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Ringing in the New Year

February 14, 2017.
Every New Year brings in a new batch of smartphones, some of which are already generating quite the buzz. Here is a sneak preview of some of the most highly anticipated models.

Every New Year brings in a new batch of smartphones, some of which are already generating quite the buzz. Here is a sneak preview of some of the most highly anticipated models.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8, concept Marek Weidlich.

True, the iPhone has lost market share over the last few years. But even so, this pioneer of smartphones, which is already celebrating its tenth birthday, remains the “itPhone”.

The iPhone 8, whose anniversary name is still not official, should be launched in September of this year. It promises to be cooler than any of its predecessors.

Promised features include an OLED screen covering the entire face of the “8 Plus” model and a new, much faster A11 processor. The camera and the Touch ID finger recognition area will cover the entire screen surface, and the Home button will be gone. As will the headset jack…

Other rumoured features: wireless recharging and new biometric recognition capabilities (a bonus for companies particularly concerned with data security).

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8, concept.

This timeless classic should appear on the market in its new incarnation around April 21. But we’ll know for sure next month, as Samsung plans to make an official announcement on March 29. The design should follow the blueprint of the S7 and Note 7, but the finger recognition surface could be moved to the back.

The Galaxy S8 should remain the fastest smartphone on the market, with an exceptionally high-resolution, oversized, edge-to-edge screen. Wireless recharging has also been hinted at. And for the first time, the Note stylus should be compatible with the Galaxy.

One thing is for sure: Samsung will need to go all out with its next launch if it wants to rehabilitate its reputation after the well-known debacle. Plausible, though unwelcome news, especially for corporations with a stock of Samsung devices to acquire or replace, is that Samsung will increase the price of its already pricy Galaxy by US $100, to make up for losses incurred by the Note.


LG G6, concept.

This will be one of the first “large” models to be available in 2017, with a launch at the beginning of March in Korea and at the beginning of April in North America, following an unveiling on February 26.

With this new model, LG will be giving up the G5 modules and turning to a more ergonomic design. According to rumour, the G6 will also have features similar to its competitors, like wireless recharging and iris scanning (via the same sensor as the front camera).

The 5.7-inch, 2880x1440-pixel screen gives a ratio of 18:9. Forbes says the processor will be a Snapdragon 821. The price will be similar to the G5.

Galaxy X

The most mysterious device also seems to be the most original.

Galaxy X, concept.

The Korean conglomerate has neither confirmed nor denied anything, but various sources indicate that the rumour surrounding the so-called Galaxy X project is credible. According to The Korea Herald, this device will unfold to turn into a 7-inch (18 cm) tablet. It should be available during the third quarter of 2017.

The company has been working on folding screens for years and has completed the development phase, according to the Korean daily. However, Samsung is supposedly holding out on launching the device for profitability reasons.

If and when it is launched, the device should have a bright future, especially with the professional set. With a well-designed 4K flexible screen, the Galaxy X would be welcomed by people who work on the road or need to be constantly connected. A compact phone-cum-tablet with a screen large enough to comfortably work on would be a winning combination.

[iPhone 8, concept image by Marek Weidlich.]