Smartphone vendors such as Samsung and Sony have already released their flagship smartphones of 2018. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are the best smartphones released this year so far. But there is still an impressive lineup of phones coming later this year. Let’s take a look at the best upcoming smartphones this year – some of which are set to be released in the next few weeks while others would launch towards the holiday shopping season. The list below is in no particular order.
Best upcoming smartphones: iPhone X Plus
Multiple analysts have confirmed that Apple will release three new iPhones this September – a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, a 5.8-inch iPhone X (2018), and a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone. All three of them would look similar to last year’s iPhone X with a display notch, a bezel-less design, and Face ID technology. The iPhone X Plus would be the best and most expensive of them.
The iPhone X Plus would run iOS 12 software and the next-gen A12 processor. TSMC has bagged the contract to produce A12 chips using its 7nm manufacturing process. The A12 would be 20% faster and 40% more energy efficient than A11 Bionic, which was based on the 10nm process. According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the iPhone X Plus would pack 4GB RAM and 64GB of base storage. The analyst says Apple could also launch a dual-SIM variant of the device.
Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang told investors earlier this week that the iPhone X Plus would support an ‘iPen’ stylus. But the stylus would be sold separately instead of being bundled with the phone.
Best upcoming smartphones: Galaxy Note 9
It is one of the best upcoming smartphones. Samsung last month trademarked the “Note 9” moniker in Colombia, indicating that it will not change the naming pattern this year. The Korean company is developing the phablet under the code-name “Crown.” The Galaxy Note 9 will reportedly look similar to the Galaxy S9 Plus. It would feature a 6.3-inch bezel-less Super AMOLED Infinity display with curved edges. The phablet would retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and the Bixby button.
Samsung’s mobile business head DJ Koh has told media that the Galaxy Note 9 would come with an upgraded Bixby 2.0 AI Assistant. Other Samsung executives have indicated that the company would also upgrade the S Pen stylus this year. According to Twitter tipster Ice Universe, the Galaxy Note 9 would pack a 3,850mAh or 4,000mAh battery. The device is said to be powered by 6GB RAM and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor.
The Galaxy Note 9 is also expected to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, though Ming-Chi Kuo believes Samsung won’t be able to implement the technology in Note 9. It would run Samsung’s custom UI skin on top of Android Oreo. The rumor mill claims the Note 9 could be unveiled in late July or early August due to the not-so-stellar performance of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
Best upcoming smartphones: Google Pixel 3
Google hasn’t yet confirmed the existence of Pixel 3, but references to the upcoming flagship were recently spotted in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The Android P developer preview has also dropped hints about the Pixel 3. The phone could offer a notch similar to the iPhone X. In Android P, Google has relocated the clock icon from top-right to the top-left corner to accommodate the display cutout.
The Google Pixel 3 is expected to be powered by the same Snapdragon 845 chipset that would run Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. Google will also improve the phone’s camera to keep up with the competition. The phone is rumored to come with an IP68 rating for water-resistance. Google refreshes its Pixel line in the first week of October. We expect the Pixel 3 to be unveiled on October 4, 2018. There will also reportedly be a cheaper Pixel 3 that could debut as early as July or August in price-sensitive markets such as India.
Best upcoming smartphones: OnePlus 6
This one is just around the corner. OnePlus has sent out press invites for a May 16 event in London, where it would unveil the OnePlus 6. The Chinese company will also hold launch events in China and India on May 17th. OnePlus has told us a lot about the phone’s features and specifications. It would have a glass back – probably to facilitate wireless charging- along with up to 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage, and Snapdragon 845 chipset.
OnePlus 6 will have a display notch similar to the iPhone X. The phone will reportedly go on sale on May 21. It is said to have a 6.28-inch bezel-less AMOLED display, a 16MP selfie camera, a 16P+20MP dual rear camera setup, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a huge 3,450mAh battery with Dash Charge technology. The phone will also be water- and dust-resistant. It would retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, and would run OxygenOS on top of Android 8.1 Oreo.
There will also be an Avengers: Infinity War-themed OnePlus 6 variant, which would sell at a slight premium compared to the regular model. It will likely have the Avengers branding along with some pre-loaded content for the movie’s fans.
Best upcoming smartphones: HTC U12 Plus
Amid continued losses at its smartphone division, HTC will release only a small number of premium and mid-range smartphones this year. Given HTC’s track record, it is safe to say that the HTC U12 Plus would be one of the best upcoming smartphones this year. The U12 Plus screen protectors recently shared by a Taiwanese accessory maker suggest that the phone will not adopt the display notch. The back panel is slightly curved and is made of glass to enable wireless charging.
The HTC U12 Plus would have a horizontally aligned dual camera setup on the back along with dual LED flash. The fingerprint sensor will be located on the back panel. The device would also have a dual-camera system on the front for selfies. It would feature a 5.99-inch Quad HD+ display, 6GB RAM, up to 256GB of internal storage, and Snapdragon 845 chipset. It would run HTC’s custom Sense UI on top of Android Oreo.
The HTC U12 Plus is rumored to launch in May.
Best upcoming smartphones: LG G7 ThinQ
The LG G7 was supposed to debut at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), but LG delayed the phone and asked its R&D team to design the device from scratch as it lacked attractive selling price. The outcome of the redesign efforts is LG G7 ThinQ, which would be one of the best upcoming smartphones. It will be loaded with AI features such as Vision AI, Voice AI, Q Lens, AI Cam, and others.
LG Electronics will unveil the G7 ThinQ on May 2 at the Metropolitan West in the New York City. The company will also hold another event at the I’PARK Mall in Seoul on May 3rd. The LG G7 ThinQ would pack Snapdragon 845 chipset and 6GB RAM. It will be available in Platinum Gray, Raspberry Rose, Moroccan Blue, Moroccan Blue (Matte), and Aurora Black colors. The device would have a dedicated button to activate the AI features.
The LG G7 ThinQ is said to feature a bezel-less 6.1-inch M+ LCD screen with a display notch. The company will give users the option to hide the notch. Its back panel would accommodate the dual camera setup and a circular fingerprint scanner. The phone will reportedly boast of a Boombox Speaker to improve the audio experience. It would offer 64GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, and wireless charging.
Best upcoming smartphones: Nokia 9
HMD Global hasn’t yet launched a true flagship capable of competing with the iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The company will reportedly launch Nokia 9 in the third quarter with premium specs. It would run Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, and feature a triple camera system consisting of a 41MP wide-angle lens, a 20MP telephoto lens, and a 9.7MP monochrome sensor. Recent leaks suggest the Nokia 9 would use Carl Zeiss lenses.
The phone would boast of a 6.01-inch AMOLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, 6GB RAM, dual-SIM support, a USB Type-C port, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, a 3,900mAh battery with QuickCharge technology, and an IP68 rating for water- and dust-resistance. The device would run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and would be among the first to receive the Android P update.