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Three upcoming phones that could change everything

Three upcoming phones could redefine the smartphone in our time. As smartphones become more and more common, OEMs need to branch out and get creative.

Published onSeptember 18, 2017

Welcome to the evolution of the phone! Smartphones have become such a commodity these days that, frankly, it’s getting hard to come up with something new and interesting. This year, we’re getting great new displays with minimal bezels. We’re also seeing new personal assistants comings out of the woodwork. But it got us thinking that perhaps we’re already seeing the next generation of smartphone come around. Maybe the next big thing in smartphones isn’t more for everyone, it’s more for just a few. Looking ahead, there are three upcoming phones that could change everything.

These are a new crop of phones coming out, seemingly for the niche audiences out there. Those are the audiences who are looking for something a little more refined, or a little more up their specific alley. Look no further than the rumored iPhone 8/Pro/whatever, which, according to rumor (there’s that word again!), will start around $1,000, and go up from there. iPhones were status symbols for a long time, but that’s no longer the case. Perhaps, this is an attempt to bringing this back. But, you know, iPhone blah blah blah.

But on the Android side, we have some interesting phones coming up that are even more refined, even more niche. And we wanted to take a moment to talk about them.

RED Hydrogen prototype phone gets shown off in new video
The RED Hydrogen One

Seeing RED

The tech space is dominated by YouTubers who are all packing high-end camera gear. And in that world, there is no higher-end than RED cameras. And RED wants to make phones too. Of course, at the moment, all we have are a couple of prototypes, only one of which we are able to see. The fit and finish prototype looks classy and sexy. The phone will be modular, with numerous snap on accessories, much like the Moto Z and the Essential phone. Presumably, this phone will cater to the high-powered film crowd and will have camera optics to match. We don’t have any specifications on that just yet, but it’s a safe bet. If you’re a camera company, you don’t make a phone with a bad camera.

Also coming to the RED Hydrogen One is its “holographic display”. YouTube’s Marques Brownlee has seen the holographic display in action, and judging by his expressions, it seems like a legit thing. What exactly it will offer is still a mystery, so it remains to be seen if it will be a gimmick, or the real deal. With a price tag starting at $1,195 and up, let’s hope it’s the latter.

Razer sharp

Not to be outdone, Razer seems to be diving into the premium phone market with a gaming device. This is the lovechild born from its acquisition of Nextbit – R.I.P. Nextbit by the way. Razer is synonymous with gaming, so it stands to reason that this device – be it a phone/tablet/Nintendo Switch competitor – should be pretty beefy, and likely pricey as well.

We can only speculate that this phone would need to have top of the line specifications across the board. Maybe a Note 8 on steroids.

Unlike the RED phone, we don’t even have a fit and finish device to look at. We can only speculate that this phone would need to have top of the line specifications across the board. Maybe a Note 8 on steroids. Everything about the phone would have to be juiced up if the focus is to be on gaming. That includes the battery – games tend to suck a battery dry faster than a selfie camera in the hands of a Kardashian. So, this would almost necessarily have to be packed to the core with premium everything, and carry with it a premium price tag.

Of course, this is the weakness of the rumor wagon – we have no idea. It’s just as possible that Razer would put out a moderately built device with some gimmicky D-Pad controls running Android 5.1. I certainly hope that isn’t the case, but we do need to pause and remind everyone that this device is, at present, non-existent.

Know when to fold ‘em

Personally, I’m positive that just about every OEM has some kind of foldable screen tech in the works

Finally, we come to the concept phones that we have heard about. Lenovo is leading the public charge to foldable devices and screens. Personally, I’m positive that just about every OEM has some kind of foldable screen tech in the works, but Lenovo has been making the most noise about it. This folding phone, the Folio – say that five times really fast – could be a bracelet/phone or a folding tablet/phone or both. Personally, this is the idea that is the most attractive to me. I’m not much of a gamer, and I have a nice camera, so this future-type tech is what gets me going.

Lenovo is the OEM that makes the most sense as well. Along with Moto Mods and ShatterShield tech, Lenovo is probably the one OEM that is pushing boundaries in the space. I’m not talking about bezels – although #BezelShrink2017 is a fun year. The idea of folding a tablet and sliding it into your pocket is such a seductive one. Plus, unlike the other phones featured here, such a device won’t necessarily be have to be high-end. It also may go a long way toward helping save the tablet from an untimely demise.

Here they come man’s feature is another man’s gimmick...

The future is looking up, as they say. Now that smartphones have saturated the market and become a commodity, OEMs are forced to start pushing boundaries in order to stay relevant and ahead. Of course, that’s a slippery slope – one man’s feature is another man’s gimmick. The RED phone will almost certainly sell. The Razer phone, depending on what it is, might sell. The Lenovo folding phone will honestly be the hardest to sell, because it won’t necessarily have a target audience.

What do you think? Will any of these three phones redefine the future of smartphones? Will they all be flashes in the pan that fizzle before they make any kind of mark? Are you excited for any of them? Sound off below in the comments and let us know where you stand.