Samsung in 2014: Pocket-lint predicts
A new year is upon us and with it come lots of new gadgets and products to look forward to - or so we hope.
We have already predicted what we think Apple will be bringing to the table in 2014 based on rumours, leaks, analysts and insiders, and now it is time to give Samsung a little of that Mystic Meg magic.
As with our Apple predictions round-up though, keep in mind that none of these products are confirmed, with the odd exception. The company might prove us all wrong and not make a peep this year, forcing you to stick with what you have. But at the rate Samsung is going we’d say that's highly unlikely.
This might not be confirmed, but let's be honest here, the chances of Samsung launching a new flagship Galaxy smartphone, just as it has done the last few years, are pretty high.
Rumour has it, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be joining us by the end of March 2014, bringing with it a better display, better build and more exciting camera. Claims also suggest there will be a more powerful processor and bigger capacity battery on board too.
Galaxy Note 3 Lite
Given that the Galaxy Note 3, launched at the end of 2013, has become the fastest-selling phablet to date, it is no surprise there have been suggestions of a more affordable model thought to be coming in February.
The Galaxy Note 3 Lite is said to be trading in the Note 3's Super AMOLED display in favour of an LCD display, as well as introducing entry-level specs to keep the costs down and help open up a new area in the market for Samsung.
Galaxy Note 4
Although there have been few rumours of a Galaxy Note 4 as yet, if the past few years are anything to go by, we will see a new Note arrive towards the latter half of 2014. Given that the Note 3 has really only just arrived, it is hard to say what developments the company will make for the next Note, but we would expect to see more power, weight and size savings, along with more apps to complement the S Pen.
The Super AMOLED display on the Note 3 is beautiful and was a big resolution jump from the Note 2 so it may be that the Note 4 will do the same again. A recent analyst day in Samsung's home town of South Korea presented a road map of where the company is heading with display resolutions. Although 4K was predicted for 2015, the "gap" year was still proposing a jump to 2560 x 1440 so fingers crossed.
There has also been a rumour to suggest the Galaxy Note 4 will be taking a leap in terms of camera too, with a 20-megapixel sensor said to be in the pipeline for this device.
Galaxy Core Advance
The Samsung Galaxy Core Advance is one of the products in this round-up that has been confirmed by Samsung and is set to appeal to the mid to low-end market when it is launched in the early part of 2014.
It will pack a 4.7-inch 800 x 480 TFT screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable through microSD up to a further 64GB. There will also be a 5-megapixel camera on the rear and 0.3-megapixel snapper on the front. It will also bring back the physical keys of former Android handsets.
In the last of the smartphone predictions for the company on our list, the Samsung Galaxy Round was announced in 2013 but has yet to hit the shelves so we expect this will happen in 2014. The company might even expand the flexible smartphone line-up in the year ahead.
The curved display sits on the opposite axis to the LG G Flex and comes with a 5.7-inch 1080p display, seemingly taking some of its styling from the Galaxy Note 3 with a faux leather back. There's plenty of power with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and 3GB of RAM, as well as all the usual Samsung software.
First Tizen devices
Both Samsung and Intel revealed that a new wave of devices running the Tizen operating system would be unveiled on 23 February 2014 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although it was not clear what kind of devices, it is thought smartphones would be a safe bet after the first Tizen smartphone was delayed on its expected 2013 release.
The Tizen operating system is set to be an alternative to Android, just like the Firefox OS launched by Mozilla in 2013. A version of the the software was shown on the Galaxy S4 in September 2013 featuring a clean user interface with a Windows Phone feel to the tile layout. The strong colour variations and notifications gave it a hint of Android crossed with iOS 7.
Galaxy Gear 2
Keeping in line with the Galaxy range, but moving into smartwatch territory, it is likely we will see the next generation of Galaxy Gear launch in 2014. While the original smartphone companion received some great reviews, the general conclusion was that it could be improved in a couple of areas.
READ: Galaxy Gear review
We suspect the Galaxy Gear 2 will be arriving sooner rather than later and will feature a better user interface, more-streamlined design and a more open ecosystem for app compatibility. According to the rumours, we can expect it at CES featuring its own built-in GPS, which would be brilliant coupled with that 4GB on-board memory. With the watch running apps and music, it would mean you could leave your phone at home when out for a run.
Galaxy Tab 3 Lite
In terms of tablets, it looks as though 2014 will be a busy year for Samsung, with rumours suggesting the company has plans to launch four new devices to the tablet market.
One of the tablets is thought to be the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, which is said to be launching for 100 euros, according to a report from SamMobile. Other rumours have also suggested the company will be introducing a 12.2-inch Galaxy Note, as well as 13.3-inch tablet.
The 12.2-inch Galaxy Note is allegedly set to come with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 8-megapixel rear-camera, 2-megapixel front-camera, and 32GB of storage. As for the 12.2-inch display, it is rumoured to have a pixel resolution of 2560 x 1600, making for a incredibly sharp experience.
In terms of the 13.3-inch tablet, Android and Windows dual-boot support has been claimed so we will have to wait and see what comes from this.
Cheaper, curved, UHD TVs
Samsung has already announced a 105-inch curved UHD TV, and it is likely we will see more curved Smart TVs with 4K compatibility coming to the market from the company next year.
As Netflix has started the ball rolling with plans to stream 4K content in 2014, we expect 4K will begin to push into the mainstream with companies making it more affordable so people will want to be a part of it.
The 105-incher announced was a "curved UHD TV" boasting a 5120 X 2160 screen resolution with a 21:9 super widescreen aspect ratio. Samsung said: "The 105-incher adopts a 'Quadmatic Picture Engine' which delivers all content in UHD-level picture quality no matter what the source is."
We might not see all of these devices come to fruition, or perhaps not all the specs rumoured, but it certainly looks like it will be a very exciting year for Samsung so we will be keeping our eyes peeled and ears open to bring you all the latest news as it arrives.