Upcoming Android phones of 2012
At the end of 2011, we saw a bunch of amazing smartphone releases including those of the HTC Rezound, the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Then, recently at CES 2012 we also saw the introductions of several new phones that are slated for release in the up coming months.
So needless to say, the Android smartphone field is an extremely crowded one this year and if 2011 was considered to be a good year then 2012 seems to blow us all away with few of the most amazing Android devices yet to be officially launched by their respective manufacturers. This must have probably left a few of us scratching our heads as to which device to get or if you’re in line for an upgrade then which one to prefer over the other. Well I’ll try to make these questions as simple as possible in the upcoming review of few of the MOST ANTICIPATED ANDROID DEVICES OF 2012 so fasten your seat belts folks and get ready to experience a ride of your (Android) life in 2012 !!!
Well to start things of, 2011 was all about “dual core”, becoming the standard for high-end smartphones. And we just witnessed what super phones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR MAXX, and others are capable of. These phones are five times more powerful than anything released last year, and for this upcoming generation of devices, even more.
So, what next? This year, chip-makers have come forth with quad core processors supporting mobile multitasking comparable to the performance of a desktop computer of a few years ago, powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC’s and TI’s OMAP equivalent. More cores equal more power and a faster smartphone; certainly they are likely to offer increased power savings and a performance increase in the range of 300-500%. And, they actually have POWER SAVING FEATURES embedded in them too.
The South Korean giants who blessed us with the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S2, are already set to be a leader in this particular superphone death-match. Samsung phones and tablets have used ARM, Snapdragon and Tegra chipsets, but the manufacturer’s semiconductor division is working hard on the next generation of its own Exynos line of systems-on-a-chip (Read my previous Exynos 5250 article for an in-depth analysis of what it actually has to offer). Tests are being conducted on the Exynos 5250, which isn’t quad-core, but rather a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. Samsung seems to be confident that the Exynos 5250 can produce benchmarks and performance competitive with a quad-core processor. Or it may even go with the 32 nm quad core Exynos 4412 (based on Cortex A9) having the same clock speed of 1.5 GHz.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Specs
- 1GB/2GB of RAM
- 4.6 inch 1280×720 AMOLED display
- under 9mm thin
- 12MP rear camera, with W750 BSI CMOS sensor
- 1.5Ghz quad core (potentially dual core, but unlikely)
- Multiple variants to be released to support different carriers
If we take into consideration the specs of the device, the talks which are in the air reveal that the Galaxy S III’s design will be different from the current design of the Galaxy S series, and will thinner in size than its ancestor, the Galaxy S2. Samsung might be including 3D (glassless) functionality into the Galaxy S3 line of Android phones. Predictions indicate that it will feature a 4.6” Super AMOLED Plus HD screen, 2GB of RAM, LTE connectivity, running on Android’s latest ICS firmware with Touchwiz – Samsung’s own overlay. Also like its competitors, it might incorporate a 12 MP primary camera (with W750 BSI CMOS sensor) and NFC support.
If Samsung does unveil the Galaxy S3 at Mobile World Congress in 2012, we will see Galaxy S III earlier this May or even in April. If not, then look for it closer to the summer.
HTC might be launching the first quad-core smartphone in the market among the smartphone manufacturers. Dubbed HTC Edge, it will run on NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 having four cores (and a fifth, companion core for less demanding tasks) clocked at 1.5GHz allowing the processor to simultaneously run multiple sets of program instructions. Along with this, the battery life will increase two fold. With 1GB of RAM at your disposal, along with 32GB of built-in memory, this mammoth device will offer a 4.7″ screen with 720p HD resolution; big-screen lovers would be more than happy with what this device has to offer.
HTC Edge Specs
- 8MP camera unit with 28mm, f/2.2 lens
- 4.7″ screen with 720p HD
- NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad core clocked @ 1.5 Ghz
- 32GB of built-in memory
- 1GB of RAM
- Android 4.0 ICS
The 8MP camera (would be a considered as a disappointment by few of its users as most of its competitors are expected to come with 12MP at-least) is still capable of capturing videos in 1080p. Bluetooth 4.0 is expected on board, along with the rest of the usual connectivity. The HTC Edge will, reportedly, be only capable of 21Mbps HSDPA network speeds. In the software department, we can be all but certain to see Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. The Edge will also most likely come with Beats by Dr. Dre as well, for bass-fanatics, too. A number of new HTC content services are also expected like HTC Listen Music, HTC Read, HTC Watch and HTC Play. The HTC Edge is expected to hit the market between March and April this year.
Now, for all the Moto lovers reading this review and drooling over the fact as to why its name hasn’t been mentioned as yet wont have to wait any longer, rumor has it that Motorola, is gearing up its Tegra 3 based devices currently lined up for launch in the Q2 2012 and might be unveiled during MWC 2012. After the Motorola DROID RAZR and the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, the phones have been codenamed as Motorola Bullet and Motorola Jet respectively. Supposedly the Bullet will be a straight-up slate, while the Jet will be a QWERTY slider. Remember though, very little in the way of rumors has surfaced over the past few months, so even though it seems likely to be the least credible among the bunch but still very much worth mentioning about.
The Bullet is a candy bar style 4.3″ qHD (960×540) phone, packing a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and most likely 1.5GB of DDR2 RAM. It will also feature 16GB of on-board storage, an NFC chip, and a redesigned image sensor to capture amazing photos and HD video on its 12MP camera. It’s also alleged to be launching before its keyboard brethren, the Motorola Jet.
The Motorola Jet 4 will be adored by the Android QWERTY lovers and sports a smaller 4″ HD display with a resolution of 960×540 with an amazing QWERTY keyboard from its cousin Motorola Droid 3. Thankfully, it will be sporting the same Herculean hardware as its keyboard-less cousin, the Bullet, and will feature a 4″ qHD 24-bit screen, Tegra 3, up to 1.5GB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB on-board storage, same newly designed 12MP camera as the Bullet, NFC chip, and a fully redesigned 5 row (perhaps) style sliding keyboard.
The Arc was one of Sony Ericsson’s (now just Sony) best smartphones in 2011. While it lacked dual core goodness, it was slim, as it was supposed to be, since most of their competition had phones like that already, and it was stylish. Design is still one of Sony’s strong suit, but it doesn’t go well with thick phones, which is how most of their phones still are but they will be pushing other slim phones in 2012.
Sony Xperia S Specs
- Dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip
- 4.3″ 1280×720 HD display
- 1 GB of RAM
- 32 GB of storage
- 1750 mAh battery
- 12 MP rear camera
Sony will also be debuting the Xperia Ion this year, which is packing a dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip, a 4.3″ 1280×720 HD display, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 1750 mAh battery. Also, it packs a 12 MP camera with full HD recording and HDMI port.
Meizu (a very well known Chinese mobile manufacturer) have confirmed that after the first gen Meizu MX was succesfully launched recently, its quad core version will be hitting the market soon installed with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich and is expexted to arrive in May 2012. The second version of the Meizu MX will come with the Exynos processor. There is not so detailed information about the features it will showcase, but it will perhaps have a processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1/2 GB RAM, 16 Gb inbuilt memory, 8 MP or higher camera, full HD recording, HDMI port, 4+” LED display and a 1600 mAh battery.
Meizu have gained reputation in China, and their quality and powerful devices are starting to be acknowledged by the West, too, which means that it might not be long until they start selling their devices in Europe and the US.
Meizu MX Specs
- Tegra 3 Quad Core @ 1.5 Ghz
- 1/2GB of RAM
- 16 GB ROM
- 8MP Camera
- 1600 mAh
- 4 inch LED backlit display
LG has received a lot of criticized for its slow updates, and for software that doesn’t perform at its best, all the time. That being said, they still are considered one of the top five, in terms of market share, at least. So it should come as no surprise that LG does not want to be left out of the Android family. Rumors have it that they will be debuting a very powerful quad core device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In terms of specs, it seems to match a lot of these other top tier phones that we are looking at, and includes the extremely powerful chipset, Tegra 3, and will feature a high resolution, 4.7 inch display with a resolution of 1280 × 720. We’ve also had its dimensions confirmed by reliable sources that have told us it will be very thin – most likely under 9 mm.
Besides running on Android 4.0 ICS, it will feature a 1.3 megapixel, and an 8 megapixel rear. Other specs include the usual suspects, including Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G/4G/LTE connectivity, depending on the region, and a fairly substantial 2000mAh battery.
LG X3 Specs:
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU
- A whopping 4.7 inches HD Screen (1280×720)
- 8MP Rear Camera and 1.3MP Front
- 16GB on a microSD card.
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box
- 21Mbps HSPA or LTE depending on region and carrier
- 2000mAh battery
One thing which should be clearly kept in mind is that these companies are not alone in the game. Panasonic, ZTE, Huawei and even Fujitsu are planning to roll out their quad core phones soon, too. Anyway, no matter the number of devices, what we are in the midst of is truly a mobile computing revolution. At the end of the day, we, the consumers, will all benefit. After all, we are going to experience a whole new world of smarter, faster and silky smooth mobile computing devices. So now the big question arises as to which manufacturer would bring to market the first quad core device and which one would you like to get your hands on first ? ?