Best smartphones to look forward to in 2015

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, then there's anticipation of something else, the next big thing to envy.

We've rounded up the best smartphones for 2014/2015, those we consider to be the best across all platforms, and we've regularly updated that list as the smartphone world has evolved.

You can find those in our Best smartphones 2014: The best phones available to buy today feature. 

Here we're looking at those phones that haven't yet launched, those we know are coming, or are anticipated.

Some will be rumour, some will be fact, but here we'll cut through the speculation to highlight those phones we really want to see.

We'll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours we think are credible and exciting, and devices just announced but yet to hit the shelves.

Microsoft Lumia 1020 replacement/RM-1052

This rumour is a little on the loose side, but a newly-leaked image has appeared showing a Lumia model with a big camera bump on the rear. The Lumia 1020 was a mobile photography star, but has never been replaced. 

There's a chance that you're looking at a new high-end PureView model, known as the RM-1052, but equally it could be a prototype of the cancelled Nokia McLaren.

But it's nice to dream that Microsoft Devices will fill the high-end with a 5-inch Windows Phone 8.1 device with a great PureView camera.

We're not convinced by the bodywork, the metal and plastic fusion doesn't look like a finished consumer device, but it could be the birth of a new photography star for 2015. An explosive launch at Mobile World Congress in 2015 perhaps? Let's dream about that.

READ MORE Microsoft Devices news and reviews

LG G Flex 2

LG has been having a good time of things in smartphones recently, with the LG G3 winning a few fans. There's a rumour of another crack at the G Flex model, aptly called the G Flex 2.

There's a rumour that it will be seeing launch at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, so it should be appearing on the radar in January, if that's to prove true.

There's rumour that it will have a smaller display than the 6-inch original, which would hopefully make this banana phone a little easier to swallow (or handle).

There's little more to go on, but with LG being rather aggressive in smartphones of late, we wouldn't be surprised.

READ MORE LG news and reviews

LG G4

The LG G4 could arrive with the smallest bezel on any screen yet, if the prototype devices shown off by LG are anything to go by.

We're expected a screen around 5.7-inches that could be UHD or at least 2K. The processor will hopefully be a Snapdragon 810 64-bit chip with Cat 6 4G and 4GB of RAM.

Battery life and camera should also see improvements both in hardware and software.

It's still early days for G4 rumours but they're here so Samsung better start worrying. LG's launch cycle is slightly offset to many others, so we wouldn't expect the G4 to appear until summer 2015.

READ MORE LG G4 what to expect

Sony Xperia Z4

Yes, the Xperia Z3 is just out - and a very good phone - but it looks like Sony could already be preparing the next update to its flagship device. Arguably it doesn't need to, but the Xperia Z4 will probably see and early-2015 launch.

That might mean CES 2015 in January, or Mobile World Congress a month later. Both see a number of devices launches and Sony has popped up at both events in the past.

There isn't a huge amount to go on, but it's suggested that we'll see a slightly new face on the Z4 with a repositioning of the front-facing speakers, and perhaps a step over to Quad HD resolution for the display.

There's talk of Snapdragon 805 hardware and Sony has been pretty good at producing powerful handsets in the past.

Rumours suggest an updated camera too, but still with 20.7-megapixels and optical image stabilisation on the back. A boosted front camera is likely too, as is Android 5.0 Lollipop.

READ MORE Sony Xperia Z4 rumours 

Sony Xperia Z4 Compact and Ultra

The Sony Xperia Z4 Compact is apparently going to arrive with 3GB of RAM, a 20.7-megapixel camera, 32GB storage, and a 4.7-inch screen with 1080p resolution. You can also expect a 3,000mAh battery, Cat 9 LTE, wireless charging and IP68 water and dust proofing.

The Sony Xperia Z4 Ultra should arrive with a 6.44-inch display with a QHD resolution. It should also come with 3GB of RAM but a smaller 16-megapixel camera and larger 4,000mAh battery. Unlike previous versions of the Ultra this model should also come with a stylus.

READ MORE Sony Xperia Z4 news

BlackBerry Classic

 

With the BlackBerry Passport getting a mixed reception, it might be down to the BlackBerry Classic to deliver that BB experience you've been longing for. It's been confirmed that its coming by BlackBerry, and pre-orders have opened, looking at a 17 December launch date.

The BlackBerry Classic has a 3.46-inch 720 x 720 display and sees the return of the waistband controls beneath that. There's a dual core processor and 2GB of RAM, but the biggest thing about the Classic is the keyboard, which is sure to be fantastic.

There's a pre-order price of £349 pinned on this handset and it will come with the latest version of BB 10.3.1, but we're awaiting the 17 December launch date to find out all the details.

READ MORE BlackBerry news

Motorola Moto Maxx

Motorola has a new superphone, the Moto Maxx. Following up on the excellent Moto X and the Nexus 6, the Moto Maxx is the non-Verizon version of the Droid Turbo and what we're looking at here is a device with a massive battery: 3900mAh to be precise. Motorola says this will see you through 2 days.

There's no shying away from top-drawer specs elsewhere either: there's a 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution display as well as a 21-megapixel camera on the rear. Motorola claims it has the "most powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor", so we're guessing it's the SD 805, as you'll find in the Nexus 6.

Harking back to previous materials, the Moto Maxx uses ballistic nylon sitting on Kevlar for protection. It's water repellant and has Gorilla Glass protection for the display.

But perhaps best of all, it offers the mostly-unfettered Android experience as you'll find on the Moto X. If you were thinking the Nexus 6 was too big, this might just be the phone for you. Sadly, Motorola hasn't confirmed availability outside of Latin America. Fingers crossed.

READ MORE Motorola Moto Maxx

Microsoft Lumia 535

The very first Microsoft Lumia device has been announced showing off the new branding on these Nokia-free devices.

Rather than hitting a big flagship launch for Microsoft Devices, the Lumia 535 sits towards the bottom of the ladder. It's affordable, but has a large 5-inch display.

There's a pair of 5-megapixel cameras, with Microsoft wanting to appeal to the selfie crowd. It comes in a range of bright colours, however, and offers the latest from Microsoft and Lumia.

READ MORE Microsoft Devices news and reviews

Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is Google's latest handset, taking things big with a 5.96-inch display. It debuts Android 5.0 Lollipop, the new version of Google's mobile OS.

It's a powerful handset with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset and 3GB of RAM. There are options for 32 or 64GB of internal storage, but no support for microSD expansion.

The display is not only large, but takes a step up in resolution, with a 2560 x 1440 pixel panel. That makes it a higher resolution than the Nexus 9 tablet it launched alongside.

It has been build by Motorola and uses much the sam design as the Moto X, with a curved soft-touch back. The Nexus is no longer a cheap device, however, starting at $649, on pre-order from 17 October, in stores 4 November. UK pricing and availability is still to be confirmed.

READ MORE Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

The surprise launch of Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 was the Note Edge. We'd seen it as a concept, but never thought that Samsung would actually bring it to the phablet.

It features a curved extension of the display, so the right-hand edge has a strip that's available to be customised, so it can have shortcuts or live widgets on it. The idea is to give you the full expanse of the QHD display.

Otherwise this device packs in the full specs of the regular Note 4, so it's also a powerhouse. We're not entirely sold on how we'd get to grips with the additional edge area, but you can't fault Samsung for pushing innovation.

Certainly, if you want something a little different, the the Note Edge is the device for you. It's available in the US (7 Nov) for $399 and Vodafone has confirmed it will be ranging the Edge in the UK, with a 12 December launch date.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy Note Edge first impressions

Google Project Ara

Created by Motorola, and now shifted over to Google after the sale of Motorola to Lenovo, Project Ara isn't due to early 2015 but is essentially an exoskeleton that allows users to modify what parts they want. That way someone that wants to spend the bulk of their budget on the camera, but doesn't need as much storage, can chose to upgrade that way. Perhaps one person will skip NFC in favour of faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi, for example.

There should also be third party components on offer that will allow for competitive pricing as well as new types of parts - like sensors. A person with diabetes may want a blood sugar sensor where another may not.

Users can also looks forward to different textured options that they can 3D print off at home themselves. The speed this phone can develop at, without costing us as much, is very exciting indeed.

READ MORE Google's Project Ara modular smartphone: Everything you need to know



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