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:
- Honor View 20
- Samsung Galaxy S10 & 10+
- Samsung Galaxy S10 X
- Samsung Galaxy S10 E
- Huawei P30 & P30 Pro
- Motorola Razr
- Moto G7
- Pixel 3 Lite
- LG G8
- Nokia 9 PureView
- Sony Xperia XZ4
- LG folding phone
- Samsung Galaxy F or X
- Apple iPhone XI
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 5G phone
Honor View 20
The View 20 from Honor has been announced in China and offers a "hole punch" selfie camera, meaning it can ditch the notch - which should be a big trend for 2019. This phone is launching on 22 January for Europe, offering a mid-range price but technologically advanced handset that's setting trends. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
Samsung's design changes in 2018 weren't huge, but there's something big coming in 2019 - the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+. Samsung has confirmed that the S10 will be launching on 20 February at Galaxy Unpacked - so we'll soon know everything.
There's been a lot of talk about in-display fingerprint scanners, while the latest set of leaks suggest that Samsung might be moving to five cameras - that's three on the back and two on the front. Elsewhere there's talk of punch-hole camera in the display for a completely seamless front - Infinity-O.
Samsung Galaxy S10 X
Said to the top of the line from Samsung's new generation of handsets, the Galaxy S10 X is said to have a 6.7-inch display and have a ceramic back rather than glass. There's also talk of three rear and two front cameras, 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage - as well as 5G. Yes, this is very much the handset to celebrate 10 years of Samsung Galaxy phones - but the reported price of £1399 might put some off. It might not launch in the UK, instead targeting the US and Korean markets.
Samsung Galaxy S10 E
Finishing up the Samsung family is the Galaxy S10 E. This cheaper version of the S10 has long been rumoured, also called the S10 Lite, designed to appeal to those who can't stretch to the whole S10 experience. But it looks like you might not miss out on much - it will likely be as powerful as the larger phones, perhaps with a dip in RAM, with a 5.8-inch display. It's even said to have a dual camera on the rear. We suspect it's designed to rival the iPhone XR.
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. Huawei has an event scheduled for MWC 2019 on 24 February, so it might appear then.
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.
Motorola Moto G7
Lenovo could be lining up a new collection of Moto G handsets as it fights for the mid-range. The Moto G was once the darling of affordable handsets, but then lots of Chinese brands came crashing in and Nokia came back to life. But it looks like Moto G7 will arrive in G7, G7 Plus and G7 Play formats. The launch might not be until around May 2019, but you can expect this budget line to keep on fighting.
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 is reported to be launching at Mobile World Congress in February 2019 and one of the inclusions will be Sound on Display - so there are no speakers as the sound can come from the screen itself. LG has flip-flopped on this handset, reacting to leaked renders on Twitter to say it wasn't the G8. It's been quite the furore in leak land.
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 XZ4 Compact?
Japanese phone maker Sony is expected to update its flagship phone with the Xperia XZ4 - and we're expecting a launch in February 2019. 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.
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 F
Or is it the Galaxy X? Talk about Samsung's folding phone has circulated for a couple of years, but with an official unveil of a prototype, there's now a lot more buzz about the launch of this device. We don't know what it will be called, but there's rumours that the phone with the Infinity Flex display might be launched at MWC 2019, or at the Galaxy Unpacked event on 20 February. There's also rumours that it will cost about $2000/£1400. Wow.
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. The teaser image looks a lot like the OnePlus 6T, but it's hidden in a case, so it's difficult to tell exactly what the design will be.