The Android Flagships of MWC 2015
It’s that time of year again! Mobile World Congress is over, and we’re left gawking with brand new tech goodness.
Out of all companies and manufacturers that were present at MWC, there’s no denying the fact that HTC and Samsung stole the show this year; both phone manufacturers unveiled their new flagship smartphones to an eager audience around the globe.
HTC introduced the One M9 model to a fairly unsurprised crowd; the reason being the considerable amount of leaks that have surfaced during the past few weeks. The One M9 is highly similar to last year’s One M8 in design; with the only difference being the power button, which has migrated from the top of the phone to the side, and the omission of the second camera on the back. The M8’s design was highly praised by reviewers last year, and the only issue most people had with the phone were with the camera.
Not to delve too deep into phone specs, the One M9 is powered by the Qualcomm’s new and powerful Snapdragon 810 processor, has 3GB of RAM, 32GB onboard expandable storage, a 2,840 mAH battery, and runs Sense 7 UI on top of Android 5.0. The biggest change, however, is the camera; HTC finally moved its Ultrapixel camera from the back of the phone, to the front of the phone – a smart move since Ultrapixel technology absorbs more light – and has replaced it with a 20.7 megapixel camera. HTC also refused to follow the trend of QHD screens and ever-increasing display size, so they left the screen at 5” with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
The impressive specs, coupled with HTC’s premium aluminum design, were bound to get a positive reaction from tech fans, right? Wrong.
The One M9 was met with cries of disappointment, since most of these tech fans were expecting a major design overhaul, not just the revamped specs. The Verge has even dubbed the One M9 as “the world’s most beautiful disappointment”.
Samsung introduced not one, but two flagship phones this year: the S6 and the S6 Edge. Not unlike HTC, both samsung phones were leaked, albeit not as heavily as the One M9. Samsung managed to garner a slightly more positive reaction from tech fans, since they took a whole new direction in terms of design, they didn’t hold back on the specs, and they introduced something that’s new to the market: a phone with the screen curved on both edges.
It’s pretty well known that last year’s Samsung S5 was a failure; it didn’t introduce any groundbreaking features, and didn’t differ from the design of its predecessor, the S4. By the time the S5 was released, people were getting sick of the fake metal sides and plastic backs, since they were buying a flagship phone, so they voiced their complaints on various social media platforms and tech websites.
Samsung took note, no pun intended, started from scratch material wise, and released the S6 and S6 Edge with real metal edges, and a glass back. The S6 and S6 Edge not only look like premium flagships, they run like ones as well. On the inside, both phones share the Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32/64/128 GB fixed storage. Yes, fixed storage, because both S6 and S6 Edge phones don’t support SD cards, they don’t have removable batteries, and they aren’t waterproof like their predecessor; this has left some fans disappointed. Another similarity is display, with a size of 5.1”, and resolution of 1440 x 2560. There is, however, a difference in battery capacity: the S6 has a 2,550 mAh battery, and the S6 Edge has a 2.600 mAh battery. Both phones run Touchwiz UI on top of Android 5.0, Samsung’s own version of Android, which has been also refined and rid of excessive bloatware.
As expected, there was more interest in the S6 Edge, since the concept is still rather new to consumers, but that doesn’t mean that the S6 garnered any negative reviews by eager tech fans.
Both HTC and Samsung are listening to the demands and suggestions of the public. It’s not all about releasing a phone and forcing the consumer to like it. No, the game has changed this year; they have released phones that are tailored for the consumer. HTC already had a great product, and tried to make it better this year; while Samsung learned from its previous mistakes, and refined their product. It’s comforting to know that companies are getting more and more concerned with what people have to say, and this will encourage people to voice their opinions on social media, since they now know that there is someone listening on the other side.