Sure, 2018 was an excellent year for smartphones, but 2019 could be even better once it's all said and done. Why? Because beyond the phones that have shipped, we've already seen loads and loads of leaks of what's still ahead.
They show a next generation of handsets that are sleeker and sexier than before, smoothing out the rough edges of past smartphones while adding more capabilities than ever. And some of them break fascinating new ground, as well, instead of just improving on what's come before.
Want an early look at the next super-phone that'll line your pocket sometime in 2019? Here's what we know so far about the year's biggest and brightest smartphones still on the horizon.
Apple: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
The iPhone 11 is the replacement for the iPhone XR, keeping the same 6.1in Liquid Retina display size and aluminium frame, along with new colourful options. It adds a second back camera - an ultra-wide sensor - along with various software enhancements, has the powerful new A13 Fusion processor onboard, and even packs in an extra hour of battery life over last year's edition. The core iPhone 11 will sell for £729.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 Pro succeeds the iPhone XS, with the same 5.8in OLED screen size, three back cameras (wide-angle, telephoto, and ultra-wide), and four hours more battery life than before. And the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the XS Max's successor, with a 6.5in OLED screen and five more hours of battery life than last year. Those sell for $1,049 and $1,149, respectively.
Click the links above for more details on all three models. Pre-orders start on 13 September ahead of the 20 September release.
Huawei: Mate 30 Pro
The Mate 30 Pro is nearly here: Huawei has officially dated an event for the reveal on 19 September in Munich, and we're expecting a standard Mate 30 alongide the more-anticipated Pro.
With the launch on the horizon, it's no surprise that the rumour mill has been spilling plenty more lately. The above concept render from OnLeaks/Pricebaba synthesizes a lot of the leaks and rumours to date, as well as official teases, to give a good look at what to expect.
As seen, it shows a big circular camera module on the center back, with four cameras - two of which are said to be at 40 megapixels apiece. And that front notch? Supposedly it has three front-facing cameras of its own, adding up to a grand total of seven on the phone. We'll believe that when we see it ourselves.
Other leaks and rumours point to sharply-curved edges on the right and left, plenty of power via the new Kirin 990 processor, and a battery pack potentially as large as 4,500mAh. The big downside, however, is that Google has officially ruled out its services being used on the phone, due to U.S. restrictions. And unless something changes quickly, that means the version of Android that Huawei uses will be missing a lot of familiar features.
Google: Pixel 4
What you're looking at above is quite literally an official shot of the Google Pixel 4. It's not a concept render or even a leak - Google released the image after a massive flow of leaks emerged, seemingly to silence some of the speculation over the coming months.
As you can clearly see, the back of the Pixel 4 will have a big, square-shaped camera module that is incredibly similar to the one rumoured for the new iPhone. We see two cameras there, along with an additional sensor and a flash. All of the previous pixels have had one back camera, so that's a significant change indeed. Also different: no sign of the familiar two-tone aesthetic, or a fingerprint sensor on the back. It really is looking more and more like an iPhone...
Google has since revealed some other key details: neither Pixel 4 will have a screen notch, and both will have a big upper bezel to accommodate both a Face ID-like facial scanning system with sensors, as well as a tiny Soli radar chip that can read hand movements - and do things such as kick on the facial scanner as soon as your hand touches the phone, ensuring no delay for the scan.
9to5Google has also reported that the phone will feature a super-smooth 90Hz screen like the OnePlus 7 Pro, with a 2,800mAh battery pack on the Pixel 4 and 3,700mAh on the Pixel 4 XL. Sound like some serious enhancements in tow. We should see the Pixel 4 phones in the flesh come October, and then we'll be able to tell whether all of these upgrades amount to a class-leading Android.
OnePlus: 7T and 7T Pro
Even with its more ambitious OnePlus 7 Pro release a few months back, OnePlus isn't taking a breather on its usual half-year release cycle. Rumours point to both a OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro launching this autumn.
The 7 Pro was new and shiny the last time around, so it's little surprise that the rumoured 7T Pro could be nearly identical. However, the samey OnePlus 7 could be succeeded by a refreshed OnePlus 7T, which implements a triple-camera setup on the back and adds a 90Hz screen refresh rate like its the 7 Pro. Catch a glimpse at what could be above, thanks to this concept render from OnLeaks/Pricebaba.
Rumours also point to the updated Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip appearing, which makes a lot of sense, plus potential 5G versions of both models rather than just the Pro (like the last time around). Oh, and a super-premium McLaren edition of the OnePlus 7T Pro, too. October is usually when we see OnePlus revision models roll out, so that's when we're expecting these ones as well.
Samsung: Galaxy Fold
Samsung is getting adventurous again, as seen with the long-awaited debut of the Galaxy Fold smartphone. Looking like two flagship phones stacked atop each other, the Galaxy Fold has a compact 4.6in display on the outside – but fold the phone open and you'll find a 7.3in tablet-like Infinity Flex panel inside.
You have to see it to believe it – especially the way that apps seamlessly transfer from one screen to the next depending on whether you want to one-hand the phone or get a better view inside. It's also loaded with top-end tech, including a 7nm processor, 12GB RAM, 512GB of onboard memory, and 4,380mAh between its two battery packs.
The price is as wild as the concept however: it's £1,900 for the 5G edition in the UK. We were impressed with our hands-on testing, even if some issues were impossible to ignore. However, the original 26 April release date came and went after some reviewers ended up with faulty units.
Months later, Samsung has finally confirmed a new release date of 18 September. Samsung has made a number of design changes, including hinge reinforcements and extending out the top protective screen layer, so hopefully the end result will be markedly better than the nearly-released versions from spring.