2018 new phone release calendar
- LG V30+a
- Nokia 9/Nokia 8 Sirocco - WATCH THE LIVE STREAM HERE
- Samsung Galaxy S9 - WATCH THE LIVE STREAM HERE
- Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium/Xperia XZ2 - WATCH THE LIVE STREAM HERE
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Apple iPhone SE 2
- Huawei P20 (P11)
- Xiaomi Mi7
- HTC U12
- LG G7
- Moto Z3/Z3 Play
- OnePlus 6
- Moto Z3 Force
- Nokia 10
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Apple iPhone 2018
- LG V40
- Razer Phone 2
- Sony Xperia XZ2/XZ2 Compact
- Google Pixel 3
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
- Xiaomi Mi Note 4
- Huawei Mate 11
If you're in the market for a new phone your choices available right now are pretty good, but it's always the way that as soon as you take the plunge and upgrade something better comes along and you regret your decision. In this article we outline the phones that will be released in 2018 to help you decide whether or not to wait.
Also see: What to expect from MWC 2018
Apple iPhone 2018
OK, so we don't know what it'll be called. iPhone 11? XS? X Plus? 9? Whatever it's called, you're probably going to want one.
Rumours suggest the iPhone X design could get two more sizes, mini and Plus, with upgrades to the internals of the X itself. Others suggest there could be cheaper alternatives that keep the design.
Either way, expect more than one iPhone this September. Apple had to play catch up with the iPhone X, and it won't want to do that again. Likely with an A12 processor, better battery tech, iOS 12 and faster charging, this is going to be the best iPhone. Again.
Apple iPhone SE 2
The iPhone SE is Apple's small and cheap iPhone, the only one still on sale with a 4in screen but well overdue an update. What on earth is it doing in a round-up of the *best* new phones coming in 2018, you might wonder.
Well, let us explain. The iPhone SE 2 we've all been waiting for may not be the cheap, small iPhone we're expecting. In fact it may be an iPhone X SE, with a larger screen and higher price tag.
According to rumours the new SE will still be cheaper than the iPhone X, but cheap is not a word we'd associate with a phone that might still cost £649.
It's likely the phone will see a 6.01in LCD screen with an iPhone X-like notch, but it will lose 3D Touch to cut down costs.
Google Pixel 3
Three new Google Pixel phones are expected to land on 4 October 2018, with one of them potentially poised as a rival to the iPhone X.
Codenamed Crosshatch, Albacore and Blueline, we know that these new pure Android phones will run the to-be-announced Android 9.0 P, and that they will likely carry the 10nm (second-gen) Snapdragon 845 processor and feature 18:9 pOLED panels.
Originally tipped for February's MWC tradeshow, but now all but confirmed for launch at a separate Paris event on 27 March, the P20 will be successor to the company's current flagship, the P10.
In common with the Mate 10 it will likely get the Kirin 970 chip, which Huawei claims delivers 25 times better CPU performance and 50 times greater energy efficiency.
Rumours suggest it could copy sister company Honor's latest flagship and ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The LG G7 will not launch at MWC 2018 as originally expected, but is instead arrive in June - potentially with a new name.
Rumours suggest we'll see a new 6.1in FullVision MLCD+ display, along with the Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, dual-cameras, wireless charging and more.
At MWC instead expect to see a new version of the LG V30+ with enhanced AI.
We noted above that LG's flagship phone launches may no longer be annual, but we're still expecting an update to the V series in 2018.
It is rumoured that we'll see an update to the LG V30+ at MWC 2018 in the form of an LG V30+'a', which features enhanced AI. The LG V40 wouldn't be announced until later in the year - potentially September in line with IFA 2018.
Rumours are thin on the ground, though it's likely we're looking at another OLED FullVision phablet here with a 6in screen and some tasty hardware. However, it's worth pointing out that the G7 is now expected to feature a 6.1in MLCD+ display.
The Snapdragon 845 is naturally top of the list, though we could also see some storage and memory enhancements.
Microsoft Surface Phone
Microsoft's Surface Phone has been the stuff of rumours for more than two years, and only a few months ago we believed all hopes were dashed with news that Microsoft was killing Windows Phone.
But the company has filed fresh patents for a foldable mobile device, reigniting rumours on the possibility of a Surface Phone. It's still no more than a maybe, making estimating a release date impossible. But if the Surface Phone does eventually see the light of day, we could see a foldable phablet to rival the Galaxy Note X.
Three new models in the Moto Z family are tipped to arrive this summer, with the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play expected in early June and the Moto Z3 Force in late-July.
All three are thought to have 6in 'borderless' (18:9) displays, though the Force will feature a Quad-HD resolution while the Z3 and Play are stuck on full-HD. It will also have the most powerful spec, with the Snapdragon 845 inside.
No fingerprint scanner is visible on the leaked images - is Motorola ditching it for an iris scanner, or are we finally about to see mainstream phones with fingerprint scanners embedded in their screens?
Support for Moto Mods is a given, but there's talk of a new 5G Moto Mod that lets you bolt on the latest mobile tech.
The first Nokia Android phone was announced a year ago, with its successor (the Nokia 6 2018) announced on 5 January. But we're still waiting for an announcement on the Nokia 9, which is the flagship in the company's line-up. Rumour has it the big reveal could be coming on Sunday 25 February at MWC, with Nokia holding a press conference in the afternoon.
The Nokia 9 was thought to be an upgraded version of the Nokia 8 with a larger 5.7in 18:9 display and an extra 2GB of RAM, but the latest leaked images show a standard 16:9 display.
We should see a dual-camera - potentially 13Mp with separate RGB and monochrome sensors. A 13Mp selfie camera may also be found at the front. This is the setup seen in the Nokia 8, which also boasts Bothie photos - snaps that combine images from the front- and rear cameras to create a fuller picture.
Also new in the Nokia 8 is 360-degree Ozo audio recording, which we're sure will also make its way to the Nokia 9.
The Nokia 9 is thought to be the flagship in Nokia's Android phone family, and as such will likely run the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 GPU, plus 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Read more about the Nokia 9.
New rumours have surfaced on yet another Nokia flagship, although they're best described as "sketchy".
A Nokia 10 could be released at IFA 2018 (running from 31 August) with a five-lens primary camera and the Snapdragon 845 inside.
The phone company that was once known only by geeks is about to come a lot more popular in the smartphone world, but OnePlus flagships are worth a look for more than their exclusivity.
Once marketed as 'flagship killers', the OnePlus 6 will be the latest in a growing line of premium smartphones that take one look at the best the phone market has to offer and go one better, and at a lower price.
Having already taken Samsung in its sights, OnePlus is on to Apple. Or, more specifically, the iPhone X's Face ID feature. OnePlus is tipped to develop its own version of the face-recognition technology in its upcoming flagship. And though the OnePlus 5T supports face recognition, the OnePlus 6 will make it secure enough for use with mobile payments.
Despite likely coming in at a comparatively low £449 when it arrives in June (though we have seen rumours of a March launch), the OnePlus 6 will pack some serious hardware, including the Snapdragon 845.
Razer Phone 2
The original Razer phone, the first smartphone built for gamers and to support a 120Hz refresh rate, was met with huge interest from consumers. So it's good to hear a second version is in the planning, and likely to be with us in September. Its launch may also coincide with the release of Project Linda.
Theories on what to expect are still rather thin on the ground, but there's talk of an improved camera setup.
Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be the biggest and baddest of the phones announced in 2018, continuing to perfect what have so far shaped up to be the best phones of 2017. Expect to see an announcement on Sunday 25 February, with a release date in March.
New in both models is likely to be the 10nm (second-gen) Snapdragon 845 or 8nm Exynos 9810 processor, with a dual-lens rear camera on the Plus, and fingerprint scanners embedded into the Infinity display.
Performance will definitely get a boost, and we might see Samsung finally go above the 4GB of RAM seen in the company's previous flagships. The design is not likely to change significantly, and hopefully neither will the price.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Mini
You may have read rumours about a Galaxy S8 Mini. However, as we approach the Galaxy S9 release date it's looking more likely that if such a phone exists it will be the Galaxy S9 Mini, not the Galaxy S8 Mini.
There's very little to go on right now, but one mobile leakster has suggested Samsung is working on a 5in screen phone with a full-screen Infinity Display.
It sounds a lot like a potential Galaxy S9 Mini, but it could equally be an update to the Galaxy A series. We'll have to wait and see.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
When it launches in August the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, codenamed 'Crown', could really steal the Android Crown. It's expected to feature some of the tech we didn't get to see in the Samsung Galaxy S9, such as an under-glass fingerprint scanner.
More interestingly, the Note 9 could be the phone to offer a truly bezel-less display, with patents suggesting Samsung is experimenting with an all-glass front into which the camera and sensors are also built-in.
Samsung Galaxy Note X
The bendable phone will finally become a reality in early 2018 if rumours are to be believed, though Samsung suggests we may be waiting a bit longer.
The Galaxy Note X, previously known as Project Valley, is thought to be a smartphone with a dual-screen (one on each side) that folds out to reveal a 7in tablet. An 8in tablet that folds up into a 5in phone has also been rumoured.
Okay, let's be honest here, we're not actually entirely convinced that a Snapchat smartphone will ever exist, let alone become a reality in 2018. We think it more likely the company is working on a connected camera, but there is certainly talk of a Snapchat phone.
Should a Snapchat smartphone come to reality it will likely be the ultimate selfie phone, and perhaps the first phone to feature a 360-degree camera.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium/Sony Xperia XZ Pro
Sony is thought to be unveiling the Premium version of its Sony Xperia XZ1 at February's MWC 2018 trade show, which would place its launch date on 26 February 2018. Sony's press conference takes place on Monday morning, so check back for full details then.
There is also talk of a Sony Xperia XZ Pro and, as ever with Sony, we cannot be 100 percent sure of its naming scheme. Either way, a flagship phablet is incoming.
The phone will likely launch alongside the Sony Xperia XZ1S and another Sony phablet, the latter with a 5.7in 4K display and an 18:9 'bezel-less' design.
Less is known on the core hardware, with contradictory sources claiming it will feature the Snapdragon 835 or 845, 4- or 6GB of RAM and 64- or 128GB of storage. Our money is on the former, since Samsung may well be again holding the exclusive on the new Qualcomm chip.
Sony Xperia XZ2
The Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are likely to launch at IFA 2018 in September (provided Sony doesn't mix up its naming scheme again).
We should at last see a new design, Sony has promised, and hopefully one that includes slimmer bezels and a super-widescreen display.
Both XZ2 and Compact should feature the same core hardware, which includes the Snapdragon 845 and up to 6GB of RAM.
There's also talk that we could finally see a dual-camera in a Sony flagship.
This is Xiaomi's upcoming flagship. The Mi7 should arrive in April 2018, undercutting the price of its UK rivals and offering much the same hardware - perhaps even better.
While flagships popular in the UK such as the upcoming Galaxy S9 are expected to stick with a fingerprint scanner, the Xiaomi Mi7 could be one of the first phones to embed a fingerprint scanner directly in the screen.
Other firsts for Xiaomi will likely include the addition of wireless charging, and the Mi7 could see an 18:9 panel with a full-HD (2160x1080) resolution.
There's likely to be both a standard and Plus model, with both running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. The base models will feature 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage, so performance should be mind-blowing.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
We're still a long way from the potential Mi Mix 3 release date, but we could see an updated version of the Mi Mix 2 this week. Xiaomi is tipped to announce the Mi Mix 2S at MWC 2018 in February. It will be more or less identical to the Mix 2 but with the Snapdragon 845 inside.
The Mi Mix 3 will come later in the year - likely October - and we could see a new design if a leaked image of a rear panel is anything to go by.
This may be nothing more than a prototype, but if it sees the light of day we will see a Mi Mix with more rounded corners than ever, and a vertical dual-camera and central fingerprint scanner at the rear.
Recently leaked information suggests the Mi Mix 3 will come with the 10nm (second-gen) Snapdragon 845 processor.