From ever-shrinking bezels to the best OLED displays we’ve ever seen to dual rear cameras trickling down to budget devices, smartphones have changed dramatically in 2017. And with 2018 now in full swing, a new generation of groundbreaking handsets is starting to emerge, led by the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
Apple figures to continue its design dominance with potentially not one, but multiple successors to the iPhone X. But Samsung is hoping to get a jump on Apple by announcing its Galaxy Note 8 successor in early August. Meanwhile, other device makers — from LG to Motorola to Red (whose Hydrogen One appears here) — are looking to make noise with their next devices, too. Here’s a look at what’s coming up the rest of thisyear and what we know about 2018’s hottest smartphones. (Image Credit: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/Tom's Guide)
Samsung has announced the Galaxy Note 9 launch event for August 9. You can expect the handset to adopt Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 platform, like the already available Galaxy S9 and S9+. Additionally, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh has already confirmed the next iteration of the company's virtual assistant, Bixby, will debut on the Note 9. There may also be an update to the S Pen, which could add Bluetooth and possibly even audio support for making calls.
However, the Galaxy Note 9 could wind up being a more conservative upgrade from the current model than originally thought. The latest reports claim Samsung is saving its in-display fingerprint sensing solution for the Galaxy S10, after it was pegged to be introduced in the next Note device. Expect rumors to ramp up now that we have a release date. (Image Credit: Tom's Guide)
According to early rumors, 2018 will see Apple expand the iPhone X’s unique design to a larger screen size — a Plus variant, if you will. Additional reports indicate the company is looking to introduce a lower-cost handset that matches the iPhone X's look, only with a less expensive LCD panel. Conventional wisdom has Apple releasing three phones — a 5.8-inch iPhone X sequel, a 6.5-inch X Plus and a 6.1-inch iPhone 9. Apple could also take a page out of Huawei's book and introduce three rear cameras to one of its new phones, though that may not be on tap until 2019.
It’s still relatively early in the rumor cycle for Apple’s upcoming smartphones, which typically don’t arrive until the fall, so take these reports with a grain of salt. To make matters more interesting, it’s possible these won’t be the only new iPhones we see in 2018. (Image Credit: Tom's Guide)
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Back before the Pixel 2 launched, we heard there could be as many as three versions of the phone. That never came to pass, and instead we only saw two (pictured here). However, if early rumors surrounding the Pixel 3 are to be believed, Google may release a family of devices for its third-generation smartphones, thanks to its partial acquisition of HTC's mobile division last year.
The Mountain View company is reportedly planning two "premium" handsets alongside another "high-end" model, according to details published by Droid Life. Furthermore, Google's new phones could go up against Apple's Face ID tech in the iPhone X with iris scanning that is secure enough to be used for mobile payments, not just unlocking. Expect more on the Pixel 3 as we get closer to the fall. (Photo Credit: Tom's Guide)
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The Oppo Find X will be the Chinese phone maker's first device sold in the United States and Europe when it launches later this year — and what a debut it will be.
Straight away, you notice the Find X doesn't have an notch. Rather, the cameras are enclosed in a portion of the body that slides out of the top of the phone. That allows the Find X to achieve a screen-to-body ratio of nearly 93 percent. What's just as impressive, though, is what that front-facing camera can do. Oppo's superphone is capable of 3D facial recognition, just like the iPhone X. And because of it, the Find X doesn't need to rely on a fingerprint sensor for authentication.
Outside of those headlining features, the Find X has everything you'd expect from a modern Android flagship, like a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM and a full-HD OLED display. We don't yet know exactly when the device will arrive on our shores, but Oppo says it will make those announcements soon. (Image Credit: The Verge)
Here's what we know: Motorola's holding an event on August 2 in Chicago. Here's what we don't know — what the phone maker could be announcing there. A teaser video says that whatever debuts will offer a "whole new way to connect, stream, download, video chat, and more." That could mean the rumored Moto Z3, a flagship version of the already announced Moto Z3 Play modular phone. (This version would feature a more powerful processor and dual rear cameras in addition to support for Moto Mod add-ons.) Another possibility is the Motorola One Power, an Android One phone with minimal bezels and notch dipping into its display. (Image Credit: Motorola/YouTube)
Both the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X sport price tags pushing $1,000, but they look like discount models compared to the Red Hydrogen One, a photo-centric phone that will cost $1,295 when it arrives later this summer. (A titanium version of the same phone costs $300 more.) This modular smartphone's marquee feature is a holographic display that's capable of showing off 3D content, plus support for augmented and virtual reality without a headset. We found that feature a little overhyped when we went hands-on with the Hydrogen One, but the ability to snap on modules to add on new features shows promise — especially if Red can deliver a cinema module that will turn this phone into a handheld camera capable of recording pro-quality video. When the Hydrogen One launches, it will be sold through Verizon and AT&T, as well as in unlocked form. (Image Credit: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/Tom's Guide)
The Razer Phone is about to get some competition from another gaming-centric smartphone. Asus's ROG Phone is set to debut later this summer, delivering a gaming-focused device with a 6-inch AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 845 processor that's been speed-binned to boost the clock speed. On the back of the phone, you'll find copper venting and a backlit ROG emblem, while USB Type-C ports on the bottom and side of the phone support different types of accessories. Speaking of accessories, Asus is planning a bunch of them for the ROG Phone, including a TwinView dock that offers a dual-screen handheld mode, a dock for desktop-style gaming and a Gamevice controller and WiGig dock for gaming on the big screen. (Image Credit: Tom's Hardware)