For most people these days, our phones are our connection to everyone and everything important in our lives. They organise our appointments, collect our emails, deliver podcasts and stream music, all at the swipe of a finger. We’ve heard you can even make phone calls on the clever little things!

Before buying your next smartphone, it’s important to do your research to find the best option for you – a fair amount of technology goes into them and there is a lot to consider these days.

Want to know how we get our review results? Check out how we test smartphones.

Check out the best upcoming mobile phones of 2018

1. Apple iPhone 8

  • Apple is expected to launch three new models in 2017 instead of the usual two. This year the company will launch the usual iPhone 7S and 7S Plus along with a premium model, iPhone 8 codenamed as ‘iPhone Ferrari’. It is expected to feature an all glass design with rare premium materials.
  • The new iPhone will boast of a OLED bezel-less display, and it is said to be one of the best bezel-less upcoming smartphones, however, the size is said to be 5.8-inch. It will have a Quad HD display with a resolution of 2800 x 1248 pixels and a ratio of 18.5:9. It will be powered by a 10nm Apple A11 SoC along with 4GB of RAM.
  • The iPhone 8 might become the first iPhone to support wireless charging along with fast charging. It might also become the first iPhone to not sport a home button and the fingerprint sensor technology is expected to be included in the display itself. However, if the technology is not ready for mass production, we can expect the fingerprint sensor to be embedded into the power/lock button on the right side.
  • Out of the upcoming mobiles of 2017, this might finally pack in 5G LTE network. In the camera department, it is expected to come with dual 12 megapixel cameras that can click 3D images. In terms of software, it will certainly be running on iOS 11.

Apple iPhone 8 - Upcoming 5G Mobile

Expected Key Specifications of Apple iPhone 8
Display 5.8-inch Retina
Processor 2.3GHz A11 quad-core SoC
RAM 4GB
Storage 128GB (non-expandable)
Operating System iOS 11
Rear Camera Dual 12MP with quad-LED flash
Front Camera 8MP with Retina flash
Battery 3000mAh (non-removable)
Fingerprint Side
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

2. Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be the two most wanted upcoming smartphones from the house of Samsung and they are expected to go on sale globally by February 2018. The flagship smartphones are expected to come with a 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Infinity displays with dual curved edges, respectively.
  • They will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor (equivalent Exynos chipset for Asian markets). For multitasking, it will surely pack in 6GB or 8GB of RAM and for storage, there will be 128GB of onboard memory.
  • The S9 and S9+ will run on TouchWiz UI based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS for sure. In the camera department, it is expected to boast a dual lens setup at the back. We are expecting two 13 megapixel sensors, however the megapixel count might be more. This smartphone will rock a 16 megapixel selfie camera at least if not more.
  • It will also feature a fingerprint sensor, an Iris scanner, a heart rate sensor and more. Under the hood, the S9 is expected to carry a 3300mAh battery while the S9+ will come with a 3600mAh battery. Both of them will support fast charging via both wired and wireless modes.

Samsung Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ Concept - Upcoming Smartphone

Expected Key Specifications of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Display 5.8-inch Quad HD+ (S9)6.2-inch Quad HD+ (S9+)
Processor 2.65GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
RAM 6GB/8GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 256GB)
Operating System TouchWiz UI (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera Dual 13MP with LED flash
Front Camera 16MP
Battery 3300mAh | 3600mAh (non-removable)Fast Charging (both wired and wireless)
Fingerprint Rear
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

 

3. Apple iPhone 7S  / 7S Plus

  • Apple iPhone 7S and 7S Plus will come out in September 2017. The iPhone was born in 2007 and it will complete its 10th anniversary this year. A big redesign is expected in the design section, hence these are two of the most exciting upcoming smartphones globally. In terms of display, they are expected to carry the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina displays but the resolution will get bumped up and if we are lucky, we might see an almost bezel-less OLED display.
  • Coming to its software, it will be running on iOS 11 out of the box for sure. These will get powered by the next-gen Apple SoC named A11 and the iPhone 7S is expected to rock 3GB of RAM, while the iPhone 7S Plus might sneak in 4GB of RAM.
  • In the camera department, the 7S is expected to come with a single 12 megapixel lens whereas the 7S Plus will rock dual 12 megapixel lenses. However, resolution of these lenses on both these upcoming phones might get a raise.
  • We can also expect 5G technology on these phones. The battery technology on iPhones are quite primitive compared to its Android counterparts. Apple might introduce fast charging and wireless charging on these iPhones in 2017.

Apple iPhone 7S - One of the upcoming smartphones of 2017

Expected Key Specifications of Apple iPhone 7S and 7S Plus
Display 4.7-inch Retina – 7S5.5-inch Full HD Retina – 7S Plus
Processor 2.3GHz A11 quad-core SoC
RAM 3GB
Storage 128GB (non-expandable)
Operating System iOS 11
Rear Camera 12MP with quad-LED flash (7S)Dual 12MP with quad-LED flash (7S Plus)
Front Camera 7MP with Retina Flash
Battery 1960mAh (non-removable) – 7S2900mAh (non-removable) – 7S Plus
Fingerprint Front
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

4. Nokia 9

  • Nokia has come back to the smartphone business in 2017. Now, the Nokia phones run on Android OS and the flagship device is rumored to be known as the Nokia 9. It is going to feature a 5.3-inch Quad HD display with possibly curved edges. It will be powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and might come in three different RAM variants – 4GB / 6GB / 8GB RAM, in comparison to the other best upcoming smartphones.
  • As expected, the Nokia 9 will be running on Android 8.0 Oreo OS and will provide a similar experience compared to stock Android but we are expecting certain customizations from Nokia as well.
  • The Nokia 9 will rock dual 13 megapixel rear cameras according to the latest rumors. For selfie, we will be getting a 13 megapixel front-facing camera as well. In terms of storage, there will be 128GB of onboard storage and it will surely include a fingerprint sensor as well.
  • In terms of battery, there will be a 3210mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 capability and we can expect Nokia to throw in wireless charging as well, since they use it from their Windows phone days.

Nokia 9 - Upcoming Flagship Smartphone

Expected Key Specifications of Nokia 9
Display 5.3-inch Quad HD
Processor 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 2TB)
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
Rear Camera Dual 13MP with LED flash
Front Camera 13MP
Battery 3210mAh (non-removable) with Quick Charge 3.0
Fingerprint Front
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

5. LG G7

  • LG G7 is expected to launch in March 2018. We will get a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The screen will be of OLED type, just like the LG V30. This upcoming smartphone from the house of LG will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor for sure, since the V30 is powered by Snapdragon 835.
  • For multitasking, LG will be offering both 6GB and 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of onboard memory, which can also be expanded up to 2TB by adding a microSD card. The LG G7 will be running on LG UX 7.0 based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS.
  • Now coming to the camera section of the G7, we will find a dual camera setup just like the V30 – one 16 megapixel primary lens with f/1.6 aperture and another 13 megapixel secondary wide-angle lens with f/1.9 aperture.
  • In one of the most anticipated upcoming mobiles of 2017, we are expecting a 3500mAh battery under its hood with Quick Charge 4.0+ support. It is expected to have a glass back design with support for wireless charging.

LG G7 Concept - Upcoming Smartphone

Expected Key Specifications of LG G7
Display 5.8-inch Quad HD+
Processor 2.65GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
RAM 6GB/8GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 2TB)
Operating System LG UX (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera 16MP + 13MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front Camera 8MP
Battery 3500mAh (non-removable) with Quick Charge 4.0+
Fingerprint Rear
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

6. Google Pixel 2 / Pixel XL 2

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL were the first completely made by Google smartphones. The Pixel series came out in 2016 and we expect the Pixel 2 series in 2017. So, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, which are upcoming smartphones of 2017, will be announced around October. The Pixel 2 is expected to feature a 5-inch Full HD display, while the Pixel XL 2 will come with a 6-inch Quad HD display.
  • They will certainly be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 octa-core processor. Under the hood, these phones will carry 4GB of RAM but if Google pushes it more, we might also see 6GB of RAM. They will be running on Android 8.0 Oreo OS out of the box.
  • In the camera department, we are surely expecting a dual rear camera setup since most of these other upcoming smartphones are also heading the same way. At least they will carry two 12 megapixel lenses at the back but the megapixel count can be on the higher side as well.
  • They will as usual feature a fingerprint sensor but might as well boast of an Iris scanner if the technology is being used more widely by the consumers. We are also expecting a 3000mAh battery in Pixel 2 and a 3600mAh battery inside the Pixel XL 2 with both fast and wireless charging technology. Also, it will be 5G network enabled.

Google Pixel 2 - Upcoming 5G Mobile Phone

Expected Key Specifications of Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2
Display 5-inch Full HD (Pixel 2)6-inch Quad HD (Pixel XL 2)
Processor 2.45GHz Snapdragon 836 octa-core SoC
RAM 4GB
Storage 128GB (non-expandable)
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
Rear Camera Dual 12MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front Camera 13MP
Battery 3000mAh (non-removable) – Pixel 23600mAh (non-removable) – Pixel XL 2

Fast Charging (both wired and wireless)

Fingerprint Rear
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

7. OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 is going to be the first bezel-less phone from the house of OnePlus. It will come with flagship features compared to other upcoming smartphones. To start off, the OnePlus 6 will have a whopping 80%+ screen-to-body ratio, which was not seen in any other OnePlus phone till date. It will feature a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Optic AMOLED display.
  • The OnePlus 6 will certainly be powered by a Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor clocked at 2.65GHz along with Adreno 550 GPU. The OnePlus 6 is most likely to come with 8GB or 12GB of RAM along with 128GB of base internal storage. It will run on Oxygen OS based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS.
  • In the camera department, it will surely boast of a dual lens system at the back but we do not know the exact megapixel and the mechanism yet, however it can be a combination of 16 and 20 megapixel lenses. The secondary lens will be used for clicking portrait images with depth of field effect.
  • The battery is expected to be improved, hence we are considering a 3500mAh battery under its hood with support for Quick Charge 4.0+ fast charging.

OnePlus 6 Concept - Upcoming Flagship Smartphone

Expected Key Specifications of OnePlus 6
Display 5.8-inch Quad HD+
Processor 2.65GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
RAM 8GB/12GB
Storage 128GB (non-expandable)
Operating System Oxygen OS (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera 16MP + 20MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front Camera 16MP
Battery 3500mAh (non-removable) with Quick Charge 4.0+
Fingerprint Rear
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

8. Samsung Galaxy X1 / X1+

  • Samsung Galaxy X1 (SM-X9000) and X1+ (SM-X9050) are two of the most anticipated smartphones of 2018 because they look different. These upcoming smartphones will be the first foldable smartphones from the house of Samsung under the new ‘Galaxy X series’. They are expected to feature 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED displays, respectively. We might see a 4K display on these devices as well.
  • In terms of power, they will boast of Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 SoC and 6GB RAM. The Indian variant is expected to be powered by the Exynos 8895 chipset, while the US variant will run on Snapdragon 835 processor.
  • They will not have a home button but will feature the 3.5mm audio jack. The fingerprint sensor will be located at the back. In the camera department, they will have a 16 megapixel Dual Pixel primary camera at the back along with a 8 megapixel secondary selfie camera on the front.
  • In terms of battery, the X1 will boast of a 4000mAh battery, while the X1+ will come with a 4500mAh battery. Both of them might support fast charging (both wired and wireless). Among all the upcoming mobiles, these might come with 128GB of storage. They will run on TouchWiz UI based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS.

Samsung Galaxy X1 and X1+ - Concept Upcoming Foldable Smartphones

Expected Key Specifications of Samsung Galaxy X1 and X1+
Display 5.2-inch Quad HD+ (X1)5.5-inch Quad HD+ (X1+)
Processor 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 octa-core SoC
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 256GB)
Operating System TouchWiz UI (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera 16MP with LED flash
Front Camera 8MP
Battery 4000mAh (non-removable) – X14500mAh (non-removable) – X1+
Fingerprint Rear
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

 

9. Xiaomi Mi 7

  • Xiaomi Mi 7 is expected to be unveiled in March 2018. We are not sure about the display size or resolution yet but we can expect a 5.7-inch Quad HD+ bezel-less Infinity display. It will be the successor of the Xiaomi Mi 6 which was also one the best upcoming smartphone in our list before.
  • As per the rumors, the new device named Mi 7 will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor along with Adreno 550 GPU. In the multitasking department, we will see 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 7 will be running on MIUI 9 based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS out of the box. According to us, it will come with a 3600mAh battery under its hood with Quick Charge 4.0 technology at the minimum and we can expect a slightly bigger battery as well compared to other upcoming phones.
  • The camera department will see a dual camera setup at the back consisting of two 12 megapixel sensors and there will be a 13 megapixel selfie camera on the front. Other usual connectivity and networking options will be there as usual.

Xiaomi Mi 7 - Upcoming Flagship Smartphone

Expected Key Specifications of Xiaomi Mi 7
Display 5.7-inch Quad HD+
Processor 2.45GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 2TB)
Operating System MIUI (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera Dual 12MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front Camera 13MP
Battery 3600mAh (non-removable) with Quick Charge 4.0+
Fingerprint Front
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

10. HTC U12

  • HTC U12 will be unveiled in March at MWC 2018. It is expected to come with a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ dual curved edge glass display. Under the hood, it will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor like most other flagship smartphones of 2018. For multitasking, it is rumored to pack in a whopping 8GB of RAM, which will be more than its predecessor, the HTC U11.
  • However, we are not aware of the exact specifications of any upcoming smartphones, thus you have to take the information with a pinch of salt. It will be running on HTC Sense 9.0 UI based on Android 8.0 Oreo OS. It is also speculated to be water and dust proof.
  • The HTC U12 is bound to feature a dual lens system at the back compared to other phones in this category. We are expecting it to carry two 12 megapixel rear cameras along with a 16 megapixel selfie camera.
  • For powering the HTC U12, the company is expected to pack in a 3200mAh battery under its hood with support for both fast charging as well as wireless charging technology. There will be the usual fingerprint sensor but it might also feature an Iris scanner as well, but we are not sure about it at this moment.

HTC U12 Concept - Upcoming Mobile in 2018

Expected Key Specifications of HTC U12
Display 5.8-inch Quad HD+
Processor 2.45GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB (expandable – 2TB)
Operating System HTC Sense UI (Android 8.0 Oreo)
Rear Camera Dual 12MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front Camera 16MP
Battery 3200mAh (non-removable) with Quick Charge 4.0+
Fingerprint Front
Connectivity 4G VoLTE

 

Thus, we come to an end of our upcoming phones list. These are the best flagship smartphones which are going to be launched in 2018. While most of them will launch at the MWC in March, some of these upcoming smartphones will make its way into the market in the second half of the year. If you’re waiting for these smartphones, then do share your point of view about their features and specifications in the comments section below. In case you would like to see some other flagship phones in our list, do let us know that as well. The list will be updated periodically to reflect the latest rumors. Until next time, check out our other articles below.

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See our expert product reviews.

Smartphone reviews

  • Plan or prepaid?
  • Operating system options
  • Web access
  • Reception and coverage
  • Other features
  • Camera quality
  • Battery life
  • Cost

Plan or prepaid?

Most smartphones are going to cost you a pretty penny. The big question is whether you bite the bullet and buy your smartphone upfront, or get your mobile on a plan and pay it off over time. Check out both options, and decide what’s right for you.

Paying upfront may end up saving you quite a lot of money in the long run so if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth considering. For some, it’s not an option but there are plenty of post-paid phone plan options available. If you go for the phone plan option, the amount you end up paying will vary depending on the individual contract and how you use your phone.

Video: What’s the best smartphone on the market?

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OS options

The phone’s operating system (OS) is the thing that’ll turn the phone (and possibly you) on or off. There are three options to choose from:

  • Apple iPhone OS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone OS

Although none can claim to be best overall, there are significant differences with each of them CHOICE wouldn’t recommend a Windows Phone as it just isn’t getting the support from app developers, even though you may be able to find handsets still around, its basically a range of makers using the Android OS or an iPhone using iOS.

Web access

If you find yourself reaching for the phone instead of your laptop to check the latest CHOICE tests, then you need a good web browser on your smartphone. If you do a lot of browsing, watch a fair amount of YouTube videos or want to edit your photos before sharing them online, then screen size and resolution will be important factors for your phone too.

Reception and coverage

Getting a network signal remains the crucial factor in daily use of a smartphone, although more and more of us are taking advantage of hotspots and Wi-Fi areas to communicate via social networking. But if you still use your smartphone for making phone calls, or you want to go online away from a Wi-Fi hotspot, you need good reception.4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a wireless standard to get faster online performance from your mobile phone. It doesn’t affect voice reception coverage, just data download speeds. 4G coverage is not as wide as mobile phone coverage, but it’s improving all the time. Major carriers like Vodafone, and Optus are now joining Telstra, with coverage to increase throughout the next few years.

Before buying your next smartphone, make sure it is optimised for your mobile network. To make the situation very clear when buying your phone, confirm with the salesperson that the phone supports 850MHz if you are with Telstra or 900MHz if you are with Optus.

Other features

Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate (WB-AMR)

Also known as HD Voice, this is a speech technology introduced to help improve mobile sound quality by allowing a greater frequency of audio to be extracted, making it clearer and reducing background noise in the process. You may not get the benefit if you’re calling someone without this feature though, or across networks that don’t offer support for WB-AMR.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

This is a set of standards for smartphones that establishes radio communication when they’re near one another or touching. This comes in handy with cashless transactions, and you can expect to see more mobiles supporting this technology when Apple decide to join the rest of the world and introduce NFC in its iPhone line and not just for tap and pay.

Tethering

If you want to use your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth modem – or if you have WLAN tethering, you can enjoy the same benefits as a personal hotspot, where you can share your internet connection with other devices like other mobiles or laptop computers. It’s a handy feature if you’ve a large data allocation and are away from your normal home network connection.

QWERTY keyboard

This may be available as a virtual keyboard showing up on most smartphone touchscreens, or an extended keypad or slide-out mini keyboard, which can be useful for heavy texters or social media users. A physical keyboard is now extremely rare.

Flight mode

This is a very handy feature that turns off all the phone and network aspects of your mobile, turning the device into a music or video player so you don’t need to turn it off during a flight. Most modern smartphones have this feature.

GPS

While most smartphones provide support for online map services like Google Maps, a dedicated GPS chip using an offline navigation application allows you to use your phone to find out exactly where you are without having to use your mobile phone network. The GPS score is calculated using the included software only. If you own an Apple iPhone or Android phone already, you can go to their online store and buy a car GPS app.

Headphone connection type

A phone with a 2.5mm or 3.5mm jack will let you use a standard set of headphones to listen to music, while a proprietary connection forces you to use special headphones that are often pricey and of dicey quality.

Memory card

Mobiles with memory card slots have the option of expanded memory to store photos, videos and music. Check to see the exact type of memory you’ll need, as there are quite a few different options.

Camera quality

Picture and video capture quality is not just determined by your smartphone’s resolution, but also the ability to deliver a good image in different lighting situations. If you use your phone as a camera you may want to look for a model with a dedicated camera button rather than having to hunt through the menu system to capture the perfect selfie. An LED flash can be very useful too when you’re taking a photo with a mobile, especially when the available light isn’t very good. And if you look for a phone with a front-facing camera, this lets you use your phone for video calls as well.

Battery life

All smartphones users find the inability to use a smartphone for any more than a day or so frustrating. However, it’s important to remember that the increased functionality of a smartphone with a large screen demands more power than a simple talk-and-text phone.

Cost

Bought without a plan, smartphones range in price from just over $100 to well over $1000.