2016 was a big year for smartphones, in both good and bad ways. Experimentation was high, build quality has been maxed out across the board, and we got a new significant player in the market in the Google Pixel.
In addition to the phones listed below, we’ll no doubt see dozens of smartphones come in 2017, including followups to fantastic smartphones like the OnePlus 3T and the HTC 10. These five smartphones each have some significant stakes on the line, which make them the smartphones we are most curious about:
The LG G5 was a huge experiment and risk by LG—and for the most part, it didn’t pay off. It was supposed to be a highly-customizable phone that allowed for users to plug in different modules to change the features of the phone. LG didn’t follow through with enough modules, and they each made the phone far too expensive to make sense.
For that reason, we’re particularly excited to see what LG is going to do with the G6. Rumors are pointing toward a similar design to the G5, except with a glass back and possibly wireless charging. However, at this point it’s still up in the air if the modular design will come back or not. The G6 will either be announced in February at Mobile World Congress or at its own event later on in April.
The Note 7 was a fantastic smartphone—and that’s not a joke. It really had the potential to be the best smartphone Samsung has ever made. With that phone out of the picture, there is a lot of pressure on the Galaxy S8 to be not just good, but amazing.
With that in mind, there’s a lot of buzz around what Samsung might be up to with the S8 and we’re excited to see how it shapes up. Like the G6, we don’t know exactly when the S8 will be coming out, but it’ll be some time in the first half of 2016.
Photo by ConceptsiPhone.
It’s been ten years since the iPhone. Whether that feels like a short or long period of time to you, it’s definitely hard to remember the world was before the iPhone and the spark that it created in the tech industry. The iPhone 7 was a great smartphone, as most iPhones are, but it didn’t make a whole lot of significant leaps forward in terms of design or features (notwithstanding the removal of the headphone jack).
As a lot of the rumors have indicated, a lot of the things we expected to see in the iPhone 7 have been moved to the iPhone 8—or the “10th anniversary iPhone” as some are calling it. An all-encompassing OLED display, the removal of the Home button, more size options, and an even thinner design are all things that we could see on the new iPhone—and that’s all pretty exciting stuff.
The Pixel was our favorite smartphone of 2016. For it being Google’s first smartphone, we were thoroughly impressed by how well-rounded and full-featured this phone was. It’s got one of the best cameras on a smartphone ever made, which is something manufacturers have been trying to accomplish for years and years. In many ways, it felt like Google’s calm and collected way of showing that it can make a serious iPhone competitor with only its first attempt.
It only came out a couple of months ago, so we’re not exactly expecting to see anything about the Pixel 2 anytime soon. But that doesn’t stop us from getting excited about what Google might want to do with the Pixel phone in the future, specifically in the area of developing smarter artificial intelligence and improving the Google Assistant.
_This photo was originally picked up by PhoneArena and has since been debunked as an old model._
This one is still a rumor, but a lot of signs are pointing to Microsoft finally entering into the smartphone market with their own device. We’ve gotten the Surface tablets, the Surface laptops, and this year we’re even going to get the first Surface PC with the Surface Studio. With Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, it only makes sense for Microsoft to give us the long-rumored Surface Phone that we’ve been waiting for.
Five years ago, the idea of a Microsoft-made smartphone would have made us cringe, but with the quality of products Microsoft has been putting out lately, we’re highly interested in what the company will do with the form factor. Of course there is always the possibility that Microsoft will push this product off to 2018, but with Google’s aggressive entrance into the market with the Pixel, don’t be surprised if Microsoft plays its hand sooner rather than later.