What Smartphones Are Due in 2016?

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on January 21, 2016, Buying Guides

A new year means a lot of new things, but for us here at TigerMobiles it means a whole host of new smartphones. So what are we excited about this year? Too many things to imagine. There are going to be some really innovative releases this year, and 2016 could well be the year of the smartphone. Want to know what you’re going to be buying in 2016? Then read on!

A Quick Note

Just as an aside before we get to the good stuff: a lot of what we’re about to tell you is rumour. Good rumour, yes, but we can’t guarantee any of this information until official releases from the manufacturers in question hit the net…

The iPhones…

iPhone 2016

Okay, we’ll start with the big ones here, Apple’s iPhones, and we’re actually expecting more releases than usual this year. Firstly, in early 2016 we should be seeing the iPhone 6C, a stripped back and more affordable version of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Expect to see legendary Apple styling and a friendlier price tag, but high end features like that 3D touch capability will probably be ditched in the lower end model.

In the traditional September Apple launch we’re going to be seeing what we assume will be the iPhone 7, and in keeping with last year’s launch we’re expecting a larger iPhone 7 Plus model as well. Not much info out about these yet, though you can expect faster speeds, and probably a few aesthetic tweaks. Some rumours say that full on waterproofing will be a feature too…

The Samsung Galaxy…

Galaxy S7 Renders

We’re expecting an earlier than normal release of the new Galaxy flagship from Samsung. The Galaxy S7 is probably going to be launching in February this year. Again, in keeping with what happened last year, we’re expecting two releases, an S7 model and a larger S7 Edge model. Expect to see new (faster!) USB C charging, and the reappearance of an SD card slot (sadly lacking in the S6 models).

There’s unlikely to be a huge difference between the S6 and S7 in terms of design though, but then, the S6 already has top end cameras and screen resolution. There is a rumour that Samsung are going to be adding in their own version of Apple’s 3D touch display though…

The HTC M10

HTC M10 Render

HTC have been on a bit of a losing streak lately, with the tame M9 release being a flop last year, but they have a chance to redeem themselves with the M10, slated for release in March. Not much is known about the M10, though it’s likely to have a Quad HD display (since the lower end Full HD display on the M9 was a major sticking point for many customers). We’d like to see a full re-design, since that’s probably the only thing that can save HTC right now, but we’ll just have to wait until March to find out.

Project Ara

Project Ara 10

In our opinion, Project Ara is one of the most exciting “releases” of 2016. Project Ara, spearheaded by Google, isn’t a smartphone per se, rather it’s a smart phone puzzle. The idea of Ara is that rather than buying a phone you’ll instead buy components of a phone that you can then put together to make the phone that you want. You buy the casing you like, and slot in the amount of memory you want and the speed of processor you like, sort of like building a phone from Lego.

The result should be a phone that not only meets your needs, but also one that can be continually upgraded without having to buy a whole new device. Project Ara goes into pilot mode sometime during the first quarter of 2016, and hopefully will get a full launch before the end of the year.

The Sony Xperia Z6

The last of the big flagship releases should be the sixth model in Sony’s Xperia line, and a lot like the HTC M10 it could be a make or break model for the company. Yes, Xperias are generally good, with sleek styling, awesome cameras, full waterproofing and decent displays. However, Sony haven’t really made any big changes in the line since the first Z model. We’re looking for a full re-design here, otherwise we fail to see the point of upgrading from any of the other Xperia Z hand sets. We should find out in the next month or two whether we’re going to get what we want or not…

And the Rest

There are a bunch of other phones that we’re anxiously awaiting as well as the big ones. After a disappointing Motorola Moto G 3 release last year, we’re hoping that the G 4 will be a bigger step up. Though the Moto G series is very affordable, and generally offers good performance, we’d like a much higher resolution display on the G 4 to make it a real competitor.

Then there’s the LG G5. The LG G series so far has offered some serious specs for some very affordable prices, and we’re hoping that the G5 is going to continue that trend. Rumour has it that there’s going to be a full 4K display on the G5, as well as an iris scanner, and possibly even a bigger battery, though we’re unlikely to see a metal build phone (which is fine, since the plastic build keeps the price point down).

Finally, the Asus Zenphone 2 was a bit of a surprise hit with us. With its super high end performance specs (4 GB of RAM!) and its low, low price, the Zenphone 2 showed us that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get an awesome phone. Here’s hoping that the Zenphone 3 will continue the trend when it’s launched in the next month or so.

With some great devices being released for all budgets 2016 is promising to be a great year for new phones. The only problem might be deciding which new smartphone is going to be the one for you!