With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it became much clearer that Android indeed is looking at the peak of its career in the mobile operating system market. Why? Well, the specifications of the S4 speaks for itself. The Exynos 5 Octa 5410 is probably the final nail in the Mobile CPU war’s coffin. I doubt we would see anything like a 16 core smartphone CPU in the near future.
Right now, Google’s Android is exactly in the same position as Apple’s iOS was last year, when they released the iPhone 5. Many criticized (including Apple Fanboys) that Apple did not innovate much in iPhone 5, either in iOS or in the phone hardware. Ditto with Android, and its biggest partner Samsung. Right now, it looks like the coin has flipped into HTC’s favor for the HTC One. Why? because HTC One took the innovation route, rather than following the herd attitude like Samsung did, by bumping up the spec.
A modest Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 CPU, a very innovative 4 MP 1/3” sensor rear camera, which takes great low light pictures, even though it does not take better pictures than the Nokia Lumia 920 or the 720. See our post on this topic.
I was never a fan of the HTC Sense UI, especially the Sense 4 UI. It used a lot of memory and CPU resources, because of which the low spec’ed HTC ONE V or the SV had performance issues. However, in the Sense 5 UI, HTC worked hard on the UI and from the looks of it, it had drawn its inspiration from the fabulous Windows Phone 8 Metro Modern UI. The custom flipboard APP on the main screen looks nice and the overall experience was good. If and when HTC released their low end devices based on the Sense 5 UI, i hope they work to improve the performance issues they had on the earlier versions.
So, Next is the LG Optimus G and its siblings. Great devices, and slightly cheaper than their competitors, namely HTC, Samsung & Sony.
Huawei & ZTE are also becoming aggressive in the mobile space, and they already have closed down the gap with their bigger brothers with the Ascend and the Grand devices respectively.
So what next?
Bigger smartphone screen? Done Already explored with Note II and 8. These giant phones actually look funny when used as a phone.
More pixel density? Done 441 ppi in the S4 (Undetectable to the naked eye for anything above 300 ppi)
More memory? Maybe from 2GB to 4GB
More Storage? Probably 128 GB
Other features, which created a lot of hype:
LTE: For Geeks, Expensive Data Plans, Market dependent.
NFC: Who uses it?
Corning Gorilla Glass 2? See image below:
Camera? We can expect to see some improvements there.
Sound: Beats audio is good enough.
OS: Jelly Bean – Much refined than its predecessors, But still lags occasionally on an Octa Core S4 device. Intel, Where are you?
Stop! We are talking about the end of Spec War here!
So, What we really need?
BlackBerry CEO wants phones to be able to replace laptops and tablets
“These devices did exist or exists today, however it lacked the pedigree required for it to become a mainstream device”
Ironically, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 & 8 devices was never in this spec war, but was built upon the fundamental concept of innovation.
Features like OneNote, Office 2013, Office 365, SharePoint & Skydrive Integration are unique offerings.
So, it is indeed interesting to see what these companies who are despondent on the Android ecosystem like LG, Samsung, HTC, Huawei etc does to their phones in the next major release cycle. Fingers crossed!
Update: It is 2016 and the spec war is still alive and kicking!!