Sony may not be the world’s most popular smartphone maker, but at CES 2018 it introduced a trio of fresh handsets that it hopes will up its impact this year.
With a six inch display, a metal exterior and a 23 megapixel camera, the Xperia XA2 Ultra is the technical frontrunner of the Sony newcomers. Even its front-facing cameras, of which there are two, pack impressive 16 and 8 megapixel resolutions apiece, endowing it with exceptional selfie-snapping potential.
The standard Xperia XA2 has a more compact 5.2 inch screen, a single front-facing camera and a solid 32GB of storage space onboard as standard. Colour options are plentiful, with standard black and silver joined by arresting blue and pink alternatives, according to Tech Radar.
Sitting somewhere in between its siblings in terms of size is the Xperia L2, which Sony endows with a 5.5 inch screen, a 13 megapixel primary camera and its very own fingerprint scanner, a feature shared across all three devices.
The L2 will be the first of the batch to arrive, followed by the two XA2 models, with some network providers set to get their own exclusive colour editions starting in the spring.
The Exynos 9810 is the chip that will be powering Samsung’s next flagship mobile phone, the Galaxy S9. And in the run-up to CES 2018, the South Korean manufacturer confirmed various details about its impressive capabilities.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it will attempt to match some of the features already offered by Apple’s iPhone X, including comprehensive facial scanning. It will also support download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, which sounds impressive on paper but will be far faster than any user will be able to achieve in real world conditions.
Where this chipset outdoes its rivals is in terms of its video capture prowess, as Samsung claims that it can record clips in 4K resolutions at 120 frames per second. That represents twice the current maximum offered by any other smartphone and will deliver silky-smooth performance for budding directors.
The Galaxy S9, along with the larger S9 Plus, will push the envelope in a variety of other ways, with better screens and longer battery life expected. But the own-brand Exynos chipset will once again be at the heart of things, proving that Samsung’s ambitions of total mobile domination are matched by its expertise with silicon and circuitry.
While the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 is tipped to feature a display with a seamlessly integrated fingerprint scanner, the first ever smartphone to embrace this cutting edge tech will actually be launched by a rival manufacturer.
Forbes reports that Vivo will be equipping its Xplay 7 model with this high end hardware provided by Synaptics. And unlike the S9, the price tag of the device may actually be skewed towards the affordable end of the scale.
Reports of hands-on experiences with the Synaptics in-screen scanner have been positive, indicating that the screen can be unlocked quickly and securely without needing to rely on costlier solutions, like Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone X.
Fingerprint scanners have become fairly common on modern smartphones, but most are found on the home button or the rear surface. The main motivation for including them beneath the surface of the display itself is aesthetic; more of the front of the phone can be taken up by screen for an unbroken look and feel.
Samsung will be hot on the heels of the lesser-known Vivo and the S9 will certainly outsell its rival, even if it is not the first over the finish line in this particular hardware arms race.
Nokia may only be back in the smartphone market thanks to licensing its brand to a third party manufacturer, but its new stewards are maintaining some of the Finnish firm’s famous hardware specialism for the upcoming 9 flagship device.
Info gleaned from an updated version of the Nokia 5’s camera app suggests that the high end follow-up handset could feature a dual lens camera which benefits from optical zoom capabilities, according to Phone Arena.
Sources have already claimed that the Nokia 9 will have a 22 megapixel camera resolution, while the latest info also implies that it will be able to shoot wide angle images, which bodes well for photography fans who want to buy into this revived brand.
The Nokia 9 is likely to be announced early next year and will be one of the most important smartphone releases of 2018, sitting as a rival to other upcoming models like the Samsung Galaxy S9. Since it runs Android, it will need to set itself apart from its rivals with impressive hardware features, with the promise of a class-leading camera being one of the best indications that it will be able to live up to expectations.
With a launch expected to take place early next year, the Xperia XZ Premium 2 is set to be Sony’s most significant unveiling of 2018. And now information about the anticipated hardware and design updates has leaked online, according to Phone Arena.
Interestingly, it looks like Sony will be pulling off the impressive feat of making this handset slightly smaller than its predecessor while actually packing in a bigger display. This embraces the trend for bezel-free phones that is emerging at the moment, with the likes of the iPhone X leading the way.
A 5.7 inch screen with a native 4K resolution is tipped to appear on the Xperia XZ Premium 2. And as well as being slightly more compact in the hand, this device will also be almost half a millimetre thinner.
Power will be provided by the Snapdragon 835 chipset combined with 4GB of RAM, while a marginal battery size increase to 3420mAh will be welcomed by users who want to squeeze more life out of their Sony smartphone.
Mobile World Congress 2018 is the likely event at which this mobile will make its debut, alongside a host of other shiny new models from rival manufacturers.