These are the two handsets we’re genuinely most excited about in 2014. Here we take a look at the rumours surrounding both
The Galaxy S5 is here and, depending on who you ask, it’s either a) one hell of a let down or b) a solid, incremental update on an already decent handset. The S5 was arguably one of THE biggest launches of the year, alongside the soon to be launched HTC One M8 and the next-generation iPhone 6.
Here we’ll be taking a look at the some of the hyperbole surrounding the iPhone 6 and HTC One M8 in a bid to build a better picture of what the two flagship handsets potentially have in store for users in 2014.
As usual, we need to reiterate that this comparison, as far as the iPhone 6 is concerned, is entirely based on rumours, internet gossip, trends and observed manufacturer habits – it is not gospel! Things may change before release or be inaccurate and we are doing this to get a working impression of how things could stack up. This is not intended to be conclusive. It’s just a bit of speculative fun.
It’s difficult to imagine how HTC can one-up the design of the HTC One. The 2013 flagship looked great, won pretty much every award going and received rave-reviews across the board, meaning the HTC One M8 is likely to be a variation on a theme, not a complete redesign – and that’s just fine with us.
Leaks suggest the M8 will retain its aluminium-clad body, although it does look to have more rounded corners and a slightly larger display – apparently it’ll be a 1080p 5in setup, with on-screen navigation keys. Dimensions are unclear – as is weight – but we don’t see the M8 being much bigger than last year’s HTC One.
As we said, all we really have to go on is speculation at this point, although the iPhone 6 will almost certainly pack a larger (potentially, edge-to-edge) display and slimmer yet overall larger chassis. Build materials will likely be similar to what we’ve seen before, meaning premium-grade materials that look and feel great. The only question now is whether Apple will range two handsets again. And if so, what will the accompanying handset be like?
Both will almost certainly be sexy as hell.
The iPhone 6 – according to nearly all rumours – will be the first Apple handset to embrace a larger display. Current speculation points to either a 4.5in or 4.7in panel with full HD Retina visuals. There’s also talk of a phablet version, too – basically, an iPhone with a 5.5in display – although we’re not entirely sold on this idea; 4in to 5.5in, while interesting, just doesn’t seem plausible (even more so when you factor in Apple’s track record).
The HTC One M8’s display – according to leaked press materials – is said to be a 5in setup, making it slightly larger than what we saw aboard 2013’s HTC One (4.7in). Pixel density (based on the above figures) will be 440ppi, meaning crystal clear clarity and, if the One was anything to go by, awesome colour reproduction and detail. Basically, neither handset will disappoint in this regard, but that kind of goes without saying.
The iPhone, to date, has come in three storage varieties: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Apple recently launched an 8GB version of its 5c too, so it’s likely we could see something similar later on this year – although this will depend entirely on the “type” of handsets Apple launches.
It’s possible the iPhone 6 will launch with more memory, potentially 2GB, and we know for certain there’ll be no SD-support. The processor is tipped to be a 64-bit A8 chipset, which will build on from 2013’s A6 setup. Whether Apple updates its M7 coprocessor remains to be seen. As it is, the M7 performs well, producing excellent, reliable data. Viewed in this context, it’s difficult to see how (or why) Apple would update it.
The CPU and RAM is another thing entirely, however. 64-bit software requires around 20-30% more memory to get the best out of it, so it stands to reason Apple will update both elements of the iPhone 6 in order to ensure silky smooth operation. Indeed, the only question now is how much additional memory it will use – 2GB or 3GB?
The HTC One M8 is just about the most leaked phone in history, and that means we know pretty much everything about the handset’s insides. Reports claims the M8 will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2GB of RAM and come in either 16GB or 32GB flavours. No one seems to know for sure whether the M8 will feature SD-support, however.
Both handsets will be pretty significant updates over their predecessors; the One M8 will jump from a Snapdragon 600 to a Snapdragon 801 CPU, and the iPhone 6 will utilise a brand new 20nm 64-bit A8 chipset. In both instances you’re looking at a serious bump in overall performance, efficiency and capabilities.
The HTC One’s 4MP UltraPixel was something of a calculated risk. The idea behind the tech was simple enough, however: bigger, better megapixels make for better images. And they do in theory. But in practice the HTC One wasn’t all that great as a point and shoot camera, leaving quite a bit to be desired compared to setups aboard the Galaxy S4, LG G2 and iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 5s’ 8MP iSight camera on the other hand was absolutely amazing, and easily one of the handset’s key USPs. The 5s’ iSight sensor had 33% improved light sensitivity over the iPhone 5, a larger f/2.2 aperture and, like the HTC One, used larger pixels for better low-light performance. Reviews across the board were glowing, and one professional photographer even used the handset to capture images that were later sold for publication. Not bad for a smartphone camera – check out the results here.
With the iPhone 6, things aren’t likely to change all that much. Although we can expect to see some new additions – things like OIS, improved slow-motion video, 4K recording capabilities and perhaps something akin to the Galaxy S5’s after-capture-focus feature. Apple has been experimenting with Lytro-like effects for an imaging unit – which you can read more about here – but it’s unclear, as always, whether the technology will appear inside its next iPhone.
HTC – rightly or wrongly – is sticking with its UltraPixel imaging technology. And the most recent leaks suggest the One M8 will benefit from either a 4MP or 8MP sensor (hopefully the latter). On top of that the HTC One M8 is rumoured two feature two sensors on the back of the handset – this will apparently allow users to change things like focus after the image has been captured. There’s also been talk of 3D imaging as well – although, so far, nothing is conclusive.
In 2013, HTC blew the Android space open with the design of the HTC One, showing just what was possible with Google’s platform and great design. The iPhone 5s was a solid update to 2012’s iPhone 5, but it did lack a lot of the design changes many – including this writer – were hoping for. The iPhone 6, like the iPhone 4 before it, looks to be a dramatic departure from what came before.
HTC set the bar incredibly high with the HTC One; pretty much everybody who saw it loved it. That’s why it won a plethora of awards in 2013/14, and expectation for the M8 is so high ahead of its March 25 launch. From the leaks we’ve seen the M8 looks to be a refinement on an already very well established design. Expect the same premium finish, a vastly superior CPU and some very unique imaging capabilities.
Things are about to get EPIC.