A week in smartphones: Sony looks to the future and Google heads in a new d

18/07/2014

A Week In Smartphones: Sony Looks To The Future And Google Heads In A New D

As September pulls ever closer, the companies that are planning to release phones in the end of quarter three and into quarter four are gearing up for their big launches, which has left us with yet another busy week, with Sony, Apple and Google all dominating the headlines of tech blogs the world over.

So what new developments and rumours have we learned of in the past week that indicate how the next big wave of releases will go?

Android

While the big companies have been hogging the headlines in the last few weeks, one of the smaller - in smartphone terms - developers has been attacking a different market and preparing itself for the release of a brand new phone.

Google has announced that it is going to be releasing the first of its Android One budget handsets, designed to target those who are still using old style mobile phones, as of October of this year, in line with its earlier suggestion that it would be coming out in quarter four.

The phone is expected to cost around £60, and while it will not be top end by any stretch of the imagination, we're still quite impressed by the 4.5-inch screen, dual-SIM, SD slot and FM radio that was suggested at the original announcement back at Google's I/O conference.

Project Ara

Android One has not been the only Google phone that is getting people excited this week though, as we took another step closer to seeing the release of the rather ambitious Project Ara.

We're expecting to see the new release from Google in either late 2014 or early 2015, and the phone will be a basic skeleton that users can add hardware "modules" to in order to create a device that meets all of their own requirements.

Earlier this week, it moved a step closer to release as it asked developers to apply for an early version of the model if they have an innovative and original idea for their own hardware module, which means it must be getting ready for the big official launch at some point in the next few months.

Xperia Z3

Definitely the most talked about phone of the summer, the Sony Xperia Z3 has been subject to yet more rumours this week after images leaked showing the device next to a Samsung Galaxy Note to show off some of its specs. 

So what did we see? Apparently the phone will be quite aesthetically different to the Xperia Z2, which was released earlier this year, with softer edges and gentler curves that are apparently making the phone easier to hold. 

We also expect to see the phone growing from its predecessor, with the leaked images suggesting that it will now pack a mammoth five-inch screen. With IFA 2014 ticking ever closer though, hopefully we won't have to wait all that long to see what Sony has in store for us with the new device. 

iPhone 6

And finally, the perpetually most talked about range of phones - the iPhone. Apple has been tight-lipped, as it always is, about the release of its new phone, which we're expecting to see in September - probably announced around the 19th.

However, this hasn't stopped the rumour mill from turning in the last few weeks, and the last seven days have been no different. This week, we've learned that it is probable Apple is working on a 5.5-inch phablet version of the phone, after it was rumoured to have fixed issues with a battery that was large enough and thin enough while still packing requisite power.

Elsewhere, we've also seen a leak of the latest final production model of the iPhone 6 -allegedly - which seems to show that the phone will sport a new design and a much larger screen than we've seen in previous iPhones. Only time will tell just how true these rumours prove to be.