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.
We've rounded up the best smartphones for 2017, 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 2017: The best phones available to buy today feature. If your budget is a little smaller, there is also our Best budget smartphones 2017: The best phones available to buy for under £200.
Here we're looking at those phones that haven't yet launched, the best upcoming phones for 2017 and 2018. 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.
Best upcoming phones 2017/2018
Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated upcoming handsets for 2017 and 2018:
- Nokia 9
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
- Next Sony Xperia
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Next HTC handset
- iPhone 9
That's right, Nokia's next smartphone is rumoured to be called the Nokia 9 and it's said to be more premium than the recently-announced Nokia 8. That might see the display adopt curved edges with an 18:9 aspect, see the introduction of waterproofing and keep that metal body.
Nokia is also sure to keep the Zeiss partnership going and it will probably offer the bothie function of the Nokia 8 - although we suspect that this newer flagship will also be about premium performance. Rumours suggested that the Nokia 9 would surface in 2017, but with the month running away, it's dubious whether it will be launched this year.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Smartphone giants never sleep and it wasn't long after the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ (pictured) that we started to hear about Samsung's future plans. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is thought to be coming in two sizes once again and sticking with the Infinity Display. Having seen the debut of Samsung's dual camera on the Note 8, we're also expecting to see these zoom skills coming to the S9 too.
Rumours are a little light on the ground, but there's already chatter that it will be running Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and we'd be expecting to see it launch around April 2018.
Next Sony Xperia
Sony churns phones more often you we have hot meals. Having announced the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact and XA1, new then appeared suggesting that Sony wants to change its smartphone design. That's big news, because we've essentially had the same OmniBalance design in Sony Xperia phones since the Xperia Z.
There's no word on what we might see or when we might see it, but it's safe to suggest that MWC 2018 would be a likely venue, although Sony has also used CES to launch devices in the past. Either way, expect to see something early in 2018.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Note 8 has barely gone on sale, but Samsung is already talking about the Note 9. In an interview, the development team confirmed that they'd moved straight into planning for the next Note model, including working on enhancing notable features, like the S Pen.
So there's no firm details at the moment, but we'd expect Samsung to be unveiling the Galaxy Note 9 in late August 2018, with more enhanced S Pen features.
HTC has added the HTC U11+ to its 2018 line-up, shifting to an 18:9 display and boosting a number of areas of this phone. It comes at a strange time, and feels like the foundation for the 2018 flagship. We wouldn't be surprised to see a similar device on new hardware with a couple of additional features launching in April 2018.
Rumours are light on the ground at the moment (including the name), but HTC has come forward and said that it will be making a return to dual cameras in 2018. HTC was the first to put two cameras on the back of its phone in the HTC One M8, and we can't help feeling this is a bid to compete on the spec sheet with rivals like LG and Huawei.
Apple iPhone 9
The iPhone X is a celebration of 10-years of iPhone. It's also super-premium and expansive. But Apple has confirmed that this phone lays the foundations for the next 10 years of the iPhone and we suspect that the 2018 iPhone update will take a lot from the iPhone X.
There's currently no knowing what Apple will call the new iPhone, but we suspect it will move from stainless steel back to aluminium to bring the price down, while retaining that 19:9 display and using Face ID rather than Touch ID in a home button. We'd expect Apple to offer a couple of sizes in this design, making some differentiation between the two as it does with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus currently. At the moment, however, there's no evidence to say exactly what might happen.
We can expect the iPhone 9 to launch in October 2018.