A couple of days ago I revisited the Smartphone flagship snapshot thang (seriously, try saying it three times fast), and there was beaucoup de love for the 20.7MP Sony Xperia Z1. Who knew?
Having covered Apple, Samsung, HTC and Sony in part 1, today I turn my attention to four further smartphone reprobates, from Canada, Finland, South Korea and China.
The very first Smartphone flagship snapshot encompassed seven manufacturers. We’re taking the total to eight here (technically nine, kinda), to reflect China’s impact on the global smartphone rankings.
Ready? Let's do it.
Launched: September 18
Succeeds: BlackBerry Z10
Standout feature: Its 5in display
There’s a BlackBerry Z30? Really? It’s incredible the stuff you come across when you’re researching a feature. Ahem.
The BlackBerry Z30 made, er, headlines back in September as the first phablet-style device (5in) from everyone’s favourite Canadian smartphone crew, though in typical BlackBerry fashion, it’s 720p rather than the 1080p full HD found on most Android flagships. Sigh.
Elsewhere on the spec sheet, the BlackBerry Z30 sounds decent enough (2GB RAM, 2,880mAh battery). It’s just a shame BlackBerry 10 is pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, and as such you’d have to be a diehard BlackBerry fan to even consider the Z30.
Launched: July 11
Succeeds: Nokia Lumia 920
Standout feature: Its 41MP rear camera
Brilliantly, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to high-end Nokia Lumia smartphones at the moment, but with the Nokia Lumia 1520 rocking a massive 6in display, we figure it’ll be a niche device for people with massive hands.
Here we’re listing the Nokia Lumia 1020, which finally fulfills Windows Phone’s promise of matching the Symbian-rockin’ Nokia 808 PureView’s 41MP rear camera.
Best camera phone ever made? Quite possibly.
Launched: August 7
Succeeds: LG Optimus G Pro
Standout feature: rear volume buttons
Sadly, LG seems doomed to play second fiddle to Samsung when it comes to Korean manufacturers, and indeed it was fifth overall in IDC’s 3Q14 smartphone report.
Which is a shame, as the LG G2 is an impressive beast, with specs including a 5.2in 1080p display, top-of-the-range quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, and 1,300mAh battery.
Design wise, the interesting feature here is the position of the LG G2’s volume and power buttons, sitting below the rear camera. The logic is: that’s where your finger rests naturally when you’re holding the phone. Interesting.
Launched: June 18
Succeeds: Huawei Ascend D2
Standout feature: 6.18mm thickness
Welcome, Huawei! Yes, the Chinese manufacturer was third in smartphones in 3Q14 according to the IDC, behind only Samsung and Apple. Not bad.
The current Huawei flagship is the Ascend D2, notable for its fairly ridiculous 6.18mm thickness. Sadly, that means there are some sacrifices on the inside, with just 8GB internal storage and a measly 2,000mAh battery.
As such, it doesn’t come as much surprise to find the Huawei Ascend P6 selling for a fraction of the price of the aforementioned flagships. A recent deal saw it going for just £200 SIM free.
Arguably a better phone is the Huawei Ascend D2, with a successor likely to touch down at CES 2014 next month.
While we’re discussing Chinese smartphone manufacturers, I should throw in a quick mention for the Lenovo Vibe Z. While Lenovo has little presence over here, it was actually fourth in smartphones in 3Q14, globally, ahead of big names like LG, Sony and HTC.