On Tuesday, Apple is expected to reveal the hotly anticipated iPhone 6. This week, however, saw announcements of several other mobile devices.
The new smartphones and smartwatches raise the bar significantly for Apple.
Without a doubt, the leading gimmick award has to go to Samsung this week. Its Galaxy Note Edge sports a display that curves partway down its right side. An extra 160 pixels of width give room for media controls, news tickers, detailed notifications, and shortcut buttons.
Access to the narrow strip is available in an SDK, so any developer can take advantage of it, not just Samsung.
Otherwise, the Edge is very similar to the other phone the company announced this week, the Galaxy Note 4 – the latest in its popular line of large-screen “phablets”. Both feature a 3.7-megapixel front camera and a 16-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video. Both also come with a stylus and “Quad HD” screen, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. (The Edge’s is 5.6 inches, while the 4’s is 5.7 inches.)
In addition, Samsung unveiled a virtual reality headset that connects to the Note 4 and the Gear S smartwatch. The watch’s curved 2-inch screen covers a GPS chip and SIM card slot, which means it doesn’t need to sync with a phone to be useful.
The first round smartwatch, the Motorola 360, went on sale today starting at $249.99. While Motorola had everyone’s attention, it announced updates to two of its phones.
The new version of the Moto X has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 4K video capture and a ring flash around the lens. Like its predecessor, the Moto X is customizable with colorful buttons and finishes.
The Moto G was also updated, given a 5-inch 720p screen and 8-megapixel camera. For storage expansion, it now has a microSD slot. But the real attraction is its price: unlocked, with no contract, it sells for $179.99.
Now officially part of Microsoft, Nokia announced three new Windows Phone 8.1 devices. At a glance, their specs seem to lag behind Android flagships, but they focus on beauty and usability.
The Lumia 830’s 10-megapixel camera boasts optical image stabilization and Nokia’s PureView branding. The 5-inch 720p display is slightly curved to reduce glare. The microSD slot supports cards up to 128GB, and the phone includes Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now in the mobile personal assistant battle.
Meanwhile, the Lumia 730 Dual SIM and Lumia 735 share most of their specs. The rear camera is only 6.7 megapixels, but the 5-megapixel front camera has a wide-angle lens for expansive video chatting and group selfies. The phone includes a microSD slot and a 4.7-inch 720p screen.
Are you waiting for the iPhone? Eager to get your hands on a Samsung, Motorola, or Nokia? Let us know in the comments!
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