About to buy a new phone, tablet or other consumer tech? WAIT. Here, we round up the best new consumer tech products still to launch and about which you should be most excited, from phones, tablets and operating systems to games, virtual-reality headsets, smartwatches and smartglasses.
New best tech 2015 from SMARTPHONES iPhone 7 / iPhone Air / 2014 iPhone / new iPhone / Samsung Galaxy Note 5 / Samsung Galaxy S6 / HTC One M9 / LG G4 / Sony Xperia Z4 / OnePlus Two /Tesco Hudl smartphone
iPhone 7 / iPhone Air / 2014 iPhone / new iPhone
Exciting for: You tell us: our iPhone 6 article received more traffic than any other in the past few months. It was absolutely the most anticipated smartphones of 2014. Or should that be smartphones of the year? Let’s not forget the iPhone 6 Plus, with one of the pair finally answering criticism of the iPhone’s tiny 4in screen. What we’d like to know is what will the new iPhones be called – iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus? That sounds weird. For now we’re going with iPhone 7.
Upcoming at: The standard iPhone 6 will arrive on 9 September runs iOS 8; for the larger iPhone rumor has it we may be waiting until later this year or early 2015.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Exciting for: The Galaxy Note series has a huge following, and the latest Note 4 phablet is a powerful, 5.7in monster with a 4K screen. As with all Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices, it comes with the S Pen, and it features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip with Adreno 420 graphics. Things can only get better with the Note 5.
Upcoming at: September 2015 at an Unpacked event prior to the IFA trade show.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Exciting for: If you’re a Samsung fan, but would rather stick to a phone than a phablet then the S6 will be right up your street. Samsung’s finally expected to tackle the plastic build quality criticism that its S-series handsets have received, using an all-metal design in line with that of the Galaxy Alpha. We wouldn’t be surprised to also see a quad-HD screen, plus plenty of other radical new features.
Upcoming at: MWC 2015, which is expected to be held 2- to 5 March 2015. As usual, Samsung will likely hold an Unpacked event in which it will unveil the new handset, potentially at the end of February.
HTC One M9
Exciting for: We are massive fans of the HTC One M8, and we just can’t wait for it to get even better. Little is known about the HTC One M9, but you can bet your last pound that there will be one. And that it will be an extremely desirable handset.
Upcoming at: Based on HTC’s previous form, the HTC One M9 won’t be here in time for MWC 2015, but we can expect to see it around March.
Exciting for: We stand by our statement that the LG G3 is the very best phone you can buy in 2014. Things can only get better with the LG G4.
Upcoming at: The LG G3 was officially released in the UK at the end of June. The LG G4 should be here around the same time next summer.
Sony Xperia Z4
Exciting for: What we love about Sony is the fact it doesn’t make us wait a whole year for a new smartphone to launch, and anyone upgrading their smartphones at this time of year doesn’t have to settle with technology now several months’ old. Plus, Sony makes some seriously great smartphones, with fantastic cameras, brilliant performance and much more.
Upcoming at: With two flagship smartphone launches per year, we’re expecting to see the Sony Xperia Z4 at MWC in March.
Exciting for: The OnePlus One is an amazing phone if you can get hold of one (purchases are currently by invitation only). It’s priced from £229 but has the spec to match a £600 smartphone, hence OnePlus marketing it as a 2014 flagship killer. The OnePlus Two will more than likely be a 2015 flagship killer. (If it can work out is supply-and-demand issues in time.)
Upcoming at: OnePlus is still struggling to meet demand on its OnePlus One phone. Don’t expect to see this one (and certainly not get your hands on it) until at least the middle of 2015.
Tesco Hudl smartphone
Exciting for: The Hudl tablet has seen phenomenal success, allowing the masses to enter the world of tablet computing. Tesco’s taking a slightly different tack with its smartphone, however, which will be a high-end device with an aggressive price. Just the type of device we get excited about.
Upcoming at: Originally expected in time for Christmas, Tesco has now put this project on hold. Please don’t cancel on us, Tesco.
New best tech 2015 from TABLETS iPad 7 / iPad Air 3 / new iPad / iPad mini 4 / new iPad mini / new iPad mini with Retina Display / Microsoft Surface mini / Tesco Hudl 3
iPad 7 / iPad Air 3 / new iPad
Exciting for: When is an Apple tablet launch not exciting? The brand-new iPad Air 2 has a fantastic Retina screen, a fast Apple A8X processor, incredibly portable dimensions, brilliant build quality, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and it runs the brand-new iOS 8. iPad Air 3 is going to be huge. But small. Probably much thinner. You know what we mean.
Upcoming at: The past four iPad launches have been held roughly a month after Apple’s latest iPhone launch, so we expect to see the iPad Air 3 / iPad 7 in October 2015.
IPad mini 4 / new iPad mini / new iPad mini with Retina Display
Exciting for: Because it’s an iPad, but smaller and even more perfectly formed (is it even possible to be even more perfect than perfect? We reckon Apple’s marketing Dept would say so). And because it’ll run iOS 9, and do neat stuff.
Upcoming at: Same time as the new iPad: probably October.
Microsoft Surface mini
Exciting for: A full-spec Windows PC in portable form – what’s not to get excited about? If Microsoft can get this right it can once and for all bring together work and play on a single device.
Upcoming at: The Surface mini has been on and off more times than we count. The latest rumor was that we’d get a summer release. Well, it’s cold out there and there’s still no Surface mini. But here’s hoping.
Exciting for: Last year Tesco launched its Hudl tablet, incredibly well priced at £119 – and you could use your Clubcard points toward it. It was massively appealing to consumers: 35,000 Hudls were sold to consumers in just two days, and Tesco has now sold around half a million. This year the Hudl 2 improved on what was already a very good tablet, and you can expect it to be found in stockings all over the country this Christmas. The Hudl 2 is already the best-ever value tablet, so we can’t wait to see what Tesco has in store for next year.
Upcoming at: Our guess is September 2015.
New best tech 2015 from OPERATING SYSTEMS Windows 10 / Android M / iOS 9
Exciting for: Windows 8 hasn’t been a universal success, radically overhauling the UI by stitching together desktop and mobile interfaces. We’re hoping Windows 10 will be the Windows 7 upgrade that Windows 8 should have been.
Upcoming at: We’re expecting to see more details at Microsoft’s April BUILD conference, but it won’t launch until later in 2015.
Exciting for: Android Lollipop is finally here, which means only one thing: Android M is in the works. We know very little about Google’s next OS, so for now we’re having fun guessing what it could be called. Milkshake? Muffin? Marshmallow?
Upcoming at: An
droid M will likely arrive in November 2015 although, as was the case with Lollipop, we may get a sneak peak at Google I/O in June.
Exciting for: As with Android M, we don’t yet know what iOS 9 will bring, but we’re betting it’s something good.
Upcoming at: iOS 9 is expected to appear on the next iPhone in September 2015.
VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS
New best tech 2015 from VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS Oculus Rift
Exciting for: The Oculus Rift is a head-mounted virtual-reality display. An immersive headset that gives the wearer a full 360-degree view of the virtual world they inhabit. The Oculus Rift pairs with headphones to make games, virtual worlds and live events feel ‘real’.
Upcoming at: The second-generation developer kit went out to developers in July, and the Oculus Rift is expected to launch to the public in 2015. We don’t know exactly when, but the company has said it is “very close” to a final release.
New best tech 2015 from WEARABLE TECH Apple Watch / HTC One Wear / Google Glass
Exciting for: Apple won’t be the first manufacturer to produce a smartwatch, but with its Watch it could potentially turn the current smartwatch market on its head as its iPhone did the smartphone market. A companion device to the iPhone 6, it’s sure to be a massive hit with Apple fans.
Upcoming at: Originally expected to arrive with the new iPhone in September, the latest rumors suggest the Apple Watch has been delayed until the Spring.
HTC One Wear
Exciting for: HTC makes beautiful smartphones. If it can pull off a smartwatch half as good the customers will come flooding in.
Upcoming at: HTC has reportedly put this project on hold until it can work out how to make smartwatches genuinely useful to consumers. So we could be waiting a while – but it will be worth the wait.
Exciting for: Google Glass is a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It was developed by Google with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format. Wearers communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
Upcoming at: Google Glass is available to buy in the UK now, but it isn’t the final version. And it’ll set you back a whopping £1,000 for the privilege of owning Google Glass. The final version is expected to be released to the public later in 2014 or early 2015 – hopefully a little cheaper, too.
New best tech 2015 from GAMES Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain / Batman: Arkham Knight / Red Dead Redemption 2 / The Division / Halo 5: Guardians
Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain
Exciting for: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an open-world, third-person stealth-action game that encourages you to avoid enemies rather than confront them. One of the new features in The Phantom Pain, is non-lethal takedowns. If you choose to, you’ll be able to take an enemy back to your Mother Base and train them to join your army, rather than kill them. You’ll also be able to collect vehicles and equipment, which will be available to you from your base. It’s believed that a big focus of the game will be rebuilding the base that was destroyed previously.
Upcoming at: 2015. Exact date TBC.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Exciting for: The main story of Batman: Arkham Knight is set one year after the events that took place in Batman: Arkham City, and sees Batman confront enemy Scarecrow, who’s trying to unite all of Batman’s enemies in an effort to kill him. It’s once again set in Gotham City, but the scale of the city is approximately five times bigger than it was in Batman: Arkham City. And it’s got a Batmobile.
Upcoming at: 2015. Exact date TBC.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Exciting for: Red Dead Redemption, an open-world western action-adventure game, was released in 2010, and we – along with 13 million other players – have been eagerly awaiting a new instalment in the franchise since then. Prior to that, the original game in the Red Dead series, Red Dead Revolver, was released in 2004.
Upcoming at: It could be officially announced by the end of 2014, according to Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian. We’ll let you know an exact release date when we hear one.
Exciting for: The Division is the latest video game in the Tom Clancy franchise. The game is set in New York, where a devastating pandemic (spoiler, it’s a manmade virus) has swept through the city, causing basic services to fail and society to quickly collapse. The player (that’s you) is part of The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, which are trained to operate independently of command to prevent the fall of society. The Division will also come with a companion app for tablet users, which players will be able to use to support console gamers in real time.
Upcoming at: 2015. Exact date TBC.
Halo 5: Guardians
Exciting for: Halo 5 is being built from the ground up for Xbox One, and is a bigger effort than Halo 4 in terms of the content, scope of the game and technology, including the engine it will run on. The developer said the game will ideally “demonstrate the talent, learnings and abilities” of the team while incorporating things learned from Halo 4 such as technology, aesthetics, performance and scale. Plus, Halo 5 will launch alongside a Halo TV series made in collaboration with Steven Spielberg.
Upcoming at: 2015. Exact date TBC.