Two firms, HTC and Sony, could be launching high-end, high-profile handsets within the next few months. Sony has already announced its 5-inch, quad-core Xperia Z and HTC’s much rumoured M7 flagship could follow soon after.
Both handsets are set to run Android, continuing the association that each manufacturer has with Google’s mobile platform. Samsung rules the Android world at the moment having sold in excess of 30 million Galaxy S III devices last year, but both HTC and Sony are capable of producing impressive, high-end handsets such as last year’s HTC One X and Sony Xperia T.
So if you’re looking for a high-end Android device but don’t want a Samsung handset, which would you prefer; HTC or Sony?
We have more details about what Sony has planned over the next few months than we do about HTC’s intentions, with smartphone buyers already privy to the Xperia Z.
The new flagship’s stand out feature is its incredible 441ppi HD display which gives images and videos a depth rarely seen on mobile devices, if at all. The upcoming device also has the unusual feature of being waterproof, featuring a unibody design and ports covered by plastic flaps.
What HTC has planned still remains shrouded in mystery but many commentators have suggested that the firm’s next flagship will have a quad-core processor, 4.7-inch display and anything up to a 13 megapixel camera.
While impressive, those specs don’t include anything particularly surprising and suggest that the handset will be a natural step on from the One X that was released to critical acclaim last year. If the device emerges in the same form as rumoured it will no doubt be an excellent handset. However, HTC could also go several steps further and surprise us all with new innovations, be they in hardware, software, camera technology or a wider mobile ecosystem.
We asked Dialaphone blog readers and our Facebook community which of the two firms they would choose when opting for a new devices and received an overwhelming response.
On the blog, HTC came out on top, although it was by no means a one horse race. Emerging with 56% of votes cast, the Taiwanese manufacturer clearly has a good degree of support, but with Sony having claimed a significant minority, the Japanese firm definitely has its fans.
Over on the Dialaphone Facebook page it was a different story. Sony gained enormous amount of support and inspired several quite vocal fans to leave comments. Referring to the launch of the Xperia Z, Craig Etheridge voiced his decision: “Sony, [we] can all agree the innovation we have seen over the last fortnight proves their place in the competition.”
And Ciara Scalici took this support one step further by enthusiastically declaring: “SONY!!! Xperia Z will take over the world!”
Some respondents addressed the progress and position of other smartphone manufacturers. Robert Winterburn listed several firms, saying: “Apple too expensive, Blackberry dead… Samsung too many spin off phones. Motorola nearly dead. I’d go with either Sony or HTC.”
Overall, it’s difficult to determine if there was a clear winner out of the two firms but perhaps most telling was the response that we received, with the Facebook discussion in particular being one of the most active ever seen on the Dialaphone page.
While the sales Samsung has achieved recently indicate that it may well stay at the very top of the Android game (and the smartphone industry as a whole) for some time, there are clearly those who feel very strongly about other manufacturers.
We’ve seen Sony’s next flagship and heard many rumours about what is to come from HTC, both of which look to offer some impressive specs and features that could rival the likes of the Galaxy S III and Note II. The existence of a number of firms capable of producing innovative, high-performance handsets however means that every manufacturer will have to push itself to stay on top. And it’s the smartphone-buying public that stands to benefit.