With the pace of smartphone evolution moving so fast, there’s always something waiting in the wings. No sooner have you spied the latest handset, then there’s anticipation of something else, the next big thing.
I’ve rounded up the best smartphones for 2017, those i consider to be the best across all platforms, and i regularly keep updating that list as the smartphone world keeps evolving.
Here we’re looking at those phones that haven’t yet launched, those we know are coming, or are anticipated. i’ll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours i think are credible and exciting, and devices just announced but yet to hit the shelves.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus;
Samsung had sure-fire hits with the Galaxy S7 , especially in the S7 edge model. The company’s standing in mobile might suffer a little following the
Note 7’s battery problems , so the Galaxy S8 might have to be extra special.
Rumours have suggested that Samsung might drop the flat version of the S8, only offering curved devices in two sizes. There’s also talk of increasing the screen resolution, perhaps with a move to 4K.
There’s no indication of how the body design might change just yet.
Samsung is sure to pack the S8 with its latest Exynos chipset for oodles of power, although i’d expect a Snapdragon 835 version too, and i’d also expect to see a move to USB Type-C, following the move of the Note 7.
On the software front, i’d expect the S8 to launch on Android Nougat with TouchWiz. Given Samsung’s great experience, i’d not expect too many changes to Samsung’s software experience.
As the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, am expecting it to be announced on 29 March 2017.
Nokia Power User;
Nokia is coming back to smartphones in 2017 and it started with the launch of the Nokia 6.
A China-only device, this has mid-range specs, but looks to offer a premium finish. That’s what we expect from Nokia’s larger flagship too.
Originally leaking as the P1, and then finding itself levelled with the name Nokia 8, it’s expected that Nokia will announce this device at Mobile World Congress on 26 February. We’re expecting a premium build, with an IP68 rating, a 5.5-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution.
Most of the hardware rumours have said Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, but i think it’s launching too early for that hardware, so might appear as Snapdragon 821 – same as the Pixel XL, or OnePlus 3T.
LG has been quite open and candid in the approach to the launch of the LG G6, which is set for 26 February at Mobile World Congress.
This device is said to be dropping the modular approach and offering a metal body instead, although it’s appeared in glossy black and brushed metal, and so am not exactly sure on the final texture.
The big change might come to the display aspect, with LG looking to offer a larger display without making the phone wider and opting to break out of the 16:9 norm for these phones and go with 18:9 instead.
You can expect dual cameras on the rear, you can expect long battery life and waterproofing.
HTC’s next flagship handset is thought to be going under the name of HTC Ocean. This name came from a video leak which showed off a concept handset, but supported by a leak via Twitter. HTC launched its first handsets for 2017 in the form of the U Play and U Ultra, but at the time said this wasn’t the flagship and there was more to come.
It’s early days in the rumour cycle for this handset, but the focus of the video was on new methods of interaction, showing a phone with no buttons and using a mixture of voice, gestures and swipes to control it, so that’s what we’re expecting – as well as a Snapdragon 835 and a launch date at some point later in the year, perhaps April.
One thing i do know for sure is that it won’t be called HTC 11.
Huawei P10 and P10 Plus;
Huawei launched the P9 in April 2016, choosing to avoid Mobile World Congress, to hold its own huge launch event in London.
The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are expected to to replace the P9 and could land at Mobile World Congress on 26 February, but we’re expecting a later April launch.
The Huawei P10 is thought to be similar to the P9, offering twin Leica cameras on the rear, but with a potential increase in screen resolution. That’s not something we’ve seen from Huawei, who tends to stick to Full HD for the display. There may be two sizes again, like the P9 and 9 Plus.
There’s talk of a Kirin 965 chipset, 8-megapixel front camera, and a pair of 12-megapixel rear cameras.
Wait, what? No, you’re not going mad. There’s a rumour that OnePlus will be skipping the 4 number and heading straight to OnePlus 5.
The OnePlus 5 could land with a glass or ceramic body, moving on from the OnePlus 3T to present something a little different.
It wouldn’t be the first time that OnePlus has used something different, as it did in the OnePlus X.
A 5.3-inch display might meet a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset for loads of power. This could all be heading your way in May or June.
Apple iPhone 8;
Yes, already. The paint has barely dried on the iPhone 7, but there’s already talk of the iPhone 8, which is reported to shake things up completely.
The iPhone 7, surprisingly, didn’t make a huge change over the iPhone 6S, but the biggest hint at what to expect from the iPhone 8 might have come from Apple
With the release of the Series 2 device, Apple introduced a ceramic version. This, paired with jet black colouring for the iPhone 7, might point to future changes in materials for the iPhone 8.
Some are suggesting that the iPhone 8 will be mostly glass and introduce wireless charging, but there’s expected to be a special edition ceramic version too. Taking it further, it’s suggested that there will be an iPhone 7S and 7S Plus too, alongside this roaring iPhone 8.
Microsoft Surface Phone;
The Surface Phone is something of a Windows phone holy grail. With Nokia then Microsoft Devices producing plenty of Windows Phones, the spectre of the Surface Phone has been hanging around as the idea of the ultimate Windows mobile device.
Given the recent sale of virtually all of its phone patents, and announcement that it’s no longer focusing on Windows Phone development, the Surface Phone may never see the light of day.
It’s rumoured that the new premium device will be Surface branded and Intel powered, possibly coming in three different variants. Given the same team behind the Surface Tablets are said to be behind the Surface Phone, you can expect a solid build if it ever does appear.
There’s also the suggestion that Surface Phone will run a brand new update of Windows 10, aiming to capitalise on the branding and offer the ultimate experience.
Launch originally wasn’t expected until the latter half of 2016, but this has since shifted to 2017. That’s if it appears at all.