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 2020. 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:
- Samsung Galaxy S20/S20+/S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
- Nokia 8.2 5G
- Xiaomi Mi 10 & Mi 10 Pro
- Sony Xperia 5 Plus/Next Xperia phone
- LG G9 ThinQ
- Apple iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9
- Oppo Find X2
- Huawei P40 & P40 Pro
- Huawei Mate Xs
- OnePlus 8 & 8 Pro
- OnePlus 8 Lite
- Google Pixel 4a
- Apple iPhone 12 5G
- Nokia 9.2 PureView
Samsung Galaxy S20 & S20+ & S20 Ultra
There has been a flood of rumours for Samsung's 2020 phones and Samsung has scheduled Galaxy Unpacked for 11 February were this phone is likely to launch. It's said that the punch hole in the display will be getting smaller - following the path the Note 10 took - and that it will have that Auro Glow colour, but the real story is likely to be about integrated 5G. Will the SGS20 just offer handsets that work on all bands? It's also thought that the camera module on the back will grow - big cameras, it seems, are now a thing. We're expecting to see three models: Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Another Samsung phone rumoured to be launching on 11 February is the Galaxy Z Flip, or SM-F700. It's a clamshell-style folding phone with a 6.7-inch display. It's rumoured to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, but the price is supposed to be a lot lower than the previous folding phone from Samsung. It's recently been named as the Galaxy Z Flip.
Nokia 8.2 5G
Nokia and Qualcomm have been talking up affordable 5G handsets based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Series hardware. We know they are coming but we don't know a lot more about what these phones will offer - besides faster connection speeds. What's confirmed is that we'll get a 5G Nokia phone and it's likely to appear at MWC 2020. We suspect it will be called the Nokia 8.2 because that's a mid-range phone waiting to be upgraded - and we think it will run the Snapdragon 765.
Xiaomi Mi 10 & Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi has confirmed that the Mi 10 will be launching in 2020 and has revealed one important detail - that it's going to be one of the first phones to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 platform. We suspect that means that the Mi 10 will be announced ahead of the pack, perhaps in January for China, followed by a global launch in February. We're also expecting two variants of this phone, a Pro model with 108-megapixel camera and the regular with a 64-megapixel main camera.
Sony Xperia 5 Plus / Next Xperia phone
Appearing under the name Xperia 5 Plus, this phone could be called all sorts of things. There's a few details that have leaked along with these images, showing a flattened-edge design and lots of cameras on the rear. It looks like Sony is stick to 21:9 for the display, be reducing those bezels for a better result. We're expecting this to be flagship grade and with a 6.6-inch display it's going to be pretty big.
LG G9 ThinQ
The standout feature for the LG G9 appears to be the camera system on the back of the phone. The display is around 6.6 inches, and the design overall looks a lot like the LG G8, except for the camera changes on the rear. That looks like the focus for LG, boosting the camera performance in this phone.
Apple iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9
This one comes around every year, but now we have a better idea of Apple's next affordable phone. Rumours say that the iPhone SE 2 - or iPhone 9 as it might be called - will basically be an updated version of the iPhone 8. It will be designed to be affordable to draw people into the Apple system without having to pay big bucks for the latest models.
Oppo Find X2
The original Oppo Find X wanted to fix the notch problem by having a pop-up camera. Now there's reports that Oppo is going to use an under-display camera for the next iteration of the Find X, due to launch in 2020. Paired with Snapdragon 865 - something Oppo has already confirmed - it could be a really interesting phone.
Huawei P40 & P40 Pro
Huawei hasn't had an easy ride in 2019, but it still has a huge market in China that's not affected by the US trade bans that affect its business in other regions of the globe. Despite this, there's plenty of rumours circulating about the new phone. We're expecting it to launch in Paris in March and that it will have a 64-megapixel main camera, part of a five-camera Leica system. While it won't launch with Google services, Huawei will offer alternatives to keep you connected.
Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei is said to be looking at a second-generation of folding phone, wanting something that's slightly more robust and coming in at a cheaper price than the original. Enter the Mate Xs, which is said to have a more substantial hinge, a display that's cheaper to manufacture and a slightly different form factor.
OnePlus 8 & 8 Pro
The design of the OnePlus 8 has already leaked - and it's got a punch hole front camera on the display. Basically, it looks like a Samsung phone, with a curved display, the punch hole and a triple camera on the rear. We'd expect this phone to launch on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 hardware, and probably see a launch around April 2020. There will also be an 8 Pro and we're expecting a 120Hz display on these phones.
OnePlus 8 Lite
OnePlus looks like it's going to offer an affordable phone of its own in the OnePlus 8 Lite. This phone might sit on MediaTek hardware and make a few compromises, but may well offer a more affordable entry point to OnePlus' devices. It's rumoured to be launching alongside the OnePlus 8 - and it could well be an affordable 5G handset too.
Google Pixel 4a
Google's affordable handset offers access to that great Google camera, but in a phone that's more affordable. It looks like there's going to be a Pixel 4a to appeal to those on a tighter budget, along with a punch hole front camera, 3.5mm headphone socket and a single camera on the back. We're expecting to see it launch around May 2020. It's rumoured that we're not getting a 4a XL in 2020, however.
Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 5G
With the iPhone 11 series launched and out of the way, the big question over 5G remains. Apple had said it wouldn't launch a 5G phone in 2019 and it didn't - but long before the iPhone 11 surfaced there were rumours about the 2020 iPhone - the iPhone 12. There's talk of a new squarer design, no notch, 5G and OLED displays for all three models. But is this just a fan wishlist?
Nokia 9.2 PureView
The word on the street is that Nokia wants to update the Nokia 9, but to get it on Snapdragon 865 it's delaying until later in 2020 - most likely IFA in August. That's probably because of the work needed to get the camera system working on the new hardware. Where was the Nokia 9.1? A rumoured Snapdragon 855 version never appeared, which might account for the 9.1