Monday, April 20, 2015
19 best new phones you should be most excited about in 2015
With March's MWC 2015 we've just seen some of the best new phones of 2015 unveiled. Here we reveal the 19 upcoming smartphones that you should be most excited about in 2015. Also see the best new tablets you should be most excited about in 2015.
If you're a Samsung fan but would rather stick to a phone than a phablet then the S6 is just what you're looking for. With Samsung finally answering build-quality criticisms, it follows in the trend of the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 with a metal and glass body. There's also a quad-HD screen, plus plenty of other radical new features, including a super-fast Samsung Exynos processor (paired with 3GB of RAM), and a redesigned fingerprint scanner that works a lot more like Apple's Touch ID and, you know, actually works. The Samsung Galaxy S6 was unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event on 1 March 2015, and will go on sale on 10 April 2015. You can pre-order it now from MobileFun, Samsung direct, or multiple UK mobile operators (many of whom are throwing in a free wireless charger and money off a case), where prices start at £599. Read our Samsung Galaxy S6 review and learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S6 here.
A second version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 launched alongside the standard S6 at MWC. It follows the trend set by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, but with two curved screen edges rather than one and a marginally higher-capacity battery than is found in the S6. In other respects the specs are in line with the standard S6, but expect to pay a premium for that fancy screen. Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge here, which will go on sale in the UK on 10 April 2015. You can pre-order it now from MobileFun, where prices start at £749 for the 64GB version, which is a tenner cheaper than buying it direct from Samsung. Multiple UK mobile operators are also offering pre-order deals on the S6 Edge, with many offering a free wireless charger and money off a case.
A Samsung Galaxy flagship launch is traditionally followed by several variants, most importantly a compact version, but we've also seen variants that offer, for example, improved cameras or more ruggedised designs. The Samsung Galaxy S6 mini is likely to arrive a few months after the standard Samsung Galaxy S6, perhaps in late July/early August, and will be a more compact version of its bigger brother with a slightly slimmed down spec. We expect to see a 4.7in full-HD screen, a slower-clocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, perhaps 2GB of RAM and 16- and 5Mp cameras. You can read our Samsung Galaxy S6 mini predictions here.
Yet another rumoured Samsung Galaxy S6 variant, the Active should be a rugged version of the Samsung Galaxy S6. It's a credible theory, given that the Samsung Galaxy S6 no longer features waterproofing. Plus, with an S4 Active and S5 Active before it, we could well see an S6 Active, but probably not until the summer. We've rounded up all the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active rumours here.
Samsung has confirmed its Galaxy A7, a gorgeous phablet with a 6.3mm unibody metal chassis, a 5.5in Super AMOLED screen and a 64-bit octa-core processor. The Samsung Galaxy A7 is not yet on sale on the UK, but will come in both single- and dual-SIM variants. Read all about the Samsung Galaxy A7 here.
We are massive fans of the HTC One M8, and the HTC One M9 is even better. Although HTC has kept the full-HD screen rather than the quad-HD screens seen in the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the HTC One M9 is a very attractive phone with some impressive performance. You can check out our HTC One M9 review here, and learn more about the HTC One M9 release date, price and specs here. The phone went on sale in the UK on 31 March from £569 SIM-free, making it £20 cheaper than its rival the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Coming alongside the HTC One M9 is said to be a 5.5in-screen phablet version known as the HTC One M9 Plus. Except not exactly alongside - we'll likely be waiting until September for this variant. If rumours are true, the HTC One M9 Plus will pack a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM.
Sony Xperia Z4
Sony has traditionally updated its flagship handsets every six months, usually at IFA in September and MWC in March. Well not any more - the Sony Xperia Z4 was a no-show at MWC 2015. Many of the rumours suggest the phone will tie in with the new James Bond movie, with actor Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes expected to be involved in its design. A trusted source told us it heard from an accessories supplier that we'll see the Sony Xperia Z4 unveiled in September, which more than likely means this phone will be announced at IFA 2015. Rumour has it that it will be a super-fast Android Lollipop smartphone with an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, potentially 4GB of RAM and a Quad HD screen.
We stand by our statement that the LG G3 was the very best phone you can buy in 2014. Things can only get better with the LG G4. The LG G3 was officially released in the UK at the end of June 2014. LG is holding a press event on 28 April, and the G4 should certainly be here by the summer.
The G4 isn't LG's only exciting new smartphone for 2015. At CES 2015 it unveiled the G Flex 2, a curved-screen handset. The G Flex 2 is a 5.5in-screen smartphone with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core chip, and it features self-healing technology.
Part of the reason we're so excited about the upcoming Microsoft Lumia 940 is that it will be one of the first handsets to run full Windows 10 - Microsoft is to finally tackle the Windows Phone apps problem by running one OS across phones, tablets, PCs and laptops. The Lumia 940 has the beefiest spec of any Windows Phone we've seen too. Microsoft is holding an event at MWC in March, but that's probably too early to see a Windows 10-powered Lumia 940.
iPhone 7 / iPhone 6s
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in September, and in the months leading up to that the rumour mill went mental. Be prepared for more of the same with the iPhone 7, which will launch in September 2015 running iOS 9. As always, we're expecting a faster processor and some upgraded specs, but little change to the design. (Note that it will probably be called the iPhone 6s rather than iPhone 7, but we're sticking with iPhone 7 for now.)
Everyone always bangs on about Samsung's Galaxy S line-up, but it's the Note series that really impresses. The Note 4 was unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event prior to September's IFA tradeshow (3 September 2014), and right now sits at the top of our fastest smartphone and best phablet charts. Like the new iPhone the Note 5 won't be released until September 2015, but it's going to be well worth the wait.
In 2012 we had the Nexus 4, then in 2013 the Nexus 5 and, on 15 October 2014, the Nexus 6. We can't possibly be about to get a new Nexus 7, since that's already a tablet, so we're going for new Nexus 6 2015. It'll likely run Android M, and be unveiled in October 2015 with a November 2015 on sale date. Whereas Google offered flagship specs with mid-range prices for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 is more costly at £499. We're hoping Google will go back to its excellent-value roots with the new Nexus 6 2015, but we'll bring you all the rumours as we hear them.
Xiaomi has officially unveiled its Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, with the latter hailed as the most powerful phone in the world. Both offer staggering value at £244 and £350 respectively, given their amazing specs. These two Chinese phones are fitted with 5.7in curved screens - the Mi Note full-HD and the Note Pro Quad HD. The Mi Note Pro in particular should offer unrivalled performance, thanks to a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core chip, a massive 4GB of RAM and Adreno 430 graphics. And still it's thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus. There's loads more to drool over in Xiaomi's juicy spec sheet too - read more about the Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro UK release date, price and specs here. The Mi Note went on sale in China on 27 January and sold out within minutes, while the Mi Note Pro is expected at the end of March.
The OnePlus One is an amazing phone if you've managed to get hold of one. It's priced from £229 but has the spec to match a £600 smartphone, hence OnePlus marketing it as a 2014 flagship killer. According to OnePlus co-founder Carl pei, the OnePlus Two will surprise us, and is likely to focus on flagship-rivalling design rather than specs. He told our sister site PC World the OnePlus Two would arrive in June 2015, along with a second model - perhaps a OnePlus Mini? We expect to see a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 3300mAh battery and a 5.5in 2K screen. It will also run OnePlus' own OxygenOS, rather than Cyanogen. Check out all the OnePlus Two rumours here.
The Hudl tablet has seen phenomenal success, allowing the masses to enter the world of tablet computing. Tesco's taking a slightly different tack with its smartphone, however, which will be a high-end device with an aggressive price. Just the type of device we get excited about. The Tesco Hudl smartphone was supposed to be here in time for Christmas 2014, but Tesco put the project on hold. Despite recent financial problems causing Tesco to sell off its Broadband & Homephone and Blinkbox services, it remains committed to its mobile business.
The Ubuntu phone is finally here in the form of the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition. It costs €169 and runs a 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. More importantly, this is not an Android or iOS phone, it runs Ubuntu Linux - and that's interesting. You can find out more about the Ubuntu phone here.
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