The year started and a month flew by! Resolutions were made, and then broken (yes, we are talking about that gym membership and the small section of sports attire that gives you judgmental looks when you open the cupboard).
But, if your resolution is to splurge on a new mobile phone this year, we have the ultimate guide for you! After all, some resolutions should be kept in style.
Here’s our list of upcoming mobile phones in 2016 to watch out for.
Microsoft Surface Phone
The grapevine has been working rigorously, and rumours are floating around of Microsoft working on the launch of its Surface-based phone running on Windows 10. Why are we banking on these rumours? Because they are coming directly from Windows Central!
Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Corporate VP, is back and has been working on a prototype of a new phone. It is rumoured that this work is completely separate from the previous work done by Nokia.
We, definitely, would not be surprised by this launch, considering the hit that Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book was! Not only would this baby be absolutely novel, but also come with an Intel-designed chipset with x86 CPU, along with the magnesium alloy chassis. Simply put, it will support Win32 apps. A little birdie says that this smartphone will be a hybrid, which will function as a phone and a tablet – a phablet!
It doesn’t end here. The phone will run on Windows 10 Mobile operating system and include the Continuum feature, which means that when plugged on to a larger display, it will act as a PC.
Should it truly be launched, it is expected to be the biggest competitor to iPhone 7, both expected to be launched in September 2016. The technical specifications are expected to include a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a random access memory of 4 GB, a storage capacity of 64 GB and 128 GB with 256 GB microSD card support, a 21-megapixel PureView shooter, 8-megapixel selfie camera, and wireless charging. It could also have a Surface Pen and a USB-C port.
The idea of this smartphone definitely seems quite exciting. We are hoping Microsoft ups its game, and does not leave us high and dry!
The little bird has turned out to be as unique as its name. So, here’s a situation – an app is launched that you were waiting with baited breath, but you do not have any space to download it. And you just don’t have the heart to delete old apps. Here’s when Robin comes to the rescue!
In a truly unique move, Robin has the cloud integrated into Android OS. Whenever plugged on to Wi-Fi, it backs up your apps and photos. When you need space, it will archive the least used apps, so that you never have the crunch of space.
It started off as a Kickstarter campaign, and the first 1000 people who backed the project on Kickstarter will receive their GSM versions by February 16th. The CDMA-capable model will soon follow in 2016 itself.
The Robin, available for pre-order at $399, runs on a premium Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. It has a 5.2 inches IPS LCD 1080p display, with Gorilla Glass 4. It comes with 2680 mAh battery power, 13 megapixels rear camera, 5 megapixels front-facing camera, 3GB RAM, 32GB onboard and 100GB online storage. Some additional features include dual front facing speakers, fingerprint sensor, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
A feature, which we found to be quite useful is that the Robin comes with an unlocked SIM, unlocked bootloader and open source drivers. Basically, you choose the carrier you want, and the ROM you find best, and yet, the phone will be under warranty. It is, after all, your phone!
‘If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone’. Looks like the new iPhone 7 is ready to carry this legacy of Steve Jobs forward. To be fair, we are not sure that the new phone set to be launched in September, would be called as ‘iPhone 7’, but considering the trend so far, we made a ‘wild guess’. Also, since Apple usually launches 2 versions of each model, we are expecting
The design is not yet finalized, so we don’t know how it will look yet, but we are hoping that following its own example, Apple will introduce a more powerful phone in a thinner body.
It is rumoured that iPhone 7 will be as thin as the 6.1 mm iPod Touch, and the 3.5 mm headphone jack will be removed. It will include in-cell panels and TFT-LCD display technology. With no headphone jack, wired headphones will connect to the phone through its Lightning port, and Bluetooth headphones will connect wirelessly. It is believed that Apple is also going to launch Lightning-equipped ear-pods. A thinner model sounds great, but we are worried about the batter life.
The body is expected to be made out of non-aluminum composite material, which would improve water resistance of the phone, and removes the antenna bands found in iPhone 6s. iPhone 7 may be available with 2GB RAM, and 7 Plus with 3GB RAM. iPhone 7 Plus is expected to have a dual-lens camera system which will give DSLR-like image quality with 2-3x optical zoom. Simply put, you can click better photos in low light.
You know those photos in pubs, where you can only see the eyes and teeth? Problem solved!
2015 has not been the best year for the Japanese giant, Sony. This year is a make-or-break year for the company, and it plans to redeem itself through the launch of the flagship Xperia Z6 in September 2016. The Z6 series is expected to include Z6 Compact and Z6 Ultra, too.
Sony has kept its sources tight, and there is very little information available in the market about the upcoming launch.
Xperia Z6 is expected to have a 5.2 inches or a 5.3 inches Triluminos LED Display with 2K Resolution, with a Gorilla Glass 4 for the display, and powered by Snapdragon 820 64-bit SoC, with four custom cores named Kryo.
You can definitely expect more processing power from this version. Other features have not been leaked, so they might remain similar to Z5, or be improved. Who knows? I guess, some things are just worth the wait.
HTC One M10
As far as HTC One M9 was concerned, it definitely was a beauty! But let’s admit it, the features did not match up to the expectations. So what do we expect out of M10? Well, let the style quotient remain, but let’s crank up the technical specifications a notch.
HTC has also kept the Android flagship under the wraps, and it’s much of a mystery as of now. So much so, we are not sure that ‘M10’ would actually be used as the name! The wait isn’t much longer, anyways. You can expect to the see the new device launched by the month of March or April.
It seems that the M10 will comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, powered with 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage capacity with expandable memory. It is expected to have a 1,440 x 2,560 display, and a longer battery life with 3500 mAh. This would be more than welcome in the market, since M9 was a disappointment as far as battery life was concerned.
The back camera might be 27 megapixel. This would also be a welcome change, since the rear camera in M9 was a flop, with the 20 mp Sony lens.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
With Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and then S6 Edge+, taking on the market in a storm, the next flagship series of Samsung is very much predictable. We are expecting to see the new devices by the month of March 2016.
Now, there’s quite a lot being talked about as far as the S7 series go. Be warned, there’s nothing official about this one amongst all the upcoming phones in 2016. But, you know how little birdies work.
We can expect to see an ultra AMOLED display of either 4k or 5k, 5.5 inches, with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 back panel. The software is the talk of town, as far as S7 series is concerned. In S6, the company shifted to the use of its own Exynos processor, and we can expect to see Exynos 8 Octa 8890 in S7. But, it is believed that Samsung is working with Qualcomm in manufacturing Snapdragon 820 3GHz Kyro CPU cores. So chances of seeing a Snapdragon are high, with a 4GB RAM at 32, 64 and 128 GB memory. With the rumours of the new processor, we can also expect to see a 6GB RAM.
Considering the expected price is $1111 and Rs. 70,500 in India, these features will surely be worth it!
From partnering with Google for designing a handset for Nexus, to launching the flagship P8 that was at a steady competition with its rivals in the market, Huawei has been stepping up and delivering, and we expect no different from the much-talked-about Huawei P9, expected to hit the market by the month of April 2016.
It is quite likely that P9 will feature its own chipset, the new Kirin 950 SoC processor. It is rumoured that this processor is going to be one of fastest in the market amongst the upcoming mobile phones in India. It is also expected to have 6GB RAM, full HD display resolution of 5.2 inches, and a 16 megapixel resolution.
According to a leak by the Android Headlines, we can expect three variants of the flagship series – P9, P9 Lite and P9 Max. They are expected to have 5 inches, 5.2 inches and 6.8 inches displays, following the trend of P8.
The battery of 2600 mAh was definitely not sufficient in its predecessor, P8, and we are expecting an improvement in this area, especially because low battery life beat P8 in the market as compared to its competitors in 2015.
Some leaked handset designs suggest that the rear camera of P9 might be equipped with two lenses, with laser autofocus. We can also expect a fingerprint-scanner on the phone. Also, leaked designs suggest that we might see a physical home button, which supports the rumours of fingerprint-scanner.
I guess we would just have to wait and watch what this fast-growing newbie comes up with.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6
Rumours about the upcoming Galaxy Note 6 are taking the market by a rage! Samsung seems to be on a roll since 2015, with the Note 5, and 2016 awaiting the release of Galaxy S7 series. Galaxy Note 6 series is expected to follow soon, most probably in the month of August or September 2016, at the price of $750-$850, which will be Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 in India.
It is whispered that Samsung is coming out with its first 4K-display phone in the form of 6 inches Note 6. Like S7 series, Note 6 would also be based on either Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890, with a 16-core processor. It is also expected to have 6GB RAM.
Galaxy Note 6 would have a 27 megapixels rear camera, and an 8 megapixels selfie camera, with upgraded sensors. We can expect the Note with external MicroSD card support. The storage option is rumoured to start from 16GB, but can go up to 256GB. It is also expected to have a 4000 mAh power battery.
With flexible display and ultra thin body of around 4.5 mm, we can expect the Note 6 series to be a geek-paradise soon!
Google Nexus 6
Hot rumours are going around in the market that Huawei is going to build the next device for Google in the form of Nexus 6, which is expected to be launched by October 2016. It is likely that the new Nexus 6 will focus on high performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which has an Adreno 530 GPU, increasing efficiency by 40%. It also has the X12 LTE model with better performance and power efficient, the Hexagon 680 DPS and a quad-core Kyro processor.
The Snapdragon supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, which ensures lightning speed charging for your phone.
If all of this sounds Greek to you, let’s just say that the new Nexus 6 should give you better performance, with faster speed, and much better battery life.
It is anticipated that the screen size will be around 5.5 to 6 inches, making it a phablet. Also, a brand new operating system is expected to hit the market with Nexus 6, which is called as ‘Android N’. Nexus 6 will have Android Marshmallow built in support for USB-C, which will be used for data transfer and charging.
Gossips are up and about for the next Nexus, and we can only wait and watch what the duo of Google and Huawei create this time around.
OnePlus Three (3)
OnePlus came and conquered in 2015, with OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X! It took the social media by a storm, and invites were being distributed like hot cakes. Now, the buzz of OnePlus 3 has already hit the market, and there have been reports of leaks all around. We are not sure of the month of release, but there are definitely a lot of thrill surrounding the specifications.
OnePlus 3 will be one of the several upcoming mobiles in 2016 to run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. This 64-bit quad-core chip will improve performance massively, and at the same time, give better battery efficiency. It also supports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and Adreno 530 graphics.
We are expecting a full-HD 1080p display, with suggests that OnePlus 3 will follow the trend of its predecessors. We antedate that OnePlus 3 will live up to the brand image of a phone, which gives great value with high-end specs and reasonable mid-range pricing.
Oppo Find 9
Surprised? Don’t be. Find 9 is rumoured to be Oppo’s best and most awaited release yet! We are hearing about Find 9 since 2015, but the specifications and launch details are yet to be officially released.
The buzz is that this device will be 5.5 inches in size, with an 81.5% screen-to-body ratio and a 2560 x 1440 pixels screen resolution. It is expected to run on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, like many other smartphones to be released in 2016. RAM would be no less than 4GB, with 64GB of internal storage space.
We anticipate that Find 9 will use Android OS Lollipop as the Operating System, but in all honesty, it is a speculation as of now. Rear camera would be 20 megapixels, and the front one would be 8 megapixels.
Oppo has kept its ace under a shroud of mystery as of date, and we are waiting for some more leaks, or even better, an official announcement.
Guess who’s back! Nokia has been criticized for a long time for not being able to change according to the market needs. After proving the naysayers wrong with the launch of its first Android tablet in 2015, the Nokia N1, a little birdie tells us that Nokia is going to launch its first Android 5.0 Lollipop-based smartphone, Nokia C1.
Nokia C1 has been expected in the market from 2015, but there’s no official news of the launch yet. We hope Nokia redeems itself this year. CEO Rajeev Suri surely seems confident, and would, most likely, launch the much-awaited smartphone in the 4th quarter of 2016.
A mid-range version, its price would be less than Rs. 20,000 in the Indian market, which is approximately $300. Naturally, the technical specifications would be jaw dropping, considering the reasonable pricing, but certain leaks of the upcoming mobile have hit our ears.
It is said that the display would be 5 inches or 5.5 inches, with a full HD resolution. There will be two versions – one with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage capacity, and the other with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage capacity. The rear camera will be 8 mp and 13 mp for the respective versions. The front camera for both versions is expected to be of 5 mp. We also expect that the Android on Nokia C1 would run on a Windows 10 variant.
Quarter 4 is a long way to go, which means that there is enough time for Nokia to up its game. Until the model comes out in the market, we are not sure how Nokia is going to fair this time around, but it surely seems like a mobile phone worth watching out for.
There are a lot of upcoming mobiles in India in the year 2016, but personally, the above list are truly worth watching out for. Better processing systems, improved battery life, faster charging, increasing storage space, cloud integration – the players are stepping up their game to a new level altogether this year. 2016 is expected to see a lot of groundbreaking models, some redemptions and many flagship series.
Whatever be the outcome, the customer seems to be the winner this year. With new players entering the market, and old players improving their devices, pricing is going to be a major factor to decide which companies make it.
Out of these, and many more upcoming mobiles in 2016, which one are you waiting for with baited breath?
Please do share with us, and do let us know if we have missed an upcoming hot cake in this list.
In 2016, splurge away!