The flagship smartphone market is about to get a facelift again. With Samsung, Apple, HTC, Sony all ready with their latest offerings, you have a choice to make. Here's some help.
With the announcement of the iPhone 6, the top brands have all announced their flagships for the year. While Sony has the Xperia Z3, Samsung has the Galaxy Note 4 and HTC has its One M8 smartphone. With the exception of the M8, which is already here, the other three will be coming to India by the end of September, or early next month. So, that’s it, that’s the competition and the fate now depends on the consumer’s hands.
We’ll of course be reviewing all the devices when they arrive in India, but before that, we thought we would do a specs comparison of the smartphones to see what’s what.
Looking at the four smartphones, the Galaxy Note 4 is the winner hands down, with superior resolution on the quad-HD display. Going by what we have seen before, Apple’s Retina displays are a step ahead of the usual Full-HD displays in other devices. This suggests that the iPhone 6 would perhaps be the better of the other three.
Digging a bit deeper though, the Quad-HD display on the Note 4 is more of a gimmick than an added value. Researches have shown that the human eye can not discern any difference beyond a full-HD display. This would make the Retina HD screen on the new iPhone the best of the flagships.
That said, Sony and HTC are both using the same display that they used in their last generation flagships. We have already reviewed the Xperia Z2 and One M8 and both these devices have very good displays. If the Xperia Z3 is priced lower than the Note 4 and iPhone 6, which it almost certainly will be, then there will really not be much to choose.
Going by sheer numbers, the Galaxy Note 4 again tops out the competition here. The device has a 2.7 GHz SoC, compared to the 2.5 GHz in the Sony and HTC, while Apple comes with the new 64-bit A8 chipset. Here also, if you consider last generation flagships, the A7 chipset on Apple proved to be as powerful as the Snapdragon 800s that were doing the rounds then.
So, to rank them in order of the power of the processor, Samsung would be followed by Apple and then Sony and HTC coming in third.
The Xperia Z3 is the clear winner here, in terms of the specifications. We wouldn’t be surprised if this was true in reality as well. While all the other manufacturers had amazing cameras in their last flagships, the Xperia Z2 was still amongst our favourite cameras. A point to be noted here is that Apple’s iSight camera has perhaps the best white balance among any smartphone camera in the market. HTC on the other hand turned a lot of heads with its duo-camera on the M8.
There’s not much to seperate them in this department and as you can see, the specs suggest Sony, followed by Samsung, HTC and then Apple.
Build and Design
This is one area where the HTC One (M8) excels above all others. While Apple went back to its roots with the rounded edges on the iPhone 6, Sony has also done the same for the Xperia Z3. Samsung finally put some metal on its devices with the metal frame around the Note 4, but the company retained its faux-leather back. From the looks point of view, the HTC One (M8) seems to be the best looking of all of these devices.
A point to be noted here though is that Samsung could gain a lot of points from users because of the removable back and battery on the Note 4. This is something that none of the other manufacturers provide. But still, we would have to pick HTC as the winner in this department. Afterall, the HTC One was one of the best built smartphones ever.
This is the tricky part of these flagship devices. HTC being the older of all of these, has already dropped in pricing, being available online for about Rs. 39,000. While the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 should both launch around and upwards of Rs. 55,000, the Xperia Z3 should be priced around Rs. 50,000. Theoretically, this would give HTC a huge edge because its device is almost as powerful as the others and costs over Rs. 10,000 less, but for those who want absolutely new gadgets, the price of the M8 is just a reminder that it is technically an older device.
It’s of course too early to choose one of these devices as the winner right now. We’ll wait for the launch and reviews before giving a verdict. A specs comparison shows that while the HTC One (M8) is an older smartphone, it still has a legitimate claim on the market. Also, the Xperia Z3, Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 all have their moments and will be vying for your attention. Get ready for a tough choice, but if you’re looking for some help right now, we hope the above helped. You can also read our reviews of the Xperia Z2, iPhone 5S, HTC One (M8) and Galaxy Note 3 to gain perspective about the companies.
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