It’s a brand new year, which means we are all once again set to witness the upcoming rush of flagship announcements from key players in the mobile device market such as Samsung, Huawei, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Motorola, Sony, Google, and more. If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, this feature article outlines the top upcoming Android phones set to debut at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, which is set to occur beginning on the 26th of this month.
If you were looking for latest info on the upcoming Android phones like LG G7, Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, Xiaomi Mi 7, or HTC U12, this page would give you latest on whether these phones are coming to MWC or not, with other launch details.
As the anticipated event draws nearer, rumors about the possible devices expected to be launched at MWC 2018 have begun to hog the headlines. In this article, we round up the most likely handsets that we believe are in the pipeline for the big reveal.
Without so much ado, let’s take a look at some of the best upcoming Android phones we’re about to see in the near future, though it should be pointed out that these phones have yet to be confirmed at the moment and we’re only talking about some rumors making the rounds on the internet from reliable sources.
Top upcoming Android phones at MWC 2018 (or later)
The biggest mobile tech show is almost here and excitement is all over us, which is understandable considering what is set to go down at this year’s event. Unlike last year, this year’s event is set to be lit, but who has the most interesting device (s) in store? Let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
While Samsung is doing its best to keep the details of the widely anticipated Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones away from the public and newshounds until they themselves make these two biggest launches official on February 25, they haven’t been able to protect the devices completely from some hawkeyed smartphone enthusiasts. Thus the leaked pics of the S9 and S9+ you see above.
As your first glance tell you, the design of the S9 and S9+ will stick to the same lines as the S8 and S8+, albeit with some minor — but crucial, we think — refinements here and there. Although features and specs of the upcoming Galaxy S9 phones are not confirmed, both handsets are guaranteed to ship with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845 processor, or an equivalent in Exynos 9810 chipset, depending on your region. Expect Samsung to retain the size of infinity display you see on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.
The controversial rear-mounted fingerprint scanner will now get a better position, which is expected to be placed just below the camera (look at the Galaxy A8+ to get a better idea of it). Speaking of which, the Galaxy S9+, in particular, is expected to ship with a 12MP+12MP dual camera at back as against a 12MP single camera for the S9. It’s rumored that the S9 sets would feature a whopping 1,000 FPS slow-motion recording. Selfie camera could sport an 8MP sensor for both of the devices, and the rumor has it that these new Galaxy S handsets would shoot excellent selfies.
Besides the small design refinements and major camera improvements, performance is also on the cards to receive a major boost, especially on the S9+. In addition to rocking a more powerful processor, the phone will come with a massive 6GB RAM compared to the S9’s 4GB. Of course, Samsung’s Android Oreo build with Samsung Experience UI atop will run the show out of the box and as for the battery life, they could remain unchanged at 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh for the S9 and S9+, respectively.
Samsung might open the Galaxy S9 pre-orders in South Korea on March 2, with sales set to begin on March 9. In the U.S., shipping should begin on March 16, at least based on what is shown in the leaked images above.
Sony Xperia XZ Pro
Sony Xperia XZ Premium was announced at the MWC 2017. In a similar fashion, Sony is expected to unveil the phone’s successor at this year’s event. At the moment, it is still not clear which name Sony would pick, but names such as Xperia XZ Pro, Xperia XZ2 Pro, Xperia XZ1 Plus and Xperia XZ1 Premium have all popped up.
Names aside, the Xperia XZ Premium successor is expected to be, well, a premium phone. There’s talk of a new 18:9 bezel-less design to go with the current trends, with the screen size seeing an increase to 5.7 inches. Apparently, this will be an OLED panel with a 4K resolution.
While there’s no official name yet for Sony’s 2018 flagship phone, rumor has it that phone will include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Further to that, the rumored handset could expectedly ship with a dual-lens camera setup at the back with 18MP+12 MP dual camera and a 13-megapixel front shooter. Other expected key features of the phone include a 3420 mAh battery, IP68 body, support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology and Android 8.1 Oreo out the box.
Last year, LG was at the MWC event to unveil the G6. This year, the South Korean company will also be at the same venue, but it won’t be doing the expected. Rather than give us the LG G7, or any other new flagship smartphone, the company has been tipped to come in with an enhanced version of the LG V30., albeit with AI DNA, or simply AI-something.
LG calls it the V30+a (LG V30+ alpha) and according to reports, it will bring improved AI capabilities to the V30, meaning the rest of the specs and features will remain untouched. The V30 is a great piece of hardware, but it’s 2018 and it has 2017 flagship specs, which is kind of the same mistake that happened last year, but it’s now a little smarter.
By sticking with the same name, LG will find it easier to justify the V30+a’s older specs compared to what would have happened if it launches the G6 successor with 2017 specs.
Asus ZenFone 5 Pro
Asus has confirmed that it will be attending the MWC 2018 show to unveil the ZenFone 5 series. So far, not much details about this phone have been leaked, but we do know that there’s a ZenFone 5 Lite and ZenFone 5 Max in the works. Even a standard ZenFone 5 that would cater to low budget smartphone buyers, but we also expect a powerful handset in ZenFone 5 Pro from Asus, who may announce it at the MWC.
Last year, the ZenFone 4 series was accompanied by a Pro variant that came with all the bells and whistles of a 2017 flagship phone. Given its confirmed attendance at the MWC event, the least we can expect is for Asus to unveil the flagship ZenFone 5 Pro alongside other ZenFone 5 series phones.
Besides rocking a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6GB RAM, dual-lens camera and Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, there isn’t much we can say about the ZenFone 5 Pro apart from the fact that it’ll be another great flagship phone from the Taiwanese OEM.
For months now, we’ve heard rumors about the Nokia 9, but none has materialized thus far. In fact, the device that was initially thought to be the Nokia 9 ended up as the Nokia 8, but this didn’t stop rumors from trickling in. Today, the story isn’t different whatsoever.
Nokia will be holding an event on February 25 ahead of the MWC kick off and has promised some exciting news. Perhaps the time for the Nokia 9 is finally here, but we cannot guarantee this. Apparently, rumors say the Nokia 9 will be a much similar device to the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9, but of course, we expect a cheaper price tag.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S
Xiaomi’s Mi MIX 2 has been a success the company was hoping it to be, but we could see an S-variant of the device too, dubbed the Mi MIX 2S.
From the name, we can deduce that the 2S will remain largely the same as the Mi MIX 2, but reports suggest that the only change will be the new Snapdragon 845 SoC to run the show instead of Snapdragon 835. Apparently, the Mi MIX 2S may see an earlier than MWC 2018 launch, with the company reportedly set to hold an event at an earlier date. Of course, take this with a huge grain of salt.
Top Android phones skipping MWC 2018
The MWC show is definitely the biggest mobile tech show on the planet and while it’s every smartphone OEM’s dream to unveil its latest phones at this event, there will be some major names missing this year’s event. Last year, it was Samsung, but this year, we have even more names on the list.
Banking on the successes of the legacy Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, the Chinese phone maker was expected to announce its next flagship at the MWC 2018: the P20 series (instead of P11), consisting of the P20, P20 Plus, and the P20 Lite. However, there has been a change of heart supposedly due to the issues that went down at the CES 2018 with respect to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and U.S. carriers.
The Chinese OEM will still attend the MWC 2018 event, but the Huawei P20 won’t be at the show. Instead, the company will hold an event in Paris on March 27 during which the phone will be launched.
According to a recent leak from China, the P20 Plus and the P20 Pro might ship with bigger RAM, storage, and battery along with a triple camera setup on the back of the devices, with up to 5X hybrid zoom and a total resolution of 40MP. A dual camera setup is rumored for the Huawei P20 Lite. All P20 handsets would sport the cameras in a vertical layout similar to the iPhone X.
Huawei is yet to confirm the devices, but recent schematics of the mobile devices indicate the phones will sport different screen sizes and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the Home button at the front of the P20 and P20 Plus, while the P20 Pro variant is believed to have its fingerprint sensor at the back. The trio is expected to come equipped with the Kirin 970 system-on-chip and up to 8GB of RAM, with the Pro variant presumably including a Kirin 975 processor.
While it was previously reported that the rumored LG G7 will debut this month, recent reports suggest that the phone will be announced somewhere in April 2018, though possibly with a fresh branding to do away with the G branding, which means it might not be called the LG G7 as many have come to expect.
It is not immediately clear what name the next LG flagship will bear, but the final branding will come to light next sooner or later. As for the specs of the phone, LG’s next flagship phone is rumored to include the Snapdragon 845 chipset, Qualcomm’s premium SoC, a significant step-up from last year where the LG G6 came with the Snapdragon 821 SoC from 2016.
HTC previously revealed that it will resume making phones with a dual camera setup at the back this year in a bid to up the ante in the mobile race against major rivals like Samsung and Huawei. Well, that is likely to come in the form of the HTC U12. The device remains unconfirmed and unofficial, which is not surprising, but as this is the first HTC flagship after the company sold its tech and transferred a good bunch of its staff to Google for over $1 billion, it’s on HTC to prove they can still make and compete with a good flagship device.
Details about the rumored HTC u12 smartphone are scarce at the moment, given that the Taiwanese consumer electronics company has remained mum on the matter. Still, some recent renders that leaked out seem to indicate that the HTC U12 is coming with a larger screen, but with much smaller bezels. More will come to light once we witness its unveiling, but not at the MWC 2018.
Motorola Moto Z3
Motorola is expected to refresh the Moto G series at the MWC 2018 event, but it’s unlikely to unveil the Moto Z3, despite some details of the phone already leaking out. Besides the expected performance upgrades, one of the most interesting changes will be the new 18:9 design, which will allow for bigger screens in the region of 6 inches.
Last year, the Moto Z2 family was unveiled in the summer and we don’t expect anything different this year. Unlike the Z2 family that got only two variants, the Z3 family will reportedly go back to three variants, including a standard Moto Z3 in addition to the Moto Z3 Force and Moto Z3 Play.
Xiaomi Mi 7
Xiaomi will be at the MWC 2018 event, but it will not bring along the Mi 7. Apparently, the phone will arrive somewhere after the event, probably in March, and start selling in April. Furthermore, it could be another phone that will beat Samsung to the in-display fingerprint scanning technology.
The Xiaomi Mi 7 is also tipped to come with the new 18:9 design, a bigger 5.65-inch screen, wireless charging, Snapdragon 845, up to 8GB RAM as well as Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.
Apparently, the MWC 2018 has a lot in store for consumers looking to upgrade their handset this year. But not all big upcoming flagships from top Android OEMs would be announced at the MWC, clearly. You would get to know the length and breadth of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, and also the Sony Xperia XZ pro, but we won’t see what LG G7 and HTC U12 would look like. That was about the top end of the spectrum, but even at the higher side of the budget range, we might see Asus ZenFone 5 Pro at MWC, but not the triple-camera and 5X optical zoom said-to-featuring Huawei P20 sets.
It’s fair to say MWC has lost its sheen because of companies opting to — rightly so — launch their own big launch a bit later to give them a fully deserved limelight, which won’t be possible at MWC 2018 where Samsung’s S9 sets are all set to run the show.
Most of the selection are top-of-the-line devices whose performance and features are expected to get a boost. In addition to the specs and features of the devices, pricing and availability are also among the things that we’ll learn from the event, so stay tuned.