World at War: Samsung and Apple
The state of the smartphone world has stabilized significantly after a tumultuous summer due to Samsung’s battery slip-up, For those living under a rock, Samsung was forced to recall their Galaxy Note 7 line due to battery explosions.The line was completely shut down after the replacements also began to blow up in their user’s pockets. Samsung’s plan to release the Note 7 before their biggest rival, the iPhone 7, backfired completely.
So where does that leave the iPhone 7? Apple released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. Despite its setback, Samsung still holds the title of most units sold in Q2 of 2016, according to techradar.com. The Samsung S7 and S7 Edge hold the number one and two spots, while Apple clocks in with the iPhone 7 Plus at three and iPhone 7 at four.
iPhone 7: What happened, Apple?
This year’s iPhone update left a bit to be desired. Sure, it’s the best iPhone ever created – but every new iPhone is the best iPhone ever created. The innovation and creativity we have come to expect from a company like Apple have not been met in this year’s model. Minor differences include shifted antenna bands (those lines on the back of the iPhone 6 and 6S), removal of the headphone jack, and another camera in the 7 Plus model. Compared to the radical redesign of the iPhone 6 and the success of the iPhone 5, the 7 just doesn’t quite make the cut. However, there is a possible explanation. Next year is the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, signifying some major changes. Rumors have been circulating, giving a tantalizing glance of an all glass-body, bezel-less edgeless display, the implementation of new AMOLED features, wireless charging, and the removal of the home button. These are just predictions based on patents placed by Apple, but it could explain the iPhone 7’s lack of luster and the indication of a super-charged iPhone next year. If you’re underwhelmed by the iPhone 7, or have the patience to wait till next year, you could be in for a wonderful surprise.
Pixel: A new contender
Google recently released two smartphones on October 20: the Pixel and Pixel XL. Designed inside and out by Google, the Pixel is priced at $649.00, in direct competition with other top contenders such as Apple and Samsung. So what’s so special about the Pixel? Spec wise, the Pixel is similar to its competitors in size, display, and processing power. The camera sits at 12.3 MP with an f/2,0 aperture. It has the ability to take 4k video, and received an 89 DxOMark Mobile score, the best ever in a smartphone. However, the Pixel truly shines below the surface. The Pixel runs Android 7 Nougat straight out of the box, in addition to Google’s new Assistant. Google Assistant is far more sophisticated in speech recognition than any other voice assistant, able to interpret casual conversational input. In addition, Pixel owners receive unlimited storage for their photos in the cloud, ensuring that running out of space is almost impossible. Overall, Google has created a worthy opponent for Apple and Samsung, filling some of the voids created by the Note 7 crash.