We’re already a quarter of the way into 2015, and we’ve already witnessed the duo of major tech events, CES and MWC, as well as a private event by Apple and new device launches by Xiaomi. Plenty of new tech is coming your way, fresh out of the 2015 oven. After our brief hiatus in preparation for our examinations, we’ve decided to compile a list of the new tech that’s coming your way. So sit back and take your time at perusing through this list. If you’re looking for brand new devices to purchase, look no further.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Announced at MWC earlier this month in Barcelona, the Xperia M4 Aqua was, in fact, the device that got me the most excited. Sure, Sony hadn’t revealed its flagship Xperia Z4, but the M4 Aqua is a worthy mid-ranger that could potentially set the new standard for affordable yet formidable smartphones. It had a build almost identical to the flagship Z3, albeit being encased in plastic rather than glass. But it made up for that with a powerful 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM, waterproofing, a 720p IPS LCD 5″ display, (purported) 2-day battery life, a great 13MP camera, and an SD card slot; the last of which is a feature that certain rivals *ahem* Samsung *ahem* failed keep in even their flagship phones. To top it all off, it came with Android Lollipop out of the box, and I dare say that Sony’s iteration of Lollipop in its Xperia UI is the best I’ve seen so far. It’ll be coming to Singapore soon (I estimate some time in April), so keep a lookout for this one.
HTC One M9
HTC’s One M9 is the highly-anticipated successor to the One M8, but on paper it seems like an incremental update at best. The display is still a 5″ Super LCD3 1080p panel, and the design has stayed fairly stagnant compared to last year’s model, other than some attempts at making the device easier to grip by replacing the round metal sides with chamfered edges. The Ultrapixel camera has been moved up front to take on selfies now, while the back has been replaced by a 20MP Toshiba sensor. Don’t get too excited about the new camera though. Reviews by international sites such as Android Authority and The Verge rate its camera as a poor performer despite the 5x boost in the megapixel count from its predecessor. GSMarena also reports rather poor battery life that goes below what the M8 managed to achieve. On the upside, the phone now has 3GB of RAM instead of 2GB and the chipset has been updated to the latest Snapdragon 801 (though this has been known for overheating issues in preliminary testing). You can begin to understand why people were disappointed.
Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
Samsung presented us with not one but two new flagships at MWC. The S6 Edge is now curved on both sides unlike the Note 4 Edge. But other than this, the S6 and S6 Edge are somewhat identical. Samsung has gone back to the drawing board with the S6, departing from its traditional plastic designs, the S6 now comes in premium metal and glass. Most impressively is the screen, which is now a QHD display. And at 5.1 inches, this makes for a mind-blowing 577ppi, the highest pixel density in a phone (for now). You’d think that the battery life might take a big hit, but truth is the S6 outlasts the One M9, according to GSMarena.
The downside for the fresh new design? It’s no longer water resistant, the battery is no longer removable, and there’s no microSD card slot.
Xiaomi Mi Note
Coming in the next couple of months to Singapore, the Mi Note is Xiaomi’s first ever flagship phablet. 4G dual SIM, a Snapdragon 801 processor, and a 5.7″ 1080p screen lie encased in a metal frame and curved Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and back. Only downside would be the mediocre battery life.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Announced at MWC alongside the M4 Aqua, Sony’s new tablet has a larger 2K 10.1″ screen compared to that one the Z3 Tablet Compact. It’s just 6.1mm thin (about as thin as the iPad Air 2), and at just 389g, it manages to be 45g lighter than its Apple counterpart. It’s also worth noting that the pixel density on its screen even beats the retina display of the iPad Air 2. All of this while being completely waterproof. There is even a Bluetooth keyboard accessory to turn this into a proper work station.
Microsoft Surface 3
No, not the Surface Pro 3. Just announced yesterday, the Microsoft Surface 3 is the successor to the Surface 2. But unlike its predecessor, it now runs on full Windows 8.1 instead of Windows RT, with a guaranteed update to Windows 10, and has Intel’s brand new quad core 64-bit Cherry Trail Atom processor under the hood. The Surface 3 will be available in Singapore on 5 May, and pre-orders are already open with the base 64GB/2GB RAM model retailing for $748 with a 10% discount for students. The type cover and Surface pen were sold separately.
Dell XPS 13 (2015) (Already here)
Make no doubt about it. The Dell XPS 13 (2015) sets a new standard for laptop designs of the future. Dubbed “Infinity Display”, the new laptop from Dell features an unprecedented, almost bezel-less display, fitting a 13 inch screen into an 11 inch form factor while still managing to fit a front-facing camera in the lower corner. The premium aluminium outer finish and soft polycarbonate interior make for an impeccable build. The device is already retailing in Singapore in three different configurations, the i5 1080p non-touch version for $1699, the i7 1080p non-touch version for $2099 and the i7 QHD+ (3200 x 1800) touch screen version for $2199, all of which are running on Intel’s latest 5th generation processors. To find out more, visit Dell’s official website.
No, this isn’t the MacBook Air. Just MacBook. Ironically, it’s thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air, and offers a retina display, something which the Air still lacks to this day, even in the upgraded 2015 model. At just 13.1mm thin and 920g light, don’t expect the device to run any games or intensive apps on its Core M processor. Apple is clearly targeting students and frequent travellers who want a lightweight (light) working machine. Unfortunately, the device only comes with one port: the USB Type C. It’s a brand new type of USB port that hasn’t really been implemented on most devices yet. You’ll need to lug around a bunch of adaptors to be able to connect the MacBook to anything, which is a bummer.
The MacBook comes in Space Grey, Gold and Silver, and features Apple’s new Force Touch trackpad. Basically it senses how much pressure you’re applying on the trackpad to carry out different commands based on the varying levels of pressure. Could this be a new product category? Or just a glorified netbook?
Apple’s new watch is coming pretty soon, but at a pretty steep price. We’re still not sure about how much it’s going to cost here in Singapore, but it’s certainly not going to be cheap judging by US price figures. This is perhaps the most controversial wearable of this year, with many reviewers advising the public not to purchase it due to its steep price tag and lack of waterproofing. The latter means that you can’t take the Apple Watch for a swim, but everyday sweat and splashes from washing your hands should be fine, according to Apple at least.
Interestingly enough, the public announcement of the Apple Watch actually led to a spike in the number of Pebble Time kickstarter backers. Pebble Time is the second generation Pebble, boasting 1 week of battery life and a new coloured e-ink display.
Yet to be announced
Yet to be announced are the hotly-anticipated Sony Xperia Z4 and LG G4. We’re not going to feed you with rumours, but if anything we hope that Sony and LG’s new flagships will spice up the rather disappointing duo of devices presented by Samsung and HTC.
So that’s about it. There are still a couple more devices that I haven’t covered, including the Huawei watch and the Asus Zenfone 2 (and the Lumia 640 and 640 XL for that matter).
So what are your thoughts on the new devices of 2015? Drop your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to like us on Facebook for future updates.