We just had another fantastic year for smartphones, including such gems as the Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Apple iPhone 11 – but 2020 could be even better.
There's already a flood of rumours and leaks about this year's set of incoming heavyweights, including the Galaxy S11, iPhone 12, OnePlus 8, and P40 Pro, along with a handful of other intriguing-looking handsets.
Here's a look at our most-anticipated phones of the year ahead, including links to extensive previews for many of them. Stay tuned, as we'll be updating this list throughout the year as new phones leak and launch.
Samsung Galaxy S11
The Galaxy S11 is pegged to be a "revision model" following the familiar tick-tock pattern and the S10's own design overhaul, but leaks suggest that Samsung isn't kicking back and taking it easy for 2020.
Reports claim a slightly trimmed-down bezel and a Note 10-esque centered punch-hole camera cutout, with screen sizes of 6.4in, 6.7in, and 6.9in across the line. The screen might be a bit less curvy than before, with no plans for a Huawei Mate 30 Pro-esque waterfall display. Also, the 6.4in model (the Galaxy S10e successor) reportedly won't have a flat screen this time around.
And the back of the 6.9in Galaxy S11+ (at least) could have a very noticeable change with an enormous camera module – like 1.5x the size of the iPhone 11/Pixel 4 one – that packs five cameras. Add more power to the equation and it should be a plenty desirable handset, but we'll have to see how the price point shakes out.
Samsung has officially dated a new Galaxy Unpacked event for 11 February, where we fully expect to see the Galaxy S11 and its myriad variations.
(Galaxy S11 concept renders via OnLeaks/CashKaro)
Apple iPhone 12
After three versions of the bold and inventive iPhone X design, will 2020 see Apple shake things up? Rumours point to yes, but it's still very early.
Reports suggest an iPhone 12 that keeps the all-screen face while adopting a flattened metal frame that's more akin to the classic iPhone 4, not to mention the current iPad Pro. Screen sizes could shift a bit too, going to 5.4in, 6.1in, and 6.7in (as opposed to the 5.8/6.1/6.5in of now).
As for the notch… well, there's no consensus there yet. We've seen concepts suggesting no notch at all, with all of the sensors packed into the slim upper bezel, while others claim Apple will redesign the notch. It's TBD at that point, in terms of what we know. Rumours also point to a four-eyes design on the back, with a time-of-flight camera added to the current trio of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
We should see the iPhone 12 models launch in September, and there's no indication yet on pricing… probably not cheaper than the current models.
(Concept render via Ben Geskin)
With a new phone out every five or six months, it's no surprise that we've already heard some things about the OnePlus 8. Expected to launch in late spring, the standard OnePlus 8 looks to swap the current waterdrop notch for a Galaxy S10-like punch-hole camera in the upper left of the screen.
We're not sure yet whether the OnePlus 8 Pro will stick with the pop-up selfie camera from before, but we're eager to find out. And rumours suggest that the OnePlus 8 will finally incorporate wireless charging, one of the only flagship features that the company has skipped to date, but we'll have to see how that impacts price if true.
(Concept renders via OnLeaks/CashKaro)
OnePlus 8 Lite
Will OnePlus launch a mid-ranger, too? That's the rumour, according to OnLeaks and 91Mobiles. They point to a handset that a centered punch-hole cutout on what looks to be a flat screen, and a left-side rectangular camera module on the back with two sensors.
The screen is expected to be about 6.4-6.5in and will likely pack in an in-display fingerprint sensor, but beyond that, there aren't a lot of details on specs. Still, OnePlus has routinely offered flagship-level phones during its existence, so we're curious to see what a trimmed-down edition looks and feels like if this leak is legit.
(Concept renders via OnLeaks/91Mobiles)
We're expecting more foldable smartphones in 2020, and the new Motorola Razr will be the first out the gate in January. We've already been hands-on with the phone, and we have to say, it feels amazing.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, this isn't a smartphone that unfolds into a larger-screened tablet – it's a smartphone that folds in half to fit into you pocket or the palm of your hand. It's obviously inspired by the classic Razr design (there's even a classic UI option), and the hinge is a modern marvel of engineering. It's especially satisfying to flip the phone closed to end a call, just like you would've a decade or more ago.
That said, this very expensive (€1,599) phone goes surprisingly modest on specs, with a 6.2in main screen that's sub-1080p in resolution, a mid-range Snapdragon 710 processor, a meagre 2,510mAh battery, and no wireless charging.
As cool as the Razr looks and feels, will you really want to spend that much on a handset specced more like a budget/mid-range phone? We're eager to spend more time with the new Razr and see if it's worth those trade-offs.
Huawei P40 Pro
Early leaks suggest that the Huawei P40 Pro will continue the design evolution seen since the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, mixing and matching to create what might ultimately be the company's best flagship hardware to date.
This concept render from 9TechEleven compiles the current round of rumours and leaks, with a waterfall-style curved "Horizon Display" (around 6.5in) at QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. You'll see a dual-camera punch-hole cutout there, too – but more noticeably, a huge back camera module with five total cameras.
The Mate 30 Pro was fantastic from a hardware standpoint, but the lack of Google services essentially killed it… and reportedly, Huawei won't have them on the P40 Pro unless the situation with the United States clears up quickly. A Huawei rep reportedly pointed to a late March debut in Paris, so it shouldn't be long before we see the real deal.
Google Pixel 4a
The Google Pixel 3a was one of last year's most surprising phones, bucking Google's high-end trend to deliver a flagship-quality camera paired with mid-range specs – at a reasonable price.
We're expecting that trend to continue in 2020 with the release of a Pixel 4a, and OnLeaks and 91mobiles have produced concept renders based on what they're hearing. The images show a phone that skips the huge, sensor-packed "forehead" bezel of the standard Pixel 4 and instead opts for a Galaxy S10-like punch-hole camera cutout on the front. OnLeaks pegs the screen size at 5.7 or 5.8in for the standard model (the Pixel 3a was 5.6in).
The back has what looks like a smaller square camera module, and the fingerprint sensor returns. It's like a hybrid of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4, really, which sounds pretty appealing. Most likely, it will launch in early summer like the Pixel 3a did last year, and we're hoping to see similar mid-range price points again.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite/Note 10 Lite
Samsung has announced an upcoming Galaxy Note 10 Lite that gives you a sleek handset with an S Pen, albeit for a surely lower price. It has a big 6.7in Super AMOLED display (1080p), a center-mounted selfie cutout cam, a huge 4,500mAh battery pack, and a triple 12MP camera setup on the back. One hitch, though: it has a couple-year-old Exynos 8895 processor instead of a top-tier flagship chip.
And there's a Galaxy S10 Lite, too, which is curious since there's already a Galaxy S10e. In any case, it has some of the same specs: a 6.7in 1080p screen, center cutout cam, 4,500mAh battery, and triple camera setup. However, the back camera setup has a macro camera in the mix - and, of course, there's no stylus. But it does have the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 flagship chip that the S10 packs in some territories.
We don't have price points or release dates just yet, but we're very curious to see where these land - especially with the Galaxy S11 likely to be revealed in a few short weeks.