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. We've now taken Sony's latest - the Xperia XZ2 Premium - out of this list because we now got full details on it even though it won't be launched until the Summer.
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:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- Apple iPhone 9 or iPhone XI
- Apple iPhone SE
- Google Pixel 3
- LG V40
- Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Note 8 had barely gone on sale when Samsung started talking about the Note 9. In an interview the development team confirmed that they'd moved straight into planning for the next Note model, including working on enhancing notable features, like the S Pen. Now it's been confirmed that it's launching on 9 August 2018.
There's talk of a larger display, perhaps 6.4 inches, a huge battery while there's a lot of debate around whether there will be an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Many expect there will. You can also be sure that Samsung will continue to push the camera experience, most likely bringing across the dual aperture technology of the Galaxy S9.
Sony Xperia XZ3
Sony launched the Xperia XZ2 at Mobile World Congress 2018, then suddenly announced the XZ2 Premium with a dual-camera system. Such is the Sony way and there's already rumours pointing to another Sony Mobile launch at IFA 2018, in August.
The Sony Xperia XZ3 will likely see a fusion of the XZ2 and XZ2 Premium, taking a Full HD device with a glass back into a slightly slimmer design adorned with a dual camera. The details are fairly scarce, but are gathering momentum.
Apple iPhone 9 and/or iPhone XI, iPhone X2
The iPhone X is a celebration of 10-years of iPhone. It's also super-premium and expensive. But Apple has confirmed that this phone lays the foundations for the next 10 years of the iPhone and we suspect that 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 suspect it will move from stainless steel back to aluminium to bring the price down, while retaining that 19:9 display and using Face ID rather than Touch ID in a home button. We'd expect Apple to offer a couple of sizes in this design, making some differentiation between the two as it does with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus currently. At the moment, however, there's a lot of speculation and not a lot to go on.
We can expect the iPhone 9 to launch in October 2018 but there may also be an iPhone SE2 before then, too.
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.
The biggest leak so far has been around the display, with both device moving to 18:9 aspect. But it looks like the Pixel 3 XL will embrace the notch, meaning even less bezel and the ability to make this big phone a little more compact. Reliable sources suggest a fall/autumn Google hardware event, so Pixel 3 is likely to appear in October, running Android P.
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.
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.