For Android fans, the next couple of months will be exciting times thanks to the expected arrival of new flagship smartphones from HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Sony. While nothing revolutionary is expected, the steady pace of product evolution will nevertheless result in some great devices.
This year's first batch of high-end smartphones are expected to have faster processors, more memory, screens with higher resolution and better cameras — and many will be launched at Mobile World Congress.
A lot is riding on these products; they have to prove they are worth the extra money compared to cheaper smartphones from Chinese vendors with similar specifications and increasingly competent mid-range models.
For now, HTC, Huawei, LG, Samsung and Sony are keeping their upcoming devices under wraps. But like they have in the past, the companies will rely on screen and camera improvements to get consumers to open their wallets. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Sony Xperia Z4 are expected to follow in the footsteps of last year's G3 from LG and Google's Nexus 6 and get 1440x2560-pixel screens, according to reports from SamMobile and AndroidOrigin.
HTC might go against the grain with the One M9, which is rumored to have a 5-inch, 1080x1920-pixel screen. But it might have an ace up its sleeve: a larger model with a 5.5-inch, 1440x2560-pixel screen, according to Upleaks.
While screen resolution is increasing, screen sizes are expected to stay roughly the same.
One thing the vendors seem to agree on is that a high-end smartphone in 2015 should have a 20-megapixel camera with optical imaging stabilization on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. Here HTC is expected to go with the herd, and replace its UltraPixel technology with a more traditional main camera. Betting on a camera technology that has fewer but larger pixels for better low-light images was a gutsy move by HTC, but ultimately it hasn't helped the company much.
Under the hood, the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 is becoming the go-to processor, with four cores running at 1.5GHz and another four at 2GHz.
Samsung could be the exception, according to a Bloomberg report saying that the Galaxy S6 will exclusively use an in-house Exynos processor due to overheating issues with the Qualcomm processor.
Those issues have been denied by LG, which is planning to start shipping the Snapdragon 810-powered G Flex2 this month in Korea. The company adds that whether a phones experiences heating issues depends on the entire design, not just the CPU. Another report from Wall Street Journal states that Qualcomm will provide an upgraded version of the processor to Samsung in March that might show up on Samsung's new flagship.
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