This year is expected to be an exciting one in the world of mobile technology. While the past year brought us cutting-edge flagship devices with everything from fingerprint scanners to eye tracking sensors, there’s plenty more waiting in the wings for Android and iOS lovers.
The next big thing from Samsung, LG, HTC and of course Apple, is right around the corner. We’ve rounded up just a few of the best smartphones that we’re looking forward to in 2014. While some of the details below are mere speculation, we’re pretty sure that you can expect to see some special devices arrive this year.
HTC has struggled in the shadows of Apple and Samsung, but the Taiwanese company achieved notoriety last year when it delivered one of the best-reviewed Android devices ever made. With its stunning all-metal body, slick UI enhancements, and innovative camera, the HTC One was a phone that we all admired.
Today, we’re eagerly awaiting word on the next HTC flagship. Code named the M8, the successor to the HTC One is expected to launch in late March–assuming the teasers hold true. It will look very similar to the current model, but it will feature a faster 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display and Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC’s Sense 6.0 user interface.
Leaked images of the next HTC One have already hit the Web, revealing an extra camera sensor on the rear of the handset. This is expected to bring improved focusing, low light shooting and depth of field to the One’s innovative camera setup.
With an official event planned for March 25, expect HTC to show off its new One device.
Samsung Galaxy S5
One of the most anticipated devices this year has already arrived from Samsung, maker of the popular Galaxy S4. The next-generation S5 made its debut last week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), and it will arrive soon.
As usual, this Galaxy device is packed with innovative features, including a 5.1-inch 1080p, Super AMOLED screen. Photography enthusiasts will also appreciate its 16 megapixel camera with improved image stabilization and a new selective focus mode that acts a bit like the aperture on an SLR for depth of field effects.
The new S5 is also the first smartphone with a built-in heart rate sensor, allowing those with active lifestyles to monitor their heart rate throughout the day or just during a working.
Other features include a 2,800 mAh battery offering 12 hours of video playback, and it comes in four shimmery colors. The hardware is also resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so it’s built to hold up to serious punishment.
In addition to the hardware tweaks, Samsung revamped its user interface. Its next-generation TouchWiz UI is cleaner, more refined, and less cluttered than before.
Look to get your hands on the all-new Samsung Galaxy S5 in April.
Sony Xperia Z2
Sony kicked of 2014 by introducing two new mid-range phones, the Z1 Compact and the Z1S. Neither of these are range-topping replacements. That honor goes to the all-new Z2, which was unveiled amid the MWC.
The Z2 continues Sony Xperia’s sleek, monolithic look. Inside, the Z2 has been fitted with a 2.3GHz Qualcomm processor, an incredible 20.7 megapixel camera, and it allows users to view everything on a high-resolution 5.2-inch HD display.
Since Sony is a leader in 4K televisions, perhaps it’s fitting that the Z2 also captures stunning 4K video. Like the Samsung S5, the Z2 promises to be incredibly durable and it’s both waterproof and dust resistant.
Sony’s Z2 arrives this month running Android 4.4 and it will be available in black, white, or purple.
LG had a good year in 2013, launching a slew of hot devices. This new product offensive included the G2 as well as the Google-branded Nexus 5.
The former is expected to get its replacement soon. In addition a slight increase in screen real estate, LG’s G3 is expected to get a crisp 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution display. It may also be powered by LG’s octa-core Odin chipset for speedy performance. Rumors have also suggested that an iPhone-like fingerprint scanner could give the device a bit more security.
No official information has been released just yet, but the latest rumors in circulation suggest it may arrive as soon as June.
Apple iPhone 6
No company excites consumers quite like Apple, and 2014 is expected to bring yet another industry-disrupting iPhone. While Apple brought about a frenzy with two new iPhones last year, the tech giant is undoubtedly going to go all-out for its next rendition of its flagship device.
Last year’s iPhone 5s was a sales success, thanks its faster chipset, fingerprint scanner, as well as its lighter, thinner body, but many consumers are currently flocking toward handsets that offer larger screens, better price points, and more unique software features.
Because of these trends, the iPhone 6 may be the device worth waiting for this year. Rumors suggest a larger device with as much as 5.5-inches of screen real-estate. The handset will also undergo a revolutionary design change, as opposed to the more evolutionary changes made to the iPhone 5s.
Due to the dramatic updates in store for the iPhone, don’t expect it until later in 2014.