2017 dawns upon us and smartphone enthusiasts cannot wait to see what their favourite smartphone companies have in store in 2017. Last year was a mixed bag of sorts. Some companies did exceedingly well and some were average performers. A few even incurred losses from their mobile division. Samsung did well with its flagship phones: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. OnePlus re-cemented its status as the best manufacturer of value-for-money flagships. The iPhone 7 was not a dud but it wasn’t revolutionary either. HTC, despite coming up with a solidly built HTC 10, couldn’t get the cash registers ringing. LG after a fairly successful G4 in 2015 failed miserably with its G5. 2017 is a fresh year and a new start for all. Let us take a look at the phones that the industry cannot wait to get its hands-on.
Galaxy S8/ S8 Plus
The Galaxy S8 is one of the most awaited flagship devices of 2017, especially with the resounding successes of both the Galaxy S7 and its bigger sibling, the curve-screened Galaxy S7 Edge. As per rumour mills, the Galaxy phones will be bigger than ever before, with the smaller phone sporting a 5.7-inch screen and the bigger device coming equipped with a mammoth 6.2-inch display. Unlike last year, there won’t be any non-curved models. Both the phones are expected to have curved edge screens.
Apple iPhone 8
The iPhone 7 may have not hurt Apple’s financials, but the fans were not exactly pleased with the device, since it didn’t bring a lot different to the table and also looked quite similar to the previous models: the iPhone 6 and 6s. This year Apple is expected to come up with a fresh design, getting rid of the metal back and replacing it with glass, time-travelling us to the days of the iPhone 4 and 4s. There are also rumours about the upcoming iPhone ditching the physical “home” button and replacing it with an onscreen button instead.
If there’s any smartphone maker that has to seriously prove its mettle again, it has to be LG. After the disastrous G5, which was plagued with several functional and design issues, LG cannot afford to get it wrong again this time. The biggest gripe with the G5 was it’s rather impractical “friends”, which were the modular components, and the unrefined design. Most buyers complained the phone wasn’t seamed well together, and the modularity aspect of the phone was only adding salt to the wound. Fortunately, from what one sees from leaked G6 designs, the 2017 LG flagship will be a stunner.
The OnePlus 3 was a great comeback device for the Chinese firm, after its rather disappointing OnePlus 2, which couldn’t live up to the expectations the OnePlus 1 created. The OnePlus 2 was not necessarily a bad phone, but it had major heating issues, thanks to the Snapdragon 810 that was notorious for its thermal problems. Many smartphone manufacturers chose to ignore Qualcomm’s top chip of 2015, but OnePlus went ahead ignoring the warnings. And it did pay the price. The OnePlus 3 was a complete contrast from what OnePlus made before. It sported an all-metal design and had everything going for it both on the specs sheet and in real-world usage. The OnePlus 3 was one of the most loved smartphones of 2016 and OnePlus fans can understandably not wait to get amazed by OnePlus again.
Xiaomi Mi 6
After Hugo Barra exiting Xiaomi, a company that’s known as the Apple of China, the Chinese electronics manufacturer has to prove that it is more than just its erstwhile Brazilian vice president, who played an instrumental role in helping Xiaomi transcend Chinese borders. The Xiaomi Mi 5 was an affordable flagship, but it didn’t do as well as expected, thanks to some serious competition from the OnePlus 3 and also ZTE Axon. Like Apple and LG, Xiaomi is also expected to overhaul its 2017 flagship phone design. Other than the usual suspects, there isn’t much known about the Xiaomi Mi6, primarily because the phone is still quite far away from official release.
Contrary to the norm, Samsung is not going to release its flagship devices at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). It has decided to have a separate event for itself sometime during March, something the Korean conglomerate usually does when its phones do well the preceding year. The LG G6, for the moment, is certain to make its debut at MWC. Phones from Sony, HTC, and also Nokia are expected to make some noise in later parts of the year. As always, the iPhone 8 would release in the second half of the year, along with the Galaxy Note 7 and Google’s second iteration of its Pixel phones.