Once, a smartphone was enough to wow consumers. Now the market is flooded with so many smartphones that companies need to find a new hook to draw people to their device. Here is a look at some of the latest smartphones and the new features (or incentives) that companies are adding to remind customers what it is that makes smartphones so special.
LG: Extended Viewing
LG launched its latest device in Korea, but a version is still expected to come stateside in the second quarter of the year. The Optimus G Pro (a name change is possible for the U.S. version) is defined by its screen. The 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display delivers 1920×1080 pixels at 400ppi—the same quality found on high definition TVs. The 13-megapixel rear camera and 2.1-megapixel front camera can also work in tandem. Dual Recording and Dual Camera allow users to capture video and photos with both cameras simultaneously for a picture-in-picture experience.
HTC: A Live Screen
The HTC One’s 4.7-inch, Full HD 1080p screen not only brings images to life, but it pushes live info to your home screen. The HTC UltraPixel Camera does not take just one photo when you press the shutter, but up to 20 images and a three-second video as well. So when you view the images in your gallery you can see them come to life right before your eyes. Meanwhile, the HTC BlinkFeed keeps you up to date on your social circle by streaming news and feeds of the social networks of your choice to your home screen. The smartphone is scheduled for release in Q2.
Samsung: The Mobile Companion
Samsung calls its Galaxy S 4 (scheduled for release in Q2) a “life companion” with new features designed to make life a little easier. Smart Pause uses eye-tracking technology to pause a video if you look away and then resume when your attention is back. Air View allows you to easily preview content of an email just by hovering your finger. The phone even cares about your health. S Health software can track your workouts, daily intake and weight levels as well as show your optimal comfort level based on temperature and humidity.
BlackBerry: Design Overhaul
BlackBerry completely revamped its operating system and the overhaul includes the BlackBerry Hub, a collection of all of your conversations that you can peek at from anywhere. BlackBerry Flow ensures that features and apps work seamlessly together; for instance, tapping on an attendee listed for a meeting pulls up their LinkedIn profile. And organization is simple with BlackBerry Balance which keeps work data and personal content separate. While BlackBerry Remember allows you to create tasks, track progress, and collect memos, emails, websites and more in one place. All of this is available on the BlackBerry Z10 ($200–$550).
Sony: Budget-Friendly Camera Phone
If you still appreciate a smartphone with the standard features at reasonable price, then for your consideration: Sony’s Xperia L (scheduled for release in Q2). An added bonus: the ability to take a quality, quick photograph. The phone’s 8-megapixel camera with Sony’s unique “Exmor RS for mobile” sensor technology ensures vivid colors and stunning clarity. And taking quick pics is easy with a dedicated camera key that goes from sleep to snap in just over a second.