In case you hadn't noticed, we're over halfway through August, which means a couple things. First and foremost, temperatures here in North Carolina (and across the nation) are slowly trickling back down towards tolerable. It also means we are on the brink of a barrage of pre-holiday product announcements. Every company wants to hit the market with a splash, so each and every one is going to throw a big brouhaha for what it believes to be the most impressive, intuitive, ingenious piece of mobile technology the world has ever seen.
In truth, all of this is a lot of commotion over little we don't already know – or haven't already assumed, I should say. The fanfare could be spared, along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to throw such extravagant press conferences, parties and other festivities. I mean, we're going to do it again in just a few short months at some other event or trade show, right?
No less, it's impossible to ignore what is coming over the next few weeks and months. There are a handful of devices that are on the horizon and wireless consumers and aficionados are drumming up all sorts of hype. The question is: which one are you most excited for?
The new iPhone – Some, of course, are more well-known than others. The upcoming iPhone is, by far, one of the most rumored, leaked and speculated smartphone that is believed to be coming next month. The latest word is that pre-orders will begin September 12 and the launch will follow on the following 26th. It is rumored to have a larger 4-inch display and a stretched design not unlike the current iPhone 4S (though some of us choose to believe the rumors and part leaks are a hoax).
Samsung Galaxy Note II – Another smartphone that has been causing quite the ballyhoo is the successor to the original phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Word currently has it that the Note II, at 5.5-inches diagonally, will be a bit larger than its predecessor. It is also rumored to feature a flexible AMOLED panel and a quad-core Exynos processor, though it's likely the U.S. variants will come with LTE in tow and a dual-score Snapdragon chipset. Then again, it could have the quad-core S4 Pro chip. Either way, the Note II is expected to be announced at the Samsung Unpacked event on August 29.
Mystery HTC phablet – Continuing the trend, there is a rumored HTC-made phablet for Verizon Wireless. Rumor has it this phablet made by the Taiwanese firm will feature a 5-inch 1080p (non-PenTile) display, quad-core Qualcomm Krait processor, Adreno 320 GPU and a Scribe pen.
The next Nokia Lumia phone – Still a bit of a mystery, Nokia has drawn a lot of attention for its next endeavor. It will be viewed somewhat as a "make or break" device for the company and a primary vehicle for Microsoft's next major mobile software update, Windows Phone 8. The Nokia-Microsoft even is slated for September 5. And Chris Weber, VP of Nokia Sales and Marketing, called out Samsung in a tweet that read, "Samsung take note, next generation Lumia coming soon." Information is scarce on this next-gen Lumia, but we can only hope it has a more refined version of PureView, right?
The next Nexus – Last, and with the least amount of information and rumors, is the next Nexus device by Google. Back in May, there was word that alleged there would be up to five lead devices later this year. It's worth noting that those don't necessarily have to be Nexus devices. But there have been no Nexus smartphones debuted this year, and with Google releasing a software update (one that was considered minor, no less) so early in the year, there's reason to believe there will be a major update in 2012. That leaves a lot of room for speculation, especially considering there could be more than one Nexus later in the year to display the potential of the Android PDK. Either way, my fingers are crossed for at least one Nexus phone in 2012.
So which one am I looking forward to most?
Truthfully, I'm excited over each and every one of them to some extent. And it's rather difficult to narrow it down to a single phone. I can say that I'm least excited over the next-generation iPhone. While I refuse to believe all the recent leaks are legitimate, I don't feel Apple will release anything that surprises anyone, not this year at least. The upcoming Lumia isn't far behind that. As much as I love Nokia and their fantastic hardware, the Lumia 900 was a major letdown. I'm not a huge fan of Windows Phone, but I will be looking forward to giving Windows Phone 8 a go.
I am always excited for new Nexus devices … always. I'm happy with the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus, and there's no reason not to be excited for what Google has in the pipeline. But it's hard to be terribly excited over something we haven't really heard anything about.
That leaves only two devices: Galaxy Note II and the mystery HTC-made phablet. I have no loyalty to either HTC or Samsung. I have switched back and forth between those two manufacturers for the better part of three years now and I've found comfort in both. Each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
But I have to be more excited over the Note II. HTC's phablet, while also less concrete, will be a first-gen device. They have a very poor track record in the tablet sector and have a lot to learn about tablets, and thus phablets. Samsung has already probed that territory and will be coming back with a lot more prowess this year. I loved the original Galaxy Note, and despite the fact that I don't think it should be made any larger, the Note II is what I'm looking forward to the most. Luckily, there is less than a two week wait to see what it entails.
Tell me, ladies and gents. What smartphone are you looking forward to? The next iPhone? The next Lumia? Nexus? An HTC phablet? Or, like me, does the Note II get your vote?