Upcoming Smartphones of 2017: Smartphone makers are steadily reaching new heights with their upcoming smartphones. Some of the current year’s releases have come pretty close to breaking down the barriers between what we expect and what we ultimately get. But the kind of giant leaps that the tech industry is taking makes us hopeful that the gap will be closed further with those launches lined up for 2017. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most anticipated upcoming smartphones of 2017 and what sets them apart from the rest of the flock. In this first instalment, we will cover the OnePlus 4, the Microsoft Surface Phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8, and last but certainly not the least, the Apple iPhone 8.

iPhone 8

Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft Surface Phone
The Microsoft Surface Phone. Image Courtesy: iTech Post.

It is no secret that Microsoft is planning big things for their Surface lineup. Besides refreshing their Surface Book and Surface Pro devices for the upcoming year, the company is also expected to unveil the new Microsoft Surface Phone sometime in 2017. Although there is no official word about the upcoming smartphone, speculations are rife about the possible features and key specifications of the device.

Microsoft Surface Phone Key Specifications and Features

From what has been said so far, the upcoming smartphone from Microsoft will be a beast of a device. The Windows 10 device is expected to be powered by the latest 14nm Kaby Lake processor from Intel or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 830 chipset for optimised functionality. Its powerful chipset will be accompanied with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage. In terms of features, the Microsoft Surface Phone is expected to share a few notable ones with the Surface Pro 4, including the Surface Pen. To take a quick look at what we expect the Microsoft Surface Phone to come with,

  • Display: 5.7-inch with 4K resolution,
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 830/ Intel Kaby Lake,
  • RAM: 6/8 GB,
  • Internal Storage:  Up to 256 GB,
  • Primary Camera: 21 MP,
  • Secondary Camera: 8 MP.

The Microsoft Surface Phone is also expected to have a unique fingerprint scanning system. According to a post on Techvicity, Microsoft filed a patent for “Fingerprint Detection with Transparent Cover” back in 2015, which came to light earlier this year. What this means in terms of the technology remains to be seen, but it certainly strengthens the speculations surrounding Microsoft’s plans for the upcoming smartphone. All in all, it seems that Microsoft is gearing up to launch one of the best flagships in recent times.

Microsoft Surface Phone Release Date

Rumours indicate a Spring 2017 release for the Microsoft Surface Phone, but given that the device is completely unconfirmed at the moment, the company could unveil it at any time. But most reports confirm that a 2017 unveiling is imminent for the Surface Phone; we just do not know when.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8. Image Courtesy: YouTube.

Much has been said about Samsung lately, but that has not kept the South Korean smartphone giant from launching some very promising devices in recent times. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2017, perhaps because it is expected to be the chance at redemption that Samsung so desperately needs at the moment. And going by what we have heard so far, there is no doubt it will be a powerhouse of a smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Key Specs and Features

Samsung will reportedly ditch the “Edge” suffix with its upcoming flagship, making the dual-curved screen a permanent feature of the Galaxy lineup. Alongside that, the Galaxy S8 is also said to be powered by Samsung’s latest 3GHz Exynos 8895 processor compared to the earlier Exynos 8890 which was clocked at 2.9GHz. Some of the other rumours about the smartphone point towards a twin camera unit at the back in the manner of the iPhone 7 Plus. It is also speculated to come in two different screen variants: 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch. Some of the latest rumours about the Samsung Galaxy S8 indicate that the smartphone will feature a nearly non-existent bezel, thus eliminating a bulky build while not compromising on the display size. Samsung is also highly likely to incorporate a Siri-like AI software into the upcoming device, likely to be named “Bixby”.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Key Specifications at a glance

  • Display:  5.1-inch/ 5.5-inch,
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or Samsung Exynos 8995
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Primary Camera: Dual 12-megapixel
  • Secondary Camera: 8-megapixel

Samsung Galaxy S8 Release Date

Samsung will probably launch the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Conference event in 2017 which is likely to happen in the last week of February or the first week of March 2017. This makes early 2017 the most probable time for the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

OnePlus 4

OnePlus 4
The OnePlus 4 smartphone. Image Courtesy: www.oneplus4s.com

The Chinese smartphone makers may still be quite new to the smartphone competition, but that does not indicate that they don’t already have a mean grasp about the workings of the market. The OnePlus 3 released only in June this year, and the loyal customer base the company has gathered is already looking ahead to the next one. There is no official confirmation how far the company has delved into the making of OnePlus 4, but rumour has it that the smartphone is already underway.

OnePlus 4 Key Specifications and Features

According to reports, the OnePlus 4 will sport the updated Snapdragon 830 processor, along with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. OnePlus has the reputation for offering high-end specs at considerably mid-range prices, so perhaps OnePlus 4 will also sport a dual-camera unit at its rear. Some Chinese smartphone makers have already adopted Samsung’s Edge screen design, so it is not too far-fetched to conjecture that the OnePlus 4 may incorporate the newly growing trend. But while on the topic of the OnePlus 4’s display, it is about time that the company upgraded to a 2K resolution and OnePlus 4 will be the perfect platform to do that.

OnePlus 4 Key Specifications at a glance

  • Display: 5.5-inch screen with 1440 x 2560 resolution,
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 830,
  • RAM: 6 GB,
  • Internal Storage:  Up to 256 GB,
  • Primary Camera: 28-MP
  • Secondary Camera: 21-MP

OnePlus 4 Release Date

OnePlus has launched its three earlier flagships each year between April to July. For the OnePlus 4, we are looking at a release window of around mid-2017.

Apple iPhone 8

iPhone 8
The iPhone 8. Image Courtesy: MacRumors.

The device that the entire world is looking forward to will surely be a game-changer in mobile technology. The hype about the iPhone 8 began even before Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this year in September. Loyalists are keener in looking forward to the next iteration of the flagship because of Apple’s upcoming tenth year anniversary, which the Cupertino-based company is expected to celebrate by introducing a smartphone that will change the way people look at technology.

Apple iPhone 8 Key Specifications and Features

There is no dearth of rumours surrounding the iPhone 8, the device that will transform the iPhone series from the inside and out. Sources speculate that the new iPhone 8 will have a body made of Zirconia Ceramic, the same material that Apple is using to manufacture the Apple Watch 2. At its back, the upcoming smartphone will feature an all glass panel. On the inside, there is no doubt that the iPhone 8 will be a device to beat. Rumour has it that Apple will use the upgraded A11 chip to power the iPhone 8, which will make way for longer battery life and take the functionality to a whole new level. The new device may also see an upgrade in battery specs with some sources hinting at a 3,050 mAh unit. Wireless charging may also be an option that Apple is considering. Techvicity reports that the iPhone 8 will be unveiled in 3 size variants.

Apple iPhone Key Features at a glance

  • OLED display
  • A11 processor
  • Zirconia Ceramic and Glass body
  • Elimination of the Home button
  • Touch ID integrated into the display
  • Wireless charging
  • Three variants

Apple iPhone 8 Release Date

Going by Apple’s past launch habits, we may see the company add a few more devices to the iPhone 7 lineup like they did with the iPhone 6. These new additions are expected to be launched around September next year. If that is indeed the case, then the iPhone 8’s release could be pushed back to the later half of 2018.

But Apple celebrates its anniversary in 2017 itself, and the next year will surely see the company reveal some never-before-seen technology in smartphones. The iPhone 8 will be the perfect platform for the company to do so with flair, instead of just updating what already exists. So hopefully, the iPhone 8 will be unveiled by mid to end-2017.

In conclusion, it can be said that 2017 will be one of the biggest years in terms of smartphone launches. While 2016 saw a considerable amount of contribution to the market from both well-established and newer manufacturers, the trend will see a boost in 2017. From whatever whispers we have heard till now, the upcoming year will introduce the best of mid-range and high-end smartphones we have see so far. Stay tuned for updates.

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