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Most anticipated upcoming phones in 2018

Posted: , by Victor Hristov Victor Hristov

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Most anticipated upcoming phones in 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, it's time to take a look back to the past and into the future.

We have already summed up the best phones of 2017, but what can we expect to see 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 release 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 12 most anticipated phones of 2018.

#12. Sony Xperia XZ Premium (2018)

Expected release date: Summer 2018
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.

#11. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

Expected release date: Fall 2018
Big bang for the buck

Most anticipated upcoming phones in 2018

Chinese company Xiaomi is slowly growing outside of Asia and plotting a US release some time in the future, but it wants to get everything right and really make a splash. Its Xiaomi Mi Mix line of phones is a bit like Sony's "Premium" Xperias: it's about showing off. The original Mi Mix was actually the first phone out there with an edge-to-edge, bezel-less design, the Mi Mix 2 refined the formula and we expect the Mi Mix 3 to perfect it. The Mi Mix 2 currently sells for 500 euro in Europe, which is a great deal. And while prices may rise, the new Mi Mix 3 is likely to also offer great value for the money.

#10. Nokia 9

Expected release date: Spring 2018
Big bets on camera

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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.

#9. Huawei P11/Mate 11

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
Huawei looks to expand AI features

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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.

#8. Moto Z3 Force

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Un-breakable and modular

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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.

#7. Essential Phone 2

Expected release date: Summer 2018
Essential nailed design, but it needs to work hard on camera and system stability

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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.

#6. HTC U12

Expected release date: Spring 2018
HTC needs a modern design, it has the fast performance and great camera

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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.

#5. LG G7/V40

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
LG needs to find a way to stop losing money off its phone business

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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 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.
 

#4. OnePlus 6/6T

Expected release date: Summer 2018
OnePlus has carved itself a niche

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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 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 is that OnePlus pushes things when it comes to camera performance, which currently is not quite flagship-grade.

#3. Google Pixel 3/3 XL

Expected release date: Fall 2018
Google is going all in with Pixel, but it needs quality components

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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?

#2. Samsung Galaxy S9/Note 9

Expected release date: Spring/Fall 2018
Samsung has stunning designs and good cameras, but it needs to find a way to make phones that do not stutter

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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 don't run as smoothly as an Android flagship should.

#1. Apple iPhone Xs, 8s and 8s Plus

Expected release date: Fall 2018
How do you convince people to buy a $1,000 phone?

Most anticipated upcoming phones 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. Will it introduce the same bezel-less design to those phones? Will it keep the Touch ID fingerprint sensor? These are some of the most interesting questions that we'll be looking to see answered next year.

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