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Sony and Samsung are fighting for your wrist

28 February 2014 / 15:02:58  GRReporter
5309 reads

Ivan Petkov
The "Mobile World Congress", held in Barcelona at the end of February, ​​ traditionally is a place where producers from across the mobile industry present their most recent mobile gadgets, with which they will fight for the hearts and pockets of consumers.

The main players in the sea of ​​interesting suggestions were Sony, which is trying to regain its popularity and the loyalty of fans, and Samsung, which is the undisputed market leader in mobile devices.

SONY Xperia Z2 - awaited evolution

At a special event Sony presented the successor to its Xperia Z flagship series of smartphones under the motto "Details make the difference". The phone features a distinctive and classy design. Let us compare it with its predecessor, as Xperia Z1 has appeared relatively soon.

1. Xperia Z2 has a better display

The previous model was mainly criticized for its lack of bright colours and bad viewing angles. Accounting for the fact that the screen is the primary and major means of communication with the device it is clear that a high-end smartphone should not compromise on it. Sony has corrected this flaw and now the screen is much more vivid and the colours saturated, due to the Live Colour LED technology added by the manufacturer to the familiar Xperia Z1 Trimluminos and X-Reality technologies. Xperia Z2 has a larger 5.2-inch display compared with the 5-inch screen of Xperia Z1. The resolution remains unchanged, but, frankly speaking, it is perfect for comfortable operation and detailed 1920x1080 Full HD images.

2. Xperia Z2 has a better camera

Another feature which Sony emphasizes is the camera. That of Xperia Z1 had to be impressive and one of the best cameras in the market but real tests showed its problems and weaknesses, and Sony was under fire.

Xperia Z2 features a 20.7-megapixel camera combined with 1/2.3-type Exmor RS for mobile CMOS image sensor and the intelligent image processor BIONZ for mobile. This, according to the company, will guarantee the superb quality of images and videos. Xperia Z2 has the same Smart Social function as Xperia Z1, but Z2 offers the option of 4K video capturing and some video effects.

We are awaiting the first real tests and comparisons of the camera to see whether Sony will be able to meet the expectations of smartphone photo enthusiasts this time.

3. Xperia Z2 comes with a similar design

Sony has claimed to be a leader in terms of design. Xperia Z2 brings some small details that improve the appearance of the device that is made ​​of glass and metal. The changes are not revolutionary but they definitely add some finishing touches to satisfy even the most artistic and demanding users.

Last but not least, it should be noted that the phone, albeit with a larger display, has increased slightly in length and is lighter than its predecessor.

4. Xperia Z2 sounds better

Another area in which Sony claims are justified, mainly for historical reasons, is sound. With the new S Force Surround Sound technology, the creators of the Walkman have tried to provide the best possible sound when users play games, listen to music, and, why not, watch films on Z2. The devices offer stereo speakers that promise an excellent sound experience.

5. Xperia Z2's battery lasts longer

Batteries are the Achilles tendon of modern smartphones. If you see a man with a phone in his hand, frantically looking around for a socket and searching for a charger, most likely he is holding a smartphone.

Xperia Z1 came with a 3000mAh battery whereas Xperia Z2 has a 3200mAh battery that promises up to 14 hours of talk time and 880 hours of standby time. Moreover, the economical STAMINA mode of Sony battery will allow you to stay connected even longer, as it automatically turns off features that you do not need to save power when the screen is inactive.

6. Other characteristics

Xperia Z2 will be sold with Android 4.4 KitKat whereas Xperia Z1 is still waiting to be upgraded. The majority of users would hardly have noticed significant differences in the version in addition to those that Sony has made in the company interface. The processor is the same and users will hardly notice the difference. It is one of the fastest processors on the market and it is unlikely that anyone will find it difficult to operate with this version of Android, as it is already optimized for slower hardware.

Our opinion: Without being revolutionary Xperia Z2 brings a lot of changes, both desired and awaited by users. The improved screen, camera, battery, sound definitely put this smartphone in the race for more sales. In our opinion, Xperia Z2 will be one of the most popular models this year and will attract new users to Sony.

Samsung - disappointing evolution

When you are the market leader, the expectations of you and the products you offer are great. Galaxy S series has turned Samsung into what it is today, namely the only company in the market, which is confidently fighting and outselling omnipresent Apple. Millions of users around the world were eagerly awaiting the next, fifth in a row, Galaxy S smartphone, not just for the show but to decide whether the new Galaxy SV will be the favourite in this year's bargaining for gadgets. Galaxy SV in its full splendour ... or the lack of such:

1. Galaxy SV - design and dimensions

Users were expecting changes in the design of the new flagship and, in particular, in the materials used. Apple, HTC and Sony have opted for aluminium and glass as they give a luxurious finish to the devices. Let us not forget that these devices are expensive and their owners look for image.
We can say that, to a large extent, the new Samsung device follows the design lines of its predecessor but features an interesting perforated rear panel, which makes it more comfortable for working with one hand. Its appearance is an interesting combination of the appearance of Galaxy SIV and the Galaxy Note III phablet, but the improvements made have changed its size. The new device is larger and heavier than its predecessor. The compact size of Galaxy SIV was one of its main advantages and last year users appreciated this.

The new design provoked funny comments and users were quick in comparing it with the texture of sticking plasters.

2. Galaxy SV - processor and RAM  

Galaxy SV is one of the first smartphones on the market that works with the new Snapdragon 801, which is a quad-core 2.5 GHz processor with faster clock speed, and 2GB RAM. The previous model is powered by a quad-core 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor or quad-core Exynos 5410 chip. In theory, the numbers are impressive, but we all know that the difference in the performance of these two processors is not significant. Furthermore, although sufficient, RAM memory has remained unchanged, namely 2 GB.

3. Display and software

The new smartphone has a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 safety glass and supports Full HD resolution. Its predecessor has a 5-inch display and the difference in this respect is insignificant. However, the new flagship of Samsung is based on an interesting technology that automatically adjusts the display brightness depending on ambient light to ensure maximum picture quality. The latest version of the TouchWiz interface has been slightly modified but the differences can be defined as cosmetic. According to some designers, TouchWiz upgrading and adapting over the years has made the interface quite diverse and it is full of elements from older versions. Many users hoped to see a fully refreshed interface but this did not happen. However, there are some changes, involving

4. Battery and camera

One of the significant improvements is the new Galaxy SV camera, which already has 16-megapixel resolution and the fastest autofocus in the industry. Its response time is just 0.3 seconds, the sensor is complemented by an LED flash and there is an option of recording 4K videos at 30 frames per second. Another interesting feature is that the camera of the new model supports Selective Focus, which allows you to change the focus of a photo after it is taken.

All these features make the 13-megapixel sensor of Galaxy S IV excel in terms of photography. This year’s flagship has a more powerful 2800mAh battery, allowing you to surf the web for about 10 hours and watch videos for 12 hours, which is pretty impressive.

5. Miscellaneous

Galaxy SV is IP67-certified as it is water-resistant up to 1 metre for 30 minutes and dust-resistant. Another feature that distinguishes it from its predecessor is the fingerprint sensor built in the Home button. With a flick of your finger, you will be able to unlock the device and work with your favourite applications, to make payments via PayPal. Galaxy SV is the first model in the industry that has a heartbeat sensor in the rear, near the camera and the LED flash.

Our opinion: Do not get us wrong, compared to the previous generation, Galaxy SV brings quite a few improvements. We are aware of the fact that the market has high expectations of the leader. On the other hand it should be noted that, in terms of hardware, no exciting technologies have been introduced to the new Galaxy S series. We expect a 64-bit processor and Android optimization for working with it in the middle, or at the end, of the year. It appears that the flexible displays that Samsung has repeatedly demonstrated are not ready for launching on the market. Besides, there are persistent rumours about the launch of a premium series, which will be called Galaxy F. It is expected that this phone will appear along with the premiere of iPhone 6 and will try to beat it in terms of competition.

Probably the majority of users will wait for this potential series to appear whereas others will prefer the competitive proposals, like that of Sony. It remains to be seen if this time Samsung has assessed the situation properly.

The fight for your wrist

Wearable devices naturally were among the main themes of the Mobile World Congress. There were specific presentations, there were a few announcements about upcoming products and there were grounds for rumours.

Samsung introduced not one, not two, but three wearable devices. In particular, these were two smart watches and one bracelet for fitness maniacs. Unlike last year's proposal, Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo use Tizen, the operating system that Samsung has been intensively developing in recent years, instead of Android. The existing improvements are expected but not revolutionary. Samsung will win more users with the cheaper version of its watch Gear 2 Neo.

They feature 1.63-inch touch screens, support 320x320 pixels resolution and they are powered by fast dual-core 1GHz processors. The built-in data capacity is 4GB and the memory reaches 4GB, the camera of Galaxy Gear 2 has 2-megapixel resolution. Samsung has confirmed that it will launch these products in April, but we do not yet know their sales price in Europe.

Samsung Gear Fit - a smart bracelet with curved display... for fitness maniacs

This year, Samsung focused on applications and sensors connected to health. Its marketing department has done its homework, which probably says that the average user of the expensive Samsung series is actively engaged in sports. The bracelet attracts the interest with its curved display and a weight of only 27 grams. The funny thing is the layout of the information. It is displayed at an angle on the screen when using the bracelet as a watch, which is due to its shape.  

Google smart watch

For now these are just rumours but it is logical for the giant to develop a watch, as it did with Google Glass. The watch has a simple and unobtrusive design and, at least in combination with the built-in strap, it looks more like a sports watch. The device has a square screen and a standard set of Android buttons, which suggests that this is probably an old prototype. In view of all the smart watches on the market we would not assume that Google would take a risk with such an outdated concept.

According to some sources, the picture shows a Google smart watch developed a few months ago, when the company still owned Motorola, which will probably produce the final device.

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