The holiday shopping season will soon begin to pick up, which means new products are beginning to flow in rather steadily. In September alone the Motorola DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR MAXX HD, Apple iPhone 5, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, HTC Windows Phone 8X, Windows Phone 8S were announced, along with a handful of other phones that were rumored or released.
We've seen a handful of devices become official and launch in October, too. To name a few, the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini made an appearance, as well as the HTC One X+ and One VX for AT&T.
And things are still ramping up. This week, we're expecting to see the Apple iPad Mini announced. And next week Microsoft and Google are unwrapping their latest handiwork. Expectations are we'll get official details on Surface, see Windows Phone 8 become official and get other important details on all things Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It's expected Google will announce Android 4.2, a minor revision to Jelly Bean, a 10-inch Nexus tablet called the Nexus 10, two new versions of the Nexus 7 (one with 3G/HSPA+ and a 32GB model) and the Nexus 4 handset. We could also see a refined Nexus Q and multiple Nexus handsets.
The rumor mill is in full swing as well. The J Butterfly, the hotly rumored HTC-built phablet, became official last week for the Japanese market. Photos and dozens of other rumors suggest a very similar phone will be making it to Verizon later this year – maybe early next year. The Nokia Atlas, a rumored Windows Phone 8 Lumia device for Verizon, is also rumored.
All of this amounts to two things for consumers.
First, there will be no shortage of options on mobile devices this holiday season. With the exception of those seeking a smaller, high-end Android phone, there is easily a device for everyone (although not on every carrier) slated for later this year. Point blank, there will be dozens of high-end options this year. There are giant phablets, budget phones with great specifications and high-end phones in the mid-sized sector.
The second thing this means for buyers this holiday season is that making a decision will be harder than ever. Options are a good thing, don't get me wrong. But even I am struggling to narrow down the options.
I never try to sell myself on a device until I get some hands-on time with is. But I can usually weed out the devices I know I don't want fairly quickly. This year, however, there are so many great phones that I'm having a tough time choosing just two (since I have two lines).
I bought the iPhone 5 last month, and while I'm content with it, I'm looking to branch out and try some Windows Phone 8 once it's available. In terms of hardware, all I need to successfully replace the iPhone is a great camera. And I'm looking to the Nokia Lumia 920. I'm on AT&T and Verizon, so the Lumia 920 being exclusive to AT&T isn't a problem. I have almost totally convinced myself that the Lumia 920 will replace the HTC One X on my AT&T line. But the HTC Windows Phone 8X looks great, too. And I'm going to have a hard time giving up investments in the iOS ecosystem.
But that also means I will need to replace the iPhone on my Verizon line with something Android (since, you know, I can't go without Android). The options I'm weighing are HTC's rumored phablet, the DLX, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Chances are, I'll go with the Note II. But I certainly want to give the other options a fair shot.
And then there's this nagging rumor that there are going to be multiple Nexus handsets this year. I'm still skeptical of LG's purported Nexus. It looks like it could be a great follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but I'm not clamoring over it. However, if ASUS, HTC or Motorola make a Nexus phone, I will have a terrible time talking myself out of buying one … or two of them.
I've done well this year by not buying dozens of phones. I've bought a total of five phones (Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T, Nokia Lumia 900, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Apple iPhone 5) versus the 20 or more I bought last year. But these last few months are going to be tough. I want them all, every manufacturer's flagship devices.
I am certain of one thing: this holiday season is going to be great for any and all mobile tech aficionados out there. That said, do any of you also feel torn over which device to buy this holiday season? Are you having trouble narrowing the options down to a single phone? Or are you already set on a single device (or pair of devices)?