Sure, 2018 was an excellent year for smartphones, but we think 2019 could be even better. Why? Because we've already seen loads and loads of leaks.
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.
Huawei: P30 + P30 Pro
The Huawei P20 Pro was our favourite phone for the better part of 2018, only to be replaced by the company's own brilliant Mate 20 Pro. Given that, we can't help but be thrilled to find out what's in store for the P30 Pro.
Right now, the leaks are relatively thin. They suggest four back cameras – up from three – in an effort to continue Huawei's camera dominance, as well as a small teardrop notch and a very small chin at the bottom. Huawei's powerful Kirin 980 chip should be onboard, and we hope to see a Quad HD OLED panel like in the Mate 20 Pro.
Rumours point to a very similar-looking standard Huawei P30 (speculative render seen up top via OnLeaks and 91Mobiles), albeit with three cameras on the back. It's still early for solid leaks, but a late spring debut (like that of the P20 Pro) makes sense.
The Wall Street Journal also believes that Huawei will debut a foldable smartphone, countering Samsung's own (keep reading), at Mobile World Congress in late February. We could also see the P30 phones then, or perhaps soon thereafter.
(Speculative render via Ben Geskin)
Samsung: Galaxy S10
The Galaxy S9 played it safe and didn't pack quite the same punch as its predecessor, but Samsung won't make that mistake twice, it seems. Leaks suggest that the Galaxy S10 line will use a pinhole camera design on the front, avoiding a large notch by having a tiny cutout just large enough for the front-facing camera(s).
Reports point to a base 6.1in Galaxy S10 model and a larger 6.4in Galaxy S10+, but also a smaller 5.8in Galaxy S10 Lite (or S10 E) with a flat screen instead of a curved one. All will pack the new Exynos 8920 chip, or Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 in some territories. In terms of camera count, you should see three on the back of the S10 and S10+, and two on the back of the S10 Lite. Meanwhile, the S10 and S10 Lite should have one up front, with two on the S10+.
Samsung has officially announced a 20 February reveal event for the phones, and Gizmodo suggests an 8 March release to follow. The site points to a £799 price for the base Galaxy S10, with the Galaxy S10+ bumping up to £899 and the S10 Lite dropping to £669.
And that may not be all of them: the Wall Street Journal reports that a super-premium edition, called "Beyond X" internally, will have a huge 6.7in display and six total cameras (three each on the front and back). The phone, which may launch after the other versions, will also pack 5G network support. That's not expected from the base trio of handsets.
(Speculative render via Ben Geskin)
Samsung: Galaxy X foldable phone
The Galaxy S10 won't be Samsung's only big smartphone release in 2019: we'll also finally, finally get the company's long-in-the-works foldable handset. Samsung debuted the tech at its Developers Conference in November, showing a phone with a smaller outer screen and a much larger, tablet-esque screen available once you unfold the thing.
It's been rumoured as the "Galaxy X" or "Galaxy F," with a modest 4.5in display (840x1960) on the outside and a lavish 7.3in Infinity Flex Display (1536x2152) inside, both at 420ppi. Most likely, it'll feature the same Exynos 8920 flagship processor as the S10, but that's just speculation for now.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that Samsung will reveal the fully-functional foldable smartphone on 20 February alongside the Galaxy S10 models, and previous reports pointed to a March release with a price that could convert to about £1,350. Look, innovation ain't cheap, and this one's surely targeted at the early-adopter die-hards who don't mind shelling out extra for a cool new trick.
Apple: Next iPhones
What you're seeing above is reportedly a render of a pre-production testing model for the next iPhone (via OnLeaks/Digit). It shows three awkwardly-arranged back camera sensors in a huge-looking module, and it may use Sony's new 3D camera sensors that can measure distance. Another supposedly leaked render from the same leaker shows a center-mounted horizontal camera array, instead; he says that Apple may be deciding between them.
Other rumours are all over the place as of now. All three phones might use OLED displays… or they may not. The pricier models could follow the iPhone XR's lead and drop 3D Touch support… or maybe not. Apple Pencil support? That's been rumoured, too.
A Bloomberg report suggests that the new 2019 iPhones will not come with 5G network support – so if that's something you want ASAP, you may not get it from the next iPhone. At this point, however, it's too early to put much stock into any of these rumours and reports.
We'll get juicier and surely firmer details as the year goes on, though. After all, the Apple rumour mill never disappoints.
OnePlus: OnePlus 7
We're barely a couple months out from the release of the OnePlus 6T, but rumours are already swirling around the incoming OnePlus 7. It's early still, but there are some compelling details worth knowing.
The latest purported leak shows a handset without a notch, pinhole, or visible camera on the front - perhaps because it's a slider smartphone that lets you pop up the selfie cam by sliding the back of the handset. The above concept render from Ben Geskin is based on the aforementioned leaked photo, but there's still a lot of speculation within this leak.
Another intriguing leaked photo shared by Ishan Agarwal shows what appears to be a significant design shake-up for an upcoming handset. It may not be the OnePlus 7, and it may not even reach production – but it appears to show CEO Pete Lau in view, so it's worth considering the possibilities.
We expect another handset that mostly matches flagships on quality and components but still comes a little short on price (hopefully), with a Snapdragon 855 processor and probably another 1080p display. The OnePlus 7 should roll out around early summer, like the OnePlus 6 did in 2018.
Also, OnePlus has said that it will be one of the first companies to release a 5G handset, although the company claims that it won't be the successor to the OnePlus 6T. That's probably because a 5G-compatible phone will be pricier than the standard OnePlus 7, so it may arrive as a special edition or a differently-named variant.