Ever since the beginning of 2013, we have seen many flagships being released by manufacturers and they have been doing exceptionally well. Devices like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 1020, LG G2, etc. have been the talk of the town because all of them pack great hardware specifications and those beautiful 1080p displays. So, after the flagships were released, there were many other versions of them like the HTC One Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, etc. The list for the Samsung Galaxy S4 version goes on and on and I’m not really sure that the Samsung Galaxy S4 versions are yet over, we might even see more of them, maybe one running Samsung and Intel’s co-developed Tizen OS or some hardware changes.
So, what about the rest of 2013? Is the smartphone and innovation saga over? To be honest: No. There are many exciting devices and pieces of tech that might be coming up before this year actually ends and we step into 2014. The flagships which are rumbling through the markets are just the bases of what we are going to see. Let’s do a round-up of what devices have already been announced after Q2 (which is post-June):
1. Sony Xperia Z Ultra
This device is a 6.4” monster that packs a Snapdragon 800 SoC inside it and a “triluminous” 1080p display. This display can even be used by a pencil as a stylus, which is pretty awesome IMO.
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2. LG G2
This is yet another monstrous device which also has a Snapdragon 800 SoC inside it and packs a 5.2” 1080p display. Also, this phone does not have any buttons on the side, which is kind of customary for every phone these days. Let’s just term this as “innovation” for a while. The volume controls are on the back, below the camera and the camera shutter is also present there. Another new bit of feature is that you can double tap on the screen to unlock it and double tap on an empty part of your home screen to lock it again, which is my personal favorite feature which I’ve been looking for ever since I used a Nokia N9.
3.Nokia Lumia 1020
This device packs a gigantic 41MP camera sensor which we first saw in the Nokia PureView 808 which ran on Symbian (it was the last Symbian device from Nokia). The Lumia 1020 sails on Windows Phone which we can clearly judge by the “Lumia” in the name. Also, this phone comes with Windows Phone’s latest update and Nokia’s Amber update, which bring a bunch of features like Radio, Glance Screen, etc.
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4.Motorola Moto X
This phone was heavily rumored as it is supposed to be a phone that Motorola has developed along with Google after Google acquired Motorola Mobility. The Moto X runs on Motorola’ s X8 SoC which has a dual-core chipset and two extra cores for Natural Language Processing and for Contextual Computing.
This phone has a bunch of unique features like its display which automatically gets turned on when you take it out of your pocket so that you can “peek” at the notifications and if needed, jump at the respective application right from the home screen. The second and the most important one is that you can always use Google Now without even touching your phone. Just say “OK, Google Now” and your Moto X will start listening to you, even if it’s resting on the table and you’re typing an email.
There’s also a 10MP ClearPixel camera which was supposed to be breathtaking, but it isn’t that great like it was hyped, so I’ll just skip it. I don’t mean that it’s a bad camera; it’s pretty awesome when taking pictures. It’s supposed to take exceptionally well low-light pictures.
Moto X is a bit over-priced because the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 also retail at $200 on AT&T with a two-year contract. The Moto X has a hardware customization feature which allows you to change the colors of the front, the back, the sides and the camera rim. You can also get engraving on the back and get your own text displayed when the phone boots up. The OLED display and the X8 chipset coupled with a 2200mAh battery promise over 24-hour+ battery life, as claimed by Motorola.
The Shield is a gaming console that runs on Android and has a Tegra 4 SoC at its heart which, by the way, has 72-core GPU. The Shield is directly sold by NVIDIA and has a 5” 720p multi-touch display and a gaming controller attached to it. You can even stream games from your PC into the console if you have a NVIDIA graphics card in your machine. The main highlight here is Tegra 4 and how it changes the way mobile devices can handle games. The Shield retails at $300.
6. 2nd Gen Nexus 7
The original Nexus 7 sold at $200 and had a Tegra 3 chipset, which was made it a complete bang-for-buck device. Also, Nexus devices are buttery smooth. The Nexus lacked some features which have been eliminated in the Nexus 7 refresh. The new Nexus 7 packs a 1080p display which gives the most pixel density that exists on tablets. It runs on Snapdragon 600 which is superb performer and the starting price of this one is just $229. There’s also a camera on this one. The new Nexus 7 brought Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with it.
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There’s a lot that we missed in the list above, because that’s not the highlight of this post. We’re gonna talk about all the awesome things that are yet to be shown-off to the world. We’ll start the list with the Samsung Galaxy Note III.
1.The Samsung Galaxy Note III
The previous-gen Note was legendary in its own game. And the first Note changed the game with its 5” display which was termed massive at the time. Now, we see markets flooded with 5-inchers. Coming back to the topic, the Note III is also heavily rumored and it will pack a Snapdragon 800 SoC and an Exynos 5 Octa chipset, both versions being different like the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Samsung Galaxy Note III is also rumored to pack a 5.7” 1080p Super-AMOLED display along with a 13MP shooter on the back. The Samsung Galaxy Note III is going to break cover on 4th of September.
Notice the plural of iPhone that we used? Yes, because there are two iPhone variants that are reportedly going to be unveiled: iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Naturally, the iPhone 5S will be an upgrade to the current-gen iPhone 5. The iPhone 5C on the other hand is a cheaper variant of the iPhone 5 and will have a plastic body with some color options. The iPhone 5S is going to be available in Gold and there’s a rumored 128GB version of it. If Apple manages to pull off the 128GB iPhone, it will pretty much change much in the amount of inbuilt storage manufacturers put these days. Naturally, the 128GB is going to cost more than the other variants. The next iPhone is going to be announced on September 10 and will also reportedly pack a finger-print scanner. Both the iPhones will run on the latest iOS 7.
3.HTC One Max
HTC has been teasing this phone quite a bit recently in their advertisement campaigns starring none other than Robert Downey Jr. The rumors point to a device with a 5.9” 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 SoC and 64GB of onboard storage; all of this in a design that looks like the HTC One. There’s also a fingerprint scanner rumored. This might be the second device to sport a fingerprint scanner if the next iPhone too has one.
4.Sony Xperia Z1 (Honami)
This phone has leaked innumerous times as the Sony Xperia Honami and it is basically a camera-phone from Sony. The company has already started teasing pictures of the phone on their twitter account and people seem to be really excited for this device. The device will be water-resistant. It will feature the same design as we see on Sony’s devices recently and will have a 20MP shooter on the back with low-light image capturing capabilities. There’s also a Snapdragon 800 SoC inside the phone, making this the second phone from Sony to sport the chipset.
5.The next Nexus phone
The Nexus 4 was a massive hit. Despite the delivery issues, LG and Google managed to sell it pretty well and it made its way to the hearts of people with its generous price and its incredible specifications. Though, it lacks LTE support which is kind of a must these days. Now, there are two possibilities about the next Nexus. The first one is the same old Nexus 4 with support for LTE. The second one is a completely new Nexus. If there’s gonna be a new Nexus, I’d want Motorola or LG to manufacture it, because of the incredible job the companies have done with Moto X and Nexus 4 respectively. I’d like to see a 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 SoC with at least 2GB of RAM and a 13MP shooter with the same or $50 increment on the price of the current Nexus. Tell us what you want the next Nexus phone to pack in the comments section down below.
6.The next Nexus 10-incher
It’s going to be a year since the Nexus 10 manufactured by Samsung was released, which retailed at $400 from the Play Store. It had superb specs and an incredible display. It didn’t manage to get that popular, but it was a legend in itself. Naturally, it’s time for a refresh and according to leaks; Google seems to have selected Asus to manufacture the next Nexus 10 after the incredible success of the first and second-gen Nexus 7 tablets. We’ll have to wait and see if the refresh is going to be announced before this year ends, hopefully in November. Personally, I expect it to run on a Snapdragon 800/600 SoC with 2GB+ of RAM and have an even better display with a superb build quality and keep the same pricing.
I know, Google Glass has already been announced and it’s absurd to have it mentioned in the upcoming gadgets list. But, Google Glass isn’t in the hands of public like you (you’re an exception if you’re one of the lucky ones who own an Explorer Edition or you work at Google X) and me. The pricing of the Explorer Edition was $1500. Now, there were reports that said Google Glass will be available for public purchase in December of 2013 and if that’s really true, there’s gonna be people sporting that thing all over the globe. Also, $1500 seems way too high, so the reports also said that the version which will be available to public will have cheaper price tag. Glass is already banned at some places. Google has also been doing a great job in pushing updates to Glass and increasing its usability. It’d be really great to finally see this out for public purchase.
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If you’re one of those people who have had enough of those Jelly Beans, you are waiting for the next major update of Android as well. Android 5.0 is expected to be launched with the next Nexus phone. Also, there have been rumors that the 5.0 will have a card-based UI like Google Now. Google has been putting card-based UI everywhere these days, so that’s where the rumor may have been originated. I don’t see a card-based UI making its way to mobile phones and tablets because it might just be harder to navigate through the OS. Instead, I’m hoping for a flat UI which has kinda become a trend these days with Windows Phone and iOS 7. The next version of Android is going to be called Key Lime Pie that is if there’s no Android 4.4 Jelly Bean. You can also tell us what you expect from Android 5.0 in the comments section below.
9.Intel’s Bay Trail SoC
There was a leaked Antutu benchmark of a device running Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail SoC chipset which scored over 44K. Now, the latest of Qualcomm, which is the Snapdragon 800 manages to score around 35K and might even touch 38K in some cases, but the 44K score just blows away many minds. Another interesting thing is that this was just clocked at 1.1GHz. Intel’s Bay Trail can be clocked up to 2.1GHz, which may score even higher. If the leak was a real deal, we’re gonna see some really powerful devices packing Intel’s Bay Trail chipset.
10. $200 Windows 8 tablets
Now that we’re talking about Intel, they have said that their next-gen processors will bring down the prices of tablets that run Windows 8 to as low as $200. Now, Microsoft didn’t manage to do an excellent job with their Surface tablets, but people seemed to love the Windows experience on tablets. And personally, I think tablets running Windows 8 are the most useful tablets, because there’s a whole computer in your hand. Though the power of the tablets might not be as great as those of Ultrabooks, it would still get you through your day-to-day tasks.
Remember back in the day when Ubuntu OS for mobile phones and tablets was announced? There was no pure-Ubuntu mobile phone available at that time. Well now Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has started a crowd funding project on IndieGoGo which actually set a record for having the fastest collections among the campaigns on IndieGoGo. The deadline is coming soon and there is no way Canonical will be able to reach their goal, but the company said that after the campaign, hardware manufacturers and OEMs were “interested” in making Ubuntu Edge and it might be a real deal after all. The minimum funding amount to get your own Ubuntu Edge kept changing and now it’s just a little below $700. If you’re still interested, you can pledge money. BTW, Ubuntu Edge has crazy specifications. It has a sapphire glass, multi-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, dual antennas for LTE, 4.5” 720p display and dual-boots Android and Ubuntu OS.
Smartwatches have been in the news since a loooong time. There’s a rumored Apple iWatch, a rumored Samsung smartwatch, a rumored Google smartwatch and some Kickstarter and IndieGoGo smartwatch campaigns. Here’s a bit of interesting information: Samsung’s smartwatch is going to be called Galaxy Gear and will be unveiled on September 4 along with the Note III, according to rumors. No idea when Apple’s iWatch will be making its debut, but it’s kind of predictable that it won’t be too long until it comes out.
Our list ends at 12 items. If there’s something we’ve missed, leave it in the comments section below and we’ll update the article with the item and your name. Which one of these is you most excited about? Share this article with your social networks using the button below.
EDITED AND CONTRIBUTED BY:
Senior Managing Editor at Gadget Tech Team.