Is now a good time to upgrade your smartphone or is there a better phone just around the corner? To help you make a decision we've rounded up the best new phones still expected to arrive in 2018.
New phone release dates 2018
- 31 May: Xiaomi Mi8
- 4 June: Apple iPhone SE 2
- June: Moto Z3/Z3 Play
- July: Moto Z3 Force
- July/August: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- August: Nokia 9
- August: Nokia 10
- September: Apple iPhone 2018
- September: LG V40 ThinQ
- September: Razer Phone 2
- 4 October: Google Pixel 3
- October: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
- October: Xiaomi Mi Note 4
- November: Huawei Mate 11
What are the best new phones still to come in 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.
It's likely the iPhone SE 2 will be announced at WWDC, which has now been confirmed for 4 June.
Google Pixel 3
Three new Google Pixel phones are expected to land on 4 October 2018, with one of them 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.
The HTC U12+ is now official, but bizarrely there is no standard model - it's all about the Plus. It has dual-cameras front and back, and HTC is making a lot of noises about its excellent audio and video recording capabilities.
There's a 6in tall (18:9) Quad-HD display with no notch, supporting a range of 'edge' gestures that involve squeezing and tapping the sides of the phone to interact with the device.
Core specs are standard flagship fare, with the Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage.
With prices starting at £699, undercutting the Galaxy S9 but overpriced compared to the LG G7 and OnePlus 6, HTC has not confirmed exactly when the U12+ will go on sale. You can read more about it here, and in our hands-on review.
LG G7 ThinQ
The LG G7 ThinQ is now official, launched on 2 May. It won't go on sale until 31 May, however, when it will cost around £600.
The G7 features a Snapdragon 845 processor and a 6.1in 'Super Bright' IPS screen that can reach 1000 nits and has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a notch just like the iPhone X.
There are twin 16Mp cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, and a 'Boombox' speaker which LG says means you don't need a Bluetooth speaker any more.
LG V40 ThinQ
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.
We've seen an update to the LG V30+ at MWC 2018 in the form of an LG V30S ThinQ, which features enhanced AI. The LG V40 ThinQ won'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.
In 2017 the Nokia 8 Sirocco arrived in place of the Nokia 9. It sort of was the Nokia 9, but the 2017 model with an old processor, and we're still waiting for the Nokia 9 2018. This may well be announced in August at IFA, and hopefully this one will actually be called the Nokia 9 to save confusion.
It's set to be a great phone, with headline features including a 5.7in Quad-HD+ POLED screen with an in-display fingerprint scanner and iPhone X-style notch.
Powering the show should be the Snapdragon 845 and up to 8GB of RAM, while there's also talk of a 22Mp dual-camera from Zeiss. Looking to the Sirocco for ideas we'd also guestimate USB-C audio (no headphone jack), IP67 waterproofing and Qi wireless charging.
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 OnePlus 6 is now official, going on sale on 22 May at £469/US$529/€519 for the entry 'Mirror Black' model, with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. It's seen a performance boost with the Snapdragon 845 and Adreno graphics, but these aren't the only changes.
The front now shows off a 6.28in 19:9 Optic AMOLED Full-HD+ display, with a notch at the top housing the earpiece, front facing camera and light sensor. The Alert Slider has been moved to the right side of the phone, and the rear 16Mp and 20Mp dual cameras are now vertical and central on the phone, with a pill shaped fingerprint sensor underneath. Both lenses have OIS, which is a nice improvement over the 5T. The main sensor is also 19% larger than before.
It can handle 4K video up to 60fps, with electronic image stabilisation aiding video recording where necessary. OnePlus has also added an in-device video editor to help you get the most out of the technology.
Audiophiles rejoice, the OnePlus 6 has a headphone jack too.
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.
Theories on what to expect are still rather thin on the ground, but there's talk of an improved camera setup.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Mini
You may have read rumours about a Galaxy S8 Mini. However, with the Galaxy S9 having been fairly recently announced 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, with the A6 and A6+ also rumoured to be coming soon. We'll have to wait and see.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
When it launches in July 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.
This is Xiaomi's upcoming flagship, and it will arrive on 31 May. A slightly delayed release date compared to what we were expecting, rumours suggest this is due to Xiaomi experimenting with embedding a fingerprint scanner within the display. When the Mi8 does arrive it will undercut the price of its UK rivals and offer much the same hardware - perhaps even better.
While flagships popular in the UK such as the Galaxy S9 have so far stuck with a traditional fingerprint scanner, the Xiaomi Mi8 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 (this has been implemented in the Mi Mix 2S announced in late-March), and the Mi8 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.
If you're wondering what happened to the Mi7, Xiaomi is skipping that model with the Mi8 in celebration of its eight anniversary.