2014 has been a pretty interesting year for mobile. We’ve seen just about everything we expected to see from the Galaxy S5 to the bigger and better iPhone 6, plus some other goodies like the rounded design of the LG G Flex and the strange secondary display on the Galaxy Note Edge. We were even given another year with the Google Nexus 6. With all of that in mind, we’re quickly approaching years’ end; it’s time to start looking forward into 2015, and plotting in our heads what we hope to see most come out of next year’s smartphone line-up.
Personally, I’m hoping to see some more effort put into the “mini” versions of our favorite flagships. They’re not the most popular product, currently, but with the trend of flagship smartphones steadily creeping upwards and no indication of the trend going backwards yet, my biggest hope is for the mini versions of the phone to really start shining this next year.
It’s not a totally false hope. The fact that Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact has been doing so well in reviews from users and bloggers alike gives me hope that yes, this is something that can actually happen. Most minis typically take the route of using less specs, less features, and less everything. They’re basically watered down to the point where the only thing that’s shared between the mini and the original is the name and the design, but not much else. This year I want to see the specs at least be closer to each other.
I also feel like it could be a good year for minis because 2014 was able to bring forth a lot of new technology that helps increase battery life. We might not see those magnificent graphene batteries or the batteries that charge your phone from 0-100% in just 30 seconds for a few years, but we do have features within the phones that can really help stretch out that battery life and make the most of any phone. Mini devices, which inevitably have smaller batteries, could make really good use of this technology as well.
I’ve come to accept the fact that until flagships do, if ever, start trending back to a smaller size, I’m going to have slim pickings for a while when it comes to upgrades. I mentioned recently that I finally “upgraded” to an iPhone 5s, but of course this “upgrade” of mine comes a year later. One of the main reasons I went with this phone was because of its 4-inch display, and for me it’s the perfect size for one-handed use - an important feature in my book. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still want other options, though. That’s where the minis come into play, but I’m the type of person who likes high-end phones as much as the next person. Like, I actually really liked the Samsung Galaxy S5, but the Galaxy S5 Mini wasn’t quite up to par with what I was expecting to see. The HTC One Mini 2 hit the mark a little closer with the HTC One M8, but again, it just wasn’t quite there.
I will say that this year’s minis reflected their originals better than they did in 2013, so there’s that; it’s another reason why I’m hoping that 2015 really brings forth the potential in the minis. If 2014 was better than 2013, then 2015 should be better than 2014... right?
It would also be a great year to start introducing a mini Nexus, especially if they’re going to get any larger than the Nexus 6. But maybe that’s just me.
The market is now largely in favor of phablet-sized phones, but there are still plenty of people left wanting something smaller. The trend for the next year shouldn’t be about who makes the next biggest flagship, it should be about bridging the huge gap between the mini and their original so that everybody is happy. I’m not saying make them identical, because there are going to have to be some sacrifices made in the name of a smaller device - but there doesn’t have to be as many corners cut.
What do you think, readers? Are you hoping to see the mini versions of our favorite flagships get some more recognition this upcoming year? Let us know in the comments below!