This past summer was not an exciting time for new smartphones by any stretch of the imagination but September is already promising to make up for it in a big way. Over the next week alone, we’re going to get our first official looks at Apple’s iPhone 6, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Motorola’s Moto X+1, each of which by itself would be the most significant smartphone launch since the unveiling of the LG G3 all the way back in May. To help you keep track of all these new devices, we’ve put together a quick overview of everything we know and everything we think we know about the iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4 and Moto X+1.
The iPhone 6
We’ll start with the iPhone 6 because it’s the device that we have the most information on thanks to an endless stream of leaks. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that the iPhone 6 will be Apple’s largest iPhone to date and will likely come in two separate versions: A 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. Size isn’t the only big difference between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5s, as the new device will also feature more rounded edges than its predecessor and a power button that’s been moved from the top of the phone to the right-hand side of the device.
The iPhone 6 is going to run on Apple’s new A8 processor, which will reportedly be a dual-core 20nm 64-bit CPU that will clock in at 2GHz or higher, although some reports have claimed that it might run as high as 2.6GHz. However, based on previous leaks we also think the A8 could come with a disappointingly low 1GB of RAM as well.
We still don’t have definitive proof of what each new iPhone 6 model’s display resolution will be, although some sharp analysis from longtime Apple observer John Gruber leads us to believe that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will have a 1334 x 750-pixel resolution (326 PPI), while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will have a 2208 x 1242-pixel (461 PPI) display.
Another question that’s up in the air is whether Apple plans to use sapphire glass for the iPhone 6’s display. At this point, sapphire glass is much more expensive to use than Gorilla Glass, which is why we’ve heard rumors that Apple will primarily use Gorilla Glass for the regular version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and will offer a sapphire glass-equipped model as a more expensive “premium” device.
However, PTT Research Forensics stock analyst Matt Margolis, who is also an investor in Apple sapphire supplier GT-Advanced Technologies, thinks Apple is gearing up to put a sapphire display on every version of the 5.5-inch iPhone, which will be one way the company justifies the higher price of the device.
It’s also been confirmed that Apple has decided to include an NFC radio in its upcoming iPhone 6 and that the technology will be used to facilitate mobile payments. Apple has already reportedly got MasterCard, Visa and American Express on board, so it looks like the company will have a lot of support when it launches this new feature.
We won’t have to wait too much longer to find out what Apple has up its sleeve because the company will finally rake the wraps off the iPhone 6 one week from now on Tuesday, September 9th.
The Galaxy Note 4
We’ve often referred to the Galaxy Note 4 as “beastly” because, frankly, there’s no better word to describe Samsung’s hulking monstrosity of a high-end phone. And yes, we mean “hulking monstrosity” as a compliment.
Everything we’ve heard about the Note 4 confirms that Samsung’s next flagship phablet will be better than its predecessors in just about every way. The most recent benchmarks show that the Note 4 will feature a 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 3.68-megapixel front-facing camera and Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Sadly, the Note 4 will not ship with Google’s gorgeous new Android L update simply because Google isn’t yet ready to release it to the world just yet.
The device will also come with two different processors based on the region where it’s released: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor or an Exynos 5433 chipset. The Snapdragon 805 will feature a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 450 CPU and Adreno 420 GPU, while the Exynos 5433 will feature two quad-core CPUs (the Cortex A57 and Cortex A53) with a maximum frequency of 1.3GHz, and an ARM Mali-T760 GPU. Either way, both of these processors should offer incredible computing power.
In addition to the internal hardware specs, one thing to watch out for with the Note 4 will be whether it uses the sturdier metal frame that Samsung first used with the Galaxy Alpha or whether it has a standard plastic frame that Note users have come to know and not-quite-love for the past few years. The “premium” metal frame design on the Galaxy Alpha is reportedly the way of the future for Samsung so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it used in the Note 4 as well.
Samsung is officially unveiling the Note 3 on Wednesday, September 3rd, so we don’t have to wait much longer to find out.
The Moto X+1
And finally, we have the underdog in this fight. The original Moto X was a well-received smartphone that nonetheless got run over in terms of sales by both the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy Note 3 last year.
As you might expect, the upcoming Moto X+1 will get a significant specs boost over last year’s model and will reportedly feature a 5.2-inch display, a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, and Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
We also think the device will offer at least three different options for its rear casing: One with a standard black rear casing, one with a “bamboo” casing that will likely resemble the wood-patterned shell option we got with the original Moto X, and one with a leather rear casing. However, it looks as though Motorola has decided to scrap the Moto Maker program that let you custom-build your own version of the device with your own unique signatures, colors and other features.
Other reported details of the Moto X+1 include a high-powered camera with optical zoom and a display that features support for “3D recognition.”
Motorola is set to unveil the Moto X+1 alongside the next-gen Moto G and its highly anticipated Moto 360 smartwatch at a big media event in Chicago on September 4th.