Smartphones have slowly integrated themselves into our everyday lives, to the point that most of us will admit to feeling cut off from the rest of the world if we don’t have it to hand. With them being such a personal part of tech in 2015, we will use this blog to round up some of the best offerings from 2015.
The smartphone market is forever being disrupted which goes on to drive further innovation and can become a real minefield. From operating systems, screen size, memory capacity and the all-important cameras knowing where to start can often be an overwhelming experience.
“The Golden Child”
Let’s face it, Apple never fail to disappoint and when they do, they work hard to resolve bugs and issues to retain their devoted fans.
Apple have increased the screen size to 4.7 inches and the great news is, you can still use it with one hand! The screen resolution is low, but is still meets the ‘Retina Display’ benchmark of 326 pixels per inch, displaying bright and vibrant images with great angles.
The design is slightly softer with rounded edges and much less fragile thanks to its upgraded aluminium casing – great news for anyone that’s ever gone through the expensive pain of dropping an iPhone! Performance wise, despite the competition boasting quad or even octacore chipsets and 3GB of RAM the iPhones 1.4GHz A8 chipset runs quickly and effortlessly.
Described as one of the best android phones on the market, you can pick up a 64GB model for £289 – by invite only, maybe a bit gimmicky?
The new OS (Oxygen) is a lightweight version of Android Open Source with some extras. It’s stable and simple – which means no major bugs (some niggles) to report but also means not too much on the ‘customizable’ front, limited widgets and no special features.
The battery life is good, the adaptive brightness is noticeable and its design has been upgraded to one with an edging that is made from sturdy metal and a removal back with plenty of alternative options.
The 5.5 inch screen is not only bigger than the iPhone 6s, but it has a higher PPI at 401, and while there is a fingerprint scanner you can’t currently use the it to log into apps to pay for items.
Here are a few things that are prominently different about the OnePlus 2 – USB-C reversible charging connection, it’s like the Apple Lightening port and you see more phones with this connection in 2016; MaxxAudio enhancement when music is played through wires and wireless headphones; dual SIM tray.
While for the price this is a great buy, many feel that it’s not as substantial in its offerings, and many great features from the OnePlus One have not been carried over.
The general public ended their love affair with blackberry a few years ago. The increase in app availability on other devices meant that BBM quickly became old news. Still favoured by die-hard fans in the business world, their operating systems while incredibly secure, were high maintenance and demanding and didn’t offer much in terms of browsing because of the screen size and resolution.
Fast forward to 2015 and they have made friends with Android, and the way that this phone is received will indicate to Blackberry which of the 2 paths to take between old and new.
Its screen size has been to 5.4inch, but they have insisted on keeping a physical keyboard that slides out. The curved edges are protected with a rubber trim giving it grip and beauty, unfortunately the display doesn’t follow the curves as expected, and stops well before the edges.
Blackberry have maintained their integrity to their legacy of high security with app based offers such as a data mover; smart email client that integrates email and SMS with the calendar, a security assistant that offers advice and grades the applied security settings an customisable shortcuts.
However – no fingerprint scanner, although there are rumours that this will be included in its next software upgrade. Major fail Blackberry. Another fail is the camera, with rear facing boasting 18MP, it still doesn’t really deliver.
On the plus side, it does offer 32 GB of expandable storage, 3GB of RAM and excellent battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S6
“The 2nd in Command”
Samsung are renowned for their high quality cameras, and the S6 has been labelled as the ‘best Android phone in 2015’. The Galaxy range have long been the arch enemy of the iPhone. This phone is sleek and slim, aesthetically beautiful with a metal and glass casing, but the thinness of the phone has a downside – it heats up extremely quickly.
The 5.1 inch screen offers a PPI of 557 – the sharpest display on the market and brilliant outdoor display.
Say ‘hello’ to Microsoft! OneNote, Skype and OneDrive (that also gives 100 GB of extra storage), you can also link your file manager to Google Drive. With storage in mind, The Mart Manager App lets you view all of your storage and RAM usage in one place, along with security and battery life.
The battery life is reported not be as good as previous models due to the battery pack being physically smaller to allow Samsung to make a smaller phone, but it is still on par with the iPhone 6. The brand new feature is wireless charging and quick charging to suit your needs. The camera on the Galaxy S6 is only really rivalled by the Nokia Lumia 1020; at 41MP for the main camera. Able to still take a great photo in low light, a pro mode so that you can take control of the sensitivity of the sensor and focus, although some of the previous pre-installed apps are now downloadable.
While the memory is no longer expandable, with the removal of the micro SD slot – this goes a long way to increase overall performance as the more data stored on the card served to slow the performance.
The pace at which smartphone technology innovates never fails to amaze, and while the industry is uncompromising in its competitiveness, one phone is never too far behind from another. It is predicted that 2016 will bring flexible materials and foldable designs, 4K resolution screens and UHD screen that make virtual reality an everyday occurrence and iris scanning technology.
Much to the delight of everyone, manufactures will focus on super-fast charging, thanks to Huawei leading the way with its battery that charges almost 10 times faster than current smartphone batteries.
Proactive functionality in the form of Siri and Cortana have already come a long way, and those in the industry predict that their algorithms will come yet more refined to the point where smart phones move into the realms of artificial intelligence.
What this space smart phone user…we have an exciting year ahead of us!