Coming next: 15 great smartphones that will hit the market soon

Coming next: 15 great smartphones that will hit the market soon
Like every other industry, the smartphone biz has its highs and lows in terms of manufacturer activity. Currently, we could argue that we're in the latter phase, with most noteworthy devices of the first half of the year already available to consumers. Thankfully, in as hyperactive industry as ours, that doesn't mean that no worthwhile devices are expected to make their market debut relatively soon. 

We rounded up a whole bunch of such smartphones, all of which are either just starting out their shelf life, or are expected to do so in short time. Mostly high-end in nature, the gadgets underneath will all vie for your attention. Luckily, almost without exception, all of them are deserving of it.

Here we go!

Sony Xperia Z4v

The Verizon-exclusive Sony Xperia Z4v was only made official two days ago, and is expected to land on Big Red's shelves by the end of the summer. Unlike the Sony Xperia Z4/Z3+, however, the Z4v flaunts a few improvements — like a Quad HD (1440x2560) resolution display and a slightly larger, 3,000 mAh battery. On the other hand, these bumps came at a price: The Z4v is made out of plastic, not metal and glass.

Sony Xperia Z3+

We mentioned the Xperia Z3+ already, but that doesn't mean that the handset is at all widely available at the moment. The flagship is expected to make its market debut at the end of the month in some regions, though if history taught us anything, it probably will be a while until it reaches some key markets, including the US. Hopefully, we're wrong this time around.

Huawei P8max

The Huawei P8max is a monster. No, really — at 6.8 inches, this is one gigantic smartphone, and luckily for all phablet aficionados the rest of the specs sheet is equally opulent. We're looking at an octa-core, 64-bit HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor running at up to 2.2GHz, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera with optical stabilization and dual LED flash, and 1W loudspeaker. The P8max is expected to start selling this month, though regional availability remains unknown.

ZTE Nubia Z9

We recently covered the ZTE Nubia Z9 in our Monsters from Asia column, and for a good reason — this is one hell of a device. We're talking near bezel-less design (at the sides), a fingerprint scanner, 5.2-inch (1080p) display, an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, up to 4 gigs of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera that comes with optical stabilization. 

Asus ZenFone Zoom

The Asus ZenFone Zoom was announced as far back as January, but it's only now that it is finally expected to hit the market. The Zoom, as the name suggests, is a camera-centric device, with a 13-megapixel camera with optical stabilization, dual LED flash, and 3x optical zoom. The rest of the specs aren't half bad, either — we've got a 5.5-inch, 1080p display, a quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, up to 4 gigs of RAM, and 3,000 mAh juicer.

Lenovo Vibe Shot

Speaking of cameraphones, we can't gloss over Lenovo's Vibe Shot — a direct ZenFone Zoom competitor. Like Asus' gadget, the Vibe Shot also comes with a high-powered, 16-megapixel camera that is also optically stabilized and accompanied by a dual LED flash. We also have a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution, an octa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 2,900 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is almost certainly already available in your region, but it wasn't until recently that the Galaxy S6 Active was made official on AT&T's waves. The hardware on the S6 Active is identical to the standard S6 (and eccentric S6 edge), save for the materials it's made of — they allow for iP68 (water- and dust-resistant at up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes) and MIL-STD-810G (resistant to pretty much everything, including humidity, shock, salt, dust, solar radiation, etc) certifications. 

The S6 Active is already available on AT&T.

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Sony Xperia C4

There's a third Sony device expected to soon make its market debut, but unlike the other two, this one is actually a bit lower in the food chain. Still, the Xperia C4 is a phablet-sized (5.5 inches, 1080p) device with an octa-core, 64-bit MediaTek MT6752 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel main camera, and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. That last one is supposed to be the highlight of the device, as Sony has self-styled it "the best selfie smartphone". We'll see about that.

Asus ZenFone Selfie

Speaking of selfies, the Asus ZenFone Selfie totes a 13-megapixel front cam with two LED flashes up front. The rest of its specs sheet reads like a top-end mid-ranger — a 5.5-inch, 1080p display, octa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor, up to 3 gigs of RAM, a 13-megapixel main camera with laser autofocus and dual LED flash, plus a 3,000 mAh battery. The Selfie is expected to land at some point in the third quarter

Sharp Aquos Crystal 2

Sharp's devices are seldom seen outside of Japan, and this is unlikely to change. Still, the splash resistant Aquos Crystal 2, with its super-efficient design (over 77% screen-to-body ratio), is a device worth mentioning. The mid-ranger sports a 5.2-inch display with a 720p resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 2,030 mAh battery. The phone is expected to hit Japan next month.

Sharp Aquos Xx

As long as we're on the topic of Sharp, we might as well get through the Aquos Xx — another device we recently featured in our fortnightly Monsters from Asia column. Unlike the Crystal 2, the Aquos Xx is a flagship device, with a 5.7-inch, 1080p display, an octa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 810 chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,000 mAh cell. The Xx is also splash resistant.


HTC's crazed new pace is now a fact, cemented by the latest addition to its top-end line — the One ME.

The One ME is no joke, though, for it is set to debut as the world's first device toting MediaTek's Helio X10 octa-core, 64-bit processor. Complementing the new chip are 3 gigs of RAM, tucked under a 5.2-inch, Quad HD (1440x2560) display. There's also a 20-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, a fingerprint scanner, and a 2,840 mAh battery. The One ME is slated for launch in Asia, though neither price, nor release date are yet available. Still, our guess would be within a few months' time.

Meizu m2 Note

With a price tag the equivalent of about $169, the Meizu m2 Note is one device we'll be keeping an eye out — after all, for that kind of money, Meizu is giving away quite a bit of hardware. We've got a 5.5-inch, 1080p IGZO display, an octa-core, 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,100 mAh cell. The device is already available for pre-order, and is expected to start shipping out in the first weeks of July. 

Vivo X5Pro

Another hot Chinese find was the mid-range vivo X5Pro — an very thin (0.25 in / 6.4 mm) device with a premium build. Under the 5.2-inch (1080p) hood we have an octa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chip, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus, an 8-megapixel selfie snapper, and a 2,300 mAh juicer. Oh, and did we mention the X5Pro's iris scanning tech up front? Yep, it's there in lieu of a fingerprint scanner. The phone is already available in China for the equivalent of $443.

Gionee Elife E8

For our last slot, we have yet another Chinese device (no surprise there) that you'll be able to source online at some point in the near future — the Gionee Elife E8.

The E8 is quite the big deal in terms of both appearances and specs — you're looking at a 6-incher with a Quad HD (1440x2560) AMOLED display, an octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor, 3GB of RAM, and — most impressively — a 24-megapixel main camera with optical stabilization! As was rumored before the actual announcement of the Elife E8 took place, the phone will be capable of stitching together images as large as 100 megapixels. The Gionee Elife E8 is expected to be made available for purchase on July 15th for the equivalent of $645.



1. 99nights

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Z4v made out of plastic compared to it's previous versions. Not really into that..

9. Simona unregistered

Huawei P8 MAX BEST Parena u have completelly WRONG picture for Vivo X5Pro ! the real pictures are these :​cture/x5pro-high-figure.png?v=2

13. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Woops, that's actually the Oppo Neo 5 (2015) that I decided not to include. Correct image added.

35. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Huawei sucks overall. Overpriced. Chinese software. Inferior hardware (SOC.) From whaT I hear the only thing they're really good at is signal, switching towers and etc, so as a phone to make calls it might be a winner.

10. waddup121 unregistered

oh really.hmmmm

24. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

Why? Because the tech press has convinced you plastic is inferior? They're wrong.

29. waddup121 unregistered

Cant wait for Fall!

2. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Should have included the Oppo R7 and R7 Plus.

3. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

The C4 is just an over priced phone

6. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 455; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Don't you know about the Sony tax?

4. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

PA shouldn't include devices with SD 810

5. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 455; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Every phone is too big, I'm sick of this.

18. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Seems like the only alternatives for people who don't have King Kong hands are Z3 Compact or iPhones. Or 2 year flagships

7. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

The bottom bezels should have been like C4. This and C4 are the two phones with unbalanced top-bottom bezels from Sony.

8. Mobilephile

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Every phone is too small except Huawei. I'm sick of this.

11. Cheezwiz

Posts: 500; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

The Zenfone Zoom just reminds me: "Hey, manufacturers. Don't announce a phone unless it's going to release in the next month (or few weeks)." It's still the most interesting phone on this list for me but, sheesh, I had almost forgotten about it.

12. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

Anyone else notice all teh new phones look exactly like the old ones.. Like computers I think Phones are going to have a hard time getting faster or really improving the cameras. I mean all range of sizes have been done and the sweet spot has been found on most all platforms. The only thing left to make a difference will be OS OR unique features. Blackberry is dead, but QWERTY still has its fans. I know many of you don't like or think they are old or antiquated. But its been years since my DellVenuePro and I still cant type without a s**tton of errors on the screen.. I was SO Much faster with a QWERTY. Someone ought to do it.. because all versions of a square have been done.. cameras can only get but so much better. I think if someone took the gamble it would pay off more than they know. I might even switch from WindowsPhone to Android if they came out with a nice high end portrait QWERTY with a 5" screen (think 1520 with a 930 screen), camera like a 925/1520 and keyboard like the old HTC Dash 3G. They quit making them because a flat slab was cheaper.. and most with normal hands got used to typing on screens. But I think they would be VERY Surprised how well a high quality QWERTY would sell if someone would just make one.

15. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

With Win10 on the horizon, they could have included at least one Windows Phone.

16. unregistered

I went through the list and saw 2 phones, my eyes could not see the other ones. I saw the s6 Active and the Huawei P8 max. I looked again and almost saw something like Vibescot or shot or whatever it is.

17. justForTheRecord

Posts: 51; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

Nutz ... another season with nothing reasonably sized for big Red. I love my Dare but it really is time to upgrade. Sadly, I don't want these phablets the kids are so fond of ... when is someone going to pick up that nifty Sony Xperia Z3 Compact?!?!

19. CitizenX

Posts: 41; Member since: Jun 27, 2014

Microsoft 940!!!!!!!! On the nod PA

20. gaming64 unregistered

All which aren't worth buying but yeah, choice is choice in the world of phones.

21. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Overheating Z3+ made it...

22. eidsonb

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

What no Blackberry slider?

23. eidsonb

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

And No, BB is far from dead

25. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

15 phones and not one has microSD or a removable battery, or is that just not being reported?

27. dafrizzy

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

The Z4v does have a microSD but no removable battery. Both of which I'm looking for in a phone myself. I like the LG G4, but it's way to big so I'll be waiting and content with my Galaxy S4 in the meantime.

28. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

It's too bad the author of the article didn't mention that. I'm in the same boat as you--waiting--but fortunately I'm not in a particular rush. I just like to keep up on these things in case I am in a rush at some point.

33. TezzaBP

Posts: 274; Member since: May 18, 2015

The Zenfone Zoom has a microSD too

26. dafrizzy

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

So if you actually follow the link for the specs on the Z4v there is only mention of glass and metal, no mention of plastic being used. Personally I enjoy polymers being used in my phones due to the fact of greater memory retention in the materials. Once it's formed, it takes a fair bit of effort to break that retained memory in the material. Metal, well that isn't a property unless it a specifically designed alloy.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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