After the holiday season break, it's time to jump right in again and look for another year of smartphone releases. The current 10 best smartphones list remains in place, but some of the phones below are sure to earn a place when they are officially announced and released. There are also many low-cost smartphones available, and with the recent Apple financial news, we are likely to see the popularity of affordable phones continue to increase.
Some phones are on a fairly regular release schedule, but others appear out of the blue. We will definitely see new phones from Samsung, LG, Huawei, Motorola, Google, and Apple later in 2019, but until those release cycles hit, there are others to look forward too. There are several likely new phones coming in the next couple of months.
1. Honor View 11
Honor is holding a global product launch in Paris on Jan. 22 and while the invite doesn't have the name of the device, rumors and leaks suggest the device will be the Honor View 11. It is the successor to the powerful and affordable Honor View 10, see our full review, that was announced in January 2018.
The Honor View 11 will include the Kirin 980, first launched in the Huawei Mate 20 series, and be the first device from Honor or Huawei to launch with the front-facing pinhole camera that is the evolution of last year's notch.
The Honor View 10 was outfitted with dual rear cameras so it is likely the View 11 will have at least two and possibly three like the P20 Pro, Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and others.
2. Samsung Galaxy S10
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, see our full review, were announced in February last year, and the Galaxy S10 rumors are heating up with the first leaked photo of the device. It's clear that Samsung will also incorporate a front-facing pinhole camera design to go with its minimal-bezel Infinity Display. This is interesting given that Samsung skipped the notch fad in 2018.
Rumors indicate that the Galaxy S10 could have the ability to wireless charge other devices, possibly the Galaxy Watch and Gear IconX headset. Huawei's Mate 20 Pro has the ability to charge other gear wirelessly when placed on the back of that phone, so this functionality is proven and actually makes a lot of sense for Samsung with its vast ecosystem of devices.
Samsung has always been the first to launch with Qualcomm's newest mobile processor, so it is also possible the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus could launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, even if 5G support is not yet ready to roll out.
3. Nokia 9 PureView
In 2013, Microsoft purchased Nokia's devices and service unit and many thought that would be the end of the Nokia brand. In early 2017, HMD Global launched the first Nokia-branded Android-powered smartphone, and since then, we have seen regular launches of Nokia devices that have been powerful yet affordable.
Nokia is back and the rumored Nokia 9 PureView looks to be it's most innovative new product yet. Leaked images show a penta-camera circular camera design on the back with five cameras and a flash. Other possible specifications include a 5.99-inch PureDisplay screen, integrated fingerprint scanner in the display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. We may see this launch at MWC in February.
4. Google Pixel 3 Lite
The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL, see our full review, are solid smartphones with fantastic cameras. They are also quite expensive so there have been rumors for a couple of months about a lower cost option called the Pixel 3 Lite. CNET has a roundup of the rumors for this more affordable phone.
One of the big features seen in this rumored phone is the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The bezels also are rumored to be larger, which may indicate the use of less expensive LCD technology for the screen.
The power of Google's Pixel cameras lies in the software so if Google could launch a more affordable phone with many lower level specs while providing the same high end camera experience as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL it could have a major winner on its hands. Many of the more affordable phones compromise in camera performance, so if Google could offer the same Pixel 3 camera performance, it could impact the mid-tier phone space.
5. Samsung Galaxy X (foldable)
One of the latest innovations in mobile technology is foldable displays, and we are likely to see a few of these devices launch in 2019. Samsung may be the first to launch a product with a possible Galaxy X brand. Samsung briefly showed a foldable display device last year at its Samsung Developer Conference and we may see some more shown at CES.
The Samsung foldable phone is going to be larger than current smartphones and is likely to be the most expensive phone available. The enterprise market is the likely target for such an advanced phone so it will be interesting to see how Samsung promotes this new technology.