Did you forgo upgrading your smartphone in 2016 and miss out on the iPhone 7, Google Pixel and the rest? If so, there’s a good chance that was the right decision, as 2017 has promised to be the year of handsets like the iPhone 8, Google Pixel 2, and even a Galaxy Note 8. In fact, if you believe the rumors, it could be very hard to choose one this year. Here are the rumored smartphones we see being the top five handsets of 2017.
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Even before the iPhone 7 launched in September, there were rumors about this year’s handset. Some suggested that if Apple was going just to rehash an old iPhone design with no additional features, it shouldn’t bother. Instead, critics hoped the iPhone 8 and the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone launch would spark Apple into action.
If you believe the rumors, 2017 will indeed be a big year for Apple, as its next handset is expected to deliver both hardware and design changes which should make it the most advanced iPhone to date. Imagine a handset which looks like it’s made from a single sheet of glass! That’s what Jonny Ive apparently wants, and to get that, it would need an edge-to-edge OLED display.
Recent leaks have supported this theory, with Apple’s suppliers already looking to produce the all-glass body. However, in creating an edge-to-edge OLED display, both the Home button and Touch ID would have to be hidden beneath it.
Other rumors point towards the handset featuring wireless charging, facial recognition, an A11 Fusion CPU, and an improved camera. Additionally, some rumors suggest 2017 will be a three-iPhone year.
Google Pixel 2
According to SlashGear, Google originally wanted to work with Huawei on its Pixel handsets. However, due to Google insisting that only its branding appear on the handsets, Huawei reportedly backed out, and Google turned to HTC for help finishing the design and manufacturing the devices. The process took only nine months from start to finish and was an incredible feat considering how good those handsets are.
There is very little information about the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 to share right now. However, with much more time on their side, it’s thought that this time around, the handsets will take on the iPhone 8, Galaxy S8, and Note 8 this year. The only information we have seen comes via micgadget, which predicts dual-camera setups and 4K features.
Galaxy Note 8
Even with the Note 7’s demise, it’s possible the phablet series is not dead. Until a couple of days ago, we had only vague rumors that Samsung was going to launch a Galaxy Note 8. But now thanks to one of Samsung’s own suppliers, more meat has been put on to the bones.
The supplier reportedly spoke to BusinessKorea, and it seems as though the Korean tech giant will release a no-holds-barred attack on the smartphone market in 2017 in a bid to regain consumer confidence and the business it lost with the Note 7 recall. The features expected/rumored to be making their way to the handset include: a high-definition 4K display, a much-improved AI assistant called Bixby, a 30MP rear camera, Snapdragon 830 CPU, and 6GB of RAM.
There is also talk of the handset coming with dual-foldable displays. However, Samsung has been talking about this kind of display technology for years, which means we doubt that will happen.
Unlike the previously mentioned Note 8, Samsung has all but confirmed the existence of the S8. In fact, it is with this handset that many believe Samsung will mount an early challenge to the iPhone 8. As with all of the handsets featured here, the S8 is expected to get a significant facelift compared to its predecessors, with a curved Super AMOLED display expected to take up 90% of its face.
If that information is correct, it will point to the handset (like the ones above) ditching the Home button and other manual buttons in favor of embedding them into its screen. Additional rumors of late have suggested that the S8 will offer many enterprise features, such as the Samsung Desktop Experience, which is similar to Microsoft’s Continuum and enables a user to connect a Windows 10 handset to a keyboard, monitor, and mouse.
Bluetooth 5.0 is expected to make an appearance and offer increased range and faster transfer rates. Additionally, 8GB of RAM and Qualcomm’s SnapDragon 835 super CPU are being touted as real possibilities for the handset.
With the rumor mill focused on the iPhone 8 and Samsung’s handsets, there’s not much room for the LG G6. However, it could be just as capable as any of the above. LG has not confirmed the handset yet, so the information we have is based on rumors.
Unlike its predecessor, the well-received LG G5, the G6 isn’t expected to be modular. It appears that the possibility of adding functionality to a handset for an additional fee did not go down well with consumers. However, from experience with this handset, we can also tell you that not many modular add-ons were ever available, so that too could have been a reason for this technology’s demise.
Additionally, it appears that LG will use tempered glass for the first time, giving it a more premium feel than the all-aluminum G5. Also there could be an OLED panel, which, unlike the other manufacturers on this list, LG produces itself. It’s still unclear what size it will be, but some rumors suggest 5.3 inches and others 5.5 inches. As for the camera, LG has long been a user of dual-lens setups, and it’s thought that this will appear again on the G6.