2017 was one of the best years ever for smartphones. Samsung and Apple both delivered the flagships we knew they were capable of, while companies like OnePlus and Huawei further closed the gaps on the big guns without taxing our wallets as much.
2018 promises to be just as action packed. Here are the phones we’re most looking forward to seeing in the new year, along with possible specs and release dates.
One Plus 6
Expected release: Summer 2018
It’s hard to believe OnePlus has been pumping out top-notch flagship killers for almost four years, but 2018 is highly likely to see the arrival of the OnePlus 6.
Related: OnePlus 6 latest
The company’s recent OnePlus 5T was a major advancement in terms of design, while also improving upon the brilliant dual camera in the OnePlus 5. So, where does OnePlus go from here? Recent rumours have suggested it’ll be the company’s first phone to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, potentially beating Apple and Samsung to the punch.
One report claimed the phone could be announced as soon as March 2018, but given that’d be three flagship handsets in just nine months, we’d expect the OnePlus 6 to arrive sometime next summer.
Can the firm really top the OnePlus 5T?
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Expected arrival: February/March 2018
Samsung flirted with smartphone perfection in 2017, with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, and it seems the Korean firm is set to stick with the same formula. All indications are the Galaxy S9 will be the equivalent of an Apple-style ‘s’ release.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 latest
That means the internals and camera will be upgraded, but there’s unlikely to be a grand redesign or groundbreaking new features. Recent rumours have suggested Samsung is yet to master in-display fingerprint tech, but the unpopular positioning of the sensor is likely to be shifted beneath the camera set-up.
Samsung has been relatively consistent with Galaxy S announcements. We’d expect the S9 range to be revealed in February and unleashed upon its adoring public before March is out.
Related: Best tech 2017
iPhone 9 and 9 Plus
Expected arrival: September 2018
Apple broke the iPhone lineage when it released the iPhone X (pronounced ten, although no-one does), leaving the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as second tier devices. What Apple intends to do with the main line is one of the most intriguing storylines heading into 2018.
Related: iPhone 9 rumours
Will the iPhone 9 and 9 Plus (or 8s/iPhone 2018/iPhone XS or wherever the names go from here) get the Face ID facial recognition software? Will they benefit from the OLED screen technology currently reserved for the iPhone X? Will the Home button disappear and will we get an edge-to-edge display?
Nothing is certain right now, but we can bank on better cameras, a new A12 processor, wireless charging, longer battery life and a September announcement.
Expected arrival: Early 2018
Recent reports have suggested LG will pump life into its flagging G-series phones by fitting the LG G7 with the Snapdragon 845 processor, potentially making it the first to sport the flagship chip. Given the LG G6 was roundly criticised for including the Snapdragon 821 rather than 2017’s Snapdragon 835, LG may be looking to get a jump on its rivals this time around.
Not a lot else is known about the G7 thus far, but we’d hope to see an 18:9 edge-to-edge OLED display with HDR and perhaps Google Daydream support. LG could also get a leg up on the competition by restoring the removable battery to the range.
Related: Best smartphones
A report in November claimed the G7 could be unveiled as early as the CES 2018 expo, which begins on January 9. However, a launch around Mobile World Congress the following month is perhaps more likely.
Expected arrival: Early 2018
HMD Global has added a lot to the Nokia brand since bringing it back into mainstream consciousness, but keeping devices under wraps hasn’t been a strong suit.
As such, we already know quite a bit about the Nokia 9 flagship, which could arrive as soon as January 2018, according to recent speculation.
Reports suggest the Android Oreo-toting handset will arrive with a 5.5-inch OLED display with a QHD resolution. It’s likely to be running 2017’s highly capable Snapdragon 835 processor. Recent rumours have touted dual cameras on both the front and back of the devices.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Expected arrival: August/September 2018
The Galaxy Note 8 was undoubtedly a return to form for the range, following the unfortunate Note 7 recall, but we’re excited where Samsung plans to take the seminal phablet in 2018.
Related: Galaxy Note 9 latest
Recent reports have suggested Samsung is targeting the Note 9 as its first phone to pack an in-display fingerprint sensor. A report back in October even suggested the Korean firm will debut a foldable display. We’d rate this as unlikely at this point, but it should be noted Samsung has been showing off bendable displays since 2013.
Don’t expect any surprises when it comes to release dates. Samsung its highly likely to announce this phone just prior to the IFA tech show; either in late August or early September.
Expected arrival: February 2018
The Chinese manufacturer continues to make inroads in western markets with its flagship-killing smartphones. Next up, at MWC 2018 in February, we’re expecting the arrival of the Huawei P11.
Related: Huawei 11 latest
Recent reports have touted a world-first triple lens camera, developed in association with Leica and with a whopping 40-megapixels at its disposal. There’ll also be a 24-megapixel selfie camera according to speculation.
The 5.8-inch IPS screen is rumoured to be complemented by a 3GHz Kirin 970 octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable internal storage and a 3,200mAh battery.
Which phones are you most looking forward to in 2018? Any we haven’t mentioned from the likes of Motorola, HTC or the rest of the chasing pack? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.