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. We've now taken Sony's latest - the Xperia XZ2 Premium - out of this list because we now got full details on it even though it won't be launched until the Summer.
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.
The upcoming generation of phones
Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated upcoming handsets for 2018:
- OnePlus 6
- LG G7
- HTC U12
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Apple iPhone 9 and iPhone XI
- BlackBerry KeyTwo
- Google Pixel 3
OnePlus might be moving towards a display with a notch design, suggested by a recent leak. We've seen Oppo flaunting a new design for the R15 with a notch at the top and we suspect that this will be the foundation for the OnePlus 6. That might see the entirety of the front of the phone being the display, with practically no bezel.
OnePlus will almost certainly use Snapdragon 845 with Android Oreo and Oxygen OS tweaks, while rocking a dual camera system on the back along with a rear fingerprint scanner. OnePlus has started teasing the new launch, the company has confirmed that stock of the OnePlus 5T is now gone, so we're expecting an announcement in May.
LG G7 ThinQ
LG changed direction on the LG V30 slightly, shifting the messaging from "great for videographers" to "great for everyone" - and it is, it's a great flagship smartphone. Updated with the V30S ThinQ, it's not a new phone - there's something else to come for 2018. The company has now confirmed that its next phone will be the LG G7 ThinQ - and it's launching on 2 May 2018.
Rumours about the G7 ThinQ have swung back and forth, with a device popping up at MWC 2018, most likely in an off-stand preview room, with the codename Neo. That had a 6-inch OLED display with a notch, powered by Snapdragon 845 with a dual 16-megapixel on the rear. Subsequent rumours have suggested that it's actually called Judy and won't use OLED, but will move to MLCD+ instead.
HTC added the HTC U11+ to its 2017 line-up late in the game, shifting to an 18:9 display and boosting a number of areas of the phone. No sooner was the U11+ on sale, but the U12+ started to see some serious rumours.
HTC said that it would be making a return to dual cameras in 2018 and that's something we now see in the leaks. Elsewhere you're looking at a design that seems to carry forward everything started in the U11+ but updating it. You're looking at Snapdragon 845, IP68 water protection and a pairing of 12 and 16-megapixel cameras on the rear of the phone.
It is expected to make an appearance in May 2018.
Also check out: Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium release date, news and features
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Note 8 had barely gone on sale when Samsung started 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.
There's talk of a larger display, perhaps 6.4 inches, a huge battery while there's a lot of debate around whether there will be an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Many expect there will.
Apple iPhone 9 and/or iPhone XI, iPhone X2
The iPhone X is a celebration of 10-years of iPhone. It's also super-premium and expensive. 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 but there may also be an iPhone SE2 before then, too.
BlackBerry Mobile maker TCL has announced a new bronze version of the KeyOne, but in doing so, also confirmed that BlackBerry Mobile has plans for new phones in 2018. Not just one phone, two, in fact. Recent leaks have suggested that there's a KeyTwo in the works - or it could be the KeyOne 2, we don't yet have a confirmed name.
You can expect updated specs, a slightly more angular design and a sleeker look.
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Google's go-it-alone phone strategy has thrown up a clutch of phones with very good cameras. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are heralded as some of the best cameras out there, without all the fiddle of complicated apps and multiple lenses. Pure Android software with Pixel exclusives serve this smartphone well - and we know there's another update in the works.
The name Pixel 3 was found in recent software code and after picking up most of HTC's smartphone team, we suspect Google will be looking to right the wrongs of the Pixel 2 XL which misjudged the display colour tuning. However, we expect the emphasis will be on Android P, AI and those super camera skills.