Premium smartphone battle heats up with Apple event, new LG flagship’s release

Apple is expected to unveil long anticipated iPhone 8 in California on September 12, days after new LG, Samsung and Sony models came out; Nokia is joining the fray with ‘bothie’ phone and Xiaomi with a bezel-free handset

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 3:45pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 3:46pm

Summer may be over but the battle of flagship mobile phones is about to heat up. Hot on the heels of the unveiling of LG’s V30 at this year’s IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin on Thursday came Apple’s confirmation that its “first-ever event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino” – the company’s new campus in Silicon Valley – will be held on September 12.

The betting is that Apple will launch three new iPhones at the event to mark the smartphone’s 10th anniversary: the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the much rumoured and anticipated iPhone 8, which observers believe will be drastically different from previous models in terms of its look and capabilities.

Not to be outdone, Apple’s arch rival in the global mobile phone market, Samsung, will launch its recently released Galaxy Note 8 in Hong Kong on September 13.

Quick to put the whole explosive saga of the Note 7 behind it – consumer confidence in the South Korean brand has been partially restored after the release of its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus handsets earlier this year – the new phablet will sport a bigger screen than Samsung’s S series (6.3 inches) and mark the return of the popular removable stylus.

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Nokia – once the biggest player in the mobile handset game – is heading for a comeback with the Nokia 8, its new flagship smartphone, which has solid specs to match.

Made by the Finnish company HMD Global, it heralds what the manufacturer hopes will be the era of the “bothie” thanks to a feature called “dual sight” which allows the phone’s front- and rear-facing cameras to fire simultaneously so users can capture what is in front, as well as behind, them. The phone will be launched in Hong Kong on September 6.

Sony has also just announced its latest flagship smartphone, the XZ1 with a 5.2-inch screen, and the smaller XZ1 compact with a 4.6-inch screen. In terms of design, they look more or less like the myriad other models that came before them (with inexplicably thick top and bottom bezels), but both will come with the latest Android operation system, Android 8.0 Oreo, installed. A Hong Kong release date has yet to be confirmed.

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Last but not least, Xiaomi is expected to unveil a device of its own on September 12. The Chinese phone maker is giving nothing away about the event, but the chances are it will be a follow-up to the cutting-edge bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix.