2016 WAS an interesting year for smartphone fans, but 2017 looks set to be even bigger.
We've already seen Nokia make its long-awaited return to the Android smartphone market and BlackBerry bring back the old-school QWERTY keyboard, and rumour has it we're yet to witness the debut of Microsoft's so-called Surface Phone, Samsung's next-generation Galaxy Note smartphone and Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone.
We've rounded up the best smartphones already available and yet to come in 2017.
The OnePlus 5 is the Chinese firm's latest, and most expensive, self-styled 'flagship killer'.
Specs-wise, OnePlus' latest flagship is worth the extra cash, with its top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, whopping 8GB RAM and iPhone 7 Plus-rivalling dual camera setup, which OnePlus claims is the 'highest resolution' on the market right now. Elsewhere, you'll find a unibody aluminium chassis, 5.5in Full HD AMOLED display and a 3,300mAh battery, which we found often made it through two days.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony unveiled the Xperia XZ Premium at Mobile World Congress as a smartphone that follows on from the Xperia XZ but is better described as the true successor to the Xperia Z5 Premium thanks to some world-first features.
Sony claims the Xperia XZ Premium boasts the first ever HDR 4K screen to be seen in a smartphone, which packs an eye-popping 800ppi pixel density. The smartphone also packs a brand new 19MP camera sensor that's capable of capturing 960fps slow-motion videos and Qualcomm's 10nm Snapdragon 835 microprocessor.
Check out our full Sony Xperia XZ Premium review.
The HTC U11 arrives as the follow up to the excellent HTC 10, and this time around the Taiwanese company is bringing the big guns: a Snapdragon 835 processor, up to 128GB storage and, wait for it, squeezy tech. The handset's 'squeezable' frame acts as an input, with HTC offering tons of customisation around the experience.
The handset, which features a unique glossy chassis, also packs a 12MP camera with f/1.7 aperture and Instant HDR, a 3,000mAh battery that lasts a full day, and, er, no headphone jack, with HTC opting for audio via USB instead.
Announced at MWC, the LG G6 started the trend of the bezel-less design with its 5.7in 18:9 QHD+ FullVision display. Thanks to the screen's near bezel-less design, LG boasts that the smartphone offers the footprint of a 5.2in-screened device, and claims that unlike other phablet devices, it fits comfortably in one hand.
The LG G6 is also among just a handful of devices to pack camera setup, which consists of two identical 13MP sensors, as opposed to the 8MP/16MP combo found on last year's model. The G6 also sports a 5MP camera on the front with a 100-degree wide angle lens.
Check out our full LG G6 review.
Samsung Galaxy S8
It's probably that the Samsung's latest flagship smartphone - the Galaxy S8 - has made the list, along with its bigger S8+ sibling.
The smartphone duo come with Samsung's own artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, called 'Bixby', built in, although this isn't yet available in the UK. Brits will be able to make the most of the handset's 5.8in QHD+ 'Infinity' display, though, and the handset's 10nm internals, which Samsung claims will offer 30 per cent improved performance compared to its previous 14nm chip.
The Galaxy S8 also packs a 12MP DualPixel camera, Android 7.0 Nougat and an optional DeX docking station that transforms the smartphone into a full-fledged PC.
The Huawei P10 made its official debut at MWC, alongside the Huawei P10 Plus.
Much like the P9 before it, the Huawei P10 P10 opts for a 5.1in Full HD resolution display, while the P10 Plus takes on the iPhone 7 Plus with its 5.5in QHD panel. Both smartphones also retain the Leica camera tech seen on the previous model, sporting dual packing dual 12MP RGB and 20MP monochrome lenses what work together to offer better image quality and depth perception than rival devices.
There's a 'ceramic white' version that dumps the metal chassis in favour of, er, ceramic, and two "Dazzling" (sigh) models that come equipped with 'Hyper Diamond' technology that means it won't pick up fingerprints or scratches, available in either blue of gold. On top of that, there are the standard stainless steel versions of the phone that come in green, silver, gold or rose gold.
Check out our Huawei P10 review.
With this year's iPhone set to mark the 10th anniversary of Apple's smartphone lineup, speculation is rife that the firm has something big in store.
If rumours are to be believed, Apple has three smartphones up its sleeve - the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and iPhone 8. The latter, also referred to as the iPhone 'Edition', looks set to be the most exciting, with leaks pointing to an AMOLED display, an all-glass construction and built-in wireless charging support. There's also talk that the iPhone 8 will be the first to support wireless charging and a Touch ID sensor embedded in its display/
Apple's iPhone 8, along with the 7S and 7S Plus, likely will debut in September.
Nokia made its Android debut with the launch of the budget Nokia 3, 5 and 8 at this year's MWC, which also witnessed the unveiling of the new Nokia 3310.
We're yet to see the firm's flagship smartphone, though, which looks set to arrive in June this year as the so-called Nokia 9. The handset will reportedly offer IP68 water and dust resistance and be available in two sizes, 5.2in and 5.5in, each with QHD 2560x1440 AMOLED displays. With Android 7.0 on board, the Nokia P1 also looks set to arrive with support for Google's Daydream VR platform.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Given the fiery fiasco surrounding this year's now-defunct Galaxy Note 7, one thing's for sure about next year's release: it (probably) won't set on fire.
Beyond that, we don't yet know much about the so-called Galaxy Note 8, although we can expect it to come with support for Samsung's S Pen stylus, a built-in iris scanner and a 5.7in display, with speculation pointing to a 4K resolution. Rumours also point to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and support for Google's Daydream VR platform.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 likely will debut in August 2017.
The BlackBerry KeyOne, also known as the DTEK70, got its official outing at MWC, and marks the return of the QWERTY keypad.
This physical keyboard doubles up as a makeshift trackpad, mimicking the BlackBerry trackpad of old, and all 52 buttons can be programmed as customisable shortcuts. There's also a fingerprint scanner built into the spacebar, adding an extra layer of security to the device.
A 4.5in 1620x1080 display sits above the retro keys and under the hood you'll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and a 3,505mAh battery. The BlackBerry KeyOne is the first device to feature the firm's new 'Boost' charging tech, which will get you to 50 per cent charge in precisely 36 minutes.
Check out our BlackBerry KeyOne hands-on review.
2017 might be the year that Microsoft's elusive Surface Phone finally debuts as the firm looks to bolster its flailing share of the smartphone market.
If speculation is to be believed, the Windows 10-powered Surface Phone will be available in three versions; 4GB/128GB, 6GB/256GB and 8GB/512GB. All three devices are expected to pack USB-C ports, built-in fingerprint scanners and 5.7in AMOLED panels, while power is expected to be provided by Qualcomm. This means, if legit, that the Surface Phone will be able to run fully-fledged Windows 10 desktop apps.
The Surface Phone is expected to arrive in early 2017, but don't get your hopes up. µ
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