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 and early 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 2018 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 2018:
- Sony Xperia XZ3 (announced but not yet released)
- Apple iPhone 9 and iPhone XS
- Apple iPhone SE
- Google Pixel 3
- LG V40
- OnePlus 6T
- Samsung Galaxy S10
Sony Xperia XZ3
Sony launched the Xperia XZ2 at Mobile World Congress 2018, then suddenly announced the XZ2 Premium with a dual-camera system. The XZ3 has been announced but has not been released - hence why we've kept it in this list.
- Sony Xperia XZ3 release date, news and rumours
- Sony Xperia XZ3 initial review: Finally, the Xperia flagship we've been waiting for
Apple iPhone 9 and iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus
The iPhone X was a celebration of 10-years of iPhone. It's also super-premium and expensive. And it seems 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 think we'll get an iPhone XS to replace the iPhone X and an iPhone XS Plus with a whopping 6.5-inch display.
There will also be a cheaper 6.1-inch iPhone, which may well be the iPhone 9 or possibly the iPhone XC or similar. We suspect it will move from stainless steel back to aluminium to bring the price down, while retaining that 19:9 display and Face ID. There may also be an iPhone SE2 to replace the ageing iPhone SE - see below.
Huawei Mate 20
The Mate series is typically the larger of Huawei's flagship smartphone ranges and this year's Mate 20 will feature the new Kirin 980 platform and make its debut on 16 October at an event in London.
The Mate 20 series will continue with the premium design found on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, though it is likely to adopt waterproofing and the notch design of the P20 and P20 Pro.
Apple iPhone SE2
The iPhone SE is the entry-level offering from Apple and also one of the oldest phones still in circulation. Speculation about its replacement has been swirling for some time.
There's been some talk of an updated design to switch to a glass back for the smallest iPhones, but there's still a debate around whether we'd see a notched or no-notch display. Some think that with iOS pushing gesture navigation, that evolving beyond the home button is something that Apple will want to do. But is that too expensive? Read all the rumours for yourself.
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.
These phones have leaked in their entirety and will embrace the notch, meaning even less bezel and the ability to make this big phone a little more compact. Reliable sources suggest an early October Google hardware event, so Pixel 3 is likely to appear in October, running Android Pie.
LG V40 ThinQ
The LG G7 has just been announced and is slowing coming to market, but LG has a two-flagship strategy and there's been a little talk about the LG V40 already. The name was first floated in rumours talking about the LG G7 launch, saying it was scheduled for later in the year.
So far there's been no talk about what the LG V40 might offer. Traditionally it had boosted video offering; at the moment, there's very little out there to go on for LG's next phone.
We've been expecting some news of the OnePlus 6T and now an image has been shared, showing a phone with 15 January 2019 as a date. There is nothing to suggest what the date is for, so we don't yet know if the OnePlus 6T will be later, or if the OnePlus 7 will be early. Or neither.
Assuming a OnePlus 6T does arrive, we wouldn't expect it to be cheaper than the OnePlus 6, meaning a starting price of at least £469 or $529.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
Samsung's changes in 2018 haven't been huge, but there's something big coming in 2019 - the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+. Rumoured to be launching at Mobile World Congress in February/March 2018.
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. There's also talk that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be one of a new generation of 5G capable handsets.
We're sure there will be a lot of leaks to come on the Samsung Galaxy S10 - but things are already gathering pace.