As another year flies by, we get a whole new array of smartphones to look forward to, and 2016 is no different – with a host of new devices on the cards for smartphone shoppers. Whether it’s the latest flagship offering, or something a bit more low-key, 2016 is making plenty of promises to tech fans all over the planet, so what smartphones can you really expect to see?
Here’s a list of the biggest and brightest names that are set to grace the shelves throughout 2016!
Where else could we start? Arguably the biggest release of 2016 won’t happen until the middle of September – with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both set to be on show, as always, generating plenty of media hype as well.
Both phones will rock very similar spec sheets, with a new Apple chipset taking point alongside possibly 3GB RAM and hopefully a minimum of 32GB on-board storage. A new iOS update will also come along as well, bringing a fresh face to the internal part of the device, along with plenty of new features as well.
You’d better start saving now, because the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will likely be some of the most costly phones of the year as well, with contracts normally kicking off at £40/month.
The biggest Samsung launch of the year normally comes around MWC in Q1, with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge both likely to make an appearance at the Barcelona based event. Similarly to the iPhone 7 launch, Samsung will have the world’s press in attendance, so news about the phone will flood pretty much every website (ours included) the moment it makes an appearance!
Expected to come in a normal and curved screen style, both Samsung handsets will sport similar internal specs, with the main differences surrounding the phones’ displays. Inside the handsets, it’s likely that we’ll see a new Snapdragon chipset, along with a sizeable processor, whilst 4GB RAM could be squeezed in as well.
Samsung will be charging plenty of cash for the S7 and S7 Edge, so like the iPhone, if you want to grab one on launch you’d be better off saving some money quick-time!
The second Samsung to make our list, but one which still draws plenty of attention when it launches, normally towards the end of September or start of October. Last year, the Note5 dodged a UK launch, with Samsung instead favouring the S6 Edge+, which is essentially the same only without the S-Pen and with a curved display.
Both devices will pack sizeable displays to say the least, but internally is where things get really exciting, with a top of the range processor and chipset making the cut, alongside a camera which always impresses. Also, Samsung never hesitates to throw in a huge amount of memory with its larger phones either, meaning you won’t be left battling for space should you be a big fan of your media.
The Note 6 and S7 Edge+ will probably be even more costly than the S7 and S7 Edge, so don’t expect your bank balance to tip toe around the launch if you plan on investing…
HTC’s flagship launch of 2016 is likely to be the One M10, offering a top-notch style alongside a quality spec sheet. Similarly to the Samsung Galaxy S7, it will likely use MWC as a launching ground, giving fans all over a glimpse of its new design before being released a few weeks later.
The M10 should be sporting a QHD display, along with an improved chipset and faster processor, making for a stronger showing than on the M9, which was actually disappointing to some. Also, HTC needs to get the camera right after messing around with it for the past few years, if not, HTC could quickly find itself behind many of its competitors once again.
The good thing about the M9 was that it didn’t quite hit the wallet as hard as many other flagship phones, hopefully this stays the same this year, although we won’t be promising anything about this just yet!
LG’s biggest phone launch of the year always centres on its latest G model, with 2016 set to showcase the G5 – possibly around April, meaning a MWC announcement could prove a hit.
Having already packed a QHD screen and plenty of super-powered specs on the G4, we expect to see much of the same from LG, maybe with a 4K display making the cut. LG could also bring a fresh design to the fray, with the G4 testing the water well with a leather construction before now.
LG’s flagship phone won’t be too cheap though, so you should plan ahead if you’re thinking of splashing the cash on the handset.
It’s not too often we see three smartphones from a single manufacturer at one time, but Sony did exactly that in 2015 with the Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium, so it’s safe to say it could be happening again.
As you might’ve guessed, the Z6 Compact will be the smallest of the three, whilst the standard Z6 will prove to be the main flagship. Elsewhere, the Z6 Premium will boast a specialised spec sheet and design should you want to spend a huge amount of money on your next device.
Sony tends to keep us guessing with its launch dates, so we could see these phones at any point next year, although they are likely to linger around one of the big shows which take place, meaning CES, MWC or IFA are all possible dates to keep an eye on.
If you’re a big fan of curved screens, then the LG G Flex 3 could prove to be the phone worth waiting for in 2016, and if you’re lucky you might not be waiting that long for it as it could come as early as CES in January!
Unlike most other curved displays which focus on the edge of the screen, the LG G Flex curve affects the entire display, and we expect it to come into play even more in its third outing. On top of this, we’d love to see a better resolution and internal spec sheet get included to make this perennial wannabe flagship into a true powerhouse.
Due to the nature of its design, the G Flex 3 will likely cost a fair bit of cash on launch, but you might be able to find the odd deal should you wait a little while after launch.
Arguably the surprise manufacturer of the past few years, OnePlus almost broke the internet when it launched the OnePlus One, offering up flagship quality specs for a mid-range price tag. It has since followed this up with the OnePlus 2, and could do so again come August 2016, if it decides to unveil the OnePlus 3.
OnePlus has regularly walked the walk when it comes to bringing top quality specs to a more affordable market, so we fully expect the Chinese manufacturer to do the same with its next handset. Rumour has it that we could see a QHD screen make the cut, along with 4GB RAM and a new chipset, all for as much as half the price as most other flagship offerings we’ll be seeing.
OnePlus has stuck to its guns with its sales tactics though, so you can once again expect to have to fight for an invite to buy the device, although this has become an easier task of late…
The yearly Google based offerings are set to grace us with their presence in September if last year’s efforts are anything to go by, bringing stylish designs and notably strong spec sheets.
The Nexus 6P and 5X were the epitome of variety when they launched last year, and we expect a similar level of diversity this time around as well, with Huawei and LG likely to be used once again with the releases. This means we can expect a full flagship offering once again from the 7P, whilst the 6X could take a more laid-back mid-range stance to its launch.
Each Nexus phone will likely differ in price by a fair bit, with the 6X possibly being quite a bit cheaper, although details on this will be available closer to their launch.
One of the forgotten phones of recent times, the Lumia 1020 has built its own cult following since launching all the way back in 2013, with its 41 megapixel camera proving a great feature. So, could 2016 be the year we finally get a successor?
The Lumia 1020 is now quite outdated, so if there is to be a Lumia 1030 it would likely bring a whole host of changes to the handset, starting with a QHD display and Windows 10 OS. On top of this will be a bevy of internal additions and of course, a new 41 megapixel camera for us to play with.
Microsoft is likely to make sure it makes plenty of cash from the follow up Lumia handset, so it’s likely that we’ll find a hefty price tag alongside the phone if it does arrive this year, although we have no idea when it could crop up, or the price it will target…
Which year of smartphones are you after?
Every year we get a multitude of phones to look at, test out and ultimately use in our day to day lives. But as 2016 rolls on with its smartphone launches, what phones can we expect to replace them in the next calendar year?
Sure, it’s a long way off right now, but before you know it we’ll be looking next year right in the eyes. So, what upcoming smartphones can we expect to hit the market throughout 2017? Let’s take a look…
We couldn’t start with anything else, could we? The iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are sure to be some of the best handsets of 2017, further improving on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which are set to make their way onto the market in September 2016.
As always, these two 7s models won’t be packing a ground-breaking new design, instead, it’s behind the scenes where we’ll see these two devices stand out. An improved Apple A11 chipset is likely to improve on the A10 which is set to hit the iPhone 7, whilst a further improvement to the processor is also likely.
It’s hard to say what features will be included in the 7s and 7s Plus so far in advance, but it’s safe to say that both phones will be very interesting to play with when they do arrive…
Fancy something a little bit smaller? If that’s the case, then you should’ve loved the iPhone 5se, which shocked the tech market with its announcement in March. Apple won’t be stopping there though, possibly giving us an updated version of the phone in 2017 as well.
Obviously Apple isn’t planning on saying anything until it’s good and ready, but given the yearly launch we get with the normal iPhone, we can wholly expect the same for the 6se.
Don’t expect to see a bigger display, that’s for sure, but you can hold out hope for some extra power behind the hood, along with the same Apple features that came along on the iPhone 7.
The S7 and S7 Edge have wowed us already in 2016, and if 2017 is anything like it should be we’ll be seeing two more Galaxy S smartphones pop up at MWC. They’ll both be following up from two of the showstoppers at this year’s event, and if all goes to plan they should be better than ever.
The Galaxy S8 is likely to keep the 5.1” Super AMOLED display, whilst a bump from QHD to 4K resolution is to be expected. The design is likely to go relatively unchanged from the S7, with the glass panel, metallic, IP68 construction obviously keeping its place.
The S8 Edge will keep the dual curved edge displays we’ve seen take so well to the market with the S6 Edge and S7 Edge, whilst specs will read the same as on the S8. Either way, it seems Samsung won’t be letting up in 2017.
One of the real surprises of 2016 to say the least, the LG G5 brought modular phones to the mainstream with its detachable bottom section, which allowed for a replaceable battery and other extras. In 2017, we can expect LG to go all out with its modular style, bringing even more ‘Friends’ to the party.
The G5’s specs will no doubt be improved upon as well, offering an improved 4K display, along with a new Snapdragon chipset and other improved hardware for us all to play with. LG’s continued work with its smartphone cameras could also pay off on the G6, hopefully brining a xenon flash and an improved dual rear camera to the fray.
As always, we look forward to seeing what new features LG will bring to the mobile market – with its track record proving very strong for quirky additions on its yearly smartphone launches.
HTC might’ve fallen behind the likes of Samsung and LG with its yearly flagship announcements, but that’s not to say it won’t win us all back over with the One M11. Normally revealed at MWC, the M10 skipped the Barcelona event in 2016, but we’d like to see it gracing the event once again given the opportunity.
Packing that iconic HTC build and UI, the M11 could be a dark horse for the best phone of the year after its launch – albeit up against some major competition.
Like the M10, expect to see a stunning design make the cut, whilst continued improvement on the specs sheet is also likely. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised to see HTC fill out its smartphone camera either, with the company well known for trying new strategies to help improve photography.
Sony surprised a lot of people by ditching the Xperia Z line for a new and improved trio of devices earlier on in 2016. However, the announcement of the Xperia X, X Performance and XA more than make up for the loss, bringing a stylish trio of new phones onto the market.
Sony is expected to refresh all three devices for MWC 2017, meaning that whilst we could see a similar design, that underneath the hood we could get a very healthy spec improvement.
The X Performance 2 will no doubt be the flagship of the group once again, but don’t sleep on the X2 and XA2 either, as both could prove to be very solid additions to the market in their own right. With Sony at the helm, we can rest assured that they’ll be strong performers.
With 2014 giving us a barrage of great smartphones, we take a look at some of the phones expected to make a big splash over the course of 2015…
HTC stole the show early in 2014 with the HTC One M8, boasting the first ever dual camera set-up on any smartphone, something that is yet to be emulated by other companies.
The M9 followed up on the success of the M8 by going on show at MWC, the mobile event of the spring which was held in Barcelona.
HTC announced a similarly metal clad handset with a 1080p display, Snapdragon 810 chipset, 3GB RAM whilst ditching the dual UltraPixel camera on the back for a more orthodox effort.
Its design didn't change too much, but this isn't necessarilly a bad thing with HTC giving us another great looking handset, albeit with a little less imagination.
Another MWC entrant, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is no doubt one of the best phones of 2015, carrying on the good work already set-up by the previously successful S5 handset.
With QHD currently the resolution at a premium, the S6 supplies it in all of its glory, alongside an improved fingerprint scanner.
An Exynos 7420 chipset also features on the Samsung flagship, whilst a fresh new metallic design also makes the phone look truly superb.
Samsung has always provided power on its flagship line-up, and the S6 isn’t deviating from it, although it has lost the IP68 certification and battery replacing abilities - but we can live with that we think!
It hasn't been all that long since we got a look at the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and we’re already talking about their successors.
Expected this September, Apple normally releases an upgraded version of the previous year’s handset, and this is due to happen this time around with the iPhone 6s.
Don’t expect a change in terms of the design, but you can look forward to plenty of upgrades under the hood, with an Apple A9 processor possibly on the way.
2GB RAM is also mooted alongside an improved battery, but of course Apple is one of the most secretive manufacturers on the market, so we won’t be hearing anything about it until it wants us to.
Sony must've had a bit of a nightmare behind the scenes with its latest flagship, as it was originally expected at the start of the year, but only made an appearing early in the summer.
The Xperia Z3+ has kept much to the design from the Z3 as possible, only making some minor changes to its thickness, whilst removing some of the flappy port covers.
The IP68 rating hangs around somehow, whilst the specs have seen a bump, with a Snapdragon 810 chipset the talk of the town.
The very same 20.7 megapixel lens is also included, so Sony has really played it safe with this upgrade.
Its predecessor caused quite a stir upon its arrival, so the LG G Flex 2 was expected to make quite a splash when it arrived, and it did so willingly.
Sporting a 1080p screen, which is more curved than last time, the G Flex 2 certainly looks great.
A Snapdragon 810 chipset backs up its good looks with strong performance as well, whilst up to 3GB RAM keeps everything else running smoothly.
The LG G Flex 2 is definitely a bit of a unique device, but it still stands out as one of the phones of the year.
We won’t be seeing the Galaxy Note 5 until September, but when we do it’s guaranteed to be something special.
With a rumoured 4GB RAM, power is going to be surging through the phablet, and an Exynos chipset is also set to back it up as well.
An all metal build is also being heavily rumoured, as fans have become slightly annoyed at the lack of style compared to the likes of the iPhone 6.
Samsung has plenty of time to build on these ideas, but if the Note 5 does all of these things, it would take something crazy to see it bottom out.
Following up from the hugely successful OnePlus One, the OnePlus 2 could be the surprise handset of 2015 if it continues the trend set by its predecessor.
Packing a Snapdragon 810 chipset and a 5.5" QHD display, the OnePlus 2 packs a true flagship style, whilst reportedly coming in at under £300.
This will not only make it incredibly powerful, but also remarkably cheap, although you'll need to work your socks off to get an invite to buy it.
The handset is even going to be launched in VR, making it increasingly interesting as well, which should win it even more fans.
There you have it! That’s just a quick look at some of the smartphones that are set to grace the market throughout 2015.
Written by Luke Hatfield
With three of the year's major handsets having been launched already this year, here are the main contenders to make 2014 one incredible year in the world of smartphones...
If you're already looking to next year, why not check out the upcoming smartphones of 2015...
There was lots of speculation about the successor to the iPhone 5s, with rumours suggesting we could see the iPhone 6 sport different sized displays.
But luckily for us the speculation is over, and the iPhone 6 has been revealed in all it's glory!
Here's a round up of the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus's specs, features and design:
No sooner had the Galaxy Note 3 has been revealed that rumours of the Galaxy Note 4 started appearing online.
But now the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has arrived!
The Note 3 still leads the way when it comes to “doing” large-screened phones for business, and despite the competition releasing rival phablets such as the Nokia Lumia 1520 and HTC One Max, Samsung still leads the way.
The Note 4 features a 5.7 inch QHD Super AMOLED display display, along with a mighty 3GB RAM, a Snapdragon 805 chipset and 32GB internal memory, making it a true heavyweight flagship competitor. You can also get:
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
Update: The Nokia Lumia 930 was released in July 2014.
The flagship Nokia phone we've all been waiting for! Could the Nokia Lumia 930 be the Windows Phone powered competitor to the iPhone?
Packing a 5" ClearBlack display with full HD capabilities, the Lumia 930 was the surprise package of the summer. Also, featuring 32GB storage, 2GB RAM and a 20 megapixel camera, the device is sure to move a lot of units.
Read more: Nokia Lumia 930 review.
The sequel to last year's popular LG G3 was hotly anticipated at the start of the year, by the looks of its premium design, top quality specs and unique LG features, we could be on to something special.
The LG G3 sports a 5.5-inch display boasting a massive 534 pixels per inch, as well as a mighty octa-core processor which beats the LG G2 hands-down.
We have also got a similar 13 megapixel lens donning the back of the LG G3, as well as the same rear-control buttons we saw on the G2.
Also read: LG G3 review: specs, feature and camera.
Yes, it’s Samsung…again. As if the Korean company hasn’t got enough phablets, smartwatches and tablets lined up for 2014, it has been rumoured that Samsung is planning to fill the ‘gap’ between the S and Note launches by releasing yet another premium device in the summer of 2014.
It is rumoured that the smartphone will [finally] get rid of the usual plastic shell that we’re used to seeing on Samsung devices, instead opting for the more premium-looking aluminium casing to mimic the iPhone or HTC One.
We have also heard rustlings of a 16MP camera featuring on the Galaxy F, though this could just as easily derive from the same rumour about the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Smartphones aside, there are still a number of rumours that we will see Apple and HTC launch their own contributions to the wearable tech trend.
Read more about Google's new operating system for smartwatches: Android Wear on the Moto 360
Apple, on the other hand, has finally confirmed that wearable technology is big business after it launched the Apple Watch alongside the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The device comes in all sorts of shapes and designs to suit every Apple fan out there. the only downside is that we'll have to wait until 2015 to get it on our wrists!
News broke just days ago that HTC is set to launch a smartwatch in the second half of 2014, which will aim to rival Samsung’s Galaxy Gear.
As always, we don’t know much about the rumoured device except that it will run Android.
We’ve had the controversial Google Glass already this year, so what more weird and wonderful things can we expect to see from Google?
The Google Gem is Google’s own version of the smartwatch, which should appear at some point in 2014. The smartwatch will allegedly be centred around Google Now, although Google is, for once, keeping schtum about any other details of the device.
New releases are hard to keep up with, but to do just that visit our coming soon and latest mobile phones to keep right upto date
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel