Recently, I have been spending some time with the Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (and the Gear 2 smartwatch).
Last year’s Galaxy S4 felt a safe bet of a device. It continued Samsung’s smartphone plans, and the familiarity helped the sales. Iterating the Galaxy S5 was the easy option that would ensure nobody’s job was at risk. Like a Ford pick-up truck, this smartphone is a workhorse that gets the job done. That approach trades the impact of a fashionable and cutting edge device, it trades away the idea that you are an innovator and working at the edge of the hardware envelope, and it trades away the ‘must have’ status for guaranteed sales from people looking to make a ‘safe’ choice of smartphone.
The Galaxy S4 was clearly a safe device. The Galaxy S5 continues that impression, but one year later I was expecting more from the hardware and the design. Instead the S5 has a few more gimmicks that don’t appreciably add any value to the handset.
Sony has made different decisions to Samsung, Amazon, and Apple with the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Those decisions (go for a thin design, focus on media consumption, and beef up the IP55 and IP58 protection) have created a distinctive tablet range in the Z series. There’s not enough here that would give any owners of the Xperia Z Tablet a solid reason to upgrade, this is very much an iterative design.
If you are on the lookout for a new Android tablet and one of your key considerations is power and specifications, then the Z2 Tablet has to be considered. It’s quick in operation, it’s light enough to not be a burden when traveling, it has good battery life, and the lower resolution is more than compensated by the vivid colors and fast response times.
It’s still going to sell like hotcakes, and it’s able to do pretty much anything developers and consumers will ask of the handset, but the Galaxy name no longer means cutting edge or definitive in terms of Android devices.
Photo credit: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (image: sonymobile.com)