With the pace of smartphone evolution moving so fast, there’s always something waiting in the wings. No sooner have you spied the latest handset, then there’s anticipation of something else, the next big thing to envy.
We’ve rounded up the best smartphones for 2015, those we consider to be the best across all platforms, and we’ve regularly updated that list as the smartphone world has evolved.
Here we’re looking at those phones that haven’t yet launched, those we know are coming, or are anticipated. As we run towards Mobile World Congress 2015, we enter the busiest time of the year for smartphone launches.
We’ll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours we think are credible and exciting, and devices just announced but yet to hit the shelves.
HTC One M9 Hima:
Of all the devices on this list, the HTC One M9 is the device that we think we know the most about. That’s aided by HTC announcing its MWC 2015 press conference on 1 March, when you will see this device announced.
You can expect HTC to stick to a premium metal design, as well as offering those forward facing BoomSound speakers. The HTC One M9 is rumoured to launch with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset and 3GB of RAM, suggesting plenty of power.
However it looks like HTC might stick to a 1920 x 1080 full HD display, and at 5 inches, rather than swelling it in size or resolution. That might have advantages when it comes to battery life.
Elsewhere there looks to be a radical change in cameras, with a 4-megapixel front UltraPixel sensor and 20-megapixel rear camera suggested, as well as HTC Sense 7 running on Android 5Lollipop.
Samsung Galaxy S6:
Samsung didn’t have the success it wanted with the SGS5, so we might see something of a revision of the format for the SGS6. Rumours of a metal-bodied phone are circulating, and with the A/Alpha handsets being something of a test bed for a new generation of devices. There’s talk of metal frame and tempered glass back for the SGS6.
We’d expect the SGS6 to offer a display around 5.2-inches, but it’s still not known whether it will be Quad HD or stick to full HD resolution. We suspect Samsung will step up to 2560 x 1440 pixels to fend off Korean rivals LG.
It’s been widely reported that Samsung isn’t going to be using Qualcomm in its next run of smartphones. With the Exynos hardware performing well on previous devices, that might not be too much of a surprise: the SGS6 might all run on Samsung’s in-house Exynos hardware.
We’ve also heard that Samsung is having a change of heart on its TouchWiz software, with reports that it’s going to reduce the bloatware and come closer to Android, perhaps even pre-installing Microsoft apps.
We can also expect Samsung to continue to offer the heart rate sensor and fingerprint scanner. A 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation is likely, with Samsung themselves saying that the SGS6 camera will be fantastic.
Samsung has lined up a press conference for 1 March, so we’d expect to see the Samsung GalaxyS6 launched there.
Sony Xperia Z4/Z3S
Yes, the Xperia Z3 is fairly recent – and a very good phone – but it looks like Sony could already be preparing the next update to its flagship device. Arguably it doesn’t need to, but the Xperia Z4 or Z3S will probably see an early-2015 launch.
Of all the devices forthcoming, least is known about Sony’s plans and Sony isn’t scheduling an event for MWC 2015.
There isn’t a huge amount to go on, but it’s suggested that we’ll see a slightly new face on the Z4 with a repositioning of the front-facing speakers, and perhaps a step up to Quad HD resolution for the display. It’s been suggested that the casing will be exactly the same, rather than there being a redesign.
Rumours suggest an updated camera too, but still with 20.7-megapixels and optical image stabilisation on the back. A boosted front camera is likely too, as is Android 5.0 Lollipop.
HTC One M9 Plus:
There’s plenty of speculation around HTC’s plans for 2015, with rumour and counter-rumour. There’s been a suggestion that HTC is using dummy devices to throw people off the trail of what’s to come. But it looks like M9 launch might see more than one device.
The rumour of the HTC One M9 Plus has come up a couple of times, suggesting that there’s going to be a bigger device launched alongside the regular M9. There’s talk of a 5.5-inch display, so it’s not much bigger than the 5-inches that we think the M9 will have.
But then images started appearing of a new device with Duo Camera alongside those rumours. We’d expect the internal hardware to be the same – Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 3GBRAM – but using the Duo Camera would be an interesting move following its lukewarm reception in 2014.
It’s also been suggested that the HTC One M9 Plus will be limited release, with the standard M9 being the global flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S Edge:
Samsung looks to be lining up not only the SGS6, but an Edge version of it too – the SamsungGalaxy S Edge (or should that be S6 Edge?).
Following the move it made with the Note family last September, the S6 Edge is rumoured to be a special edition, designed for limited release.
This time, however, it’s going to have that curved edged display on both sides, so you’ll be able to get the benefit whether you’re using your left or right hand. It’s thought that the system will work the same way it did on the Galaxy Note Edge, offering alerts, toolbars, scrolling feeds and so on.
Elsewhere we’re predicting the Galaxy S Edge to have the same sort of specs as the SGS6, i.e., an Exynos chipset, 3GB RAM, Quad HD display. We’re note sure if we’ll see a metal body, but you can expect the S Edge to be more costly than the regular Galaxy S6, perhaps up to £800.