Top 5 Upcoming Smartphones of 2018
2017 was a great year for smartphones. The bezels shrunk, dual cameras became a norm, and AI gained a few strides. 2018 promises to be another great year for a smartphone enthusiast and the early leaks and rumours are very promising. Let’s take a look at the top five upcoming smartphones of 2018:
Samsung Galaxy S9/Galaxy S9+
The first big launch of 2018 will be that of the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+. The smartphones will be launched at MWC 2018 and will possibly be the first to run on the Snapdragon 845 chipset. After weeks of renders and leaks, Samsung will finally unveil two of the most anticipated smartphones of 2018.
Design wise, the two phones won’t look different than their predecessors which is not a bad thing. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are still two of the most stunning devices on the market. The top and bottom bezels will be slightly thinner and the fingerprint sensor will be repositioned. Unlike last year’s, the fingerprint sensor will now be placed below the camera module instead of next to it. That is a great design change which was called for by many Galaxy S8 and Note8 users.
To compete with Apple’s Face ID, Samsung is rumoured to introduce Smart Scan as well. Apparently, the new feature is a combination of face and iris scanning. This extra layer will improve accuracy and security of the system in extremely dark or lit up environments. These are the situations where iris scanning and facial recognition systems fail. There have been reports that suggest the Samsung Galaxy S9 devices might have a 3D sensor equipped front-camera for improved biometrics.
Xiaomi Mi A2
There are no rumours or leaks about an upcoming Xiaomi Mi A2 or Mi A1(2018). However, considering the popularity of the Mi A1 in India, the company will be hard-pressed to launch a successor in 2018. The Mi A1 had a more 2016 design with thick bezels but, with budget smartphones also moving on to an 18:9 aspect ratio, the Mi A2 will also have a modern design.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched as the Mi 5X in China and the Mi 6X could be the Mi A2 in India. So far, there have been a few leaks pertaining to the Xiaomi Mi 6X. According to leaked images, the Mi 6X will have an iPhone X-like vertically placed dual-camera setup along with fingerprint sensor and an aluminium unibody build.
Up until the Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched, Motorola’s Moto G5 Plus and G5s Plus had the best cameras in the segment. However, the Xiaomi Mi A1 had a great dual-camera setup as well and the Mi A2, in order to sway customers will have to have a great camera performance as well. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is expected to have the same “wide-angle and telephoto lens” combination for the primary cameras. The dual-camera setup on the front is becoming popular as well, meaning the Xiaomi Mi A2 could also have a dual-camera setup on the front as well.
If Xiaomi does launch the Mi A2 or Mi A1 (2018) in India, it is expected to do well, considering budget smartphones from Honor will have EMUI and a lot of consumers still prefer stock Android OS.
The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T saw a rise in price which many people weren’t happy about. There was also no water resistance even though OnePlus decided to increase the price of its new flagship considerably. However, early rumours of the OnePlus 6 are in and it appears that the company will be refreshing its smartphone lineup earlier than expected. A report from Android Marvel claims that the OnePlus 6 will be launched in March of 2018 and have a few new features which the OnePlus 5T is missing.
Inspired by Face ID, the OnePlus 6 will also have its own version of facial recognition. The OnePlus 6 is expected to have a camera hardware setup similar to the iPhone X, complete with a 3D camera module that will use infrared light to measure depth. However, the OnePlus 6 will not have an iPhone X-like notch. Instead, the handset is expected to have a full top bezel where the extra sensors should be found.
The OnePlus 6 is expected to have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood along with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Storage options will most probably be the same with 64GB or 128Gb variants of the phone. OnePlus has shown its tendency to launch limited edition variants of its devices and it is fair to assume that the company will do something similar with the OnePlus 6 and possibly, the OnePlus 6T.
Apple iPhone X Plus
It’s tentative but, we might see a bigger version of the iPhone X in September of 2018. The iPhone X, launched in September 2017 saw a radical shift from the traditional iPhone design we were accustomed to, since the launch of the iPhone 6. While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were similar to their predecessors, the iPhone X was the special 10th-anniversary device, billed as the true successor to the original iPhone which was launched back in 2007.
Early reports claim that Apple will continue the trend and launch three new iPhones in 2018. While two of them will continue to have an OLED display, the smallest of the three iPhones will be cheaper thanks to the LCD display. However, the design of all the three iPhones will be similar to the iPhone X with the notch at the top of the display and vertically placed dual cameras.
Under the hood, an upgraded A12 (tentatively named) chipset is expected which will, as always, perform better than the previous generation and go toe-to-toe with the Snapdragon 845 chipset.
Apple made it clear that it will emphasise a lot on the use of AI and machine learning with the introduction of ARKit. This is expected to be taken a notch higher with the next generation iPhones. What will be interesting to see is the nomenclature of all the three iPhones.
Google Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launched amidst a lot of anticipation. Google was expected to deliver two of the best Android phones of the year and while the software and AI integration of the two phones was commendable, Google lost the race in the hardware department.
In 2018, especially after having the HTC smartphone personnel on board, Google will be expected to rectify those mistakes and deliver great Android devices which will compete with the likes of the Galaxy S9 and the OnePlus 6.
Similar to the Pixel 2, the Pixel 3 and its bigger sibling will focus a lot on AI and machine learning, and deliver smooth software experience thanks to the stock Android OS. 2018 will see the launch of Android P and the Pixel 3 devices will be the first Android phones on the planet to run o the new Android OS.
The Pixel 2 smartphones had the best camera on smartphones and achieved dual-camera capable features on their single camera setup thanks to Google’s incredible machine learning and AI implementation. We expect similar results from the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Which smartphone are you most excited about?