Three smartphones that will disrupt the industry

by: Adam KoueiderJuly 15, 2013


Every so often a device comes along that changes the course that its respective industry was on. It changes the way we look at the world, and sometimes, it tears a hole in the fabric of time and space. Okay, maybe a device can’t be that awesome, but you get the point.

In the upcoming months we have a multitude of devices coming, but there are three smartphones which stand out amongst the noise. The much-hyped Moto X, might just redefine the term high-end, the Sony Honami (Xperia i1) could bring Sony back to its former glory and the LG G2 may be the phone that turns LG into the powerhouse it aims to be.

So how will these devices disrupt the industry?

Moto X – High-end. Redefined.

The Moto X might be the most-leaked smartphone in recent history, but thankfully for Google and Motorola, it’s also one of the most hyped. Coined as the return of Motorola, under the watchful eyes of Google, there’s a lot riding on the Moto X and Motorola’s upcoming smartphones. Just how much? Around the $12 billion that Google bought Motorola for, plus a rumored $500 million for marketing.

So when some relatively mid-range specifications were leaked, a lot of people were disappointed. However, it looks as if Google and Motorola will be focusing on providing a brilliant user experience rather than attempting to run the gauntlet of the spec-race.

Eric Schmidt talking on Moto X

Current leaks say that the Moto X will have a 720P 4.4-inch (or 4.7-inch) display, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, and a 10-megapixel camera.

Motorola and Google clearly believe that the Moto X can match the big boys without matching their specification lists. However, with a massive marketing budget and the clout of Google and Motorola behind the smartphone, it could redefine the meaning of high-end and force other OEMs to focus on a great user experience, rather than the amount of cores they can cram into their device.

Sony Honami (Xperia i1) – The rebirth of Sony?

There once was a time when Sony was one of the finest electronics companies in the world. Sony’s Bravia TVs were heralded, the Walkman was an industry leader, and its Sony Ericsson phones weren’t too shabby either. Now though, Sony has been relegated to the stands as Samsung dominated the television and smartphone markets, and the Walkman has been antiquated by smartphones and tablets.

2013 has brought a more focused and streamlined Sony, intent on recapturing its former glory. The Sony Xperia Z was a decent seller, but not enough to catapult Sony into the top 3 smartphone makers as it so dearly wants. The Sony Honami is the antithesis of the Moto X focusing on destroying every other smartphone that has been announced this year when it comes to specs.

The Xperia Z sold relatively well.

The Xperia Z sold relatively well.

Rumors claim that the Sony Honami will have a 20-megapixel camera, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3Ghz, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch Full HD display, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, water-resistance, and a 3000mAh battery. The Sony Honami is expected to be announced at IFA 2013 on September 4.

Sony’s clearly hoping on to take a bit of gloss off of the announcement of another smartphone which is expected to be announced at IFA 2013, the Galaxy Note 3, and the Honami could push Sony back into the limelight if it can get its carrier deals in order.

LG G2 – Weird name, even weirder button placements

The LG G2 (pronounced El-Ge-Ge-to) might win the gold medal for the weirdest name on this list, but it certainly wins the gold medal for weirdest button placements. Of all of the ways that LG could’ve shook up the industry in terms of design, it chose to tweak what has long been a standard of smartphone design.

LG g2 leak slide

The rumored volume button placement on the LG G2

The phone has been leaked in photos several times, and they all point towards the LG G2 moving the volume buttons to the back of the device. Done scratching your head yet? If so, put your smartphone in your hands (if it isn’t there already) and you’ll realise that the button placements make perfect sense, since that’s where your finger rests when using your smartphone.

Just because the button placements on the LG G2 make sense, doesn't mean it'll be practical in real life.

Now just because something makes sense, doesn’t mean it’ll be practical in real use, so we’ll have to wait for a hands on before we decide whether this is a good move from LG. The LG G2 also has a solid set of specs to back up its strange button placement, with an already confirmed use of the Snapdragon 800, and rumors claiming it will have a 5.2-inch Full HD display, 2GB of RAM (some rumors say 3GB), and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

LG hopes that the G2 will help it capture the all important 3rd place in the smartphone market, and there are also rumors that the next-gen Nexus smartphone will be based on the LG G2. The G2 is expected to be announced at an event in New York on August 7.

Wrap up

The next few months are destined to be interesting for Android users, and these three devices could disrupt the industry for different reasons. The Moto X’s focus on user experience, the Sony Honami’s attempt to reignite the sleeping giant that is Sony, and the LG G2’s venture into the deep end of smartphone design, are all unique attempts at standing out in a crowded market.

Which device will you be getting?

  • Moto x most likely.

  • Nicholas Rosario

    I hot this huawei from metrp pcs

  • Imran Al-Imran

    Galaxy note 3 should also be counted.

    • Adam Koueider

      I considered mentioning the Galaxy Note 3, but I thought the original Note was the one that disrupted the industry creating the trend towards larger displays and popularizing the stylus. Unless the Note 3 has a flexible display (highly unlikely) which would disrupt the industry in unfathomable ways, it’ll be an incremental upgrade.

      • Raaj

        Exactly my thoughts too.. Maybe if Note 3 teams up with Zippo and introduces a lighter!!!
        That would be a game changer :-D

        • Do it better with an electronic cigarette embedded at the s-pen.

      • Joshua Hill

        By the same reasoning Sony’s Honami is just an incremental upgrade on the Z.

        • Mastermind

          Well that shut up him.

        • Adam Koueider

          Yes, so far as specs go it’s an incremental upgrade. But if we look at the bigger picture in the tug of war for market share in the smartphone market, the Honami represents Sony’s biggest attempt to re-invigorate its smartphone business. A stronger, bolder Sony could disrupt the industry in the same ways that the Xperia Z forced Samsung to create a water-proof version of the GS4.

          And I think we can all agree that stronger OEMs equals a more competitive market.

          • Joshua Hill

            You told a previous poster you didn’t include a phone for a specific reason. Yet you included a Sony phone that quite clearly fell under the same reasoning. I thought this was a good article but was just pointing out the flaw in that argument.

        • Alex Murphy

          I don’t think so…I think Sony feels the Honami is their version of the Moto X for Motorola. Honami I believe means “unified” or “one” in Japanese, and it’s supposedly the first phone where all of their various departments are working together.

          • Joshua Hill

            It may now be called the Sony Xperia i1. Just because all of Sony’s departments are working together doesn’t mean it will be some unified device with all the sensors the Moto X is rumoured to have. Time will tell. If the new Sony phone is as good as the rumours I will buy one. I doubt it will ‘disrupt’ the industry which was the author’s criteria for not including other phones and thought it was ironic that in my opinion and those who seem to like my comment the author had contradicted himself.

        • aorieff

          i think i got his point. what he’s saying is that the note series has already disrupted the industry. they’ve already made their mark. a new gen will only be a new gen. whereas for sony, their latest device would represent something that can pose a challenge to the market leaders.

          will a samsung product disrupt a market it already rules? that’s not logical. disrupting means stirring some changes to the status quo. samsung can no longer disrupt itself, its market leadership, its dominance. what can disrupt are those that pose challenges to samsung’s dominance. unless samsung introduces a revolutionary product that would create a new category like the “phablets,” there’s no way any new phone or phablet from samsung can do a “disrupting” feat.

          if samsung introduces a product that is expected to flop, then that could be considered something that disrupts indeed.

      • nishantsirohi123

        i agree with you

  • xtriker360

    I think it could be a mistake for moto to make the phone with a 720p screen, when everybody is making 1080p creen

    • MikeCiggy

      While their goal is to be top of the line their goal is to also bring down the price of top-tier phones.

    • Maher Salti

      1080p means more battery drain. they’re looking for an average setup here and they said they’ll be having a device without too much battery usage. can’t complain since this is just the beginning. 720p on a 4.5″ screen. not sure if 1080p would make any difference in that certain size

      • Cristi13

        Strange because these so called battery drainers have better battery lives than their 720p succesors. It is also that newer screen are designed to consume less power.

        • Maher Salti

          if the same materials meet the 1080p is more expensive and will use more battery. What you’re saying is true but all bits will make a difference,

          and to xtriker360, the average consumer (not us geek) wouldn’t care/notice a huge difference in 720p and 1080p on such a small screen. I’m not saying there is no difference I’m saying the average consumer.

          • Cristi13

            You’re partially right, while the difference is not so big as it was before with 480p to 720p, you cannot speak for everyone else. Plus this is the evolution of technology and it can’t be.stopped,like it or not and also is about uniformisation,a lot of content nowadays is in 1080p and trust me a 1080p video will look better on a 1080p sceen (even on a phone)than. 720p one. And the same question is also asked elsewhere like
            processors, “why do we need that”, if it would be by some people logic (not accusing you), we would still be stuck with 32 mb of ram because at that time no one thought that we will ever need more than that.

  • Tamadrummer94

    Why is the Honami bigger than the Z if the screen size is the same? I don’t want more bezel, thanks. And I’m just hoping for excellent battery life on the other two, especially the Moto X if it goes unlocked for the price it’s rumored at.

  • buford

    3 companies that I have learned to avoid buying products from. It will be interesting indeed if any of these 3 devices can change that opinion. However if they really want to shake things up they should try making a phone with a 720p screen in the 3.8 to 4.2 inch area with all the other specs matching the current flagship devices.
    not all of us have hands built for the current trend of near tablet sizing of phones.

  • LG Nexus5

    LG G2 , and LG Nexus 5
    surely be nailed the battle !

  • Cristi13

    Hmm… Let me guess, Sony and LG will probably never give updates or give them very late and Motorola will put a big ass battery

    • LG Nexus 5

      LG is with Google too….

      Don’t forget LG Nexus 5

      • Cristi13

        That’s only the nexus,where Google and only Google handles the software, the g2 and the rest are LG own business. But then again both Sony and LG need to step.up when it comes to after sale support.

        • LG Nexus 5

          LG is doing well in Smartphone and currently @#3 position
          despite of negative feedback from you…

          LG G2 surely will rocks the world ..

          • Micro Shaquer

            Sorry but I’ve never been interested in LG products.

          • LG Nexus 5

            LG is also not interested to you ….

        • LG Nexus 5

          LG Optimus G and LG Optimus G pro sells great…

          also LG’s L-series are doing great in the markets….

  • Rachelal8na

    My 3 predictions would be 1) Moto
    X for its experience, pay attention to it’s camera, using Kodak patent technology, 2) Nokia 1020, because it’s camera is brilliant AND the software will help all the other models as it is brought across, and 3) the new less expensive IPhone, which vastly boost Apple’s share of the market worldwide

  • Luka Mlinar

    Only thing here that might disrupt the market is Moto X. If the updated Note 3 is anything like the S4 was compared to the previous version then nothing special will happen. And that’s the micro tablet/phone market so you can’t really put it in the same box with flagship phones. The G2 is to big to be a phone and the Honami is waterproof? Nothing new there.

    • LG G2

      G2 is just about 5.46 inches tall, 2.80inches wide, and 6.8mm thin.

      such a sexy phone…

    • LG Nexus 5

      G2 is the most compact phone

      measured just about
      5.46 inches tall,
      2.8inches wide,
      6.8mm thin

      smaller than Xperia Z

      LG did a great job for this

      • Luka Mlinar

        That’s all good guys but you got to set the bar somewhere. I set the limit at 5 inches or and S3 size.

  • Timmy

    It will be awesome if Sony, LG and others can improve their devices so that competition can drive prices down a little. Paying $600+ for a phone is painful. I’m also looking forward to HTC’s One Max (although debatable as an industry distrupter.)

    After the last couple of years, it seems almost comical not to have mentioned iPhone as one of the three phones, or at least say “Three smartphones that will disrupt the industry AFTER the iPhone.” The magical Apple mojo is waning.

  • starboard

    no no, hit innovative smartphone this year will be Note 3 and Honami Mini.

  • Where is the Nokia Lumia 1020 & the Sony Xperia Z Ultra?

    • m3ztli

      Quite agree, the windows phones are slowly growing with regards to their user base

      • weed

        Top of this page, or your browsers address bar, can you read and then tell us what it says?

        Not “WP Autority” but…?

        Heres an award for stupidness, im sure u’ll wear it proudly. Its a spermcell, a normal one, not like the one you came from.


    • weed

      What the… Lumia? Here?? Do you know what site this is? Android Authority, please take a hint man. How the H did you get 4 upvotes for off topic stuff like this, what are people smoking these days?

      Z Ultra is more like Failure Of The Year, incomplete garbage. Note 3 is the one to look out for in the big display segment, especially if it turns out to be true that there will be an edition built with premium materials. Z Ultra will be a hopeless niche product with struggling sales? Who the F want to go out in daytime and take pics of birds and flowers under optimal light conditions? That sounded so gay now when i read the previous sentence again, wow.. But if im at a party, having fun, friends request a photo, “oopps, my $900 phone cant take pics in here”, and there was also this girl that you would love to have a photo of, but no… “sorry guys, my phone does not work well in heterosexual environments like this, but tomorrow i will go out in the sunlight and get some great photos of some flowers and other wonderful things”.

      • zippo7kyller

        really? the only thing you do with your smartphone is take pictures during night?

      • Saif Merseysider

        If this is an android forum, then it should not talk big about moto x then. Continuously harping about user experience is crapple thing, u know. Not android.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    The Note 3 may not be a game changer. But that’s the one I’m getting

  • Joshua Hill

    Nexus 5!

  • brendan soliwoda

    I think that the Moto X will reignite a flame in consumer interest for Motorola products. However, I do not see this as the turn around that Motorola needs, per say. If this is the first step in a series of steps the produce results like the Moto X, then yes this will bring brighter days for Motorola and bring them back to their once glory. But, they need to be consistent in producing products/product chatter in the future. If they do that, they could have a turn around and do what Samsung did, which was own the Smartphone market in a span of two years. As for LG and Sony, I think Sony is going in the right direction, but they’re not there yet. They need to improve battery life on their phones. However, they are doing a great job and I see them as a more viable option for changing things and reclaiming more market share then LG. As for LG, they need to do what they did with the Optimus G Pro (i’m mostly talking about camera features) and move away from trying to copy samsung. With the Optimus G2, it looks like their doing good. Overall, I think these three companies could shake things up in the mobile field and it would be nice to see a leveled playing field for android rather than having Samsung dominate. As a samsung user, I’m tired of seeing samsung act like Apple in recent years and not take any adventurous and daring steps in technology that I see Motorola, Sony and LG doing.

  • Blowntoaster

    The Moto X will be the real disruption. This hardware spec war is getting old and tiring. Focus on the ui/ features etc

  • If Moto follow its recent direction into extending battery life significantly, whilst still undertaking the majority of high-end functions well (unlike OneX did with the multi-tasking) then the specs might make sense in a truly industry disrupting way. If not, I suspect that it will not be as disruptive as the Nexus 4 & 7 pricing.

  • Saif Merseysider

    Moto X. High-End. Overhyped.

    Despite Motorola’s catchy phrase of trying to make u guys believe that user experience is key, they still have to play catch-up with the other big names in android play space. Get real, guys. This is the second time I am posting something similar about Moto’s strategy, amazed at how people actually bought their c**p. Let me ask u guys something. If spec is not important, then why did all the craze (supplied by tech reviews, no less, like Android Authority, Phone Reviews, Android Headlines etc) put so much stock into it before? I will say this again. THERE HAD BEEN A COMPANY THAT BANGED A LOT ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF USER EXPERIENCE AS TO SPECIFICATIONS. AND THAT COMPANY IS APPLE!! While I agree that specs do not determine what android is and should be, I also believe that android is about having the latest tech inserted into a device. And by that, sorry to say, Moto X will never be the device that define what a high end should look like. Peace.

    • I remind you guys – Motorola is a big player in the communication industry. It was among the first to come up in the early days of the cellular phone industry. Along with Nokia, Alcatel, etc…

      • Saif Merseysider

        I have no doubt about that. Btw, look at your own reply, bro. ‘Motorola is…’? Then, ‘It was..’. I agree that Motorola was a great company. Not anymore. But, will it become again? Who knows.

  • Dave

    HTC One perhaps?

  • AM Marquez

    If the Motorola X-Phone will really use a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset, then it should use the S4 Pro MSM8960T (similar to the MSM8960 on the Lumia 920, but has an Adreno 320 GPU instead of the Adreno 225)