Say, all ye die-hard Android fans, do you by any chance know what’s set to go down come October 22, i.e. in 24 hours give or take?
Probably not Google’s Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat grandiose unveilings, to the sheer desperation of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and amateur detectives trying to make heads or tails of incredibly cryptic (and random) teasers and hints.
Instead, in the space of just a few hours, Nokia will try to convince the world it’s still alive and kicking and its products matter in the grand scheme of tech things, whereas Apple will do what it knows best: roll out “more of the same” and, courtesy of bitching marketing, convince everybody it has reinvented the wheel… again.
That’s all fine and dandy if you’re into retro (read fugly) designs and useless tiles on the one hand and overly simplistic software and overpriced hardware on the other. But why should Android enthusiasts give a damn about the latest installment in Nokia’s “World” press event series and however the hell Apple is nicknaming its tedious product announcements nowadays?
Well, you know what they say. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Besides, unlike you know who, we Android aficionados always like to keep an open mind and give everyone a fair chance to impress us. So go ahead, Nokia, Apple, show us what you got and why we should care.
Nokia World – what it’s all about
Though rumor has it Nokia will have a bag full of new gizmos to announce in Abu Dhabi (of all places), I think it’s obvious for everyone meager Asha products don’t really count in the grand scheme of things. Which leaves the Finns with three or four aces up their sleeves.
Number one, the Lumia 1520. The first Windows Phone with Full HD and quad-core power (oh, welcome to the club) is said to leave all compromises behind and blend generous screen real estate (6 inches or so) with breezy multitasking (2 gigs of RAM), incredible raw speed and top-notch camera technology (20.6 MP PureView snapper).
Then there’s the 2520, Nokia’s first ever tablet, rumored to be quite impressive in the hardware department, but only run Windows RT on the software side of things. Number three, there’s a Lumia 929 for Verizon, which in a nutshell will be a 1520 in a more compact, 5-inch body. And then there’s a 1320 “Batman”, which some sources say will be the international flavor of the 929, while others a low-end, large screener.
Finally, Nokia will bring forth the Lumia 525, an incremental upgrade for the 520, currently the best-selling Lumia in the world.
Why we should care
- The 5-inch Lumia 929, if it comes with Full HD, 2 GB RAM, 20 MP camera and Snapdragon 800, sounds pretty darn impressive. A little late to the party, but impressive nevertheless.
Why we shouldn’t care
- Windows RT. Enough said
- If real estate is all about location, location, location, mobile tech is all about timing, timing, timing. And the 929 and 1520, as impressive as they may be, are, or better yet, will be late. Just think about it. They won’t launch until mid-November, at best. And they’ll cost $250 with contracts, at best. Meanwhile, you have the GNote 3 out and about, Sony’s Xperia Z1, LG’s G2, HTC’s One max… Shall I carry on?
- 4-inch Lumia 525? Possible 4.7-inch Lumia 1320 with dual-core CPU and 480 x 800 pix res panel? Puh-lease!
Apple iPad event – what it’s all about
Guess I don’t have to tell you Cupertino is not really a fan of the “putting as many eggs in as many baskets” strategy. As such, don’t expect an avalanche of new products from them. Just two. A “full-sized”, fifth-generation, 9.7-inch iPad and a second-gen 7.9-inch iPad Mini.
Just like Nokia, Tim Cook and the gang have been incapable of keeping a tight lid on their unreleased products, so they’re as transparent as glass already, following a bundle of rumors and leaks.
Thus, if something stunning doesn’t happen in the eleventh hour, the iPad 5 is to resemble the new (and old) iPad mini on the outside, with a thinner than before profile, slimmer bezels and decreased weight. Yet the design philosophy will remain virtually the same.
On the hardware front, both the new iPad and iPad Mini will be pushing the envelope Apple-style, meaning they’ll be ever so slightly zippier than their predecessors… in real life. But here’s the kicker. There’s a good shot the Mini won’t rock a Retina display this year either, while Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology may not find its way on either of the two tabs.
On the “bright” side, rumor has it the iPad 5 will feature an upgraded 8 MP rear-facing camera. Because hey, who doesn’t like to take bitching photos with a 10-inch slab?
Why we should care
- When all is said and done and as much as it pains me to admit it, the iOS tablet “ecosystem” remains superior to Google’s. Probably not for long, but right now, that’s just how things are, with far too few Android apps conceived specifically for slates.
Why we should absolutely not care
- 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution for a late 2014 7.9-inch tablet? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
- Preposterous pricing is what will ultimately bring Apple’s demise and, if the non-Retina iPad Mini 2 starts at $300 or more, the end is one step closer. Not that the iPad 5 is set to be very budget-friendly, at $500 or so.
- Cupertino has stopped innovating a looong time ago, but nowadays it seems like Cook’s employees, save maybe for the marketing team, are not even trying anymore. Seriously now, can anyone tell the difference between the iPhone 5 and 5s purely aesthetically? That’s exactly what will go down with the iPad Mini 2.
- Let’s assume you’re in the market for a 10-incher right now. And aren’t willing to overlook Android’s crystal clear ecosystem shortcomings. No one will blame you for choosing the large-screen iPad. But why go for the “new”, overpriced one when last year’s is almost just as good and, in a month or two, probably much cheaper? Now that’s a puzzle.