Is now a good time to upgrade your smartphone or is there a better phone just around the corner? To help you make a decision we’ve rounded up the best new phones still expected to arrive in 2018.
New phone release dates 2018
- 16 May: Nokia X6
- 16 May: OnePlus 6
- 23 May: HTC U12
- 23 May: Xiaomi Mi7
- 4 June: Apple iPhone SE 2
- June: Moto Z3/Z3 Play
- July: Moto Z3 Force
- July/August: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- August: Nokia 9
- August: Nokia 10
- September: Apple iPhone 2018
- September: LG V40 ThinQ
- September: Razer Phone 2
- 4 October: Google Pixel 3
- October: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
- October: Xiaomi Mi Note 4
- November: Huawei Mate 11
What are the best new phones still to come in 2018?
Apple iPhone 2018
OK, so we don’t know what it’ll be called. iPhone 11? XS? X Plus? 9? Whatever it’s called, you’re probably going to want one.
Rumours suggest the iPhone X design could get two more sizes, mini and Plus, with upgrades to the internals of the X itself. Others suggest there could be cheaper alternatives that keep the design.
Either way, expect more than one iPhone this September. Apple had to play catch up with the iPhone X, and it won’t want to do that again. Likely with an A12 processor, better battery tech, iOS 12 and faster charging, this is going to be the best iPhone. Again.
Read more about the iPhone 2018 here.
Apple iPhone SE 2
The iPhone SE is Apple’s small and cheap iPhone, the only one still on sale with a 4in screen but well overdue an update. What on earth is it doing in a round-up of the *best* new phones coming in 2018, you might wonder.
Well, let us explain. The iPhone SE 2 we’ve all been waiting for may not be the cheap, small iPhone we’re expecting. In fact it may be an iPhone X SE, with a larger screen and higher price tag.
According to rumours the new SE will still be cheaper than the iPhone X, but cheap is not a word we’d associate with a phone that might still cost £649.
It’s likely the phone will see a 6.01in LCD screen with an iPhone X-like notch, but it will lose 3D Touch to cut down costs.
It’s likely the iPhone SE 2 will be announced at WWDC, which has now been confirmed for 4 June.
Read more iPhone SE 2 rumours here.
Google Pixel 3
Three new Google Pixel phones are expected to land on 4 October 2018, with one of them poised as a rival to the iPhone X.
Codenamed Crosshatch, Albacore and Blueline, we know that these new pure Android phones will run the to-be-announced Android 9.0 P, and that they will likely carry the 10nm (second-gen) Snapdragon 845 processor and feature 18:9 pOLED panels.
Read more about the Pixel 3 here.
We’re really looking forward to the launch of the HTC U12, which is expected on 23 May. HTC is finally going to become relevant again.
The HTC U12 will be a competitor to the likes of the Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2 and Nokia 8 Sirocco, and with similar specifications, but it is potentially coming a little too late to truly compete.
You can read all about the HTC U12 here.
LG G7 ThinQ
The LG G7 ThinQ is now official, launched on 2 May.
The G7 features a Snapdragon 845 processor and a 6.1in ‘Super Bright’ IPS screen that can reach 1000 nits and has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a notch just like the iPhone X.
There are twin 16Mp cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, and a ‘Boombox’ speaker which LG says means you don’t need a Bluetooth speaker any more.
It will go on sale in late May, though LG is apparently leaving the pricing up to retailers. Rumours previously suggested it would come in around £600.
Read more about the LG G7 ThinQ here.
LG V40 ThinQ
We noted above that LG’s flagship phone launches may no longer be annual, but we’re still expecting an update to the V series in 2018.
We’ve seen an update to the LG V30+ at MWC 2018 in the form of an LG V30S ThinQ, which features enhanced AI. The LG V40 ThinQ won’t be announced until later in the year – potentially September in line with IFA 2018.
Rumours are thin on the ground, though it’s likely we’re looking at another OLED FullVision phablet here with a 6in screen and some tasty hardware. However, it’s worth pointing out that the G7 is now expected to feature a 6.1in MLCD+ display.
The Snapdragon 845 is naturally top of the list, though we could also see some storage and memory enhancements.
Read more about the LG V40 ThinQ here.
Microsoft Surface Phone
Microsoft’s Surface Phone has been the stuff of rumours for more than two years, and only a few months ago we believed all hopes were dashed with news that Microsoft was killing Windows Phone.
But the company has filed fresh patents for a foldable mobile device, reigniting rumours on the possibility of a Surface Phone. It’s still no more than a maybe, making estimating a release date impossible. But if the Surface Phone does eventually see the light of day, we could see a foldable phablet to rival the Galaxy Note X.
Read more about the Surface Phone here.
Three new models in the Moto Z family are tipped to arrive this summer, with the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play expected in early June and the Moto Z3 Force in late-July.
All three are thought to have 6in ‘borderless’ (18:9) displays, though the Force will feature a Quad-HD resolution while the Z3 and Play are stuck on full-HD. It will also have the most powerful spec, with the Snapdragon 845 inside.
No fingerprint scanner is visible on the leaked images – is Motorola ditching it for an iris scanner, or are we finally about to see mainstream phones with fingerprint scanners embedded in their screens?
Support for Moto Mods is a given, but there’s talk of a new 5G Moto Mod that lets you bolt on the latest mobile tech.
Read more about the upcoming Moto Z3 line-up here.
Nokia 8 Sirocco
A year after Nokia made its return to the Android phone market it has finally announced its flagship. Not called the Nokia 9 as previously expected, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a high-end phone with a 5.5in Quad-HD+ Plastic OLED 18:9 display, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The hardware is all top-level, including support for wireless charging, IP67 waterproofing, a rear fingerprint scanner and USB-C with a 3260mAh battery that will fast-charge to 50 percent in 30 minutes, but there are a couple of catches.
First, there’s no headphone jack; second, it’s running last year’s Snapdragon 835. What?
Fortunately the price is also very 2017, expected in mid-May at 749€ (around £660).
Read all about the Nokia 8 Sirocco here and enjoy our hands-on review.
We’ve literally just told you that the Nokia 8 Sirocco is the Nokia 9 we were waiting for. And it is, kind of. It’s the Nokia 9 (2017), while the Nokia 9 (2018) is still to come – likely in August at IFA. Hopefully this one will actually be called the Nokia 9 to save confusion.
It’s set to be a great phone, with headline features including a 5.7in Quad-HD+ POLED screen with an in-display fingerprint scanner and iPhone X-style notch.
Powering the show should be the Snapdragon 845 and up to 8GB of RAM, while there’s also talk of a 22Mp dual-camera from Zeiss. Looking to the Sirocco for ideas we’d also guestimate USB-C audio (no headphone jack), IP67 waterproofing and Qi wireless charging.
Read more about the upcoming Nokia 9.
New rumours have surfaced on yet another Nokia flagship, although they’re best described as “sketchy”.
A Nokia 10 could be released at IFA 2018 (running from 31 August) with a five-lens primary camera and the Snapdragon 845 inside.
Read more about the Nokia 10 here.
Once marketed as ‘flagship killers’, the OnePlus 6 will be the latest in a growing line of premium smartphones that take one look at the best the phone market has to offer and go one better, and at a lower price. It will be announced on 16 May.
Having already taken Samsung in its sights, OnePlus is on to Apple. Or, more specifically, the iPhone X’s Face ID feature. OnePlus is tipped to develop its own version of the face-recognition technology in its upcoming flagship. And though the OnePlus 5T supports face recognition, the OnePlus 6 will make it secure enough for use with mobile payments.
It will also copy the iPhone X’s ‘notch’ display (though the software will be updated following launch, allowing you to hide the notch), with a 19:9 panel tipped for the upcoming phone.
Despite likely coming in at a comparatively low £500 when it arrives in late-April/early-May, the OnePlus 6 will pack some serious hardware. It has already confirmed the Snapdragon 845, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, and hinted strongly that the phone will be waterproof. The new OnePlus will retain its headphone jack, too.
Read more about the OnePlus 6 here.
Razer Phone 2
The original Razer phone, the first smartphone built for gamers and to support a 120Hz refresh rate, was met with huge interest from consumers. So it’s good to hear a second version is in the planning, and likely to be with us in September.
Theories on what to expect are still rather thin on the ground, but there’s talk of an improved camera setup.
Read more Razer Phone 2 rumours here.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Mini
You may have read rumours about a Galaxy S8 Mini. However, with the Galaxy S9 having been fairly recently announced it’s looking more likely that if such a phone exists it will be the Galaxy S9 Mini, not the Galaxy S8 Mini.
There’s very little to go on right now, but one mobile leakster has suggested Samsung is working on a 5in screen phone with a full-screen Infinity Display.
It sounds a lot like a potential Galaxy S9 Mini, but it could equally be an update to the Galaxy A series, with the A6 and A6+ also rumoured to be coming soon. We’ll have to wait and see.
Read more about the Galaxy S9 Mini here.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
When it launches in July the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, codenamed ‘Crown’, could really steal the Android Crown. It’s expected to feature some of the tech we didn’t get to see in the Samsung Galaxy S9, such as an under-glass fingerprint scanner.
More interestingly, the Note 9 could be the phone to offer a truly bezel-less display, with patents suggesting Samsung is experimenting with an all-glass front into which the camera and sensors are also built-in.
Read more Note 9 rumours here.
Samsung Galaxy Note X
The bendable phone will finally become a reality in early 2018 if rumours are to be believed, though Samsung suggests we may be waiting a bit longer.
The Galaxy Note X, previously known as Project Valley, is thought to be a smartphone with a dual-screen (one on each side) that folds out to reveal a 7in tablet. An 8in tablet that folds up into a 5in phone has also been rumoured.
Read more Samsung Galaxy Note X rumours here.
Okay, let’s be honest here, we’re not actually entirely convinced that a Snapchat smartphone will ever exist, let alone become a reality in 2018. We think it more likely the company is working on a connected camera, but there is certainly talk of a Snapchat phone.
Should a Snapchat smartphone come to reality it will likely be the ultimate selfie phone, and perhaps the first phone to feature a 360-degree camera.
Read more Snapchat smartphone rumours here.
This is Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship, and it will arrive on 23 May. A slightly delayed release date compared to what we were expecting, rumours suggest this is due to Xiaomi experimenting with embedding a fingerprint scanner within the display. When the Mi7 does arrive it will undercut the price of its UK rivals and offer much the same hardware – perhaps even better.
While flagships popular in the UK such as the Galaxy S9 have so far stuck with a traditional fingerprint scanner, the Xiaomi Mi7 could be one of the first phones to embed a fingerprint scanner directly in the screen.
Other firsts for Xiaomi will likely include the addition of wireless charging (this has been implemented in the Mi Mix 2S announced in late-March), and the Mi7 could see an 18:9 panel with a full-HD (2160×1080) resolution.
There’s likely to be both a standard and Plus model, with both running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. The base models will feature 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage, so performance should be mind-blowing.
Read more rumours about the Xiaomi Mi7 here.
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