A new season of smartphones
Spring is a major season for new smartphones to poke into the light. Some of these phones we've seen at January's CES conference, others made their debut at Mobile World Congress the following month, and at least one will save its big unveiling for its own spotlight event.
Next-gen HTC One
The outlook: Larger with a new interface design and twin camera lens, the much-awaited successor to the HTC One is widely expected to maintain the same stunning design philosophy that has earned the HTC One (pictured) rave reviews. We'll know a lot more when HTC officially unveils the device March 25 in New York City. CNET will be there, taking it all in.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Price: Varies by carrier, typically $199 on contract, $650 off contract
Availability: April 11
The outlook: Samsung's Galaxy S5 came out of MWC swinging, with strong internal specs that include a 16-megapixel camera, 2.5GHZ quad-core chipset, and Android 4.4 KitKat. While Samsung seems to get the major features right, the phone's design is only a minor variation on the Galaxy that came before.
Sony Xperia Z2
The outlook: Sony's Xperia Z2 challenges rivals with its edgy aesthetic, 20.7-megapixel camera with 4K video, and top-notch specs. We'll be keeping a close eye on this global contender, though we're not holding our breaths that it'll launch with a US carrier, if it does so at all.
LG G Pro 2
Availability: On sale now in Korea; other markets TBA
The outlook: Although we've already gotten the chance to review LG's impressive update to the original, there's no word yet when the G Pro 2 will land in markets outside of Korea. Last year's G Pro sold with AT&T for $199 on contract, so keep your eyes trained there for more on the fast, 5.9-inch Android smartphone with the 13-megapixel camera and rear-facing controls.
Asus PadFone X
The outlook: Promised for AT&T back at CES, the Asus PadFone X is a compelling offering, especially with its 5-inch 1080p HD display, quad-core chipset, and 9-inch "tablet" dock. Unfortunately, the phone-plus-tablet could languish from its current lack of pricing and a release date as the hype of more high-profile handsets drown it out.
Nokia X family
Price: 89, 99, 109 euros
Availability: China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Russia, Poland, Brazil, Mexico
The outlook: Announced at Mobile World Congress, the Nokia X, X+, and XL phones are an unexpected amalgam of operating systems designed to give users the best of all worlds: inexpensive, easy-to-use handsets that can play Android games and access select Microsoft services. Nokia's sturdy designs are certainly a draw, but the jury is out on how well the company succeeded in its OS mashup.