would be very surprised if these find their way to the phone in time for its Q1 launch.
HTC M8/ One+
- Fingerprint scanner
- Snapdragon 805
- 2,900 mAh battery
- 8 MP Ultrapixel camera
The HTC One was, by far, the most beautiful handset to ever have graced the mobile arena. It was an all-or-nothing gambit by the company, which ended up paying rich dividends. The successor to the One is expected to be cast in pretty much the same premium mold as its popular sibling. If we are to go by its leaked images all over the Internet, it would probably be a sized-down version of the HTC One Max, and would feature a fingerprint scanner. The phone is expected to feature the brand new Snapdragon 805 chipset. Other spec(ulation)s include a bumped up 8 MP Ultra-pixel camera with interchangeable lenses, 2,900 mAh battery, 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a 5-inch screen with on-screen navigation keys. Now that HTC and Beats Electronics have parted ways, it would be interesting to see if Beats Audio finds its way on to the device. The leaked images also show a removable back cover, which could just mean that our prayers have finally been answered and Micro SD card slots are finally on their way back. Going by the trend in the industry though, we wouldn't really get our hopes up.
Oppo Find 7
- QHD display
- 5.5-inch screen
- Snapdragon 800/805
- 3 GB RAM
- 4,000 mAh battery
Oppo might seem like a midget in the land of the giants, with the Chinese company only just getting a foothold in the international mobile arena. Going by the success of the Oppo N1 and the much acclaimed Find 5, we might in fact have a David in the midst of the mighty Goliaths here! The Find 7 is slotted to be the first smartphone with a QHD display to hit the market. It is all but confirmed that the phone will have a 5.5-inch screen, which translates to a mind-numbing pixel density of 538 ppi. It would probably ship with the latest Snapdragon 800 or 805 processor bumped up to 2.5 GHz, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery. The company has also released teasers which suggest that it will probably have an almost-no-bezel screen and LTE connectivity. It is also all set to be just the second smartphone with 3 GB of RAM. While most of these reports are confirmed, you might still need just a dash of salt to go with it.
- Android OS
- 4-inch screen
- Dual SIM
What do you get when you put together loads of rumors, tons of leaks, an overactive imagination, and salt according to taste? Nokia Normandy, of course! Nokia is a name that has been synonymous with fantastic build quality, while Android is the undisputed king of the mobile arena. The prayers of scores of Nokia fanboys and countless Android lovers may finally be answered. Nokia Normandy is believed to be a mid-range Nokia Asha phone powered by Android. According to popular phone tipster @evleaks
, this Android-powered phone is all set to see the light of day, quashing all rumors about its slow and painful death at the hands of Microsoft. Details are still rather sketchy, but the phone would probably be a 4-incher with dual SIM support. If and when this device hits the market, it is bound to bring tears of joy in the eyes of gadgetophiles around the world.
Apart from these phones, Sony is also expected to release its successor to the Xperia Z1 this year. Samsung's popular phablet, the Note 3 would also, in all likelihood, be released towards the latter half of the year. Surprisingly though, there seems to be little, if any, talk about these devices. Apple too have managed to keep their iPhone 6 well under wraps. For now, all eyes are set on the GSMA Mobile World Congress in February 2014, which should see the veil being taken off a lot of mobile phones from manufacturers across the globe. CES 2014 too, promises to be an interesting affair. The year has only just begun, and it already promises to be another fantastic year for smartphones. While 2014 unfolds, you could go down memory lane and check out our pick of the greatest phones of 2013. Hold on to your seats till then, cos this is bound to be one amazing ride. Cheers.