The year 2016 was a bit uneventful in the smartphone world. Save for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, few devices really really left their mark but this is bound to change.
At the same period next year, however, chances are we will be greeted with lists of best smartphones for 2017 that are populated by cool and truly impressive handsets.
Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge are expected to be significantly differentiated from the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge. These last devices largely poached the design language of their predecessors so Samsung is likely to introduce a number of cosmetic changes.
This early Galaxy S8 rumors are already spreading like wildfire and a number of these refer to a possible launch of a new design language. For example, there are sources who cite that the device will be bezel-free, sporting an all-screen form factor that eliminated the Home and capacitive buttons we have seen in previous Galaxy devices.
Under the hood, the Galaxy S8 will be equally impressive. It will be rocking the much-touted Snapdragon 830 mobile processor and an insane 8 GB of RAM. You may be sure that its screen will not disappoint. One should also note that the launch of Samsung’s flagship device has been delayed to ensure that nothing untoward happens such as the exploding battery that caused the Note 7 recall.
It is also reasonable to expect that the delay is partly about initiatives aimed at producing a truly breathtaking piece of hardware. Samsung needs this impression to offset the impact of the Note 7 fiasco on its reputation.
Nokia Android Smartphone
As has been reported, Nokia will again be making smartphones and this time they will be running the Android operating system. The brand still claims popularity and prestige and this is demonstrated how the new Nokia 9 has been wiped off store shelves the very day it was released in China. The Nokia 6 is only a mid-range phone, sporting so-so spec and priced at $248.
A Nokia flagship device for 2017 rumored to be the Nokia P1 will be interesting to watch because Microsoft is no longer running the show. The device is rumored to debut in the coming Mobile World Congress happening in Feb. 26.
Nokia veterans are already at the helm and we can expect a comeback of the Nokia design philosophy. The Nokia P1 could debut with a refreshing take of the Android smartphone. We could, for instance, count from this camp the introduction of iconic features that has characterized its Nokia handsets during Nokia’s heyday. Rumors indicate that the company has around seven smartphones lined up for 2017.
VR And AR Capable Phones
This segment was pioneered by the Lenovo Phab Pro 2, the first device that shipped with the Google Tango capability. Asus then joined the fray with the introduction of the Asus Zenfone AR, a device that is capable of both augmented reality and virtual reality technologies.
Consumers can expect more of these handsets this 2017. For example, Apple is rumored to be working on its own AR platform and it will potentially debut with the iPhone 8.
LG has been cowed by the disappointing reception of its modular LG G5 smartphone. Its latest premium device, the LG V20, saw a return to a more mainstream form factor. So one can expect few surprises from the upcoming LG G6.
HTC, on the other hand, could prove to be the dark horse this year. It is reportedly working on a device called HTC Ocean. This device will purportedly introduce new ways of interacting with smartphones. Buttons are said to have been eliminated while a mix of voice, gesture and swipes will take their place.