With CES 2015 finished up, awards given and hundreds of tech reviewers ready to crash for a few days to recover from the adventure, it is time to start thinking about what comes next in the world of Android. As far as the big events go, next up is very exciting, as we are headed into flagship season and MWC.
Samsung has been a major manufacturer of Android devices in the last few years. They have a fairly regular routine of launching one iteration after another of most styles of phone they offer. That approach has changed a little in the last half year or so, with stiff competition and the consumer desire for more premium feeling devices than Samsung’s normal plastic offerings, at a lower price than a flagship normally affords.
What should we expect from Samsung moving forward?
We applaud Samsung for reigning things in a bit. While we love the idea of having seemingly limitless options of Android devices to choose from, we’ll take quality over quantity any day. It appears that Samsung knows this, as the expectations for their next flagship device(s) may be the best that the South Korean manufacturer has yet delivered.
Starting with build materials, Samsung tested the waters late in 2014 with the Galaxy Alpha. The Alpha was touted as Samsung’s first major Android phone built of metal. While the design of the phone was not a huge departure from other Samsung devices, the metal made for a more premium feel over Samsung’s typical plastic offerings
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was also a welcome design change, although it did not rock the same metal build, the phone itself brought a glossy and premium look to it. This lead to the notion that the Note 4 is the phone that Samsung should lead off from in future flagship devices.
One of the key features to the Note 4 that helped Samsung stand out in the crowd came in the second iteration of the device, called the Note Edge. Adding a curved display to an Android phone may not be a new concept, but the Note 4 based version took it to the next level of functionality. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of the curved edge of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, I will just leave you with this video to see what I mean.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Our expectation is that Samsung will take the ‘you can’t have too much of a good thing’ approach with the Galaxy S6. That said, it is likely that the Galaxy S6 will come in two variations as well. The flat panel S6, with metal build materials, of course, and a Galaxy S6 Edge, rocking a similarly styled curved edge to the Galaxy Note Edge.
It is Samsung’s history to announce their ‘S’ line flagship at Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona every year. MWC will be held in early March for 2015, a little bit later than the normal February dates that gave Samsung a couple months to actually launch their flagship device in April or so. We expect that Samsung will be on track for April once again, regardless their announcement date.
We’ve got a full Samsung Galaxy S6 rumor roundup all ready for your perusal, but the highlights include a 5.5-inch display, on the flat panel, 5.3-inch on the curved version. As long as Qualcomm is right that the Snapdragon 810 is still on track, it is most likely we will find the new high-end 64-bit SoC in the Galaxy S6. And an Exynos version as well, for certain primarily-Asian markets. Head on over to the Galaxy S6 rumor roundup for more details.
For good measure, check out this awesome looking fan depiction of what the Galaxy S6 could look like.
But wait, there’s more! You didn’t think the next flagship Galaxy S6 was all that Samsung has in the works did you? How about a new smartwatch? Not just any smartwatch, of course, as rumor has it that Samsung is headed to MWC with a completely round watch face design. Something we’ve seen in the Motorola Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R already.
We’ve heard rumblings of a round faced Samsung smartwatch since early 2014. More recently, as suggested, those rumblings suggest a launch at MWC, and in common Samsung smartwatch fashion, we expect the new watch to run their own mobile operating system, Tizen.
We are still debating internally the pros and cons of Samsung pushing forward with their own operating system, Tizen. There is little dispute that Samsung has built much of their success in the mobile sector thanks to the power of Android. Should they forego Android and move to their own OS?
We’re not here to debate Tizen, but we’ll tease the debate just a little. On one hand, Samsung is pushing out Tizen powered smart TVs and smartwatches all around the globe. As with any ecosystem, users of these Tizen devices may look for a Tizen phone to match. On the flip side, well, Android. Despite their best efforts, Samsung’s ecosystem can not yet compete on level with Google and Android.
As far as Tizen goes, we expect 2015 will be a big year for Samsung, shipping many general consumer electronics powered by Tizen. They may even finally get around to launching that Tizen smartphone we’ve heard about time and again. However, we do not expect to see Samsung bring any Tizen phones to MWC. Their next round of flagships, including the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, should run Android Lollipop.
See you at MWC
There you have it, our expectations, based on what we know so far, are for two versions of Samsung’s next flagship release, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and a curved screen variant, plus a round faced Moto 360 competitor smartwatch. You can be sure there will be other electronics at the show, including appliances and smart home technology too.
With several weeks until the show, there is plenty of room for Samsung to make changes to their lineup. Stay tuned, as we’ll be sure to bring you all the latest credible leaks and rumors as they come around. We’ll also be at the show, to bring you the same great coverage as we did for CES.
What do you think Samsung will bring to MWC 2015?