With the pace of smartphone evolution moving so fast, there’s always something waiting in the wings. No sooner have you spied the latest handset, that there’s anticipation for the next big thing.
Here we look at those phones that haven’t yet launched, the upcoming phones for 2018 and 2019. We’ll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours we think are credible and exciting.
As for already-launched handsets, we’ve rounded up the best smartphones for 2018 elsewhere – those we consider to be the best across all platforms. If your budget is a little smaller, there is also our budget smartphones for under £200 feature – and there’s a mid-range roundup up to £400 as well.
The upcoming generation of phones
Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated upcoming handsets for 2018 and 2019:
- Honor View 20
- Pixel 3 Lite
- Nokia 9
- LG folding phone
- Samsung Galaxy F or X
- Apple iPhone XI
- Samsung Galaxy S10
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 5G phone
- Huawei P30
Honor View 20
The Honor View 20 has been announced in China and offers a “hole punch” selfie camera, meaning it can ditch the notch – which should be a big trend for 2019. We’ve also had it confirmed that this phone is launching on 22 January for Europe, offering a mid-range but technologically advanced handset that’s setting trends. It will also have a 48-megapixel rear camera.
Pixel 3 Lite
Yes, rumours suggest there’s a Lite version of the Pixel 3. Packing in the same camera as the flagship devices, a cheaper alternative could really set the cat among the pigeons. It might have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 platform at its heart, but pure Android Pie and a more affordable price. There’s nothing official yet and no idea when – or if – it might launch.
There’s been a lot of talk about a device called Nokia 9 – at one time the Nokia 8 Sirocco was talked about as the Nokia 9 in rumours. The Nokia 9 is said to have five cameras on the back and a notched display on the front, along it the latest Qualcomm hardware at its core, but it remains an elusive beast. Will this phone ever launch? We guess we’ll be waiting some time to find out.
LG folding phone
LG isn’t selling a lot of phones, but the company is always will to look at new technologies, not only because it has a great display business to showcase. That might be the reason that a folding LG smartphone is rumoured for launch at CES 2019. Not much has been said about these plans, but with LG showing a lot of flexible OLED displays in the past, we’re not surprised. Will they call it the LG Flex though?
Apple iPhone XI
At this point in time it’s hard to know what Apple will call its next iPhone – but we’ve already learnt that it won’t be a 5G handset. Apple, as is often the case, will be biding its time before leaping in with the new technology. We’re expecting two sizes and we’re not expecting a huge shift in design, but so far there are very few rumours.
Samsung Galaxy F
Or is it the Galaxy X? Talk about Samsung’s folding phone has circulated for a couple of years, but with an official unveil of a prototype, there’s now a lot more buzz about the launch of this device. We don’t know what it will be called, but there’s rumours that the phone with the Infinity Flex display might be launched at MWC 2019. There’s also rumours that it will cost about $2000/£1400. Wow.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
Samsung’s changes in 2018 haven’t been huge, but there’s something big coming in 2019 – the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+. Rumoured to be launching at Mobile World Congress in February/March 2018.
There’s been a lot of talk about in-display fingerprint scanners, while the latest set of leaks suggest that Samsung might be moving to five cameras – that’s three on the back and two on the front. Elsewhere there’s talk of embedded cameras under the display for a completely seamless front.
There’s also talk that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be one of a new generation of 5G capable handsets – or there will be a 5G variant at least. We’re sure there will be a lot of leaks to come on the Samsung Galaxy S10 – but things are already gathering pace.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10
The Note 9 has only just launched, but there’s already some talk about the Galaxy Note 10. There’s already talk that the 3.5mm headphone socket will be no more and that the screen will increase in size again, so it’s not so close to the Galaxy S10+. There’s also been the suggestion that Samsung will continue to avoid the notch – perhaps with in-display cameras.
That’s right, there’s already talk about the new OnePlus handset. Not much has been said, aside from the fact that OnePlus said it won’t be a 5G handset. But OnePlus has said that it will be launching its first 5G handset in 2019, so what does that mean for the OnePlus 7? Does it become a second-tier device? We also know OnePlus is launching a 5G phone – so will they be the same thing?
OnePlus 5G phone
OnePlus took to the stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit to announce that it would be one of the first with a 5G phone, running on EE with a Snapdragon 855. Having previously said that it wouldn’t be the OnePlus 7, it means we’re expecting a launch of a new OnePlus device, unless wires have got crossed. The teaser image looks a lot like the OnePlus 6T, but it’s hidden in a case, so it’s difficult to tell exactly what the design will be.
Huawei had a stellar 2018 with the P20 and the Mate 20 – and Pro versions of both those phones. Pushing forward into 2019 we’re expecting the big launch of the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. You can expect tech lifted from the Mate 20 to drift into the Huawei flagship, so expect a 7nm Kirin 980 processor and triple camera on the rear, boosting the offering from the Mate 20. We’re also expecting a “hole punch” camera on the front rather than a notch.