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 £250.
Here we're looking at those phones that haven't yet launched, the best upcoming phones for 2017. 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
Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated upcoming handsets for 2017:
- Samsung Galaxy S8
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
- HTC U/HTC Ocean
- Apple iPhone 8
- Apple iPhone 8 Plus
- OnePlus 5
- Google Pixel 2
HTC Ocean / HTC U
HTC's next flagship handset is thought to be going under the name of HTC U, previously known as HTC Ocean. HTC launched its first handsets for 2017 in the form of the U Play and U Ultra, but at the time said this wasn't the flagship and there was more to come.
It's now thought this more will be coming on 16 May 2017 after the Taiwanese company sent out a save the date to press. The new device is rumoured to offer new methods of interaction, with suggestions of a touch-sensitive frame called Edge Sense. One thing we do know for sure is that it won't be called HTC 11.
According to the speculation, the HTC U will have a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, a 12-megapixel rear camera, 16-megapixel front-facing camera, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, Android 7.1 Nougat and HTC's own Sense 9 UI.
Apple iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 is reported to shake things up completely when it appears later this year. The iPhone 7, surprisingly, didn't make a huge change over the iPhone 6S, but the biggest hint at what to expect from the iPhone 8 might have come from Apple Watch.
With the release of the Series 2 device, Apple introduced a ceramic version. This, paired with the jet black colouring for the iPhone 7, might point to future changes in materials for the iPhone 8. Some are suggesting that the iPhone 8 will be mostly glass and introduce wireless charging, but there's expected to be a special edition ceramic version too.
There have also been talks of an OLED curved display for the iPhone 8, as well as a rear mounted fingerprint sensor. Taking it further, it's suggested that there will be an iPhone 7S and 7S Plus too, alongside this roaring iPhone 8, with the iPhone 8 being the more premium of the three.
Wait, what? No, you're not going mad. There's a rumour that OnePlus will be skipping the 4 number and heading straight to OnePlus 5.
The OnePlus 5 could land with a glass or ceramic body, moving on from the OnePlus 3T to present something a little different. It wouldn't be the first time that OnePlus has used something different, as it did in the OnePlus X.
A 5.3-inch display might meet a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset for loads of power. This could all be heading your way in May or June.
Google Pixel 2
The Google Pixel has received great acclaim for it's pure Google phone approach, with a lot of people really loving the camera experience.
Rumours are light on the Google Pixel 2 - we don't even have confirmation of the name - but it has been confirmed that there will be a new Pixel device in 2017. That was confirmed by Rick Osterloh, SVP of hardware at Google, i.e., the chap who will be responsible for it. Other details are light, but Osterloh also confirmed that the Pixel 2 would retain its premium positioning.
That's about all we know so far, but you can expect Android O, and potentially another phone manufactured by HTC. We'd expect it to launch about October time, about a year after the original.
Nokia made it's play at Mobile World Congress 2017, launching three Android devices. The lead device was the Nokia 6, but notably missing was a true flagship smartphone, colloquially dubbed the Nokia 8.
Originally leaking as the P1, and then finding itself levelled with the name Nokia 8, we're expecting a premium build, with an IP68 rating, a 5.5-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution.
Most of the hardware rumours have said Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, but with plenty of mixed messaging coming from the flagship rumours and those wrapped up in the Nokia 6/5/3, we're going to be watching and waiting to see how the story of Nokia's flagship unfolds.
Microsoft Surface Phone
The Surface Phone is something of a Windows phone holy grail. With Nokia then Microsoft Devices producing plenty of Windows Phones, the spectre of the Surface Phone has been hanging around as the idea of the ultimate Windows mobile device. Given the recent sale of virtually all of its phone patents, and announcement that it's no longer focusing on Windows Phone development, the Surface Phone may never see the light of day.
It's rumoured that the new premium device will be Surface branded and Intel powered, possibly coming in three different variants. Given the same team behind the Surface Tablets are said to be behind the Surface Phone, you can expect a solid build if it ever does appear.
There's also the suggestion that Surface Phone will run a brand new update of Windows 10, aiming to capitalise on the branding and offer the ultimate experience. Launch originally wasn't expected until the latter half of 2016, but this has since shifted to 2017. That's if it appears at all.
Upcoming phones already announced...
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
The company dropped a flat version of the S8, only offering curved devices this time round. It also increased the screen resolution of both to Quad HD+ and bumped up the screen sizes to 5.8 and 6.2-inch sizes, but both those big screens have been packed into more compact bodies.
Samsung's latest Exynos 8895 chipset is on board for oodles of power, although we're expecting a Snapdragon 835 version too, and there has been a move to USB Type-C, following the move of the Note 7. On the software front, the S8 and S8 Plus launch on Android Nougat with TouchWiz and they both sport Samsung's new AI system, Bixby.
The two devices are available for pre-order now, and will hit shelves on 28 April for £689 and £779, respectively.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 preview: The 5.8-incher that's small enough for everyone
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus preview: 6-inches plus, but perfectly manageable
LG announced the LG G6 at MWC 2017, launching a phone with a 18:9 display. It's taller, narrower and designed to make it easier to use the 5.7-inch phone. It's a premium build, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset and packing a pair of cameras on the rear, giving you regular and wide angle shots.
The LG G6 is going to be widely available, and is currently on pre-order in the UK. We have used it, so you can read our full review of this new handset.
Huawei P10 and P10 Plus
Huawei announced the P10 and P10 Plus at MWC 2017, delivering an update to the popular P9 handset. One of the visual changes is a range of interesting colours - it's not just black or grey, it's blue and green.
There's a 5.1-inch display on the P10, a 5.5-inch display on the P10 Plus, packed into a metal body. The P10 offers Full HD, the P10 Plus makes a jump to Quad HD, with both being powered by the Kirin 960 chipset. There's a pair of Leica cameras on the rear, offering monochrome and colour capture separately, with optical image stabilisation.
The Huawei P10 costs around £550, while the larger is expected to be only £50 more. Read our reviews for what we thought.
- Huawei P10 review: Android's iPhone-killer, or flawed imitator?
- Huawei P10 Plus review: Plenty of plusses from Huawei's colourful 5.5-inch phone
The Nokia 6 is now a global device, offering a lovely build on mid-range specs. It has an aluminium body, fronted by a lovely 5.5-inch Full HD display. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset and offers a 16-megapixel camera on the rear, 8-megapixel on the front. Most attractive, however, is that it's pure Android, with no bloat at all - the only thing Nokia changes is the camera app.
The Arte Black special edition (pictured) is only €299, the normal version is €229, meaning this is a serious bargain for Nokia's return to smartphones. There are also Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 handsets, which drop the specs down - the Nokia 6 is our star pick, however.
Moto G5 and G5 Plus
Motorola, now under the stewardship of Lenovo, pitched out the Moto G5 and G5 Plus at MWC 2017, updating it's affordable Android device.
The Moto G5 now offers a metal body on both these devices, with a front fingerprint scanner. The G5 is a 5-inch device, the G5 Plus expands to 5.2-inches; the G5 Plus offers a more advanced camera and is the more powerful handset, with more storage too. That difference is also reflected in the price. The Moto G5 is £169, the Moto G5 Plus is £269.
Both devices will be available in March.
- Moto G5 preview: The best budget phone, now dressed in a full metal jacket
- Moto G5 Plus preview: A big dose of premium, without the prohibitive price tag
BlackBerry is now produced by TCL and the latest device is the BlackBerry KeyOne, formerly known as Mercury. This is a touch and type handset, offering the full glory of Android, with a BlackBerry keyboard on the bottom.
This is a solidly-built handset with a premium finish, with a 3:2 display and powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset. There's plenty of innovation here, like the fingerprint scanner in the space bar.
Priced at £499, it's not hugely expensive for those looking for that keyboard fix paired with an Android experience. It will be available in April.