The most anticipated smartphones of 2017

A decet of exciting devices hitting shelves next year

As the confetti is swept away and the last notes of Auld Lang Syne echo away, all thoughts will turn to the most exciting prospect of 2017: smartphones.

Oh, sure, there are resolutions to be made and opportunities to be sought - but what’s really getting us going this New Year is the latest crop of shiny slabs set to hit shelves.

Why are we so excited? Because there are follow-ups, new mobiles, refreshed phones and more, all coming in 2017 - and they could well be some of the best we’ve ever seen.

Not familiar with the best box-fresh phones coming in the new year? Read on for the 10 pocket-fillers getting our pulses racing for the next 12 months.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung’s Galaxy S series has given us a new flagship smartphone annually since 2010 – and every one of them has received five stars when we’ve reviewed it.

If that’s not enough to tell you why we’re excited for the Galaxy S8, this should be: a bezel-less, curved-only phone, packing a 4K AMOLED display, a dual-lens camera and a faster chip than ever before.

OK, so not all of those specs are concrete - in fact, most are rumours, albeit based on a body of leaks and partial facts - but it’s enough to look at Samsung’s prior form to know that the Galaxy S8 will be one of 2017’s top smartphones.

In fact, whether or not it ditches the home button and headphone socket, whether or not it has two lenses, and whether or not it comes only in the wraparound ’Edge’ variant, we’re seriously excited - by virtue of what’s come before.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung’s phablet line-up isn’t a straightforward one. Even before it began spontaneously combusting, the 5.7in Note 7 sat beside the 5.5in Galaxy S7 Edge in a line-up of tricky similarity.

What made the Note special, though, was arguably the enchanting interplay between its larger screen and the fabulous S Pen. It was a big phone that didn’t feel like one - and a productivity powerhouse that didn’t look like one.

Then it blew up - literally. Samsung had to pull the Note 7, leaving us wanting and waiting.

Even before the Note 7’s battery meltdown drama, we were excited by the product line - which is why we’re even more intrigued by the release of the Note 8, penned for some time in 2017.

Can it win back disgruntled Note fans? Can it deliver the goods without exploding? Will it be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, given that the company has already released a tablet of the same name? We can’t wait for the answers.

Apple iPhone 8

If you haven’t heard any whisperings about Apple’s next flagship, just listen to this: 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

Will that mean anything? Well, if Apple is to continue it’s tick-tock strategy of big upgrade one year, little upgrade the next, 2017 should show us an iPhone 7s.

Would the Cupertino company really miss the opportunity for “bravery” and game-changing upgrades on its own decade celebration? Based on early rumours, it could go either way.

Whatever happens, evidence points toward a radical design change - possibly to an all-glass body - together with an AMOLED screen upgrade, wireless charging and the demise of the home button. There might even be a Touch Bar on-board.

Bigger than the hardware, though, is the question of whether Apple still has the marketing chutzpah to sell a smartphone that costs more than a month’s rent.

Nokia Android

“Nokia? I thought it was dead?” Well, you know what they say about the toughness of Nokias...

Anyway, yes, a company called HMD is now making mobiles under the Nokia name. It’s a Finnish company, independent of Microsoft and, in 2017, it’ll release a Nokia smartphone running Android.

Why is that exciting? If our hopes are answered, it’ll deliver the goods where the Lumia line almost but never quite did. Think: zippy speeds, Android sensibility and the sort of styling that just might take the fight to Apple and Samsung.

We saw the first glimmer of Nokia-meets-Android potential with the truly intriguing N1 tablet - complete with its addictive Z launcher front-end - and there’s every chance that the next Nokia flagship will pick up where the N1 left off.