Think about how difficult it is right now to break into the smartphone market. You ve got Apple and Samsung at the top of the pile in developed world, gobbling up well over 90 percent of the global smartphone market s profits each quarter and toppling former heavyweights like BlackBerry, Microsoft and Palm. Then you ve got established players like LG, Sony and HTC struggling beneath them. Despite their big budgets and sleek smartphones, they haven t been able to get much traction at all in recent years.
Let s just begin with the conclusion: Samsung s new Galaxy Note 5 is the best Android phablet the world has ever seen. The hardware is exquisite, the software is improved in every way compared to last year s model, and the newly enhanced S Pen stylus makes it remarkably easy to be productive.
The Galaxy S6 edge is a curious phone. Some people don t understand why Samsung even released the handset to begin with, so I did my best to explain it in a recent article. Long story short, the S6 edge offers differentiation in a market full of boring phone designs that look nearly identical. Samsung also enjoys wider margins with the edge, which is crucial since Samsung s smartphone margins are quite low.
Samsung just unveiled its two next-generation flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and tech fans will spend most of the day reading the same thing over and over again: These are the best Samsung phones ever nay, the best Android phones ever.
What a difference a year can make. 2014 s Galaxy S5 was, to put it plainly, an utter disappointment. It wasn t a bad phone by any stretch of the imagination, but it was hardly the exciting new Galaxy smartphone consumers were hoping for. Samsung s Galaxy S5 was the definition of an iterative update, and it was uninspired and boring compared to the gorgeous HTC One M8 and other flagship phones like the second-generation Moto X. With the Galaxy S6, Samsung made up for everything that was wrong with the S5 and then some.
It is considered poor form to begin a review with the conclusion, but there s really no reason to drag this out: the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone the world has ever seen. Period. Full stop. Of this, there is no doubt. In many ways, in fact, it is the best smartphone the world has ever seen. From the design of the device, to the power of its components, and everything in between, HTC s new One is better than its predecessor. And its predecessor, as you might recall, was the best all-around Android phone the world had ever seen last year.
Love it or hate it, there s no question that Apple s iPhone lineup brings some things to the table that rival devices do not. Specifically, Apple s designs and its attention to detail are completely unmatched. There are some Android phones with gorgeous designs and there are some with sleek software enhancements, but none offer the total package that Apple s iPhone affords.
It didn t exactly come as a surprise when Samsung unveiled its first ever virtual reality headset during a press conference on Wednesday, but I m not sure anyone expected the Gear VR to come out the way it did. Unlike the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality headsets we ve seen in the recent past, the Gear VR is not a standalone device. Instead, Samsung s new Galaxy Note 4 docks in the headset and the phone s 5.7-inch quad HD display serves as the screen for all the action.
Samsung wasn t the first handset vendor to launch a smartphone with an oversized display, but there s no question that Samsung single-handedly popularized the new phablet category. The company laughed in the face of neighsayers myself included and proved that consumers were indeed looking for phones with supersized screens. In fact, devices that would have been considered phablets back when Samsung helped pioneer the category are now the norm, and top rival Apple has been forced to finally increase the display size on its iPhone lineup.
Samsung has proven time and time again that it is not afraid at all to experiment with new ideas. Sometimes, those ideas lead to huge new product segments imagine Samsung hadn t pushed so hard with supersized smartphone screens. Other times, the company falls flat on its face. Of course, Samsung has enough money in the bank that it can afford to fall down while it searches for the next big thing.