There are four big smartphone releases due in the next couple of months, with the LG G6, Nokia P1, BlackBerry Mercury and Galaxy S8 all set to hit the stores. And we will have to wait a little bit longer for the iPhone 8, but the Apple flagship will land in September. But how are these major mobile releases shaping up against one another? Here is a rundown on what we know about them so far.
BlackBerry has confirmed that the Mercury smartphone will be formally unveiled at 7pm (Barcelona time) on February 25, 2017. While BlackBerry has officially ceased manufacturing smartphones, licensing agreements mean that the brand can live on indefinitely. The Nokia P1 is expected to be available from around March 20, while the LG G6 has been confirmed for Feb 26, also at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Samsung will also be present at the trade show, showing off the Galaxy S8, with a possible release date being March 29. No release date is known for the iPhone 8 as of yet, but we do know that it will arrive some time in September.
Specs for the LG G6 have not been confirmed, but it is expected by analysts that the Korean smartphone will feature quad HD resolution with a 5.7-inch display. This is pretty much the order of the day for the high end devices in this department, with the Galaxy S8 also expected to be based on quad HD technology once more. However, the screen of the Samsung device will be very marginally larger than the LG G6, with reports suggesting that we can expect a 5.8-inch display in the Galaxy S8.
Meanwhile, the Nokia P1 will feature 5.3-inch full HD Sharp IGZO 120Hz display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, akin to both the iPhone 8 and BlackBerry Mercury. The Apple smartphone is expected to be upgraded to full HD this time round, although the iPhone 8 will probably retain the 4.7-inch display of previous generations. The BlackBerry Mercury will also benefit from full HD resolution, but to the 4.5-inch screen included in the smartphone will mean that the pixel density is actually significantly better than either the Nokia P1 or iPhone 8.
Advantage: Galaxy S8
The Nokia P1 is expected to deliver a real high point in smartphone camera technology, with a 22.6-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, Carl ZEISS optics and 4K video recording anticipated. This rather comfortably outranks any of the other cameras compared here.
LG will include a dual 16-megapixel (one lens being 29mm, f/1.8 and the other being 12mm, f/1.8), laser autofocus, OIS, LED flash snapper in the LG G6. This will ensure that the smartphone is a more than competitive performer.
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Mercury will launch with a 13-megapixel, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash camera; undoubtedly the best photographic unit ever included in a BlackBerry-branded device.
This only leaves the two big hitters in the mobile sphere. Samsung will arm the Galaxy S8 with a 12-megapixel, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS snapper with an LED flash, resisting the temptation to increase the megapixel rating of the camera.
With regard to the iPhone 8, legendary analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to produce a 4.7-inch iPhone with a single camera. The phablet-sized iPhone 8 device will have improved camera technology, with a 5.5-inch model featuring a dual-lens camera, and a brand new OLED release also expected.
Advantage: Nokia P1
There is a fairly simple demarcation between the five devices in this department. Quite simply, both the LG G6 and Nokia P1 are expected to deliver 6GB of RAM memory, with the BlackBerry Mercury, iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 all expected to feature 4GB. There is some debate over the Samsung handsets, but the consensus of opinion is that the Korean manufacturer will indeed opt against including 6GB in the device.
Advantage: LG G6 and Nokia P1
Both the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 will offer users 64 and 128GB storage options, with the BlackBerry Mercury available in a solitary 64GB model. It is thus left to the iPhone 8 and Nokia P1 to come out on top in this department, with the latter featuring expandable memory up to 256GB with micro SD. The iPhone 8 will offer at least 256GB of storage when released in September, but there is talk that Apple could increase this to 512GB, and even the inclusion of micro SD for the first time has been floated.
Advantage: iPhone 8
This is always a tricky area for comparison, but the anticipated processors included in these devices are as follows:
LG G6 – Quad-core (2 x 2.35 GHz Kryo & 2 x 1.6 GHz Kryo)
Nokia P1 – Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU (speed of 2.45 GHz and four efficiency cores clocked at a speed of 1.9 GHz.)
BlackBerry Mercury – Quad-core (2 x 2.15 GHz Kryo & 2 x 1.6 GHz Kryo)
Galaxy S8 – Octa-core (4 x 2.45 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo)
With regard to the iPhone 8, it is too early to say what Apple will deliver. But improvement over the quad-core 2.34 GHz (2 x Hurricane + 2 x Zephyr) unit included in the iPhone 8 is expected, with possibly an octa-core processor based on two bundles of quad-core processors emerging.
Considering the proprietary hardware and software setup that Apple delivers, this means that the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8 have an advantage here.
Advantage: iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8
Smartphone manufacturers are always reluctant to reveal the precise details related to batteries, and thus all of the requisite information is not available in this area. It is believed that the Nokia P1 will feature a 3,500mAh battery with Quick Charge 4, and this will effectively make it the market leader. The Galaxy S8 should also be armed with a non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery.
The batteries for the LG G6, iPhone 8 and BlackBerry Mercury are not known at this time, but it is reasonable to assume that Apple will make some improvements over the 1,960 mAh battery included in the iPhone 7.
Advantage: Nokia P1
Each of these smartphone competitors has its strengths and weaknesses, but it must be said that the Nokia P1 one looks rather impressive in pure spec terms. However, the market-leading Galaxy S8 and and iPhone 8 are set to be blessed with the most powerful processors, and considering the slickness of the Apple device, this should keep them out in front once more.