If you’re due a phone upgrade you might want to hold off just a little longer – there are some great new phones coming from the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Apple, OnePlus, Sony, Nokia and LG (but probably not HTC) in the next 12 months, and we’d hate for you to get tied into a two-year contract and immediately regret it.
Two of the hot new trends are 5G connectivity and foldable designs. Neither is something you really need to worry about right now, with 5G still exclusive to only two of the four major UK operators and not expected to become widespread until much later in 2020, and foldable phones still few and far between and, for most people, priced out of reach. That said, if you intend to hang on to your new phone for a few years yet some element of future-proofing is worth considering.
Today’s best phones blend ultimate performance with long battery life, high-resolution full-display screens, excellent photography capabilities (from a triple- or even quad-lens assembly) and decent sound quality.
Right now the processor of choice is the Snapdragon 855, with the Snapdragon 865 due in Q1 2020. Apple, Huawei and Samsung will continue to develop their own alternatives, but with similar levels of performance.
Android 10 Q and iOS 13 will be released within the next couple of months, so any new phone you buy in late-2019 or 2020 should run one of these operating systems out of the box.
Top smartphones coming in 2019 & 2020
We’ve listed the flagships expected to arrive in 2019 and 2020 from the world’s biggest smartphone makers. Though launch dates are yet to be confirmed for some of these phones we’ve attempted to keep things roughly in date order, so you have a good idea of how long you’ll be waiting to upgrade.
There’s a chance you could upgrade your contract early, but if you just can’t wait you should also check out our guide to the best phones available right now.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 – 7 August 2019
Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note 10 on 7 August. For the first time the new Note flagship is not one but three new models, with the 6.3in Note 10 joined by a 6.8in Note 10 Plus and a 5G version.
There are some sacrifices in the spec – the headphone jack, the heart-rate sensor and the Bixby button – but you get a lot more in return. The S Pen has had an upgrade with new air gestures, there’s a new in-display fingerprint sensor, extra Depth Vision and time-of-flight cameras on the Plus, and an all-round performance upgrade. The battery is also now higher in capacity, and charges faster at up to 45W.
Read more about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which goes on sale on 23 August from £899/$949.
Asus ROG Phone 2 – September 2019
Already official in China, Asus’ ROG Phone 2 should get its global reveal at September’s IFA tradeshow.
A gaming phone with some meaty hardware including the Snapdragon 855 Plus, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 6,000mAh battery, the updated ROG phone also gets a larger 6.59in display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.
To combat heat a fan that clips on to the rear and doubles as a kickstand is supplied in the box, while a vapour chamber and vents can also help dissipate heat.
Read more about the Asus ROG Phone 2.
Samsung Galaxy Fold – September 2019
Originally expected to go on sale in April, Samsung’s foldable Galaxy Fold was delayed following some issues with the display. Now fixed, Samsung has confirmed the Fold will go on sale in September.
The Galaxy Fold has a 7.3in Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 4.2:3 aspect ratio, but folds inward to fit into a pocket. In this position there’s a 4.6in cover display, a Super AMOLED panel with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
There are six cameras in total, with one on the cover, three on the rear and two at the front, and some impressive specs including a total combined battery capacity of 4,380mAh and a massive 12GB of RAM and 512GB storage.
The Galaxy Fold’s price is eye-watering, priced at US$1980, which is €1999 in Europe. In the UK we’re told you’ll pay £1800.