2015 was a fantastic year for smartphones, but many are already looking ahead to what upgrades will be offered in 2016, and they won’t be disappointed. Handsets are becoming even more innovative, and design boundaries are being broken.
Here we will give you just a glimpse at what look like the best offerings in 2016, obviously a lot of the big manufacturers like to keep their plans very confidential, so not all of the information available is officially confirmed, but we have collated what we know with the most rumoured expectations.
The next Apple handset, following usual procedure, should be released in September 2016. They haven’t said much about it yet but it is thought that they will again be releasing the smaller and larger handset, 4.7inch compared to 5.5inch. The iPhone screen resolution is due an upgrade with this release so we can expect something special screen wise. Some are even mentioning an edge-to-edge display, in order to rival the Samsung S6 Edge, but this could simply be a dream. It’s likely that the phone will be more durable and maybe even waterproofed. Apple insiders have hinted that the usual headphone socket may be ditched in favour of the lightening port, meaning they will no doubt be releasing new spec headphones to go with the devices. We will probably learn a few more details when they announce iOS 10 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next summer.
Samsung Galaxy S7
We don’t expect to see much change design wise from the S6 and S6 Edge, however there will almost certainly be an internal feature boost, and like the iPhone 7, more durable materials can be expected here too. Some experts are indicating that they could be following in Apple’s steps with the two different handset sizes. It should be making its debut before any other smartphone in 2016, expected release dates are around the end of Feb/beginning of March.
LG have been trying their best to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung with their recent releases and next year will be no different. Expect a stunning screen display, a 20MP camera that will allow you to take crystal clear photos and something a little bit different design wise (aka leather back). Rumours also claim that there will be some innovative features, such as a retina eye scanner, dustproofing technology, wireless charging capabilities and shockproof sensors. LG always win budget wise, and you can expect this to be at least around £30 cheaper than its competitors. This is another release expected around March time.
Sony Xperia Z6
Previously Sony has chosen to release a new flagship device every six months, rather than once a year, in order to show off how innovative they are. However, it is thought they will now scrap this as it was causing more confusion than anything else. Whilst hoping the Z5 range will be a success they will now be looking forward to the Z6. We can expect similar features such as waterproofing, bigger battery and fingerprint sensor but with some new spec to shake things up a bit. Their camera is always something they push hard with so there is bound to be some new camera technology to continue with this. Experts are saying the Z6 will be launching in Spring.
HTC One M10
HTC design has always been their USP, they are the first and only device to offer wide front facing speakers and overlaying HTC Sense UI software, which gives the phone display a sleek, streamlined look, both very popular features. The M9 was still falling short compared to its competitors with the screen, offering a full, rather than Quad, HD display so we should expect to see some improvements in this area, as well as a bigger brighter screen there will almost definitely be a faster processor, and general enhancements for their already popular features. The design will probably stay much the same, front facing speakers and a metallic frame. This is another handset that is thought to be launching around March time.
OnePlus became a big name in the smartphone race with their first releases, not only are they much cheaper than all the other dominating brands but they come with some impressive tech. The OnePlus Three is set to follow this path and become even more impressive. We should look forward to a faster processer, an improved fingerprint scanner and a retina sensor integrated into the front camera and a rear camera of 25MP. The device will likely stay the same size but will boost to a 4K screen resolution. There are also rumours that the phone will have a mini projector lamp, meaning you can project small presentations and videos onto any 32 inch plain surface. The release will be mid/late summer and you can probably look forward to prices of just under £300.
Google Nexus 6 2016
There isn’t too much leaked information about this one yet, but there will certainly be some exciting improvements. It looks like Huawei will be getting their second chance with the Google Nexus, and looking at both companies past releases we can definitely expect a pleasing price tag. They are rumoured to be including a newer, faster processer and will be incorporated for the launch of a new Android update. It will support Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0, which in layman’s language means super-fast charging from a mains adapter. The ‘6’ in the name suggests that this will be another large screen phablet and we can probably expect to see it around October time.
Huawei won’t just be working on the Nexus in 2016, they will also have something special of their own to offer. Rumours about the new flagship started very soon after the release of the P8 in April this year, so we know that we can probably expect a new, perhaps curved, design. It is speculated that the screen would stay at 5.2 inches, but the camera will boost to 16 megapixels. Another highly circulated rumour came from a leaked Twitter photo in October, which showed space for two rear camera lenses. Huawei are previously known for implementing more than one camera sensor so this would make sense. Something else that has been repeatedly mentioned is a new Kirin 950 processor; this will give around 40% more performance than previous chips, and at least a 60% reduction in power consumption. There will potentially be a P9 Max released as well; we can expect to see the P9 in March.