The smartphone marketplace has been a little quiet recently, but the niche is now gearing up for some major product releases in the coming months. Here ValueWalk runs down the top five upcoming phones which consumers will be keen to get their hands on imminently.

iPhone 7 Black
Image Source: Martin Hajek

iPhone 7

There is absolutely no doubt that the iPhone 7 will top the wishlist of many consumers, with the Apple handset still the iconic dominator of the smartphone marketplace. Nonetheless, at least a smidgen of the gloss has been removed from the iPhone range over the last couple of years, with some critics and consumers considering recent iPhone releases to be a little unambitious, and even perhaps boring.

Reflecting this, Apple has already downgraded its expectations for the iPhone range in 2016, suggesting that it will shift less units than in the previous calendar year. This would be the first time that this has occurred since the original iPhone was launched back in 2007.

This points to an iPhone 7 which will follow the pattern of recent conservative releases. Apple will likely hold back some of its more revolutionary technology for a major iPhone 8 release in 2017. But the iPhone 7 will still benefit from some major upgrade and significant alterations to the iPhone concept.

Central to this will be the removal of the headphone jack, with music-playing being delivered wirelessly in this generation. Additionally, Apple will also introduce a dual-camera setup with the iPhone 7 series, as the Californian company addresses the ability of the smartphone to deliver photographs in dark conditions.

The iPhone 7 will still be the most significant smartphone release of 2016, regardless of Apple’s expectations for the device. And the smartest prediction regarding the release date is that we will finally be able to purchase the iPhone 7 on September 16.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Concept from Steel Drake
Image Source: Steel Drake via behance.net

Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S range has been a massive success for Samsung over the last couple of years, and has undoubtedly closed the gap on the iconic iPhone range. The Korean corporation has become associated with taking more risks than its Californian competitor, and this is set to continue with the release of the Galaxy S8 in the early months of 2017.

It is predicted that the Galaxy S8 could be armed with a 4K display, although this must be somewhat debatable. Many Samsung devices have been linked with 4K resolution without this coming to fruition, and Samsung has tended to test higher specifications in the Galaxy Note range before including them in the Galaxy S series.

But sources inside China already claim that the Galaxy S8 will benefit from a dual-camera sensor, while virtual reality may also be a central feature of this next generation smartphone. Reports also indicate that there could be more Galaxy S8 models available than in previous generations, as the market continues to diversify. Flexibility is central to this new ethos, and thus we could see Samsung produce three different Galaxy S8 models with the aim of satisfying different consumer demographics.

Nokia C1
Image sourcE: YouTube Video Screenshot

Nokia C1

Nokia remains a household name due to its important role in the establishment of the smartphone marketplace. But the Finnish company has struggled to assert itself in the contemporary niche. The C1 will be its latest attempt to do so.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri had commented at the Mobile world Congress in Barcelona that Nokia is looking to re-entry the smartphone market, following the sale of the Lumia business to Microsoft. “We almost owe it to ourselves to go experiment in the consumer area. If and when we find a world-class partner who can take on those responsibilities, we would work closely with them to guide the design and technology differentiation as we did with the Nokia N1 Android tablet,” Suri stated back in March.

It is believed that the Nokia C1 will feature a full HD display, eight-megapixel and five-megapixel cameras and Intel processor, 2GB RAM and separate Android and Windows 10 variants. The smartphone is intended to be all things to all people, and can certainly be viewed as a mass-market device.

This should be an extremely affordable smartphone, with a possible price tag of $299 suggesting in the United States.

OnePlus 3 Smartphone

OnePlus 4

OnePlus is a relatively humble company, but one that has established a reputation for delivering particularly innovative devices. The OnePlus 4 is already rumored to be in testing, and it will be fascinating to see what this latest device in the series delivers when it is released in 2017.

It is believed that the OnePlus 4 will feature a quad HD display, putting it in line with the Samsung Galaxy series. The design of the smartphone is also likely to be updated significantly, with a curved screen also being mentioned in some quarters. Expandable storage has also been linked with this device, which could see 256 GB available to consumers.

Analysts have also suggested that this smartphone will follow the general trend of the market, and offer more colours, more functions and more customization, which would be consistent with the recent preference for flexibility and choice.

Google Pixel
Photo by Domenic K. Flickr

Google Pixel

Finally, we could see the latest Google smartphone before 2016 is out. Recent reports have suggested that the software and technology giant will unveil the latest in its smartphone series on October 4, and that this will be rebranded as the Google Pixel.

The Pixel will come in several models, accoding to reports, and the phones are also expected to deliver an updated version of Android Nougat with a raft of Google-exclusive features. It is also believed that Google may place a particular emphasis on virtual reality when the Pixel is unveiled, as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Google will hope that the Pixel can establish the company as a major player in the smartphone niche, something that has singularly failed to occur thus far, despite the incredible achievements of Google in other avenues.