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 2019. 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 2019 elsewhere - those we consider to be the best across all platforms. If your budget is a little smaller, there is also our budget smartphones for under £200 feature - and there's a mid-range roundup up to £400 as well.
The upcoming generation of phones
Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated upcoming handsets for 2019:
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- Samsung Galaxy S10 & 10+
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10e
- Huawei P30 & P30 Pro
- Motorola Razr
- Pixel 3 Lite
- LG G8 ThinQ
- LG V50 ThinQ
- Nokia 9 PureView
- Sony Xperia XZ4
- LG folding phone
- Apple iPhone XI
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 5G phone
Samsung Galaxy Fold
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is no longer a pipedream or a concept, it's a real device that you can buy - if you have a spare $1980. While it's being talked about as a folding phone, you can easily say it's a folding tablet with a screen on the outside. There's a 4.6-inch display on the outside, folding open to the 7.3-inch display inside. There's a lot of software magic, letting you do things like open three apps for multi-tasking, as well as continuity from outside to inside. It will be available in the second quarter of 2019 - but actual availability details are still a little obscure.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
Samsung has officially announced the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the S10+, one of the first devices launched in 2019. The big changes include a triple camera system on the rear - adding wide-angle to the mix - while the display on the front loses bezel and puts a hole in the display instead - something that Samsung calls Infinity-O.
The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ will be widely available, on sale from 8 March in the UK, with prices starting at £799 for the Galaxy S10 and £899 for the Galaxy S10+, but pre-orders have already opened. There will be a Ceramic edition of the S10+ with 12GB RAM and 1TB of storage.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung has announced one of the first commercially available 5G handsets, the Samsung Galaxy 5G. It takes everything that Galaxy S10+ does and bumps it up - it gets a larger 6.7-inch display as well as a four-camera system on the rear of the phone.
We know it's coming to Sprint in the US, we know it will be on Deutsche Telekom and we know it's coming to EE in the UK - but we don't know when or how much it is going to cost.
Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Samsung Galaxy S10e challenges the Apple iPhone XR, taking the S10 experience into a more affordable package at £669. That gives you a smaller, flatter, HD+ display and a dual camera on the rear - but you still get powerful internals, so there's lots to be excited about. It's currently on pre-order and will be available from 8 March.
Huawei P30 & P30 Pro
Chinese phone maker Huawei had a stellar 2018 with the P20 and the Mate 20 - and Pro versions of both those phones. Pushing forward into 2019 we're expecting the big launch of the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. You can expect tech lifted from the Mate 20 to drift into the Huawei flagship, so expect a 7nm Kirin 980 processor and triple camera on the rear, boosting the offering from the Mate 20. We're also expecting a "hole punch" camera on the front rather than a notch. It is will to be launching on 26 March at an event in Paris.
Motorola Moto RAZR
Yes, the Moto RAZR name might be coming back to life with a new Moto RAZR. Rather than just being a retro phone, there's rumours that this will be a folding phone, probably with two displays. That will preserve some of the RAZR clamshell heritage, while giving a modern twist on the genre.
Google Pixel 3 Lite & Pixel 3 Lite XL
Yes, rumours suggest there's a Lite version of the Pixel 3. Packing in the same camera as the flagship devices, a cheaper alternative could really set the cat among the pigeons. It might have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 or 710 platform at its heart, but pure Android Pie and a more affordable price. There's nothing official yet from Google and no idea when - or if - it might launch, but "early Spring 2019" is as good as it gets at the moment, with mention that it's coming to Verizon.
LG G8 ThinQ
LG apparently doesn't want to be behind the curve with its next smartphone - not with 5G in the offering. The LG G8 will be launching at Mobile World Congress in February 2019, including Sound on Display and a time of flight camera. LG has already started starting details about this phone, so soon we'll know everything about it.
LG V50 ThinQ
Rumours of the LG V50 surfaced alongside the LG G8, but little else has been said about this phone. Then an image appeared wearing Sprint's 5G livery and it feels like we suddenly know everything about it. It looks like an evolution of the LG V40, but with Sprint launching 5G in the US in the first half of 2019, this looks like one of the launch devices for the service.
Nokia 9 PureView
The Nokia 9 PureView has been rumoured for a long time; it was talked about in 2017, but looks to be launching as a flagship-level device in 2019. Leaked video has confirmed that it will have a 5.99-inch display and a Zeiss camera with five lenses on the back. Perhaps surprising is that this new phone from Nokia will use the older Snapdragon 845 - so those rumours suggesting that launch had been delayed are probably accurate. When will it launch? Probably in time for Mobile World Congress 2019.
Sony Xperia XZ4 and Xperia 10
Sony is expected to update its flagship phone with the Xperia XZ4 - although it might have a different name. With a new design appearing through the XZ3, Sony will likely move to the Snapdragon 855 to give it the latest powerful hardware, but also move to a triple camera system. This is likely to give more options - perhaps zoom or wide-angle - while also boosting low light shooting. A lower spec phone called the Sony Xperia 10 is also expected.
LG folding phone
LG isn't selling a lot of phones, but the company is always willing to look at new technologies, not only because it has a great display business to showcase. That might be the reason that a folding LG smartphone was rumoured for launch at CES 2019, something that didn't happen. Not much has been said about the folding LG phone, but with LG showing a lot of flexible OLED displays in the past, we can see it happening. Will they call it the LG Flex though?
Apple iPhone XI
At this point in time it's hard to know what Apple will call its next iPhone - but we've already learnt that it won't be a 5G handset. Apple, as is often the case, will be biding its time before leaping in with the new technology. We're expecting two sizes and we're not expecting a huge shift in design, but so far there are very few rumours.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Korean phone maker Samsung's second "big" phone of the year, there's already some talk about the new Galaxy Note 10. The 3.5mm headphone socket might be no more and that the screen will increase in size again, so it's not so close to the Galaxy S10+. There's also been the suggestion that Samsung will continue to avoid the notch - perhaps with in-display cameras. Don't expect to see this phone until August 2019, however.
That's right, there's already talk about the new OnePlus handset. Not much has been said, aside from the fact that OnePlus said it won't be a 5G handset. But OnePlus has said that it will be launching its first 5G handset in 2019, so what does that mean for the OnePlus 7? Does it become a second-tier device? Details are light, but expect a May 2019 launch.
OnePlus 5G phone
OnePlus took to the stage at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit to announce that it would be one of the first with a 5G phone, running on EE with a Snapdragon 855. Having previously said that it wouldn't be the OnePlus 7, it means we're expecting a launch of a new OnePlus device, unless wires have got crossed. We also know that OnePlus is going to be showing off a prototype at MWC 2019.