IFA 2014 has come and gone for another year and once again it's left us with a mass of new devices to get excited about. It's undisputed that the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG – and Motorola, despite not having an official presence at IFA – have given us some fantastic new devices, but there were also some interesting device announcements from other manufacturers. Specifically ones that aren't very popular in the U.S.
But are we doing ourselves a dis-service by not taking note of what the likes of Huawei and Alcatel Onetouch are doing? Is it about time to start giving them a chance?
Huawei in particular has really upped its game in the past couple of years and we're now at a point in time where its hardware is equal to or better than the best that Android has to offer. While software performance issues hampered the Ascend P7, the actual design and hardware execution was excellent. Now we've got the Ascend Mate 7, a different product line but there's no doubting that with it Huawei is aiming right at the top end of the market. And on the hardware front at least, they're largely succeeding – and have done fingerprint scanning in a way that surpasses other Android phones offering the technology.
Then there's Alcatel, another device maker launching new Android hardware this week. With the Hero 2 it's going head-on into the oversized smartphone space but also trying hard to do something different to the rest, something compelling, something to get noticed.
How well either device I mentioned here does could be interpreted subjectively. Huawei is the world's number 3 smartphone vendor without any real market share to speak of in the U.S. Alcatel, too, is comfortably inside the top 10, again, without relying on the U.S. Both companies are obviously doing well somewhere, selling lots of smartphones to lots of people around the world.
Of course without product availability in the right places then we're physically incapable of giving such devices more than a passing glance when they're launched at major trade shows. The Ascend Mate 7 has generated a fair bit of interest, but currently has no planned launch for the U.S. – though we were told that it's at least something Huawei is working to achieve.
We all know about the Galaxy Note 4, the Xperia Z3, the LG G3, HTC One M8 and so on. We cover those type of devices a bunch here on Android Central. But are we all missing out, maybe even just a little, by not looking beyond the "household names?" Is it time we started to look a little further afield? I think so, and we might like what we see.