Top 5: Expected Gadgets for 2nd Half of 2016

In this Top 5 post, I will be going over the smartphones that are expected to be released between now and Christmas 2016, ranked by what I am most anticipated to hear more about.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 7/Edge

Image of Galaxy S7 (Left) and Galaxy S7 Edge (Right) from early 2016 which Note 7 will likely borrow changes from.

Hang on don’t you mean the Note 6?

Yes it’s the same smartphone. Samsung is expect go from the Note 5 straight to the Note 7 with a possible Edge variant being available, to keep it inline with the S7 smartphone with the same number being shown to customers that they came out in the same year.

Other expected changes to the Note 7 is to bring a lot of the features from the S7 to the Note lineup.

This includes a better processor, water-resistance, microSD card support, 12MP camera and more.

The device is also rumoured to get a more feature-rich S Pen and Iris Scanner support, which we’ll have to wait to see how good they are.

I’d be curious in looking into the Edge variant but all comes down to how much it costs over the non-edge variant and how easy it is the grip with the curved sides.

4. Moto X 2016

Moto X Pure Edition from 2015.

In 2015, Motorola released the Moto X Play, Style and Pure Edition.

The Play was designed for the people that want a larger battery but inferior specs and Style and Pure Editions were variants of the same phone with the pure edition being an unlocked international version of the Style variant.

What makes to the Moto X lineup great is being almost a stock Android device with a few additional features that complement the stock Android experience that you get on Nexus devices.

We should expect to the see the usual better camera, better processor, more RAM, microSD card support and maybe a few extra software features.

One thing I think that is perhaps letting the 2015 variant down in competition, is the thickness of the device considering it only has a 3000mAh battery in an 11.1mm thick device, vs. the S7 Edge with a 3600mAh battery with only a 7.7mm thickness.

I’m curious to learn more about this phone (if and when released) in regards to how good of a complete package it is compared to the Nexus lineup.

3. Apple Watch 2

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 8.37.19 PM
Image of Apple Watch (1st Generation) at WWDC 2016 with watchOS 3 announcement.

I think everyone regardless of their platform of choice, can agree that the 1st generation Apple Watch is indeed the most popular smartwatch on the market to date.

That’s not to say it’s perfect?

One area that a lot of people are hoping to see change in the 2nd generation, is being dramatically faster. Some apps on the 1st generation can take 7 seconds to open, but watchOS 3 is addressing this with instant launching for up to 10 apps in the new dock. Lets hope we can get that speed for all apps on the 2nd generation.

Other expected changes should be more bands, latest software, better battery life, improved Wi-Fi support and potentially variants that support a cellular connection so you don’t need to be tethered to your phone all the time for the majority of operations o the watch.

There are also rumours of a MicroLED display which is a more energy efficient display compared to OLED, but is likely not going to ship on an Apple Watch until late 2017 (likely the Apple Watch 3).

I don’t think we’ll see Android support for this model, but I do wonder how well a cellular version of this watch would work for people who use an Android device, or if it’s just as useful as it is now without an iPhone.

2. iPhone 7/Plus

Potential leaked iPhone 7.

This year’s iPhone has a lot of uncertainty as to what we should expect to see.

One thing that is almost certain is no major overhaul to the design which routinely would be this year.

There’s a lot of controversy as to whether or not the headphone jack will go, but at this stage it’s really a 50% chance of happening, but I expect it to eventually happen.

Other changes could include:

  • Dual-lens camera on the Plus model.
  • Slightly Larger batteries in both models.
  • More energy efficient and more powerful processors.
  • 50% extra RAM on the Plus model.
  • Possible Optical Image Stabilization on 4.7inch model.
  • Possibly a Smart Connector on the back (likely not going to happen now).
  • Double each storage size to 32, 128 and 256GB’s.
  • Improved Headphone Experience via Lightning connected headphones (to start transition away from 3.5mm).
  • Dual Speaker setup on the bottom of the device (like it is on all iPads except Pro lineup).
  • Possible 3D Touch Home Button which is not clickable (which I’d find weird).
  • Potentially water-resistance (but likely on model with no 3.5mm headphone jack).

The reason this is high on my list is because a) I’m an iPhone 5s user since launch and had it for almost 3 years to date, b) it is believed that the 2017 model will be a major upgrade (likely biggest since iPhone 6) and leaves everyone curious what they will do this year to help with sales etc.

1. 2016 Nexus Devices

Nexus 5X (Left) and Nexus 6P (Right) from 2015.

Let me be clear, if I were to switch to Android it would most likely be to a Nexus device.

The Nexus 5X from LG and Nexus 6P from Huawei are two of the best Android phones on the market currently that suits for the budget market and best all-rounder Android experience.

It is expected that HTC is doing at least one, maybe both of the Nexus devices in 2016, but a Huawei execute did say that they are working on a Nexus device this year, but could that be a tablet instead? I honestly hope not, because they really nailed the design and build of the 6P.

So what could change in the 2016 models?

Honestly, all I can think of at the moment is:

  • Better Processors.
  • Maybe larger batteries.
  • Improved Fast Charging support.
  • Improved Cameras.
  • Updated Nexus Imprint (Fingerprint) Hardware.
  • Come with Android N pre-installed.
  • DayDream VR Support.

Sundar Pichai also mention at the Recode tech conference in May that in future Nexus devices they could be adding additional features on top of stock Android and mention a potential area being the camera. We’ll have to wait and see what it is, but it sounds like Google wants to turn the Nexus into more of an iPhone competitor when it comes to the advantages of immediate software updates etc.

There’s also rumours that Google will offer unlimited storage in Google Photos without any downscaling in photo and video quality as likely a 2016 Nexus exclusive.

But there is still a lot to think about in terms of what can be changed/improved in this year’s Nexus devices which is why that and potentially be an open invitation for me to switch to Android, makes it my most anticipated gadget yet to be announced for the rest of 2016.

That’s all for this post. If you enjoyed reading this and/or want to see more like this in the future, be sure to give it a like and follow me here or on Twitter @neilh_apps.