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Best new phones expected in 2018

Posted: , by Victor Hristov Victor Hristov

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Best new phones expected in 2018
What can we expect to see in terms of new phones in 2018? What will be the best new phone to buy in 2018?

With most smartphone makers already settled on a yearly upgrade cycle and with some leaks and rumors, we already have a rough idea of when the most anticipated phones of 2018 will come. We know more about some devices than about others, and with so much time before the actual releases things are surely subject to change, but if you want to get a general idea of what next year will look like in terms of mobile tech, read on.

The big focus of 2018 flagship Android phones will be the new Snapdragon 845 system chip and the improvements that it brings. In 2017, most if not all flagship phones ran on the Snapdragon 835, and we are curious to see whether the 845 will repeat Qualcomm's success. On Apple's side of things, we are curious to see what the company brings in terms of AR and Face ID, plus: how will it actually call the iPhone X successor?

With no further ado, let's get on to our list of the most anticipated phones of 2018.

PhoneExpected FeaturesRelease TimeExpected price
Sony Xperia XZ Pro 2018First edge-to-edge Sony phone, 4K displayJune$800
Nokia 9Innovative multi-lens Zeiss cameraApril$700
Huawei P20New triple camera setup, enhanced AI featuresApril$600
Huawei Mate 20Great battery life, performance and camera improvementsOctober$800
Moto Z3 ForceUnbreakable display, performance and camera improvementsAugust$700
Essential Phone 2Improved cameraAugust$700
HTC U12Edge-to-edge screen, new cameraApril-May$700
LG G7New V series-inspired design, overall improvementsApril$600
LG V40Focus on pro features like audio quality and video recordingOctober$800
OnePlus 6In-display fingerprint scanner, Snapdragon 845June$500
OnePlus 6TNot yet knownNovember$500
Google Pixel 3New edge-to-edge design, new Android version, new AI featuresOctober$650
Google Pixel 3 XLImproved display quality, new Android version, new AI featuresOctober$850
Samsung Galaxy S9Variable aperture camera, new fingerprint scanner location, performance improvementRelease March-April$750
Samsung Galaxy S9 PlusVariable aperture camera, dual camera, new fingerprint scanner location, performance improvementRelease March-April$850
Samsung Galaxy Note 9In-display fingerprint scanner, better S PenSeptember-October$950
Apple iPhone 96.1" edge-to-edge LCD display, no 3D Touch, new AR featuresSeptember 21st, 2018$700
Apple iPhone X 2018Performance and camera improvements, new AR featuresSeptember 21st, 2018$1,000
Apple iPhone 9 Plus6.5" OLED edge-to-edge screen, new higher price, focus on camera performance, new AR featuresSeptember 21st, 2018$1,000+

Sony Xperia XZ Pro (2018)

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Expected price: $800

Why wait for it: first bezel-less phones, premium design, 4K screens

Current Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony stirred things up with the Xperia XZ Premium in 2017: it was the first phone with a mind-boggling 4K resolution on a 5.5-inch LCD display. Considering that the overwhelming majority of people cannot even tell the difference between a Quad HD resolution and Full HD resolution on phones, it was a move that was more about virtual reality enthusiasts and just showing off than anything else. And despite its little practical advantage, many people love devices that go over the edge, so... we expect Sony to continue showing off with a "premium" Xperia phone in 2018. Such a phone could be announced early in the year with a release in the early summer months. This time around, Sony should adopt an edge-to-edge display as well.

Nokia 9

Expected release date: Spring 2018
Expected price: $700

Why wait for it: big bets on camera

Best new phones expected in 2018

HMD Global brought us the beloved Nokia brand in phones in 2017, but it could not make a huge splash. We expect its next flagship to be better - it has to be, if the brand wants to make it big. Nokia has traditionally focused on having great camera and we expect the new Nokia 9 premium flagship in 2018 to do just that: offer a great smartphone package with an outstanding camera with Zeiss optics.

Huawei P20/Mate 20

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
Expected prices: $600 / $800

Why wait for it: Huawei looks to bring new AI features

Best new phones expected in 2018

Huawei is still not a company that many people in the United States know about, but it has made it big worldwide. In fact, it's now the world's third-largest phone maker. It has two top-tier devices, a bit like Samsung's S and Note series: those are the Huawei P series that launch in spring, and Huawei's Mate series that launch in the fall. We expect the new P11 to bring an edge-to-edge display in a more affordable package than companies like Apple and Samsung, but we also expect Huawei to lead the way with its own Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments and with its own line of Kirin processors.

Moto Z3 Force

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Expected price: $700

Why wait for it: un-breakable screen and one-of-a-kind modular design

Best new phones expected in 2018

Lenovo-owned Motorola is making some good phones at all price points, from the affordable G series to the mid-range X to the premium Z series. The new 2018 Moto Z3 Force is likely to build up on two key strengths: the unique, unbreakable "ShatterShield" display and the cool modular add-on capability. The phone could launch in the summer with a presentation by the entertaining and knowlegdable Ashton Kutcher as the host.

Essential Phone 2

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Expected price: $700

Why wait for it: phone from Android creator Andy Rubin, second-gen expected to fix first release woes

Best new phones expected in 2018

The creator of the Android platform itself, Mr. Andy Rubin, created a new company in 2017 to help steer Android phones in the right direction: away from gimmicks, and onto the "essentials". The result was the Essential Phone, a device rushed to market with a way-too-high price, unpolished software and lackluster camera. We criticized the Essential Phone sharply, but it has improved tremendously with updates over the past few months and it has gotten a massive price cut to just $500, making it a much better value-for-the-money phone now.


Expected release date: Spring 2018
Expected price: $700

Why wait for it: Make-or-break phone for HTC

Best new phones expected in 2018

HTC is focused on making great phones as the company is in shambles financially and every device it makes could well be its last if it does not get enough traction. We are excited about such companies, as we know for sure that they will give their absolute best. We were mostly impressed with this year's HTC U11, but next year's HTC U12 is expected to take things further: expect an edge-to-edge screen, an ever greater camera and some much needed improvement to the HTC Sense custom Android user interface. The phone will likely go official sometime in spring of 2018 and be a true flagship phone. One interesting thing about HTC is that a large part of the company's engineering team was acquired by Google. Will that affect the upcoming U12 or other future phones? We don't know, but it would be interesting to see how HTC does from here on.

LG G7/V40

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
Expected prices: $600 / $800

Why wait for it: LG mobile division losses will push it to excellence

Best new phones expected in 2018

LG has made some great phones in 2017: its LG V30 in particular was widely seen as setting a new standard for LG in terms of design and finish, but LG phones still fall short of others when it comes to the camera performance and the somewhat strange-looking interface. LG will likely have two high-end phones next year and we will be looking for fixes: the LG G7 is expected to arrive in the spring and be a smaller-size phone, while the LG V40 is expected late in the fall along with devices like the Note series.

OnePlus 6/6T

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Expected prices: $500+

Why wait for it: Very affordable for what it offers, super fast performance and charging speeds

Best new phones expected in 2018

OnePlus is a company that now 4 years of experience in the mobile phone world, so it's not quite the start-up it was a few years ago. Its 2017, the OnePlus 5 and 5T were mature, well-designed phones with super-fast performance and a clean and likable Oxygen OS interface. In 2018, we expect the OnePlus 6 and 6T. Our hopes are that OnePlus pushes things when it comes to camera performance, which currently is not quite flagship-grade.

Google Pixel 3/3 XL

Expected release date: Fall 2018
Expected prices: $650 / $850

Why wait for it: The only phone guaranteed to get Android updates on time, claims to be best camera

Best new phones expected in 2018

Google's Pixel series of phones have quickly grabbed the hearts of Android fans: the spiritual successor to the Nexus family, the Pixels are more premium, but still come with the promise of day 1 software updates (a rarity on Android), they have amazing cameras and a smooth performance unlike that on any other Android handset. The expected Pixel 3 and 3 XL - these should come in the fall of 2018 - have to build upon a successful foundation, but they have to fix a few serious issues. The biggest one is the screen quality: the new Pixels need to get that right. For all else, we expect Google to continue impressing us with advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and to offer the usual bump in performance, slight improvements in battery life and camera. The biggest question towards the new Pixel 3, however, remains availability: will they be available outside of Verizon Wireless and in more markets worldwide?

Samsung Galaxy S9/Note 9

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
Expected prices: $750 / $950

Why wait for it: Samsung to bring innovative camera technology and try to make the interface stutter-free

Best new phones expected in 2018

Samsung is the poster-child of Android, but while its phones are very popular, they are not perfect. In 2018, we expect Samsung to first launch the Galaxy S9 and its larger-sized sibling, the S9 Plus in the spring,  and the Note 9 in the fall. Rumors say Samsung may include a revolutionary new under-screen fingerprint scanner and fix the terrible position of the fingerprint reader on the current S8/Note 8. What we are also eager to see is improvements to performance: the current S8 stutters way too often and just doesn't run as smoothly as an Android flagship should. Finally, one of the biggest pain points of the Galaxy S8 - the awkwardly positioned, out-of-reach fingerprint scanner - will be fixed as the S9 is expected to have a fingerprint reader below the camera, in a much easier to reach spot. The Galaxy Note 9, on the other hand, may even have a futuristic fingerprint scanner built inside the display.

Apple iPhone Xs, 8s and 8s Plus

Expected release date: Fall 2018
Expected prices: $1,000, $800 and $1,000+

Why wait for it: An edge-to-edge affordable iPhone likely, but prices may overall grow further

Best new phones expected in 2018

Apple introduced the $1,000 iPhone X in 2018 with its bezel-less screen and that big notch at the top. In 2018, we expect to see the second-generation iPhone X - let's call it iPhone Xs - a phone that should keep the same size and design styling, but receive a bump in system and camera performance. It's too early to tell what else will be new in the iPhone Xs, but what we know is that the device is likely to be officially announced in mid-September 2018 and launch a week or so after that.

Apple is also likely to upgrade the other two iPhones and introduce an iPhone 8s and 8s Plus of sorts.

Rumors so far point that there will be one iPhone with a 6.1-inch LCD screen that might have an edge-to-edge screen, but no 3D touch.

The interesting thing is that the Plus model could transform into a very pricey affair with a 6.5-inch OLED screen. All of these are early rumors so far, so take them with a grain of salt..

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