5 Expected Best Smartphones of 2017

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2017 is nearly upon us! A ton of great phones launched over the past year, like the Apple iPhone 7 series, Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, LG V20, Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and many others. But it’s not the time to look back — it’s time to look forward!

Already we know that a plethora of smartphones will be coming in the year ahead, too. Even Blackberry is back in the game, which is — admittedly — a surprise. The Blackberry Mercury is intriguing, to say the least.

If you’re trying to feed a smartphone addiction, like us, you might be curious to know what’s coming down the pipeline. Especially considering smartphones allow us to do things on-the-go, improving our productivity and lifestyles.

By the end of 2017, more than a third of the world’s total population is expected to own a smartphone, which amounts to nearly 2.6 billion users.

That’s insane, but what’s even crazier is that number will continue to grow, especially with so many smartphone launches on the horizon.

Here, are some of the best 2017 smartphones expected to drop over the coming year.

1. Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft has been out of touch with the mobile game for some time. Sure, the Windows Phone platform is great, but it just doesn’t have the adoption rate that Android and iOS have seen.

Microsoft is hoping to change that with the upcoming Surface Phone. Keep in mind, that’s probably not going to be the official name of the device.

ZDNet reports that the new Windows 10- and Continuum-compatible phone will be powered by Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. They are the follow-up to Intel’s Skylake chips, and are projected to arrive sometime next year. That also means the Surface Phone will likely drop then, too.

This is a big one for productivity, especially for Windows users. Microsoft really wants to deliver all-in-one solutions that offer cross-platform support, or at least that seems to be their goal. Windows 10 sealed the deal by offering a variety of new features, and the next phone should follow suit.

2. Apple iPhone 7s

Say what you will about Apple’s incremental updates, there are still plenty of people excited for the next iteration of the iPhone — even if the 7th generation did just launch not too long ago.

This will be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone brand, so fans are expecting some pretty significant changes. In fact, Apple may skip the 7s entirely and go forward with an iPhone 8 launch. Rumors point to a new OLED display, better haptic feedback, camera and performance improvements and wireless charging support.

Time will tell. One thing is certain, however — a new iPhone will be coming sometime next year, and that’s definitely an exciting prospect. Apple is increasingly breaking into the enterprise game, so expect them to invest more dev time into their suite of productivity apps, as well.

smart phones of 2017

3. LG G6

LG has really upped their game in the smartphone world. The G5 quickly became one of the best phones of 2016 when it launched in February. Its successor, the LG G6, is rumored to be a much larger and more powerful device than its brethren.

We could be looking at more power, a bigger form factor, eye-sensing tech, a waterproof body and a variety of health sensors — maybe even a heart-rate monitor. It should come with features specific to LG’s smartwatches and VR tech, too.

The biggest rumor alludes to a large, 4K-capable display, a whopping 5GB of RAM, and an Octa-core (that’s 8 cores!) processor. The productivity-minded could probably get a lot of serious work done on a phone like this.

Whatever is in store, we’re excited!

4. Samsung Galaxy S8/Galaxy Note 8

We included both of Samsung’s upcoming 2017 smartphones in this entry, because, well, we’re excited for both!

There are so many rumors about these devices it’s difficult to pin down exactly what we’ll be getting. We’ve heard about 4K displays, better EDGE tech, 30MP cameras, larger batteries and so much more. There’s even a rumor that points to a 3D-capable display. How awesome would that be?

Samsung is also rumored to be working on a flexible smartphone with a folding display. It’s being referred to by many as the Samsung Galaxy X, but the internal team has dubbed it “Project Valley,” which is strangely fitting.

5. HTC 11

HTC’s last release, the HTC 10, didn’t go as well as they hoped. They’ll be looking to make an impact in the 2017 smartphone market with their next launch.

There’s no question they’ll deliver an intriguing and innovative design — they always do. But it’s the mobile platform and experience they really need to improve overall.

Rumors for the HTC 11 claim it will be equipped with a 5.5-inch 2K resolution display, an Octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor and anywhere from 4 to 6GB of RAM. It’s also said to include a waterproof body and a fingerprint sensor. A 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front camera should be exactly what photo enthusiasts need to snap some great pics.

Will HTC redeem themselves? Only time will tell.

We are definitely excited about all of the 2017 smartphones that are yet to arrive! How about you?

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Kayla Matthews is the editor of Productivity Bytes and a regular contributor to VentureBeat, Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.