We’re now well into the second half of 2018, and Samsung, Sony, HTC, OnePlus, and more have all released some great phones. However, a slew of exciting devices have yet to come out. Let’s take a look at both — the most interesting new smartphones and those heading our way in the hopefully not too distant future. Let’s dive in.
New Android smartphones
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is finally here! As is the case every time, the latest Galaxy Note was one of the more anticipated releases of the year. Samsung’s certainly delivered once again, with a new device every bit the epitome of a powerhouse.
It shares a lot of the design language of Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but with flatter sides and more refined design elements, like a better-placed fingerprint scanner and a smaller camera visor. Samsung certainly knows how to make a premium looking smartphone, and the Galaxy Note 9 is no exception.
The Note 9 doesn’t compromise on its hardware at all. You get everything and the kitchen sink built in, with a Snapdragon 845 processor, backed by 6GB or 8GB of RAM, p to 512GB of built-in storage, and a 4,000mAh battery.
Samsung continues to excel in key areas like the display and the camera. The Galaxy Note 9 features the best smartphone display around, with numbers to back it up. The camera has the exact same setup as the Galaxy S9 Plus, with a few new software tricks to further enhance an already excellent camera experience.
Some may consider that Galaxy Note 9 to be a slightly bigger Galaxy S9 Plus. And that isn’t too far from the truth. However, what makes the Galaxy Note 9 that much more appealing is its defining characteristic – the S-Pen. Samsung has continued to bring more value and convenience with the stylus, and the S-Pen with the Galaxy Note 9 comes with a lot of new features and capabilities.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is available unlocked for $999 and $1250 for the 128GB and 512GB models respectively. It’s also available from all the major U.S. carriers at various price points and payment plans.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review – in praise of incrementalism
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price and availability
- Top 5 features that make the Galaxy Note 9 great
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs the competition
- Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus
- Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8 – worth the upgrade?
Pocophone F1 aka Xiaomi POCO F1
Xiaomi introduced a new sub-brand called Pocophone (or POCO in India) and its first device is the F1. The name promises speed, and Xiaomi certainly delivers in that department. The Pocophone F1 is the only smartphone priced between $300 and $400 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.
Backing the fast processor is 6GB or 8GB of RAM, with up to 256GB of built-in storage available. It has the specs of a far more expensive flagship, but the Pocophone F1 starts at just 20,999 rupees (~$299.5). Even the high-end version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will set you back just 28,999 rupees (~$414).
Its design isn’t quite as nice though. The polycarbonate backing is simple, and the large notch and relatively thick bezels undersell the excellent performance you get with this device. For those hoping for a more premium look, the highest-end variant comes with a kevlar back that looks and feels much better.
Aside from the design, the Pocophone F1 delivers in other areas. The phone absolutely flies and the large battery ensures impressive battery life. If performance and battery life are key factors, the Pocophone F1 is one of the best in this price range. The cameras are good, but slightly inconsistent. The software experience is great, with Xiaomi aiming for a more stock-like feel with the new Poco Launcher (based on MIUI 9.6 based on Android 8.1 Oreo).
At least in India, the POCO F1 is effectively Xiaomi’s current flagship, unless the company decides to ever release the Mi 8 or the upcoming Mi Mix 3 in the country. This is a good smartphone that becomes a fantastic option because of its unbeatable price point. Xiaomi is known for its incredibly aggressive pricing strategy, but the company truly outdid itself this time around. The Pocophone F1 will also launch in Europe priced at around 450 Euros (~$520).
- Xiaomi Pocophone F1 review
- POCO F1 launched in India – to be Flipkart exclusive
- The Pocophone F1 has power – but is that it?
Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play
The Motorola Moto Z was an exciting shift away from the norm in 2016. With subsequent iterations, the portfolio of attachable Moto Mods has continued to grow, with backward compatibility one of the biggest selling points of these add-ons. Moto Mods continues to be a big part of the latest in the Z-series — the Moto Z3 and the Moto Z3 Play.
The Moto Z3 brings something new with a future promise of access 5G speeds. While this makes the Moto Z3 future-proof from a networking perspective, its specifications go the other way. With a Snapdragon 835 onboard and a Full HD+ display, the Moto Z3 falls behind a lot of the flagship competition in 2018.
Luckily, Motorola priced the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z3 appropriately at $480. It is a solid smartphone with a beautiful design and comes with useful add-ons to really help you get the most out of the device. However, the most exciting part about this phone will come in 2019 by which time its hardware will be even more outdated.
For some, the better buy may prove to be the Moto Z3 Play. The size, design, and display are identical, but it comes with the Snapdragon 636 and a different secondary camera in the rear dual camera setup.
Weirdly, the Moto Z3 Play is currently available for a higher price than the Moto Z3, at $515. With devices with far better specs available at this price point, but the Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play are tough sells.
- Moto Z3 review – is the promise of 5G enough?
- Moto Z3 Play review
- Moto Z3 vs the competition
- Motorola camera shootout
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
- Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Where to buy, when, and how much
- All the official Google Pixel 3 accessories we could find
- Best Google Pixel 3 cases/Best Google Pixel 3 XL cases
- Best Google Pixel 3 screen protectors/Best Google Pixel 3 XL screen protectors
- Pixel Stand review
- Google Pixel 3 vs Galaxy Note 9, LG V40, and Huawei P20 Pro
- Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL vs Pixel 2 / 2 XL: A tale of four flagships
- Google Pixel 3: Here are all the new camera features
LG V40 ThinQ
The new LG V40 ThinQ is getting a lot of attention because it’s the first smartphone with five camera sensors on board. Three are in the back; a standard 12MP camera, along with a wide-angle 16MP camera, and a telephoto 12MP camera. The other two sensors are in the front; a standard 8MP camera and a 5MP wide-angle sensor.
The LG V40 ThinQ has a large 6.4-inch 3,120 x 1,440 OLED resolution display. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor inside, along with 6GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB of expandable storage. It also has a 3,300mAh battery with support for wireless charging, and there are some advanced audio features as well, including a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and Boombox Speaker tech, but still has an old-fashioned headphone jack. It supports an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
You can order the LG V40 ThinQ right now from all of the major carriers for various prices and payment plans, and you can also get the phone unlocked from Best Buy for $949.99.
- LG V40 ThinQ review: Undeveloped innovation
- LG V40 ThinQ features: These are our top five
- LG V40 ThinQ specs: It still has a headphone jack and 32-bit DAC
- LG V40 ThinQ: Where to buy, when, and for how much
- LG V40 ThinQ vs the competition
- LG V40 vs V30 specs: Is it more than just two extra cameras?
Razer Phone 2
The recently announced Razer Phone 2 has a similar design to the original Razer Phone, which launched in 2017. Marketed for gaming, the new phone has a number of changes and improvements compared to its predecessor. One is that the cameras, the weakest part of the first Razer Phone, have been highly improved for the Razer Phone 2, with OIS support for the main camera and the ability to record 4K video at 60fps.
The Razer Phone 2 retains the 120Hz display for its 5.72-inch IGZO LCD screen, which was the biggest feature in the original. However, the brightness of the display has been increased by 50 percent. The new phone also has the same 4,000mAh battery, but throws in support for wireless charging, and the phone even has an IP67 water and resistance rating this time.
Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage. It also still has dual front-facing speakers. Finally, the phone adds support for Razer Chroma which allows you to pick the color of the Razer logo on the back from millions of different choices. The logo will also light up when you get a notification, and even has different modes of lighting like cycling or breathing.
The Razer Phone 2 is now on sale, starting at $799.99 on the company’s store, but still only works on GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile. Razer is also taking pre-orders for a gamepad accessory for the phone, the Razer Raiju Mobile, that will also work on nearly any Android smartphone, for $149.99.
- Razer Phone 2 hands-on: A sharp upgrade
- Razer Phone 2 announced: More style, more power
- Razer Phone 2 specs: Familiar, but better in all the ways that matter
- Razer Phone 2 vs Razer Phone: Specs comparison
- The Razer Raiju Mobile lets you play Android games with actual buttons
Huawei Mate 20/Mate 20 Pro/Mate 20 X
Huawei knocked it out of the park with the P20 Pro, and it just announced the next phones in the Mate series, with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Both are powered by Huawei’s newest in-house processor, the Kirin 980 chipset. The Kirin 980 will be the first commercially available 7nm smartphone chipset.
The standard Mate 20 will have a 6.53-inch LCD display, along with a 4,000mAh battery that supports the standard Huawei Supercharge feature found on the Mate 10 Pro and the P20. It comes with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. The Mate 20 Pro has a curved 6.39-inch OLED display, with a large notch on the front to support its 3D depth sensing 24MP camera. It will have a 4,200mAh battery with a 40W charging rate, allowing the Mate 20 Pro to charge up to 70 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes. The Mate 20 Pro also has an in-screen fingerprint sensor. It only comes in one model, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Both phones have triple rear cameras. The Mate 20 has an 8MP 3x telephoto lens, a wide 40MP sensor, and a new ultra-wide 20MP sensor. The standard Mate 20 has a 12MP primary sensor, an 8MP 3x telephoto lens, and a 16MP ultra-wide sensor. The phones’ AI chip will offer a number of features, including “4D predictive focus” which is supposed to track the main object of your photo to keep in focus. and more. Pricing for the Mate 20 starts at 799 euros (~$927) while the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will start at 1,049 euros (~$1,217). The company also announced the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS, another version of the Mate 20 with 8GB of RAM. It’s priced at 1,695 euros (~$1,966) with 256GB of storage, and 2,095 euros (~$2,430) for 512GB of storage.
Huawei is also launching yet another member of the Mate 20 lineup, the Mate 20 X. This phone will be a gaming-0riented handset, with a massive 7.2-inch display. Inside, it shares most of the same hardware specs as the Mate 20 Pro, but it has a huge 5000mAh battery and a new, graphene-based cooling system designed to keep the phone from running hot during gaming sessions. Huawei will also sell an optional gamepad attachment for the Mate 20 X, along with a stylus. It will launch later in October for 899 euros (~$1040) with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
- Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro hands-on
- Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro specs
- Top 5 Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro features
- Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro; price, release date, and availability
Upcoming Android smartphones
That’s it for the current and just announced major Android phones. Now here’s a quick look at some upcoming Android phones due out sometime in the next several months.
Rumors about a new phone with the Palm brand have been popping up for months on the internet, but the company behind this venture has finally officially announced the new Palm phone (yes, it’s just called Palm). This phone is designed to be a secondary device to your main smartphone. The startup company that now owns the Palm IP bought it in 2017 from TCL, who helped this new company design and make this phone. This startup believes the Palm will be perfect for people who want to go to places where having a normal or big-screen smartphone is less convenient.
The new Palm has a tiny 3.3-inch display, and inside it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of non-expandable onboard storage, along with a super-small 800mAh battery. However, this tiny phone still has a 12MP rear camera, along with a 5MP front-facing camera, and an IP68 water resistance rating. It comes with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box but has its own UI skin that’s designed to be used on this small screen.
The new Palm will be a Verizon exclusive, sold for $350 in November by the carrier. However, you must have a Verizon smartphone and line already set up as the new Palm will share your main phone line and account.
RED Hydrogen One
Well-known camera company RED has been teasing us with its first smartphone, the Hydrogen One, for a long, long time. It finally looks like it will become a reality soon, with some pre-orders shipping sometime in October. This phone is supposed to have a 5.7-inch LCD display with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, and more importantly, a “4D View” feature the company claims will add a layer of depth to the 2D objects shown on the screen.
Ironically, we know little about the cameras for the RED Hydrogen One, except that it will have two front-facing cameras designed to take video and photos that will work with its 4D View display. It will also have connector pins on the back to snap in modules and accessories. It will have the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor inside, along with 6GB of RAM, 128 GB of onboard storage, and a 4,500mAh battery. The phone will be sold in either aluminum (preorder price: $1,195) or titanium (preorder price: $1,595). We will have to see if the RED Hydrogen One will be worth that high a price.
After launching the OnePlus 6 to great acclaim earlier this year, the company is getting ready to launch its fall successor with the OnePlus 6T. We have already seen some leaked renders of this phone, which show a display with very little in terms of bezel and a small notch on the front.
The company has already confirmed the OnePlus 6T will include an in-screen fingerprint sensor, but lack a headphone jack. The company will officially announce the OnePlus 6T on October 30, so stay tuned for more info on this highly anticipated handset.
Read more: Here’s all we know about the OnePlus 6T
Asus ROG phone
Earlier this year, Asus announced it was entering the gaming smartphone field with its ROG (Republic of Gamers) phone. Since then, the company has announced that pre-orders will begin on October 18. The impressive specs for this phone include an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 512GB of storage, a 4,000mAh battery, extra shoulder trigger buttons, and two USB Type-C ports. The second port is designed for the phone to connect to a number of exclusive accessories, which will include a shell that adds a second screen to the phone, a dock to turn the phone into a PC and more.
Pricing for the phone has already been announced at $899 for the 128GB model and $1,099 for the 512GB version. Hopefully we will get more information on when the phone will launch when pre-orders begin.
Samsung foldable phone
Rumors suggest this could feature a 7.3-inch flexible OLED display that would open like a book. This would make its foldable design different than the ZTE Axon M, which has two separate displays working as one.
A smartphone with a foldable screen would represent one of the biggest design changes we’ve seen in a decade. It’s too early to say whether it will be a gimmick or provide real value.
Read Next: What we know so far Samsung’s foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy S10
Like the upcoming foldable phone from Samsung, the world is also awaiting the next version of the flagship Galaxy S lineup, the Galaxy S10. Unconfirmed rumors claim Samsung could launch as many as three Galaxy S10 models this time. It could also have an almost bezel-free design, along with features like an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a 3D mapping camera, and three camera sensors on the back for the highest end version. Finally, rumors claim Samsung could announce the new Galaxy S10 phones in early January at CES 2019, for a launch in February 2019.
We will be updating this post when more credible rumors and info on Galaxy S10 pop up.
Upcoming Android Phones – Conclusion
There you have it! Are there any upcoming Android phones out there that you think should be a part of this list? Let us know in the comments section below!