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Five Phones Worth Waiting For (Early 2014 Edition)

About to buy a smartphone? You should know that the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event took place just last month in Barcelona. It acts as a launchpad for phone makers to showcase their newest phones. Some manufacturers prefer launching their products around the MWC.

What we’re trying to say is, if you haven’t made up your mind, allow us to tempt you into waiting for these five phones that are on the brink of launching in India, that are worth waiting for:

1) The New HTC One — The HTC One was one of the most applauded phone of 2013. It is only unfortunate that Samsung’s marketing muscle and HTC’s shipping delays resulted in uninspiring sales figures. But HTC isn’t giving up easy; its pushing out the successor on March 25th, even taunting Samsung’s Galaxy S5 publicly on Twitter.

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With a huge number of leaks ahead of its launch, it’s safe to say we know almost everything there is to know about The New HTC One. It retains the good things we loved about the predecessor; like the aluminium unibody and front-facing stereo speakers. The display’s a 5-inch 1080p panel, it’s got the latest Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.3GHz chip with 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot too.

But the most interesting feature of The New HTC One is the dual cameras at the back; which supposedly will allow you to refocus a photograph after its taken. This feature is doable using a single camera sensor and smart software too; Nokia and Samsung have done it in their flagships. But it is said that having two physical camera sensors will provide a better experience than software trickery. Also, there’s an iPhone-5s-like TruTone flash for better lighting of subjects in dark environments. There’s also talk of a 5MP front-facing camera with software assistance that helps capture selfies better.

So who’s it for? — If you’ve been a fan of the Taiwanese company’s products, then wait till 25th March to know whether the New HTC One is pretty much what was revealed in the leaks or is there something we don’t know yet.

2) Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung launched its latest flagship device “Galaxy S5” at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona in February 2014. Samsung has added new features that its competitors have offered in the past. For instance, it has a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button which is similar to the one seen in iPhone 5s. The phone is IP67 verified which means that it is resistant to water and dust just like Sony’s high-end Xperia devices. The most unique hardware feature of the Galaxy S5 is a heart rate monitor, which is found at the back next to the LED flash.

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The Galaxy S5 is powered by 2.5GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor (or an Exynos variety, depending upon market), coupled with 2GB RAM which ensures that it is one of the fastest Android phones available in the market.

This Samsung smartphone has a unique ultra power saver mode which helps in conserving battery by converting the screen black and white and shutting all the unnecessary features. Also there is a My Magazine app which is similar to HTC’s BlinkFeed and earlier seen on Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The camera has fast focus times and records 4K video too. Lastly, it supports USB 3.0 and faster downloading of files by simultaneously using WiFi and cellular networks.

So who should wait? — People who love Samsung phones because of their feature-richness and overall brand value.

3) Moto X After a successful launch of the low-cost Moto G smartphone, Motorola is said to be bringing its Moto X handset to India in the next few weeks (update: very soon). Motorola has focussed more on providing rich features rather than boasting about high end specs with the Moto X. Although Moto X has ‘just’ a 1.7GHz Dual-core processor along with 2GB RAM, there are additional microphones embedded in the smartphone which recognises voice commands even when the phone is on standby; a feature known as ‘Touchless Controls’. It also comes with a Quick Capture feature, which allows users to jerk their wrist twice to open the camera app. The camera of Moto X also features ClearPixel technology that allows 75% more light to enter, thus producing better low light pictures (but the real world camera performance leaves something to be desired). Moto X also comes with an Active Display technology which displays notifications even when the screen is off. A motion sensor automatically puts the phone in driving mode when you start driving. A powerful Adreno 320 GPU ensures its ready for graphics-demanding apps.

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So who should wait? — People who aren’t too hung up on specs, but rather want a comfortably-sized phone that does all the unique things that the Moto X does.

4) HTC Desire 816 HTC has announced HTC Desire 816 at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona in February 2014. HTC was criticised for pricing their mid-range Desire series too high in the past, and rumours suggest that this phone will be aggressively priced. The HTC Desire 816 is a phablet with a 5.5 inch 720p screen. Under the hood, there is a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor backed by 1.5GB RAM. A striking feature is that the phone memory is expandable upto 128GB, which is the highest storage capacity available to date. The phone has its design adopted from HTC’s flagship device, the One. Although the aluminium body has been replaced by a plastic one. But the Dual frontal speakers have been retained. It will come with HTC UI Sense 5.5 and provide some unique apps like BlinkFeed. Unfortunately HTC’s UltraPixel technology has not been used in this device. But there is a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera for video calling and selfies.

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So who should wait? — People who’re looking for a mid-range phablet and don’t want to buy the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 or one of the many phablets sold by local vendors.

5) Sony XPERIA Z2 Sony has added another member to its “Z” series. The Z2 is waterproof and dust-resistant smartphone just like its predecessors. The display of this phone is said to be better than the disappointingly mediocre panel we saw on the XPERIA Z1. The most outstanding feature is the camera which can record 4K videos at a resolution of 2160p. Apart from this, the 20.7 megapixel camera is also capable of recording slow motion videos as seen in iPhone 5s. The camera has larger size of individual pixels that allows capturing more light and the phone supports many photo editing apps. In terms of hardware, there is 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, which is also seen on Samsung Galaxy S5. But instead of the traditional 2GB, it comes with 3GB of RAM, which should be more than sufficient to run many apps simultaneously. Apart from these features, the phone comes bundled with noise cancelling earphones and has built-in stereo speakers too (Z1 had a mono speaker).

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So who should wait? — Those who want to buy a premium waterproof phone with an excellent camera, and aren’t too fond of products from other Android makers like Samsung, HTC or LG.

Harsh Mulchandani

Harsh Mulchandani is the Consumer Electronics Expert at PriceBaba.com. His passion is to play cricket and use different gadgets. He loves cycling and nature photography. You can follow him on twitter @mulchandani97

2 Comments

    • kriyer10
    • March 13, 2014

    Who is so eager as to wait for the ever bloated and the highly overrated s5?

    Reply
    • r0han
    • March 14, 2014

    kriyer10  Honestly I think the S5 has good features to look forward to. Stuff like water/dust resistance, fingerprint scanner, USB 3.0 support. Let’s hope that aggressive pricing rumour is true though. Tired of manufacturers pricing the phone high at first, and then dropping the price down, screwing the early adopter.

    Reply

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