What to expect: iPhone XS, Pixel 3 and other phones coming this fall

Most major flagship smartphones are now on a fairly regular release schedule and leaks are a part of this cycle. It is rare for a phone to be released today with any surprises, so let's take a look at what is coming soon.

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All major smartphones have been announced for the first half of 2018 and our 10 best smartphones list gets refreshed with new releases, when they are worthy of consideration. There are also many low-cost smartphones with more likely to come from Honor, Motorola, LG, Samsung, and others.

Some phones are on a fairly regular release schedule, but others appear out of the blue. As we look across the next few months, there are five likely new phones coming soon.

1. Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Google I/O is where Google provides glimpses of what is to come with its next mobile operating system, followed by public betas that people can test on various phones. Android Pie has now been released for existing phones like the Pixel 2 and Essential Phone with several more leaks of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google has confirmed that we will see new hardware on October 9.

Given what we see in Android Pie, it is possible that the next Pixel phones will have a dual camera setup, although Google has also showed it can make a fantastic camera with just one lens. More improvements in processing may be presented, whether this is through one or two cameras.

A large version with a notch is likely, along with increased storage capacity and battery life. Apple set the bar for 3D face scanning and it is possible Google will release a similar system this year.

LG, HTC, Huawei, and Samsung have made past Google Pixel devices and rumors indicate HTC may be the ones making these Pixel 3 devices.

2. Apple iPhone Xs

Apple's iPhone X set the bar for high priced phones with starting prices of $999 and $1,149. I typically give up on using an iPhone after a couple of months, but with the iPhone X my primary SIM card keeps finding its way back as the iPhone X sets the bar for power, portability, and capability.

While most new smartphones are revealed early, Apple used to be the best at keeping a lid on things. Rumors are all over the place this year with possible multiple phones in up to three variations, including a low-cost model with a mid-level processor, that indicate we really do not know what to expect as the successor to the iPhone X. I'm not interested in a larger one as a primary reason I keep using it is for its pocketability and form factor.

No other phone has launched at a price as high as the iPhone X, but indications are that this did not deter Apple fans from buying the phone. Apple, through its iPhone Upgrade Plan, and wireless carriers make it easier to swallow such an expensive phone with monthly payment plans and upgrade options. It is likely we will see at least one iPhone XI variant launch at this same price or more and iPhone fans will still buy it.

The iPhone XS (likely launched with an Apple Watch 4) will obviously have the next version of the Apple processor and some kind of upgrade in the cameras. We may see continued storage capacity increases although we have reached fair capacity so this may not happen.

3. Apple iPhone 9 and 9 Plus

While the iPhone X is the phone with all of the latest design features, Apple may continue upgrading the mainstream line with an iPhone 9 and 9 Plus. It may not need to have the flash and innovation of the X series, but still will offer an improved processor, more internal storage, longer battery life, and improvements found in iOS 12.

These new iPhones may not be the iPhones of our dreams, but they will improve upon the current generation. Despite the availability of the iPhone X, most of my family and friends upgraded last year to the iPhone 8 series so there is clearly still a need for continuing with the more tradition iPhone form factor.

4. LG V40

LG continues to release excellent phones without gaining much respect from the smartphone market. The V series focuses on media creation and the LG V30 was an excellent video creation device. The latest rumors indicate the LG V40 may have five cameras; three on the back and two on the front.

LG sets itself apart with the second camera supporting wide-angle situations. A third lens on the back could add in telephoto capabilities and make portrait mode better while also still having a lens dedicated to wide-angle photography.

The LG V40 may look a lot like the V30 since that form factor with a rear fingerprint sensor was nearly perfect. Like the LG G7, it will most likely have a notched display on the front.

Android Pie must launch on the V40 if the device is released around the time of the next Google Pixel. LG has a tight partnership with Google and has done well at releasing phones with the latest OS and also some Google-specific features on non-Pixel phones.

5. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Similar to Apple, Google, and Samsung, Huawei has set the fall up for an annual release of its Mate series. Last year's Mate 10 Pro actually launched with a US variant that was available from select retailers after the US carrier deals fell through due to US government intervention.

Rumors and leaks indicate that the Mate 20 Pro will have an even larger battery than the massive 4,000 mAh one we see in the current Mate 10 Pro and Huawei P20 Pro. Samsung just released the Note 9 with a 4,000 mAh battery and it looks like Huawei is ready to trump them already.

The Mate 20 Pro may also go big with the display, rumored at this time to have a 6.9 inch screen. It could possibly have three rear cameras like the P20 Pro. The Mate 20 Pro may even incorporate the in-screen fingerprint scanner like Huawei has on the Huawei Porsche Design Mate RS.

IFA begins in Germany at the end of August so it is likel we will see at least one new phone from Huawei announced in September.