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Rumour Mill: What Smartphones to Expect in 2016

Introduction


There are many new smartphones which are expected to be launched 2016, but of these which are the most eagerly anticipated? We have listed (alphabetically) some of the smartphones which we expect to see in 2016 along with predicted specifications.

As well as successors for Apple, LG, Samsung and Sony flagship models (to name a few), there may even be some completely new releases to add to the suspense.

Calendar


Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus


The rumour mill is currently working overtime in relation to the myriad of speculations and concepts surrounding the possible release of the iPhone 7 in late 2016. The release of the iPhone 7 is inferred from routine releases which Apple has been consistent with over the past few years, i.e. a numeric model release (complete with chassis redesign) and a bi-yearly S-model release in between, consisting of an IOS update and new/upgraded technical features.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the Apple iPhone 7:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Thinner chassis with redesigned lock and volume buttons
  • Removal of the home button
  • Increase screen-to-body ratio for a full screen display (back-up removal of home button?)
  • Slimmer headphone jack dubbed the “D-Jack”
  • Possible removal of headphone jack to shave 1mm off the phone’s thickness. This would force consumers to rely of Bluetooth headphones or those which are compatible with the lightning port
  • Edge-to-edge display, similar to that of the Samsung Edge
  • 4.7 inch screen (iPhone 7); 5.5 inch screen (iPhone 7 Plus); 4 inch screen (iPhone 7 Mini)
  • Non-metal chassis
  • Sapphire glass screen similar to that of the Apple Watch

Technical Specification

  • Increased screen resolution; possibly offering 400ppi similar to the plus models
  • New Apple A10 processor
  • IOS 10
  • Waterproof protection
  • Integrated electronic SIM card (e-SIM)
  • Touch ID display (back-up removal of home button?)
  • 32GB of storage as standard with available 64GB and 128GB options
  • Possible wireless charging with wireless charging accessories available
  • Possible RAM increase from 2GB to 3GB
  • Upgraded battery for quicker charging cycles and longer life

HTC One M10


The HTC One M9 is considered to be one of the best looking smartphones available on today’s market; however, its stunning looks are often the start and also the end of the positives about the model. Unfortunately it is the opinion of many that the One M9 just did not meet their expectations and was a small improvement on the One M8. Hopefully the One M10 may rectify this and ensure the new HTC flagship is as competitive as the competition.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the HTC One M10:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Complete re-design modelled on the current One M9, which is a renowned aesthetically pleasing device
  • Re-design or relocation of the power button which is currently known issue due to its identic design and location of the volume buttons

Technical Specification

  • Supports wireless charging, unlike the M9
  • Possibly supporting a Snapdragon 820 processor
  • Quad-HD display similar to the HTC One M9+
  • 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution display
  • Upgraded battery for quicker charging cycles and longer life
  • Upgraded camera replacing the 20MP Sony lens in the M9 – reduced MP but improved camera function
  • Biometric fingerprint scanner
  • Water resistance
  • Increased internal storage options available as well as the standard 32GB
  • Possible 4GB of RAM

LG G5


The LG G5 has begun to cause stir among technology enthusiasts with many rumoured specs being leaked already. There is also huge speculation over the release date of the LG G5 with many reporting that it could be revealed as early in the year as February, unlike the usual Q2 reveal. Being the South Korean company’s flagship device, there is huge potential expected from the LG G5, especially considering that its predecessor – the G4 – did actually get a lot right.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the LG G5:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • 5.6 inch phone screen
  • Rumoured all metal chassis unlike its predecessor

Technical Specification

  • Quad-HD resolution IPS LCD display making it a little bit bigger than the G4
  • 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • At least 3GB of RAM
  • 21MP Sony lens rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera
  • Rumoured integration of iris scanning technology
  • Possible fingerprint scanner as well as the iris scanner

LG G Flex 3


For the banana phone lovers out there, they will be pleased to learn that the LG G Flex 3 is rumoured to be unveiled very early in 2016; possibly as early as the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV, between the 6th-9th January.

The LG G Flex 3 will be in-keeping with the curved design of its predecessor; however there is speculation that it may even be constructed from metal given LG’s recent success with curved TVs.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the LG G5:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Possible metal chassis although this may affect the curved design it should not be ruled out as LG have been making curved TV’s with a metal build
  • 6-inch phone screen display .5-inces bigger than the 5.5-inch G Flex 2 screen

Technical Specification

  • Possibly supporting a Snapdragon 820 processor which should resolve the overheating issues of the LG G Flex 2
  • Possibly 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage as minimum with MicroSD card slot for expandable storage
  • 20.7MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera
  • Quad-HD 2k resolution display
  • Biometric fingerprint scanner technology
  • 3,500 mAh capacity battery

Microsoft Surface Phone


There had always been talk about the possibility of a Surface Phone, even before Microsoft acquired Nokia, but nothing ever came to light. However, rumours have begun to circulate that the sceptical Surface Phone project organised by Nokia has potentially been replace by a new Surface Phone project, headed up by Panos Panay of the Surface Team.

Initially, enthusiasts expected Microsoft to concentrate on the surface phone. Instead they have continued with the Lumia series. It is therefore plausible that if there is a Surface Phone that it will co-exist with the Lumia and not replace it.

There is no definite date for the Surface Phone, however, some enthusiasts have argued that it may launch in the second half of 2016, around October to coincide with the Windows 10 ‘Redstone’ updates.

Below we have put together a list of possible specs which we think may be included on the Microsoft Surface Phone:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • 5.5-inch display screen
  • Look like a miniature version of the Surface Pro 4
  • Possible inclusion of a smaller version of the Surface Pen
  • Possible inclusion of a click-in keyboard
  • Possible inclusion of an integrated display stand

Technical Specification

  • AMOLED display
  • 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB and 128GB internal storage options
  • MicroSD card enabled
  • 64-bit Intel processor
  • 21MP rear-facing camera
  • 8MP front-facing camera
  • USB-C port for lighting charging
  • Supporting Windows Phone 10 OS

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge


Fans of the ever-popular Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be excited to learn that its successor may be on the shelves earlier than expected, hitting shops early in March, 2016. There is a lot of speculation as to which models Samsung will release and how big those handsets are likely to be. Essentially, most rumours speculate that there will be a Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Plus, Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge Plus.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the Samsung Galaxy S7 series:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Very similar is design to the highly rated Samsung S6 with just a few tweaks on aesthetics
  • 5.2 inch screen (Samsung Galaxy S7); 5.7 inch screen (Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge); 6 inch screen (Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus)
  • Possibly made from a different metal; a magnesium based alloy
  • Similar curved design for the Edge series

Technical Specification

  • Rumoured inclusion of a pressure-sensitive display (ClearForce) allowing for 3D touch
  • USB Type C port that supports lightning-fast charging
  • Rumoured integration of retina scanning technology
  • UFS 2.0 storage
  • May come with a MicroSD card for extended storage
  • Rumours for both the Exynos 8890 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipsets
  • Expected to launch with Marshmallow 6.0
  • At least one of the S7 models will come with 4k resolution
  • Standard S7 to use a 1440 x 2560 Quad-HD display
  • Suggested 3GB-4GB of RAM, however, Samsung recently launched a DRAM chip allowing smartphones to run 6GB of RAM
  • Rumoured 16MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, however, Samsung has been rumoured to be testing a dual-camera setup (“Dua Pixel”) and also a 20MP ISOCELL sensor
  • 2,500-3,000mAh battery

Sony Xperia Z6


The Xperia Z5, which arrived in September 2015, is Sony’s current flagship device and is still relatively new when compared to some other smartphones currently on the shelves. However, we are expecting the Sony Xperia Z6 to launch in the latter half of next year and there are already some rumours which have started to circle.

Sony never used to follow suit with launching a flagship on a yearly basis but instead used to launch a new device in 6 month intervals. Although the prospect of a new device release twice a year is exciting, there are drawbacks to this development cycle; devices are almost identical in terms of function and design, they are often rushed and have bugs and can often become confusing as to what device is what.

There has been strong hints to suggest that Sony will drop the 6-month refresh cycle and adopt a strategy similar to its competitors, thus, allowing us to infer that the Sony Xperia Z6 will debut in September time – most likely at the IFA in Berlin.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the Sony Xperia Z6:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Recognisable rectangular shape similar to predecessors
  • Small aesthetic tweaks, will maintaining the distinct Sony Xperia series styling
  • 5.2-inch screen similar to that of the Sony Xperia Z5

Technical Specification

  • Standard Sony Xperia Z6 to use Quad-HD resolution display
  • 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Sony Xperia Z6 Premium to use 4k full HD resolution similar to the Z5 Premium
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • Rumoured to be looking into developing their own processor, however, we believe this is future development for the brand
  • 3-4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage
  • Continue to offer expandable storage via a Micro-SD card
  • Biometric fingerprint scanning
  • USB Type C port that supports lightning-fast charging
  • Improvements made to the 23MP rear camera
  • 5.1MP front-facing camera
  • Launched with latest version of Google OS – Marshmallow 6.0
  • Possible addition of wireless charging

Xiaomi Mi 5


After great success with the Mi 4, Xiaomi’s eagerly anticipated and upcoming flagship has been causing a lot of commotion of late due to recent leaks from GizmoChina and a Weibo source. Despite a myriad of inaccurate speculations and false leaks which further obscured the handset in an air of mystery earlier in the year, the most recent revelations finally conclude some solid specs about the Chinese flagship, complete with renders.

Although previously predicted launch dates have since passed, the official detailing of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 may have lifted restrictions which were holding back Xiaomi from confirming the Mi 5. Since the official release, it is quite plausible that the brand will make an announcement in the near future; some speculate as early as the end of January.

Below we have put together a list of possible spec which we think may be included on the Xiaomi Mi 5:-

Design and Physical Appearance

  • Introduction of physical home button unlike predecessor
  • 5.2-inch display screen
  • 2.5D curved glass front panel
  • Mi logo possibly missing from the top left of the handset unlike predessors

Technical Specification

  • Biometric fingerprint scanning
  • USB Type-C charger
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Launched with Android Marshmallow 6.0
  • 16MP rear-facing camera
  • 8MP front-facing camera
  • 16GB and 64GB internal storage options
  • 1080p resolution display
  • No MicroSD card slot

Nextbit Robin (Pre-Order)


3,611 backers pledged $1,362,343.49 on Kickstarter to make the Nextbit Robin happen and now you can pre-order it!

Developed as a smart-smartphone, the Robin harnesses the power of the cloud allowing you to access any of your information when you need it. Their ideology of a “cloud-first-future” is born out of a frustration that other manufacturers and devices did not fully utilise what the cloud had to offer and that they were constantly losing and deleting data to save space.

The Nextbit Robin is set to be released in February 2016 along with a variety of accessories.

Below is a spec for the device; if you would like to pre-order then please use this link.

Design and Physical Appearance

  • 5.2-inch phone screen
  • Very square and right-angled design
  • 4 small lights on the back of the phone give you confirmation that the Robin is fully connected to the cloud
  • A subtle light on the bottom of the smartphone lights up to inform you of new notifications when your smartphone is on silent
  • Dual front facing stereo speakers
  • Dimensions: 149mm x 72mm x 7mm

Technical Specification

  • Processor: Snapdragon 808
  • Memory: 3GB RAM / 32 GB onboard / 100 GB online
  • Screen: 5.2” IPS LCD 1080p, Gorilla Glass 4
  • Rear camera: 13MP with phase detection autofocus, dual tone flash
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2680 mAh
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • NFC
  • Quick charging
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • WiFi A/B/G/N/AC
  • Weight: Approx. 150g
  • GPS enabled
  • Expected to ship with Marshmallow 6.0

Poll


Let us know what you think and vote for the smartphone you're most looking forward too in 2016:

Introduction


There are many new smartphones which are expected to be launched 2016, but of these which are the most eagerly anticipated? We have listed (alphabetically) some of the smartphones which we expect to see in 2016 along with predicted specifications.

As well as successors for Apple, LG, Samsung and Sony flagship models (to name a few), there may even be some completely new releases to


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