Phones come out faster than almost any other tech gadget. Literally, if you go into a store one day, your phone could be obsolete the next. New devices come out every month, each faster and better than the ones before. It’s almost impossible to keep them all straight. Unless it’s your job, that is. We scour the Web every day for phone news. From the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which has an actual camera mounted onto it to the Yotaphone, which has an E Ink screen on the back, these are our favorite upcoming phones.
Apple iPhone 5S
Every Apple fan is waiting with bated breath for the official announcement of the iPhone 5S which, on the outside, will likely be a carbon copy of the current model. It’s what’s on the inside that will change. The new model should come with the recently unveiled iOS 7 loaded and may be the last iPhone powered by a Samsung-made chip. Other features that we very well may be seeing: a fingerprint reader, stronger battery, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, and possibly even a larger selection of colors. It should be ready for sale this fall.
Nokia Lumia EOS
We’ve heard rumors of two top-of-the-range Nokia phones already this year, the Lumia 920 replacement with the codename Catwalk and this, the EOS, which could house a top-notch PureView camera (possibly called the Lumia 1000). We’re featuring the EOS over the Catwalk because there’s a chance it’ll be Nokia’s attempt to capture our attention at Mobile World Congress, plus as the Lumia 920 is only a few months old, it’s a bit early to be talking about its sequel.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The next generation in Samsung phablets is going to be even bigger than its predecessor, the Note 2. Running on Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean, the Note 3 will have a six-inch, 1080p OLED display (which may even be flexible) and run on an eight-core Exynos 5410 Samsung Exynos Octa processor. It’ll come with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a microSD slot for transferring files. Samsung is expected to officially announce the phone this September at the IFA Trade Show.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
The Galaxy S4 Mini is the little brother of the Galaxy S4 with many of the same functions, just slightly scaled back. Powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, it has a 4.3-inch, 960 x 540 pixel Super AMOLED screen, 1.5GB RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 8GB storage. (Thankfully it does include a microSD slot, so you can expand the amount of file storage.) It operates on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
(Read our GS4 Mini hands-on impressions.)
LG Optimus G2
Thanks to Viral Phone, rumors about the LG Optimus G2 have finally given us the details we’ve been waiting for. Compatible with LTE Advance networks, the device will sport a 5.2-inch, 1920×1080 pixel HD screen powered by a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. It will run on 2GB RAM, operating on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with a not-too-shabby 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The company is expected to announce the phone in August, meaning it should be available by the fall.
It’s a little gimmicky, but still a fun phone nonetheless. For the most part, it’s pretty average: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, 4.3-inch, 720p display, 2GB RAM, 12-megapixel camera and TKGB internal storage. What makes this a standout device is the E Ink screen on the backside of the phone. It’s completely customizable and can be used as an energy efficient way to view your Twitter feed, the weather, push notifications, or even a favorite image to add a personal touch without needing a case. It’s currently available overseas and should make its way to the U.S. by the end of the year.
(Read our Yotaphone hands-on impressions.)
Motorola ‘Moto X’ phone
The first smartphone to be manufactured stateside has some exciting specs. The phone will monitor your every move, learning patterns to deliver a better experience in other functions, like Google Now. As far as specs, all we know is that you can expect a 4.7-inch screen with a 10 megapixel rear-facing camera. The exciting part about not knowing more details? They may all be customizable. We’re not sure which version of Android the phone will come out with, but word on the street is that Motorola will control the first OS upgrade, not the carriers, so regardless, you’ll be as up-to-date as possible once Motorola flips the switch.
(Read our Moto X Rumor Roundup.)
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
The Galaxy Cam was a very cool device, but it stopped short of what we really wanted: a true camera phone. The Galaxy S4 Zoom picks up where it left off. Not only does this have a full 10x optical zoom, it’s also an impressive phone to boot. While it might be a little awkward to hold a phone with a giant lens on it up to your face, it can’t be much worse than trying to talk on one of the giant phablets that have become so popular. We can’t wait to try this one out.
(Read our Galaxy S4 Zoom hands-on impressions.)
HTC One Mini
HTC is scrambling to build back its customer base after after a lengthy delay in shipping its new flagship, HTC One. To help out, the company will release a mini version of its premiere phone. Shrinking from a 4.7-inch to a 4.3-inch, 720p screen, the phone will run on a dual-core processor and come with 16GB internal storage. While we haven’t heard which version of Android it will run on, it will probably be 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. August is the earliest you can expect to see this one.
Did our best upcoming phones list miss something big? Excited for any of these? Shoot us a comment below.
Update 6/28/2013: Article rewritten to include current phones.
Update 2/15/2013: Rewrote article to include current phones.
Update 10/3/2012: Dropped released phones and added some new devices.
Article originally published August 20, 2012.