The standout device of the smartphone year so far is undoubtedly the Galaxy S8. Yet with major releases still to come from Apple, Google and Samsung, the bar is set to be raised before the end of 2017. So what can we expect from the iPhone 8, Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2?

iPhone 8 with no Headphone adapter
Image Source: Muhsin M. Belaal Auckburaully / DBS Design (screenshot)

iPhone 8

Apple is expected to make major improvements to the iPhone in time for the release of the iPhone 8 in order to mark the landmark tenth anniversary of the smartphone series. While this will encompass a wide variety of different features, perhaps the most notable rumor attached to the iPhone 8 is a significant redesign of its exterior.

With this in mind, Apple is expected to release its largest ever iPhone in screen terms when the iPhone 8 hits the stores, with a 5.8-inch display being linked with the smartphone. However, early mold leaks have also suggested that the iPhone 8 could be smaller than the existing iPhone 7 smartphone, owing to a wraparound display dominating the front panel of the device.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to eliminate the traditional Home button in the iPhone 8 generation, instead integrating this feature within the display of the device. There will also be a dual-camera intended to ensure that the iPhone 8 delivers outstanding low-light shooting. Some reports have also suggested that the iPhone 8 could embrace curved screen technology, after this design element proved popular in previous Samsung Galaxy releases.

Another major innovation being strongly linked with the iPhone 8 is the inclusion of wireless charging. Although this feature is already part of other smartphones, it is believed that Apple will implement a unique system that enables the smartphone to be recharged at a distance of 15 feet.

Other spec increases are also anticipated, with the possibility that the iPhone 8 could be the first ever quad HD handset from the consumer electronics giant. And Apple fans will hope that the Californian corporation addresses the battery issues that have somewhat plagued the iPhone in recent releases.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 dummy

Galaxy Note 8

The Galaxy Note 8 is undoubtedly one of the most important releases in the history of Samsung, as it must pick up the baton from the frankly disastrous Galaxy Note 7. After its predecessor exploded with alarming regularity, the Galaxy Note 8 must firstly deliver a viable and stable system.

In order to achieve this, Samsung has developed and strongly promoted a new system of battery tests, and these should firstly ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 is a durable smartphone. But what improvements can we expect from this next-generation custard?

Firstly, the biggest rumor related to the Galaxy Note 8 is that the Samsung handset could be a 4K resolution mobile. With the resolution of the Galaxy S8 having been improved over previous iterations in the series, Samsung has very little wriggle room if it is to distinguish the Galaxy Note 8 from the Galaxy S8 in this department. Thus, many analysts believe that the Galaxy Note 8 will be the first ever 4K mobile from the Korean corporation.

Elsewhere, reports have suggested that Samsung will follow suit and deliver a dual-camera in the Galaxy Note generation, also removing the physical Home button and integrating various features within the display. Speaking of the screen, this will be a mammoth 6.4-inches, dominating the front panel of the display, with the bezels of the device seriously slimmed down.

Including a 4K display would also enable Samsung to include significant virtual reality functionality in the Galaxy Note 8, something that the company has explicitly supported in public statements.

Another possible innovation could come in relation to the S Pen stylus that has particularly characterized that this device range. It is suggested that Samsung may implement a unique speaker system in this peripheral, which certainly sounds like an intriguing prospect. With numerous leaks of the Galaxy Note 8 having already emerged, it seems that the assertions made here can be considered pretty concrete.

Google Pixel 2
Image Credit: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

Google Pixel 2

Finally, the Google Pixel 2 will represent the latest attempt of the mega-corporation to establish itself as a major factor in the smartphone marketplace. This has proved somewhat difficult considering that the existing niche is so competitive, dominated by players such as Apple and Samsung, with affordable variants from companies such as LG, Huawei and Lenovo gaining an increasing market share in the budget end of the niche.

But there have already been some interestingly details posted on the Google Pixel 2, with this affordable handset featuring some very decent specs based on a Geekbench testing. These point to the Google handset being fitted with the Snapdragon 835, which was already included in the Galaxy S8 earlier this year.

Reports have also suggested that Google will significantly improve the camera specifications included in the next-generation Pixel 2, and that its photographic capabilities will outrank the existing iPhone 7. This is pretty impressive considering that the Google Pixel 2 will feature a much lower price tag than any Apple release.

There is still some debate over whether Google will include a wraparound display in the Pixel 2, but this has certainly been suggested by some analysts. If true, this would probably lead to the corporation arming the Google Pixel 2 with a larger display, probably in the region of 5.5-inches, while retaining the compact design of previous iterations of the series.

Reports have also suggested that the Google Assistant program will feature some intriguing functionality in the foreseeable future, and that the AI software will deliver similar features to the now sadly defunct Google Glass project. Thus, users of Google handsets will be able to garner significant information about the world around them by pointing the Google Pixel 2 at various locations.

Smartphone consumers will certainly have an excellent choice of devices before the year is out.