2016 was a great year for smartphones, with OnePlus, Samsung and Apple leading the way with our favourite handsets. Others, like HTC, LG, Huawei and Lenovo made great phones too, but what’s around the corner in 2017? It’s worth knowing before you commit yourself to that 24 month contract.
Where possible, the list below contains official release dates, but if we’re using guesswork or internet rumours then the date/month will be marked TBC – and we’ll be keeping the list up to date with the latest information we can get our hands on.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 – March/April 2017?
- HTC 2011 – March/April 2017?
- LG G6 – April 2017?
- OnePlus 4 – June-July 2017?
- Lenovo Moto Z 2017 – mid 2017
- iPhone 7s – September 2017?
That’s it for 2016 phone releases, but we’re only a few months from 2017 when the whole process starts again.
Samsung Galaxy S8
First out of the blocks will likely be Samsung, fresh off the back of having to cease production of one of the most anticipated smartphones of all time: the Galaxy Note 7. Assuming the Galaxy name lives on, we’re likely looking at the Samsung Galaxy S8 as early as March or April. Alongside the usual cutting-edge speed boost, rumours abound about an iPhone-style home button, a rear fingerprint sensor and a 4K screen to really make the Gear VR pop. We should know more about this handset sooner, rather than later.
You can keep an eye on the latest Samsung Galaxy S8 rumours here.
Next to nothing is known about the HTC 11 yet, but it’s definitely one to watch given that the HTC 10 was the best thing the Taiwanese firm had done in years. It would be higher up in our affections if it weren’t so optimistically priced next to stalwarts like the Samsung Galaxy S7, but nonetheless it gives us great hope of future HTC handsets.
Based on HTC’s usual 12 month cycle, we’d expect their next flagship to be with us around April 2017. Watch this space.
LG made the most interesting handset of 2016 hands-down, with its interesting modular design that allowed you to upgrade elements. We wouldn’t count on the firm doing that again, judging by the way extra modules have been thin on the ground and hastily bundled free of charge, but in an industry that’s stagnating, it’s hard not to admire this kind of new thinking.
We expect the LG G6 to be with us around April 2017, but as with HTC, rumours are thin on the ground at the moment.
The OnePlus 3 and 3T have shaken up the whole industry. It’s our favourite handset of 2016 by far, managing to shake up not just the high-end market by undercutting the big boys, but also eclipsing the midrangers its price suggests it is.
The OnePlus 4 is very likely to continue this trend, but we likely won’t see a new one until June 2017 at the earliest. Early rumours point to a glass body, 8GB RAM and a QuadHD screen.
You can read more about the latest OnePlus 4 rumours here.
Lenovo Moto Z (2017)
Not a great deal is known about the future of Lenovo’s top-end Moto range, but the Moto Z was the first hard proof we’ve seen that modular handsets have a future. The MotoMods just clip on and work: whether they’re an extended battery, or an external speaker.
The good news is that it looks like Lenovo are sticking to their guns. The company says they’re looking to make at least 12 mods per year. And they’re supposed to be forwards compatible too: “Moto Mods developed today are designed to work with future generations of Moto Z phones,” the company wrote in June, so feel free to buy now if you’re happy to commit to the Lenovo ecosystem.
Apple iPhone 7s
Finally, there’s Apple. The iPhone 7 was a quality smartphone, but it was overshadowed by the deliberate omission of the headphone jack for the first time.
We’re hoping that the ‘s’ version of the iPhone puts things right, but it’s very early to tell at the moment. There are rumours of wireless charging and an OLED screen for the first time, but so far it looks like anyone wishing for the headphone jack to return will be disappointed.
We likely won’t see it until September 2017 though, so you’ve got a long wait ahead of you if your handset simply must have an Apple logo on it.
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