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2017 release calendar: All the major smartphones we're expecting this year
We have already seen quite a few great smartphones announced this year including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, LG G6, and the Huawei P10, but there are plenty more high-end devices coming this year which will go head to head with the current flagships on the market. If you’re wondering which smartphones we’re expecting to see in 2017 and when will they be available, keep reading. You’ll find all the details regarding the Xiaomi Mi 6, OnePlus 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and others down below. Note: We’ve now moved Q1’s releases to the bottom of this post with hands on and review videos; we’ll rotate and refresh this page at the start of each new quarter.
April – June (Q2)
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
Two of the most anticipated smartphones of the year, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, were announced at a press event on March 29 and will be hitting stores on April 21. Both devices offer a large Infinity display (5.8 and 6.2-inch) that’s curved on both sides and has small bezels on the top and at the bottom. As there’s not enough room on the front, Samsung moved the iconic fingerprint scanner to the back of the devices, next to the camera.
The flagships also come with Samsung’s own digital assistant called Bixby, which is an alternative to Google’s Assistant. They are slated for a global release on Friday, April 21, but you can already pre-order them in the US and a bunch of other countries. Take a look at the Galaxy S8 hands-on video below to learn more.
Xiaomi Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus
The official reveal of the Xiaomi Mi 6 looks to be just around the corner with the company confirming the smartphone will be launched on April 19 in Beijing. However, it didn’t say anything regarding the Mi 6 Plus, so there’s a chance that the two devices won’t be announced on the same day.
The flagships are expected to feature high-end specs and come in a few different variants. As with all of Xiaomi’s smartphones, they will offer a great price-performance ratio, as the pricing is rumored to start at just $290. If you want to learn more about the two devices, feel free to check out the Xiaomi Mi 6 and Mi 6 Plus rumor roundup post.
ZTE Axon 8
Along with the OnePlus 3T, the ZTE Axon 7 was one of the best budget smartphones of 2016. We’re excited to see what its successor, the Axon 8, will bring to the table. If the company sticks to the traditional one-year release cycle, it will announce its upcoming flagship in May, with sales starting about a month later. In order to compete with more established brands on the market, the ZTE Axon 8 will try to spark consumer interest with great specs and a relatively low price.
Asus Zenfone 4, Zenfone 4 Deluxe, and Zenfone 4 Ultra
The new Zenfone 4 series of smartphones is expected to be announced at Computex in Taiwan, which kicks off at the end of May. We’re still a little while away, so we don’t really know what to expect from the devices but leaks will emerge in due course. As the Asus brand isn’t really that well established in the smartphone world, the company will have to innovate and take some risks if it wants to compete with the big boys like Samsung, Huawei, and others.
HTC has already confirmed that the U Ultra isn’t the only high-end device it will release this year. The company said that we can expect a Snapdragon 835 powered HTC in 2017 — probably called the HTC U — which is expected to be officially announced in the second quarter. According to Evan Blass, HTC will take the wraps off the smartphone in mid to late April, while sales are expected to kick off in early May.
The latest rumors claim that one of the biggest features of the device will be the sensors placed in the sides of the phone (Edge Sense technology). These will allow users to perform certain tasks, like launching the camera, by simply squeezing the edges of the device.
The release date of the OnePlus 5 is kind of hard to pinpoint. The OnePlus 3 was announced in June 2016, but just five months later the OnePlus 3T was unveiled. Nevertheless, our guess is that the OnePlus 5 will make an appearance at the end of the second quarter — June. As always, we expect it to feature high-end specs and an affordable price tag, which is the combination that made the company and its products famous in the first place.
You’re probably wondering what happened to the OnePlus 4, right? It looks like the upcoming OnePlus flagship will skip the number four due to its association with death in Chinese culture.
Moto Z and Moto Z Force (2017)
Last year’s Moto Z and Moto Z Force took the modular approach to the next level. Some people loved it, while others weren’t so impressed. Nevertheless, both are great devices and we are looking forward to seeing their successors this year. Not much is known about them, except that they will probably still boast a modular design that will make them different from most other smartphones on the market. Our best guess at this point is that they will be announced by the end of second quarter (June) at the latest and perhaps not surprisingly, might be known as the Moto Z2.
July – September (Q3)
Last year’s Honor 8 is a great device, especially when considering its price. It offers solid specs along with a glass body that is really easy on the eyes. Although we don’t know much regarding its successor, the Honor 9, we expect that the company will opt for the same strategy that made the Honor 8 successful. It should go on sale in July, assuming that the company sticks to the standard one-year release cycle, and it’ll likely have a pretty similar specs sheet to the Honor 8 Pro, just with a smaller screen and Leica branded cameras.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Despite the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung will still release a new version of its popular phablet under the Note brand this year. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, as it will likely be called, should be announced sometime in the summer. Probably in August, just like the last two Note smartphones, though the delay of the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus could change that, pushing it slightly later in the year.
The device will presumably look somewhat similar to the Galaxy S8 and will also feature the popular S Pen, that will hopefully come with a bunch of new tricks. Let’s just hope that the upcoming Note 8 won’t experience the same problems as the Note 7, which was recalled by the company because of the whole “exploding in your hands” issue. The Note 8 will also likely get the under-glass finger scanner and may also get dual cameras, both of which were rumored for the S8.
October – December (Q4)
Those of you who like phablets are probably looking forward to the upcoming LG V30. You will, however, have to wait quite a few months before you’ll be able to get it, as the device will probably be announced in October. But it should be worth the wait. The V20 is one of the best phones on the market, and we expect that the V30 won’t be any different in that regard. Its biggest feature, in addition to the large screen, is the secondary display on top, which is great for notifications and shortcuts, a feature recently copied in the HTC U Ultra.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2
Google’s phones have impressed us with their excellent camera and a great software experience. However, they do have their faults that Google will hopefully address with the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2. Despite the glass window on the back, the overall design of the devices could be described as bland. We hope that the next Pixel generation will offer something new in terms of design and also come with a more affordable price tag. There are also rumors claiming that it will be waterproof and feature a curved display. Google will presumably announce the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 in October alongside the final version of the Android O release.
Xiaomi Mi Note 3
This is another phablet we’re looking forward to seeing in 2017. Its predecessor, the Mi Note 2, was announced in October, which is why we expect to see the Mi Note 3 around the same time in 2017. In addition to a great price-performance ratio, the smartphone is expected to feature a large screen that is slightly curved on both sides like the Galaxy Note 7. It will be available in a few different variants, just like the Mi Note 2.
Huawei Mate 10
The Mate 8 and Mate 9 were announced in the month of November, so there’s no real reason to think that Huawei will change things up this year. We can, therefore, expect that the Chinese manufacturer will officially take the wraps off its phablet in November. As the Mate 9 came out not too long ago, it’s still a bit early to talk about specs and features. We do, however, expect to see a great looking high-end device that will appeal to those who want a phone with a big screen.
January – March (Q1)
Samsung Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 (2017)
Samsung has already announced the 2017 Galaxy A lineup. At the beginning of the year, the company took the wraps off the Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A7, which are already available in quite a few markets around the world. They are all mid-range devices that sport a metal frame, a glass back, and are water resistant (IP68) for the first time. All three smartphones offer a design we’re used to seeing from Galaxy devices and they come in four colors: Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud. You can check out our Galaxy A3 and A5 hands-on video below.
HTC U Ultra
HTC announced its phablet, the U Ultra, at the beginning of the year. The device comes with a 3D contoured glass back which looks similar to the one found on the Galaxy Note 7. HTC also decided to take a page from LG’s playbook, as the U Ultra features a 2-inch secondary display above the main one, which is great for notifications, contacts, and reminders, among others. The device is already available in quite a few markets including the US, Canada, and some European countries. To learn more about it, check out the review of the HTC U Ultra below.
The BlackBerry-branded smartphone called the KEYone – made by TCL Communication — was officially announced at MWC in Barcelona on February 25. Its biggest feature is definitely the iconic QWERTY keyboard that made BlackBerry phones popular among consumers. The mid-ranger, which was initially expected to go on sale in April, will be available in the month of May.
LG took the wraps off the G6 at Mobile World Congress on February 26. The smartphone is very different from its predecessor. It is waterproof and features a large 5.7-inch screen with 18:9 aspect ratio and very thin bezels, which make it quite compact for its size. As expected, it doesn’t sport a modular design like last year’s G5, which wasn’t really that well received among consumers. The high-end device is already available in the US, Canada, Europe, and a few other markets.
Be sure to check out our review of the LG G6 to learn more.
Nokia 3,5,6, 3310 and 9
HMD Global, the company that bought the rights to sell Nokia-branded devices, announced a few new handsets at MWC. These included the mid-range Nokia 3 and 5 as well as a new version of the iconic 3310. Additionally, the company also announced that the Nokia 6, which was unveiled in China in January, would be available in other countries as well. All four devices are expected to go on sale in 120 markets at the same time in Q2 2017 (April-June).
We’re also expecting to see a high-end Nokia device sometime this year. According to a report from Nokiapoweruser, it will be called the Nokia 9 and should see the light of day sometime in the third quarter of the year.
Huawei P10 and P10 Plus
At MWC in Barcelona on February 26, Huawei announced the P10 and P10 Plus. Both devices look quite similar to their predecessors with a few exceptions. The main one is that the flagships have the fingerprint scanner located on the front, below the screen, and not on the back as the previous P series did. The two devices are already on sale in certain markets around the world.
The P10 sports a 5.1-inch screen, while its bigger brother comes with a 5.5-inch display. There are a few other minor differences between the smartphones, which you can check out in the video below.
Moto G5 and G5 Plus
The Moto G5 and G5 Plus made their debut at MWC in Spain in February. The budget-friendly smartphones do bring some new things to the table when compared with their predecessors, including a metal body. The two devices look almost exactly the same but offer different screen sizes. The smaller one features a 5-inch screen, while the Moto G5 Plus has a 5.2-inch display.
Lenovo has already started selling the two devices in a lot of markets across the world. However, it is worth mentioning that you can only get your hands on the bigger of the devices in the US, as the G5 isn’t (and won’t) be sold in the country.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs
At MWC 2017, Sony took the wraps off the high-end Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs smartphones. The former offers the better specs of the two and is also bigger, as it has a 5.46-inch display compared to the 5.2-inch screen found on the XZs. The Xperia XZs is already available in a few markets including the US and India, while the Xperia XZ Premium is expected to be released in June.
It is also worth mentioning that these aren’t the only two smartphones Sony announced in Barcelona. The company also unveiled the XA1 and XA1 Ultra, which offer a similar design with edge-to-edge displays and chunky top and bottom bezels.
There you have it – our predictions on when to expect the biggest Android releases of 2017. Missed anything, let us know in the comments!