Unless you live under a rock you've heard -- no doubt many times -- that Apple is coming out with a new smartphone, the iPhone 6, this fall.
But let's say you're one of the majority of smartphone users who just isn't that into Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or its phones. Maybe you'd rather learn about the latest Android, Windows Phone or maybe even Samsung Tizen device. Well, you're in luck, because the iPhone 6 isn't the only new smarphone this fall.
Many smartphone makers pit their latest and greatest against the latest iPhone with hopes that consumers are looking for something different. Additionally, the manufacturers hope to profit from the coming holiday season. Check out the current 2014 fall lineup of smartphones: Can they lure customers away from the iPhone 6?
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Galaxy Note 4 “phablet” by Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX:005930) is expected to be released sometime in September and will likely be extremely powerful with a host of new features. Primarily, the Galaxy Note 4 is expected to include a 5.7-inch QHD (1440x2560) resolution display that may be curved or flexible. The device will likely be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip and may contain 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory.
Rumors currently suggest the Galaxy Note 4 will have a camera between 12 and 16 megapixels, which may also include optical image stabilization. If the device does not include a fingerprint scanner like the Samsung Galaxy S5, it may feature an iris scanner. Some of the software features on the Galaxy Note 4 could include new camera applications and support for Samsung’s virtual reality headset called Samsung Gear VR, in addition to a possible ultraviolet sensor, which tracks sun exposure and gives suggestions for skin protection.
Sony Xperia Z3
The Xperia Z3 by Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) is expected to be released in September and will likely be similar to the previous Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z2 in design. Sony’s smartphones are often rectangular with metal accents; rumors suggest the device might be quite slim at 7mm. The Sony Xperia Z3 is may also include a 5.1-inch 1080p LCD display. The device will likely be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip and may contain 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and a 20.7-megapixel rear camera. Like its predecessor, the Xperia Z3 should be water- and dust-resistant with an Ingress protection rating of IP67.
Nexus 6/New Nexus
The “Nexus 6” by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is still so shrouded in mystery that isn’t even certain whether it will be called the Nexus 6. The device may launch sometime between late October and mid-November if Google follows its usual release schedule. Currently the tech giant has pegged the release of its Android L operating system for the fall, but has not given a specific release date for the new software. A Google executive detailed in June that consumers should expect new hardware to go with Android L, but there is little news on possible features for the device. Recent rumors suggest that the next Nexus device may be manufactured by Motorola (NYSE:MSI) and may feature a 5.9-inch display. LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) has confirmed that it is not involved in Nexus 6 development. The smartphone manufacturer notably worked with Google on the previous two Nexus smartphones, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5.
The Moto X+1 by Motorola, the successor to the 2013 Moto X, does not yet have a specific release timeline, but is expected to come out in the fall. Tech informant Evleaks believes the Moto X+1 will be launched in late September. The device probably will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip and may contain 2GB RAM, 32GB of internal memory and a 2900mAh battery. A recent leak indicates the Moto X+1 may have a customizable design similar to the Moto X; images show a device with a wood finish back panel and aluminum around the edges. The Moto X+1 may include a 1080p display, a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera.
The Z by Samsung is the first smartphone to run the manufacturer's own Tizen operating system, but don’t expect it on the market for the fall. The Samsung Z has been postponed indefinitely to allow for further development Tizen’s repertoire of applications. The device was unveiled in June and supposed to release in July and was already set to release once before. The Samsung Z is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip and contains 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory and an 8-megapixel camera. The device runs the Tizen 2.2.1 platform version, which is visually similar to the Android operating system because Samsung has implemented elements of its own TouchWiz user interface into Tizen. One large difference between Tizen and Android is that Tizen will not have access to the Google Play Store. Samsung has included its own app store on the Samsung Z and other Tizen-powered devices. Some sources note there is still time for Samsung to resolve its app issues and release the Samsung Z for the fall, but Eldar Murtazin, a Moscow-based technology analyst and blogger believes a 2014 release for the device is unlikely.
Like the iPhone 6, none of these devices have been confirmed by their manufacturers. If the forecasts are at all accurate, some or many of their proposed features may be simply drummed up by rumors, but many of these features could end up on the devices. Consumers can expect manufacturers to try and put their best foot forward when competing with the iPhone 6. It won’t be long before the public sees what’s in store.