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Android Headliner: So Far, 2014 Has Been Evolutionary Rather Than Revolutionary

May 30, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

We’re ticking over into June which means, we’re effectively half way through 2014. Most of the big Android releases have been launched into the world. Of course, we still have to wait and see what Motorola has in store for us as well as Sony and Samsung’s high-end devices for the second half of the year. Still, we’ve seen enough of what 2014 has to offer on the mobile front to pass some sort of judgment on it and so far, what we’ve been seeing has been evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. The Galaxy S5 was another incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Xperia Z2 is well, another Xperia Z and the HTC One (M8) – with its bizarre name scheme – is a revamped version of last year’s device. The question I keep on asking myself is whether or not these incremental updates are a bad thing.

If we take a look at pretty much every major smartphone launch that has already happened so far this year, things have stayed mostly the same. Even the recently announced G3 from LG – while very, very impressive – is just an evolution of what’s come before. Is that a bad thing? Well no, even die-hard Samsung fans have to admit that LG have created something pretty special with the G3 and on the face of things, LG did all they had to do to make a good phone, even better. It seems that every big name manufacturer is taking that route these days. The HTC One (M8), which I reviewed earlier in the year, impressed me a whole lot, but it didn’t wow me like the first HTC One did. However, my admiration for HTC grew a little more for that. Sometimes, things just don’t need fixing. The same can be said for Samsung, LG and Sony, whose devices for 2014 are incremental improvements upon previous generations, yet they still have their own identity and are still great devices in their own right.

As Android users, we tweak stuff, a lot. We often change our wallpapers ever so slightly and then think “Yepp, that’s perfect”. Some of us change kernels and ROMs often enough to suggest we have a problem. Sometimes it’s the subtle adjustments that bring everything else into place. With the Galaxy S5, Samsung kept the same formula that made the Galaxy S4 and S III so popular, and just added a few thing and cut down on the software. This was a good move on Samsung’s part and the same can be said for LG’s G3, the metallic skin might not be as fancy as the M8’s build, but it solves the problem with the slimy back of the G2. Subtle changes like these are what makes devices better and arguably more appealing to the average consumer.

Obviously, we’re always looking for the next big thing, the next development or design to make us ask “when o’ when can I buy this?!” but really, if it isn’t broken, why try to fix it? 2015 is beginning to look more and more like a revolutionary year in mobile tech which great new processors coming from Qualcomm and we’re sure fresh designs from LG, Samsung and co. but for right now, I’m pretty happy living with evolutionary products that give us more pixels, more features or better design. What about you?