Best new phones of 2016
Forgive us for sounding a bit ‘old man-y’, but there was a time when smart phones were a rare luxury. Those days a long gone, and everyone you know has one (or, over here in the Gulf, two). We crave the next update, the latest releases, the new models on the market – each one promising to make our lives just that much bit better.
As such, the release of new phones have become a heavily guarded secret. So, assuming you’re as impatient as we are, we’ve read through all the rumours currently circulating out there to give you a little peek at what we can expect to come out this year:
Note: the images may not show the phone’s actual likeness
As consistent as the rising of the sun, any news of Apple’s latest phones creates mild hysteria. Such is its demand, info leaks about a new iPhone seems to be even more popular that the phones themselves. That said, there are rumours about that the iPhone7 will come with some serious design tweaks. There is already a lot of commotion and backlash around the rumours that the new iPhone will not have an audio jack anymore. The new iPhone is also expected to be thinner, with better speakers and a new display. There is also talk circulating that it may even feature improved waterproof capability. The phone won’t be out until later this year, but until then other rumours of the iPhone 5se launching in March/April can keep some people going until then.
Samsung: Galaxy S7
The latest Galaxy phone is almost upon us, with the launch date set for this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It will be rocking a Snapdragon 820 chip, so power won’t be a problem. With 4GB RAM, and rumours around the camera using a 25 Megapixel IMX300 sensor similar to the one Sony used in the Xperia Z5 Premium, so we can also expect a super high-end camera. The thing with Samsung is, they love to come out with something different and new with their new phones. Every generation of Samsung Galaxy phones always seem to be vastly improved from previous phones, so it’ll be exciting to see what the Korean giant does with this new one. Watch this space.
The release of the LG G5 smartphone is imminent. Hearsay claims that the company’s flagship with come equipped with a fancy new dual-lens camera system and a secondary display. Add that to rumors of a new metal casing (with a large 5.6in 4K screen), an Iris scanner and a Snapdragon 820 processor, and you’re looking at a drastic improvement on the previous model. Hopefully, the new LG G5 will have a larger-capacity battery, which insiders reckon will be able to charge wirelessly.
Sony: Xperia Z6
As with most Andriod-running phones, what is known about this phone so far is still in the shadows, but there are plenty of whispers. First things first, with the relatively modest success of the Z5 (pictured below) people would not expect the Xperia to undergo a new design. Apparently, Sony will be ditching the glass back for an all-round metal body. There’s been talk of the phone having a 2K resolution (and not 4K), even though they had 4K resolution on the Xperia Z5 Premium. The rest of the rumours are pretty much anyone’s guess. Better battery, more power with a Snapdragon 820 chip, Wireless charging, USB type-C support, better speakers and 3D Touch are just some of the new features the new phone is rumoured to have. We just hope that they keep the Z5′s fingerprint scanner.
HTC One M10
The Taiwanese tech company runs like clockwork. Therefore we are taking a(n educated) guess that the HTC One M10 will be revealed in the coming weeks around MWC. While the company’s brass have already stated that their flagship will be undergoing a major redesign next year, the M10 should come with tweaks and improvements to the M9, perhaps upgrading the screen to Quad HD, rather than fully HD.
Microsoft: Surface phone
After acquiring Nokia, there were a lot of talks behind Microsoft jumping full force into the mobile market. We all sit with baited breath as Microsoft’s biggest secret, the new Microsoft Surface phone is constantly rumoured to be ‘just around the corner’. While Microsoft has continuously denied the rumors and has stuck to its Lumia phones, the proof is piling up. With the tech megabrand recently purchased the domain name surfacephone.com, and Microsoft executives have hinted at a better phone launching soon, it seems almost inevitable. The phone was originally supposed to be launched early in 2016, but a report from Windows Central suggested it had been cancelled with Panos Panay (the man in charge of the team that designed Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book) took charge. This could mean we could expect the phone with a very similar design to the Surface Book. Could this phone be the one to make a difference for Microsoft? A release is now expected in the second half of this year.
Lenovo: Project Tango
Chinese tech giants Lenovo have teamed up with Google to launch Project Tango. Essentially, the project is a technology platform that uses ‘computer vision’ to enable mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals. Lenovo is set to be the first phone to launch with this platform on a commercial scale. With a rumoured price set at under Dhs 1,800, it won’t even be expensive compared to other phones. The phones will also have the added bonus of new apps being created for it specifically by developers, and little perks like measuring rooms by using the phone’s camera. This could be the future of mobile phone technology.
There is very little known about this phone. Truth be told, we cannot even confirm that it’ll be called the Nexus 7. The Nexus 6 was one of the best phones of last year and there is no reason to believe the new one will have a different fate this year. All the new Nexus phones do come with the latest Android OS, so we can expect this one with Android N. So it really is like a two-for-one: a new phone with a new OS. This phone won’t be available until the third quarter as well.