With Apple kicking off September with their annual conference, autumn is set to be the season of the smartphone. Companies are developing cheaper alternatives to compete with the technology giants (you can read about our iPhone 8 predictions here). Rumours surrounding the content of the conference have hinted at some exciting development, but there’s some exciting things to come from the likes of Samsung, Google, LG and Sony.
Samsung Note 8
Whilst everybody is looking in Apple’s direction… The Note 8 is bigger and better than its predecessors. Retailing at just over £800, the Note 8 is a slightly cheaper alternative to the rumoured iPhone 8/X and boasts a range of competitive features:
New and improved S Pen
Out of all the smartphone developments, Samsung arguably host one of the most enjoyable features. Using live messaging, Note 8 users will now be able to create their very own GIFs. You simply draw on a chosen background and within seconds, Samsung will create a GIF users can save and reuse. Other useful features include a ‘screen on memo’ feature allowing users to write up to 100 pages on a locked display and improved translation.
Dual lens camera
Samsung have finally implemented dual camera hardware. The feature includes two 12-megapixel camera, one with 2x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Users will be able to capture a zoomed-in and wide-angle photograph at the same time. Whilst this raises questions about the composition and focus of both images, we will have to wait until the 15th of September to find out.
The perfect phone for multitasking, the Note 8 doesn’t just provide users with seamless note taking opportunities, it is also capable of running two apps at once on its 6.3-inch screen.
Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL
With the raving reviews Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL got last year, how will the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL maintain its reputation?
Dust and water resistant
The Pixel 2’s dust and water resistant rating of IP68 is on par with the Samsung S8, meaning it can be submerged in water at a 1.5 metre depth for around 30 minutes.
USB Type-C headphone jack
Google following the footsteps of Apple by abolishing a 35mm headphone jack for a USB Type-C headphone jack is an interesting move, considering they had a lot to say about Apple making the change last year. Like Apple, it is likely they will offer solutions like a dongle or Google Assistant powered wireless headphones, and since the commotion surrounding companies choosing to abolish the traditional headphone port has died down, it’s unlikely this will be a make or break feature for success.
Always on display
The ‘Always On’ feature allows users to check the time, their notifications and more without having to wake the phone. This is in no way a revolutionary feature. Instead of pioneering the future of smartphone software, Google seem to be playing catch up with the likes of Samsung.
Sony Xperia XZ1
Competition within the smartphone sector us vicious. Whilst the Xperia was once at the forefront of smartphone popularity, Apple and Samsung seem to dominate this market forcing Sony to look for more creative solutions to make them stand out from the crowd.
Whilst many tech companies are looking towards virtual and augmented reality to advance their smartphone devices, Sony have focused on 3D technology. Sony’s 3D creator will allow Xperia ZX1 users to capture 3D photography, share the images on any social media platform and print using a 3D printer, as well as other fun features like 3D sticker and 3D personal avatars, without requiring any specialised hardware.
Motion Eye Camera
The Motion Eye camera is set to be one on of the most detailed smartphone camera on the market. With 19-megapixals, the camera has the ability to capture detail the human eye cannot even see, and tracks and captures a sequence of moving events, preventing blurred action shots. The camera also lets the user to manually adjust the shutter speed and focus, allowing for more creative control.
Slow motion feature
Focusing on sound and videography, the LGV30 looks set to be the perfect device for vloggers.
The LG370 allows users to control the ISO, white balance, shutter speed and three options for bitrate, giving users more creative control. Although its unlikely the LGV30 will replace the sophistication of a DSLR it offers vloggers a more portable option.
As many smartphone developers are opting for the abolishment of the 35mm jack, LG are one of the only competitors keeping the feature, making it almost a USP for the brand.
Dual lens camera
Due to the dual lens being a repeated feature on almost every new smartphone, it’s hard for the camera to define the success of the LGV30. Arguably, the wide aperture of one of the two rear cameras is the biggest benefit. Low-light photography will be a key selling point of the phone.
Apple are leading the way in smartphone technology. Whilst companies like Samsung and LG seem to be playing catch up, Apple are pioneering the smartphone by utalising new technologies like AR and VR to transform what we use our phones for. With releases throughout Autumn, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.