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 handsets for 2019:
- Motorola Razr Folding phone
- Sony Xperia 2 and Xperia 20
- Apple iPhone XI
- Apple iPhone XR the second
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10
- Google Pixel 4
- Huawei Mate 30
- Huawei Mate X
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
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. Little has been said, but a Lenovo exec has confirmed that Motorola doesn't want to get left behind in launching its own folding handset and even showed a fan video in a presentation. There's no smoke without fire, right?
Sony Xperia 2
Sony Mobile has pushed out phones every 6 months recently and the emergence of the Xperia 2 and 20 suggests this might happen again. A couple of concept devices have surfaced showing that 21:9 display in a new phone and some rearrangement of the cameras, but little else is known so far. Still, it's Sony, so we wouldn't be surprised to see these phones appear in September 2019.
Apple iPhone XI
At this point in time it's hard to know what Apple will call its next iPhone. We're expecting two sizes and we're not expecting a huge shift in design, but so far there are very few rumours. It was originally thought it wouldn't be a 5G handset, but since Apple has ceased its spat with Qualcomm, that could quickly change. There could also be a triple camera system on the rear, which has drawn some early concept renders. Expect this update to arrive in September 2019.
Apple iPhone XR the second
There's no telling what Apple might call its next Apple iPhone XR - its cheaper model - but with the news that a couple of new colours are being considered, it puts this phone back on the radar. We're not expecting a huge change, but it might see a move to a dual camera experience to keep it competitive with rivals. We're not expecting to see it until September 2019.
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.
Google Pixel 4
The Pixel 3a has just been announced and we wouldn't expect to see a new Google phone until October 2019, but people have already started talking about it, leading to some interesting concept images. We're expecting Google to keep following the design lines it has already set out with a two-texture rear, and with that great camera available in a £399 handset - the Pixel 3a - there's a suspicion that Google will move to a dual camera system.
Huawei Mate 30
There's been some talk about Huawei's next phone, but recent troubles that the company is experiencing might put a spanner in the works. The stand-off with the US Government might mean that Huawei is limited in what it can put into the Mate 30. We're sure the company will be readying this device for launch in China, but without a resolution, there are some real challenges that the company might face in launching this phone.
Huawei Mate X
Setting the standard for folding phones, the Huawei Mate X took a lot of people by surprise, throwing the Galaxy Fold into the shade when it was unveiled at MWC 2019. However, with Huawei's current troubles, there's a question mark over what happens to this great device. Will it get the planned launch? EE - who had been expected to offer it - said that Huawei devices were "on pause". Will this be the greatest phone that never launched?
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 following faults with early models.