With IFA 2014 (Berlin) just around the corner, and everyone eagerly awaiting Apple’s “media event” on 9 September, the next month is shaping up to be one filled with huge amounts of excitement. We’re going to see the next generation of flagships being revealed, as well as the exciting new smartwatches and cameras and other equipment, but here are the top 10 we can’t wait for.
Apple iPhone 6 (est: 9 September)
Arguably the most anticipated product here, the iPhone 6 will be shaking up the standard formula by a large margin. While all the iPhones to date have had displays of 4 inches or below, the new iteration will feature a display of at least 4.7 inches, with a possible second variant sized at 5.5 inches.
Still, rumours abound that the device will only take a modest pixel upgrade, up to 1472 x 828 and 1704 x 960 from the iPhone 5s’ 1136 x 640, which is still a far cry from the Full HD (1920 x 1080) and 2K resolution (2560 x 1440) displays powering the current crop of Android flagships. This will only result in a pixel density of around 320 PPI, which is called “Retina” in Apple-speak, but will definitely lack the clarity that competitors offer. Personally, I’m hoping for a 1080p and 2K display for the respective sizes of the iPhone 6.
Otherwise, we’ll be seeing a general repeat of last-year’s design, and I’m not complaining, for the iPhone 5s looks fantastic. TouchID will definitely make a return, and the camera looks to stay at 8 MP with their pioneered dual-flash technology. Also, perhaps to accommodate the larger display, the power button seems to have shifted to the right-side akin to most Android and Windows Phone devices.
Other than the iPhone 6 we might also see Apple launch their iWatch, with more on that below.
Asus Zenfone Gen 2 (est: 3 September)
The Zenfone was Asus’ attempt at striking back at the extremely cheap and hugely popular Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Oppo, and it has been quite a success to a certain extent. In markets such as India, sales have often put it cheaper than the Moto G, however, the Zefones’ performance left a lot to be desired.
In Singapore, the Zenfone has been much less successful, owing mainly due to their relatively late launch here, coming hot on the heels of the Moto G, Xiaomi Redmi and Mi3. With the Redmi available for S$169 and Moto G and Mi3 for just over S$300, there was barely a ripple in the Singaporean market.
Unfortunately, leaks have been practically non-existent, so all we can do is wait for their press conference to roll around.
Huawei Ascend Mate 7 (est: 4 September)
While Huawei’s current offerings have been well beat by other Chinese manufacturers like Oppo and Xiaomi, they are set to attempt a comeback with their new lineup. Spearheading the attack will be their new Ascend Mate 7, which will be sure to feature extremely powerful specs.
According to certification details, the Mate 7 will be arriving with a 1.8 GHz Kirin 920 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 13 MP main camera, a 6.1 inch 1080p display and 16 GB of internal storage. However, previous AnTuTu benchmarks revealed an ARM Mali-T624 MP4 graphics chip. Leaked pics showing a Huawei phone with a 720p display and 1 GB RAM, plus a fingerprint sensor, are believed to show the Mate 7’s mid-range cousin, the G7.
The Kirin 920 is an extremely powerful octa-core processor based on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. The Cortex-A15 cores can be clocked from 1.7GHz up to 2.0 GHz, while the energy-efficient Cortex-A7 ones start at 1.3 GHz and can be boosted up to 1.6 GHz.
The Kirin 920 relies on the powerful Mali-T628MP4 quad-core graphics. We’ve seen the same GPU, but with six cores (MP6), to perform in the octa-core models of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5. This means that the Mate 7 will be packing serious firepower, pulling it level with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 offering even when clocked just at 1.3 GHz.
Nokia Lumia 730 and 830 (est: 4 September)
While Nokia’s devices have always been hailed for having the best cameras, these have always been mounted facing the back. This time, perhaps in answer to Xiaomi’s Mi4, HTC’s One (M8) and Sony’s Xperia C3, they have decided to give the camera facing the front a significant boost.
Early last month, Microsoft released a teaser invite for an event in Berlin, Germany, on September 4. The vivid orange invite asks, “Are you ready for more?” and features the round Lumia camera lens instead of the letter “o” in the word “more.”
Rumours point to the Lumia 730 having a 5-inch display with a 720p resolution. The device will possibly be powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip with 1 GB of RAM, and have a total of 8 GB internal memory. Last, but the least, it will incorporate the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (est: 3 September)
Yes, it is time for Samsung’s annual release of the Note phablet. In its fourth iteration this year, Samsung seems to be rolling out all the stops in attempts to draw consumers towards its product. The Note 3, released in 2013, was already a fantastic phablet and the Note 4 will look to build upon it. It is safe to say we’ll be seeing a 2K (1440p) display as one of the main selling points for the Note 4.
Aside from that, we will also probably see the waterproofing first featured in the Galaxy S5, and perhaps a fingerprint and heart-rate sensor. Chances are also that we might see the body of the flagship encased in metal for the first time, after the Galaxy Alpha made history by becoming the first Samsung device to have a metal chassis.
Sony Xperia Z3 (est: 3 September)
Just like Samsung, Sony too has adopted a half-yearly release cycle, however theirs focuses solely on their smartphone flagship and does not alternate between a phablet and smartphone (which we’d have liked – where’s the Z Ultra 2, Sony?). Unfortunately, the Xperia Z3 is shaping up to be an even smaller increment than the Xperia Z2 was over the Z1.
AnTuTu benchmarks show a Sony device carrying a Snapdragon 801 upgraded to a clock speed of 2.5 GHz (from 2.3 GHz) which, much to their embarrassment, is already seen in the HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5. The battery and display remain identical at 3200 mAh and 5.2″ 1080p IPS LCD.
The key difference will be in the size and thickness of the device, with Sony reportedly trimming the bezels and reducing weight further.
Apple iWatch (est: 9 September)
According to a recent report from Recode, Apple’s new smartwatch (unofficially dubbed the iWatch) will be launching alongside the aforementioned twin variants of the iPhone 6. The Recode report also claims that the product will be deeply integrated with Apple’s health tracking tools — coming as part of iOS 8 — and even tap into home automation through HomeKit, another new feature of the upcoming software. Rumors have long pointed to Apple’s wearable putting a big focus on health, so that tidbit isn’t exactly a revelation.
It will be interesting to see how Apple answers competitors in terms of design and functionality, especially with multiple smartwatches already available for purchase in stores, such as the Galaxy Gear 2, Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2.
Moto 360 (est: 4 September)
Everyone had been eagerly anticipating the launch details of the Moto 360, expected to be known when Motorola hosts press at a September 4 event in Chicago, but thanks to Best Buy, we now have a lot of time to decide if the specifications are to our liking. According to a listing on Best Buy’s site for the Moto 360, it will cost US$249 (S$311).
It seems that the Moto 360 will be as powerful as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2. It packs a 320 x 290 pixels, 1.5 inch LCD screen (205 ppi), and Gorilla Glass 3 on the display end. Rumours of the 360 having a heart rate monitor, water resistance (up to 3.3 feet for up to 30 minutes), and an ambient light sensor also seem to be true. On a specs tab, the listing suggests that there is 512 MB of RAM, Wireless N connectivity, and a Texas Instruments processor inside.
For more details, check out our article about Best Buy’s foul-up.
Canon EOS 750D (est: 2-7 September)
Truth be told, no one has any idea when the damned 750D will launch. While the 650D launched in June 2012, and the 700D nine months after that, 18 months onwards, there’s no sight of the 750D.
Rumours suggest the 750D will continue with the 18 MP APS-C image sensor, but will increase focusing points to 11 and include some form of the Dual-Pixel Autofocus that the EOS 70D has been lauded for. Furthermore, we will definitely see an upgrade in the image processing unit, up from Digic 5 to a minimum of Digic 5+ with a slim possibility of Digic 6 debuting with their DSLR range (as of now, Digic 6 is limited to their compact cameras).
Canon has not let any secrets out, except for scheduling daily press conferences from the 2nd to 7th of September. What do you think?
Sony QX10/QX100 Upgrade (est: 3 September)
While Sony is busy preparing its Xperia Z3, it looks like they are also preparing to update its lens-style camera lineup, which clips onto any iPhone or Android device to offer improved zoom and photo-quality.
The QX100 and QX10 fall within Sony’s existing Cyber-shot family of cameras, but the new products serve a completely different purpose. Both are designed to sync with your smartphone, via a connection established through NFC for most Android devices or Wi-Fi for the iPhone and iPad, allowing the user to take high-quality pictures with long zoom and optical image stabilization. The design includes a removable spring-powered bracket for physically attaching the device to your phone, but also connects wirelessly, allowing you to control the shutter, zoom and settings remotely from a close distance.
A few more products are visible on Sony’s leaked invitation, though it’s hard to tell exactly what we’re looking at. Maybe a new Bluetooth speaker or a desktop computer? We could throw out guesses all day, but it probably makes more sense to just wait for the actual event. According to the invite, Sony’s big show will take place on the 3rd of September at 4:15 PM, so stay tuned.
Excited for September?
So are we! Which product are you waiting for? Leave your favourite in the comments below!