It's almost February, which means it's almost the season for new smartphone announcements.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is taking place in late February, and it's where some smartphone makers launch their new devices — notably, Samsung is expected to introduce the Galaxy S9.
There are also a few devices to look forward to, even after MWC, as well.
2018 will welcome newcomers to the smartphone market, too. We only know about one so far, the Hydrogen One from professional camera company RED. The year may also see a successor to the gaming-focused Razer Phone this year, too.
But for now, I've stuck with devices we know about, and some that are expected to show up in the first half of this year.
Check it out:
Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung is set to reveal the new Galaxy S9 smartphone at an event on February 25 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Few rumors have emerged for the Galaxy S9, though the few supposed leaks so far suggest that it'll be very similar to the Galaxy S8 in terms of design.
But Samsung's own invitation poster for the event suggests that we can expect big changes with the camera. A supposedly leaked image of the Galaxy S9's specs on a retail box shows a camera with a new "super speed dual pixel" feature. That could mean the Galaxy S9's camera will be able to focus even faster than the Galaxy S8, which also has dual pixel. As it is, the Galaxy S8 can focus faster than any smartphone we've tried to date.
Fast autofocus is handy for taking quick photos of fleeting moments, and it can lead to sharper shots overall.
A rumor mill also suggests that we can expect a dual-lens system on the larger Galaxy S9+ model, and a single-lens system on the regular model. It's unclear exactly what the dual-lens system could be used for. If the Galaxy Note 8's dual-lens camera is anything to go by, the dual-lens camera that's potentially coming to the Galaxy S9+ could offer telephoto zooming.
If true, giving more features to the larger phone model in the same product line would be a fist for Samsung, as it's always kept the same features on both size options.
We'll have to wait until February 25 to see what Samsung reveals.
LG is expected to announce the successor to its well-recieved G6 phone shortly after MWC, with some speculating a March or April announcement.
Rumors surrounding LG's upcoming flagship suggest that it'll be different to the G6 in a big way: Raw power.
The G6 ran on an older Snapdragon 821 chip, while its contemporary competitors ran with the more powerful Snapdragon 835. However, the G7 is said to run on Qualcomm's latest and most powerful chip offering of 2018 – the Snapdragon 845, according to The Investor. That means LG's 2018 flagship phone is likely to match or even outclass its smartphone rivals.
Little else is rumored about the LG G7, apart from an update to its trademark slim bezel design. We expect that LG will continue to adopt modern smartphone features, like water resistance and a dual-lens camera that could offer LG's signature ultra-wide angle lens.
Motorola's "G" series offers our favorite mid-range smartphones: it doesn't come with a heavy layer of bloaty software that runs on top of Android, like most phones in its class. And the more recent models have come with a near-premium design that can almost match the look and feel of a pricier flagship smartphone from premium manufacturers.
"G" series phones don't run the fastest chips, but they're perfectly capable, and the phones are inexpensive, too. The G5 Plus launched at $230, and it's a fantastic bargain.
With the Moto G6, rumors point to another near-premium design and a display with an 18:9 aspect ratio that's in line with other flagship Android smartphones. Otherwise, we also expect a general boost in performance and camera quality.
Lenovo-owned Motorola is likely to announce the G6 during MWC, like it did with the G5, and the device itself will probably release in the Spring of 2018.
Nokia has already released entry-level and mid-range Android. devices. Next, at MWC 2018, Nokia is expected to unveil a high-end Android phone.
Some are calling it the Nokia 9, and rumors are suggesting it could come with a five-lens camera system. Only Nokia knows how that might work, and we'll have to wait until they make an announcement to see what it's all about.
We're also expecting to see high-end specs in the Nokia 9, inlcuding the latest Snapdragon 845 chip, an OLED display, and a premium design. It's also said to come running a near-stock version of Android, which we'll always prefer over the custom and extremely bloat-heavy versions favored by some other companies.
OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau confirmed to Forbes earlier in January that the company will release a new smartphone in the second quarter of 2018, which could mean the same month the OnePlus 5 was released: June.
There are very few details, but we generally like OnePlus devices because they usually run a near-stock version of Android, they come with incredible performance, and they can't be beat for value. The OnePlus 5T, which the company released in November 2017, is a truly excellent $500 phone that easily competed with other flagships that cost nearly twice as much.
RED Hyrdrogen One
We haven't heard much about the Hydrogen One smartphone since it was first announced by the ultra-high end professional camera company RED in 2017. But pre-orders are shipping this summer, and it should be an interesting device.
For one, we expect the camera to be utterly stellar. RED makes cameras that are used for blockbuster movies, so we're really not accepting anything less than class-leading here.
Its camera is also modular, in the sense that you can attach new lenses or other gadgets to change how you use it for filming.
It has an unusually chunky design that could look out of place among the ultra-sleek stalwarts of the smartphone industry. But it's also packing "holographic" display technology, which is said to make video pop out of the screen. We have yet to see for ourselves.
Check out Marques Brownlee's hands-on video with the Hydrogen One smartphone from RED:
RED Hydrogen Prototype Hands-On!
The rest of the best.
We're expecting new phones to be announced in the second half of 2018 and we'll update this list when we discover new rumors about them.
Some of the phones we anticipate:
- New iPhones
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- LG V40
- The Razer Phone 2