Simon Drew from best-mobile-contracts.co.uk brings us his favourite new smartphones that were released at IFA 2012 in Germany this month from key players Samsung, Sony and HTC.
While the event didn’t see a huge number of phones being launched most of them are likely to become very popular in the coming months. Here’s a selection of the best smartphones announced at IFA 2012.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Like the original, the Galaxy Note 2 comes with a stylus called the S-Pen which transforms the Note 2 into a much more powerful device than any mere smartphone. While the styli included with old resistive touchscreen phones didn’t really offer anything that couldn’t be achieved with a finger, the Note’s S-Pen can be used for so much more. It is the features associated specifically with the S-Pen that make the Galaxy Note 2 noteworthy.
For example, while copy and paste functionality already exists on many smartphones, Easy Clip and the S-Pen make text far easier to highlight than using just a finger. Easy Clip can be used to copy irregular shaped portions of an image to save or share with others through MMS, email or social networks.
The S-Pen has also resulted in many third-party apps being designed specifically for the Note and Note 2. Some of these are fun games but many revolve around artistic endeavours such as drawing and animation which really highlight the type of consumer that the Note 2 will be well suited for. Artists, writers, students and personal assistants will all find the Galaxy Note 2 offers much more than a simple smartphone could ever offer them.
Pre-register your interest for the latest news on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 release.
HTC Desire X
HTC had earlier announced plans to release fewer phones each year and focus more on a core selection of high quality handsets, so most people were not expecting much more from the company after its One series launched earlier in the year. In fact, the One series had indicated to many that the HTC Desire range was a thing of the past.
While the Desire X takes the name of HTC’s earlier Desire phones it outwardly has more in common with the recent One series. The Desire X falls into HTC’s mid-range of Android phones that offers a great range of features and is very affordable at under £200 SIM free. The Desire X has a 5 megapixel camera, Beats Audio, and will be updated to Android Jelly Bean in the near future.
With a decent camera, excellent software features, good music support and a very affordable price the Desire X is likely to become a highly popular handset in the coming months. It doesn’t hurt that it is one of the best looking phones around at the moment either.
Sony Xperia T / TX
Cosmetically the Xperia T doesn’t offer much to distinguish it from earlier Xperia phones like the Xperia S. However, the Xperia T is the most high powered Android handset that Sony has released to date. With a 4.6 inch HD screen it is also one of the largest.
The Ice Cream Sandwich powered phone is packed full of excellent entertainment features including PlayStation certification, Walkman, xLoud, Music and Video Unlimited media streaming services and comes with 50GB free cloud storage. There is a 13 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording and excellent sharing features via NFC and Wi-Fi. The Xperia T will be one of the first Sony phones to be updated to Android Jelly Bean, too.
The Xperia T has been chosen to feature in the upcoming James Bond movie Skyfall. The gadget loving 007 has owned a surprisingly small number of mobile phones since he first appeared on our cinema screens in the 1960s and the Sony Xperia T will be James Bond’s first touchscreen phone.
Being featured in the new Bond movie is likely to boost demand for the Xperia T, although it probably won’t come with any x-ray scanners or high powered electromagnets unfortunately.
Samsung ATIV S
It has been a while since Samsung has released a Windows Phone, focussing more on its Galaxy handsets in recent months, but to celebrate the launch of Windows Phone 8 Samsung is launching the ATIV S.
As the last of our best smartphones from IFA, the ATIV S has a lot in common with the Android powered Galaxy phones, and bears a striking resemblance to the Galaxy S2, but the Windows operating system is a completely different kettle of fish.
Windows Phone 8 will not be available as an upgrade to older Windows Phone 7 devices so to get hold of the new features it will be necessary to buy a new phone. If you’re already a Windows Phone user, or even if you are not, this is certainly something to consider as Windows Phone 8 irons out many of the weaknesses of earlier versions.
The lack of support for expandable memory has been one of the biggest turn-offs for people considering Windows Phone in the past as most of these devices were restricted to 16GB on-board memory. Thanks to WP8 the ATIV S includes a microSD slot which can support 32GB cards.
Also added to Windows Phone 8 is support for multicore processors (ATIV: 1.5GHz dual core), higher screen resolutions (ATIV: 720p HD), NFC powered mobile payments, in-app purchases and the ability to customise the interface to a greater extent.
As the ATIV S doesn’t appear to be the codenamed Marco or Odyysey, are there more Samsung Windows 8 phones to be released?
IFA had plenty to offer everyone; a high powered Android, a mid-range Android, the first Windows Phone with popular appeal as well as the new undisputed king of the phablets. While there were other devices launched at the event these four are undoubtedly the most interesting.