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What Android Phone Should You Buy This Year?

September 28th, 2015 · No Comments

Lollipop Android Phone

It’s coming up to the end of the year. That means that Apple will be releasing their new iPhone, Samsung will be readying a new Note and there are a few new phones to choose from in the run up to the holiday season. If you’re coming up to the end of your phone contract it might be time to start looking for a new phone.

If you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem then you will be interested in whatever new phone they bring out. History has taught us that they tend to operate on a tick-tock policy. With a new model number every other announcement followed by a refinement of the same. With this in mind we will probably see a “S” version of their existing phones, featuring incremental updates but no new features or real point of differentiation. The existing phones will come down in price, although some of the storage options will disappear.

On the Android side of the fence, the choices get more interesting. Samsung has already confirmed there will be a new version of the Note, which will apparently do away with external storage and actually be slightly smaller than the existing model (physically) but may take design cues from the Galaxy 6 and 6 Edge. The two aforementioned Galaxy phones will see their prices drop in an effort to compete with the iphone and to stave off disappointing sales (arguably caused by a shortage of the Edge variant on launch.)

There have been persistent rumors of new versions of the Google Nexus range, with LG and Huawei the names that keep cropping up. Consensus seems to be that there will be two versions: a phablet more akin to the Nexus 6 and a new version of the Nexus 5. Having had a preview version of Android M (the next iteration of the Android Operating System) it would appear that a fingerprint reader is likely for both phones. This will tie into Google’s latest attempts to enter the mobile payment arena and could make unlocking phones easier as well as beefing up their security. Certainly it would appear to be the only thing to differentiate them from the current crop of Android flagships.

Of the current flagships, Motorola has just announced the successor to the Moto X. Featuring a nearly pure variant of Android, which should mean regular and speedy updates to the Operating System, they boast highly competitive prices. The more powerful of the two is the only one to be released in North America and features a Snapdragon 808 processor rather than the top of the line 810 (which was prone to overheating at launch) but a QHD (2560 by 1440 pixels) screen, a highly touted camera and external storage. The less powerful of the two has a standard HD screen (1920 by 1080 pixels) but a massive 3,630mAh battery. It will share the more powerful phone’s camera.

Beyond that, HTC is expected to announce a new phone and OnePlus has already seen more than a million people register for the chance to buy their new (and very affordably priced) phone.

The trend amongst the upper tier Android phones seems to be of customization and more attractive appearance as they try to define themselves as premium products, with Motorola’s and LG’s current offerings all allowing for a choice of finishes that includes wood and leather. Samsung are trying to emulate the attractive designs pioneered by Apple but there is little to choose between most of the phones in terms of processor and RAM configurations.

Really, besides operating system, choosing a phone comes down to cost, aesthetic taste and how big a priority things like external storage, a fingerprint reader and the camera are. There is a massive choice of very capable and very similar phones vying for sales based on differences outside the core functionality of being a smart phone.

Tags: android

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