The past few years has been sort of a lull for smartphones. Innovation was stumped at a plateau and every new model started to look the same with minor upgrades. But things are changing fast, and it is none more evident in the smartphones that are coming out over the next three months.
Earlier this year, LG and Samsung broke the of mold smartphones with new bezel-less displays that covered the entire front panel. Now there’s no going back and every smartphone maker either jumps on this new trend or risks falling far behind.
In the next three months, four major smartphone manufacturers will announce their final flagships of 2017. That group consists of Apple, Samsung, LG and Google There’s a lot of rumors recently swirling around that has turned into unrelenting white noise.
Will the iPhone 8 really have an OLED display? Will the Note 8 get a dual camera? Is the Pixel 2 going to feature a bezel-less display?
We’re here to answer all those questions with a roadmap chronicling everything you need to know about these flagship phones and letting you know when exactly you can expect to get your hands on them.
Samsung Note 8
- Announcement: August 23, 2017
- Major new features: Infinity Display, Dual camera, S-Pen
After the failed Note 7, Samsung has a lot riding on the Note 8 and early reports suggest it won’t disappoint. It will reportedly pack a 6.3-inch 2960 by 1440 Infinity Display, Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM. That’s a nice improvement over the already impressive S8, but it adds an S-Pen with its usual slate of functionality and a new dual camera system.
Early reports reveal it’ll be two 12MP lenses that will come with optical image stabilization and 2x optical zoom. There was a leak from Samsung that suggested the image quality and low-light performance would greatly improve as well as feature the depth effect mode most dual cameras come with. The impressive camera specs along with Samsung’s impressive software optimization lay down the groundwork for what could be the best smartphone camera of the year.
The Note 8 will very much be a slight upgrade over the Galaxy S8, and that’s not a bad thing. It’ll still have a gorgeous display
Samsung has set August 23 as the date for its next Unpacked event where it will unveil the Note 8. TechnoBuffalo will bring you complete coverage.
- Announcment: August 31, 2017
- Major new featuress: FullVision OLED display, Crystal Clear Lens dual camera, UX 6.0+, Snapdragon 836
LG has not been shy of boasting about the V30 before it is even announced. That will come on August 31, but in the meantime, LG has been slowly disseminating information that reveals a lot about the V30. So far we know that it will come with a 6-inch FullVision bezel-less OLED display, Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM and fancy new Crystal Clear Lens dual camera.
Recently LG stated the V30 will come with a new UX 6.0+ skin with a ton of new features like better control over the camera, improved always-on display and new facial and voice options to unlock the device.
Unlike past V series models, the V30 will ditch the extra display at the top and incorporate into the normal display as a Floating Bar.
The most recent leaks of the V30 show it off in its full glory and it looks gorgeous. The front and back will be made of glass with the metal sides donning a polished metal frame. It’s quite an impressive design upgrade over the G6.
- Annoucement: September 2017 (exact date unknown)
- Major new features: Bezel-less OLED display, 3D facial scanning, wireless charging, AR functionality
Apple is finally upping its game in impressive fashion with the highly anticipated iPhone 8, or whatever it ends up being called. A ton of leaks and rumors have unloaded about it, but here’s the quick gist: it will don a 5.8-inch bezel-less OLED display, 3D facial scanning, back glass cover to make room for wireless charging and AR functionality.
According to the leaks, it will be available in three colors (Black, Silver and Brush Gold) and will retail for over $1,000—making it the most expensive iPhone to date.
The main new feature, which is the bezel-less display, was accidentally confirmed by Apple in the HomePod’s source code. The belief is it will be Apple’s first OLED display in an iPhone, which is another reason why the iPhone 8 is being hyped so much.
Apple is going all out for the iPhone 8 given it lands on the tenth year anniversary of the iPhone, and judging from all the specs, it won’t disappoint. Unfortunately, it is said it will be extremely limited at launch, so get prepared to stay up until midnight or camp out if you want to pick one up on day one.
Most iPhones are usually announced at an event in early September, and Apple doesn’t send invites until the event is a week or two away, so we still don’t have concrete confirmation it will arrive. But our money is on September.
iPhone 7s and 7s Plus
- Announcement: September 2017 (exact date unknown)
- Major new features: Wireless charging, revamped design with glass back, A11 Fusion processor
The iPhone 7s and 7s Plus will be true S models, with very minor upgrades and one major addition. Expect the processor and performance to see a big boost along with slight improvements to the camera via software updates. It will come with the A11 Fusion chip but probably stay at the same level of 2GBs of RAM for 7s and 3GB for 7s Plus. Where the big change will come is with the design according to recent CAD images we recently got our hands on.
Apple is keeping the familiar round edges and big bezels on the front with the Taptic home button, but the back will now be made of glass. This will clean up the design by getting rid of antennas on the back, but more importantly, it gives Apple the ability to finally incorporate wireless charging. This feature has been rumored to be included with new iPhones for the past three years, but this is the year Apple finally looks set to add the feature.
There was hope Apple would include the dual camera with the iPhone 7s, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen.
Look for the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus to be announced alongside the much more exciting iPhone 8 next month.
- Announcement: October 2017 (exact date unknown)
- Major new features: Dual camera, squeezable frame, Android O, Snapdragon 836
The Pixel 2 is the device we know least about. The leaks we’ve seen so far have been a mixed bag with zero consistency. Early leaks showed what looked like a bezel-less design, but more recent leaks show the Pixel 2 having gigantic chins on the front with dual stereo speakers. As for which one is legit, we cannot say with certainty.
It is believed that Google will once again work with HTC to manufacture the Pixel. HTC is one of the few phone makers that still hasn’t made a bezel-less phone. That doesn’t instill much confidence, but it does mean the Pixel 2 may get the squeezable frame found in the HTC U11. Not the most exciting addition, but it is a new feature.
What we do know is that Google will vastly improve the specs. It’s rumored the Pixel 2 will come with Qualcomm’s latest processor—the Snapdragon 836. The Pixel also had one of the best, if not the best smartphone cameras ever, and Google will likely place great importance to keep this camera legacy going.
The last Pixel device was announced last October, so look for Google to do so again this year. Google is also starting to slashing the price of the Pixel, hinting that the Pixel 2 is right around the corner.
The next three months will lay down the ground work for what smartphones will look like for the foreseeable future. It will be the most exciting period smartphones have experience in long time. And best of all, it’s starting in less than a week with the Note 8 announcement.
Get ready, because it is going to be a fun time in technology.