Last year was another fantastic one for smartphones, but 2020 looks to be even better once all is said and done.
There's already a flood of rumours and leaks about this year's set of remaining expected heavyweights, including the Apple iPhone 12 and Google Pixel 5, 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.
(Lead image courtesy of Pricebaba x OnLeaks)
Apple iPhone 12
After three versions of the bold and inventive iPhone X design, will 2020 see Apple shake things up?
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).
Some reports even suggest two different 6.1in models, bringing the total tally to four iPhone 12 devices. According to Front Page Tech, it could break down into iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max models at 5.4in and 6.1in, respectively (both with OLED screens), and iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models at 6.1in and 6.7in respectively with more cameras, more RAM, and higher-resolution OLED displays.
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. A recent rumour also points to a 64-megapixel shooter in the mix, while another suggests 4K slow-motion shooting at 240fps.
Apple affirmed that the new iPhones will launch a little bit later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's early September event focused solely on new Apple Watches and iPads, unfortunately, so speculation now points to an October debut.
(Concept render via Svetapple.sk)
Google Pixel 5
Earlier in the rumour cycle, leaks pointed to a potentially significant design change for the Pixel 5, marked by a sizable "deep U" on the back center for the camera module. Now, however, leakers pretty much just think the Pixel 5 will look a lot like the Pixel 4a.
And that sounds good to us, given the clunkier look of the massive bezel "forehead" on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Like the budget-friendlier Pixel 4a, the Pixel 5 is expected to have a punch-hole selfie camera on the front to minimise the amount of wasted space around the screen. The one noticeable difference seems to be a textured back on the Pixel 5, as suggested by Google's own teaser image.
While all previous core Pixel models have been flagship-level phones, leaks are firmly pointing to the use of an upper mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip this time around. That means it'll actually be less powerful than the Pixel 4, but the trade-off should be a much more reasonable price. Wireless charging and a 90Hz screen around 6in in size are both expected in the mix too.
Google has announced a 30 September virtual launch event for both the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a, with the seemingly official renders above leaking recently from WinFuture.
Believe it or not, we’re coming up on the time for yet another OnePlus launch. OnePlus has officially dated the launch for 14 October, right on schedule for its six-month upgrade.
The company confirmed to TechRadar that the OnePlus 8's 6.55in OLED screen will bump up from 90Hz to 120Hz this time around, delivering an even smoother viewing experience. Meanwhile, an Amazon Germany leak points to a quad-camera setup on the back with a 48MP main camera with optical image stabilisation alongside 16MP, 5MP, and 2MP shooters.
It's expected to launch in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver, and potentially with a price drop compared to the OnePlus 8: the Amazon listing points to a European price of €599 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage model and €649 for 12GB RAM/256GB storage. That's a deal, if true. Amazon suggests a 20 October release, less than a week after the launch stream.
LG’s smartphones haven’t been making as much of an impact in recent years, so the company is trying something new. It's called the LG Wing and it's a dual-screen phone - except one screen is hidden from view, making the phone look pretty typical at first.
But when that main 6.8in FHD+ OLED screen flips up and sideways to reveal a 3.9" 1:1.15 screen below, you get a sense of why this phone is named the way it is. And you can hold it in a few different ways to align the screens as needed for various use cases.
LG has opted to pair this phone with upper mid-range specs instead of making its usual flagship play, thanks to a Snapdragon 765G (5G) processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. It has a triple-camera setup on the back, a 32MP pop-up selfie cam, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
LG plans to roll the Wing out in South Korea starting in October before it launches elsewhere, but right now we're still waiting on a price tag.
Already reviewed in 2020
We're always testing the latest and greatest smartphones and dropping our verdicts, and these are the phones we've reviewed so far in 2020. This list will continue to expand each time we update this article, so keep an eye out for many more additions.
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G: All the features you'd want in a top-end Android... and a few more. Brilliant.
Samsung Galaxy S20+: It's a larger GS20, if you're into that sort of thing.
OnePlus 8: Pricier than past models, but one of the best 5G phones today.
Realme X50 Pro 5G: One of your best options for a powerful, yet reasonably-priced 5G phone.
Oppo Find X2 Lite 5G: Sensible sacrifices make for an appealing, affordable 5G handset.
Oppo Find X2 Pro: Paying this much for an Android you've never heard of? You might want to...
Motorola Edge: Moto's mix of flagship looks and mid-range power impresses.
OnePlus 8 Pro: The price is pushing it, but the perks are aplenty. Lots to like here.
Google Pixel 4a: Another budget Pixel winner with a brilliant camera, but not much flash.
OnePlus Nord: Finally, another affordable OnePlus - with 5G and a 90Hz screen, no less.
Apple iPhone SE (2020): An affordable, impressive iPhone, but just a bit weak on battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Seriously top tier... except for the battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: Both the best you can get and far too much for most buyers.
Motorola Moto G8 Power: Another budget battery beast, even if the G8 Plus is better.
Realme X3 SuperZoom: Definitely the best camera you'll find on a phone this affordable.
Motorola Moto G8: One of the best sub-£200 budget phones you can buy today.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: Today's best flip smartphone has great design, but is fragile and pricey.
Sony Xperia 1 II: One seriously premium handset, but a little weak on shooting skills.
Huawei P40 Pro+: The world's best camera phone is again hobbled by a lack of Google onboard.
Xiaomi Mi 10: A beautiful phone that lacks optical zoom and has some UI gremlins.
LG V60 ThinQ 5G: "Nice but niche" pretty much sums up this dual-screen option.
Realme 5 Pro: A familiar, but fantastic budget handset.
Oppo A5 (2020): Want a big phone on the cheap? This 6.5in Oppo can fit the bill.
LG Velvet: Something honestly new from LG, although not currently in the UK.
Oppo A72: So-so performance, but a strong pick for just over £200.
Samsung Galaxy A51: Not high-end like the S20, but still a super slick mid-ranger.
Huawei P40: No Google in sight, but nice hardware and performance at least.
Samsung Galaxy Fold: A super cool concept, but too expensive and fragile to recommend.
Honor 9X Pro: Good hardware, but not very useful without Google services onboard.
Motorola Moto E6 Play: Yes, it's under £100 – but it's a very rough experience.