You can now pre-order the Sony Xperia 1 in the UK

Even though the Sony Xperia 10 and 10 Plus are up for pre-order, the same couldn’t be said of the flagship Xperia 1. That changes today, at least in the U.K. — residents can now pre-order the Xperia 1 through Clove Technology for 849 pounds (~$1,104).

The Xperia 1 is available in black, purple, gray, and white. U.K. residents will have to wait a bit to play around with the phone — pre-orders will start shipping at the end of May. That said, you can import the Xperia 1 through Clove, so those in other countries aren’t left in the cold.

Editor’s Pick

Announced during MWC 2019, the Xperia 1 features a 6.5-inch OLED display with 4K (3,840 x 1,644) resolution and an incredibly tall 21:9 aspect ratio. The display also supports HDR, which should make movie-watching a treat when also taking the stereo speakers into account.

Elsewhere, the Xperia 1 sports three rear 12-megapixel cameras with varying focal lengths — one standard lens, a second telephoto lens, and a third super wide-angle lens. The phone also features a front-facing 8MP sensor, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, a 3,330mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie out of the box.

If the Xperia 1 is too rich for your blood, the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus are stylistically similar and cost almost half as much. You can find out more about the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus’ pricing here.

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

The best phones of MWC 2019

MWC 2019 is already coming to a close, but a huge amount of devices debuted during the show. From foldables to 5G, this year’s event saw a lot of innovation in a space many would say has been stagnant. While many amazing devices were shown off at this year’s event, only a few can reign supreme.

These are the best phones of MWC 2019.

Huawei Mate X

While Samsung jumped the MWC gun by announcing the Galaxy Fold days before the annual Barcelona event, Huawei was quick to bite at its heels with the Mate X. With an enormous 8-inch unfolded display and a still fairly massive 6.3-inch main display in its default state, Huawei’s model shows the potential of unfolding your device to give your content a much bigger display to play on.

Huawei’s model has no notch of any kind, instead opting to mount the cameras on a small grip on the side of the device. This solves multiple problems, making the phone easier to hold unfolded and also letting someone having their photo taken see their image on the other side of the phone.

It may seem strange not to include Samsung’s Galaxy Fold on the list, but we actually got to touch the Mate X at MWC this year. The experience made us stop thinking of this device as just a weird concept and accept that it is actually a unique and interesting product.

The Galaxy Fold may very well be equally interesting. Without actually seeing and touching the device outside of a glass box on a show floor, we’re reserving judgement until we can test it in full.

Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series wasn’t technically unveiled at MWC 2019, but clearly the company wanted reviewers to experience the device in the beautiful and challenging conditions of MWC 2019 Barcelona. Samsung unveiled the device just a day before most of us got on planes headed to the event, so while it didn’t hold a press event at the actual show, we think the devices still deserves a mention.

We’re still working hard on our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, but our initial impressions have been incredibly positive. Samsung has been refining the design of these devices for almost a decade now, and the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus feel like the apex of the company’s ethos.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model, this is one of the best devices on the market from a pure power perspective. Add that Samsung has maintained all the bells and whistles like wireless charging (and reverse wireless!), IP68 water and dust resistance and even a headphone jack, and you’ve got a phone that already firmly secures a spot as one of the best phones of 2019.

We don’t won’t to go too in depth on this device since our full review is coming shortly, but it only makes sense for this device to be on our list of the best devices of MWC 2019.

Nokia 9 PureView

The Nokia 9 PureView has been leaked and rumored for quite a long time, but it still surprised us with its innovative penta-camera array and relatively low price. While specs might indicate this device is a top of the line 2018 flagship, the unique features and competitive price make it a lot more interesting.

The phone’s three monochrome cameras mean it can capture an astounding amount of detail — almost three times more than a standard RGB camera sensor. We saw how powerful monochrome sensors can be on the Huawei P20 Pro, but with three sensors it’s anyone’s guess how amazing the camera on this device will be. This device can capture 1200 layers of depth, compared to the standard three to seven captured in most smartphones, which means it could theoretically rival a traditional DSLR or mirrorless camera system.

We’re eagerly waiting to review this device, but our hands-on time indicates it could be a sleeper hit. We’ve always adored devices in the Android One program due to their simplified software, and Nokia has continued to surprise us with delightful experiences since its resurgence with HMD Global.

Sony Xperia 1

While Sony has had a hard time selling mobile devices recently, the company has always tried hard to create phones showcasing the best it has to offer. With a 4K 10-bit HDR display tuned by the Bravia team and a triple-camera system developed alongside the Sony Alpha team, we’re excited to see what Sony can deliver in the Xperia 1.

At our briefing for the device, Sony told us it scrapped the “XZ” naming scheme to indicate it was completely reimagining what its devices should be. Arguably the biggest design change is the phone’s new 21:9 aspect ratio, which Sony thinks is superior for content consumption. While most online content is still 16:9, we have seen a radical shift towards the cinema standard for a lot of content, even some on YouTube.

It’s clear Sony is pushing this idea hard, allowing the device to shoot photos and video in 21:9, as well as record in 24fps, the traditional standard for motion pictures. For someone who wants as many high-end content creation capabilities as they can get, this device looks incredibly exciting.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

While Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 was announced about four months ago, the new 5G variant excites us because of the precedent it sets for the cost of 5G devices. Because 5G is still so new, manufacturers are charging much more for phones that support it. Xiaomi is looking to live up to its legacy of low-cost, high end devices with the Mi Mix 3 5G.

The Mi Mix 3 5G costs just 599 euros, and while we recognize that is a lot of money, the original device already cost ~418 euros. The new device also comes packed with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 chip, which is reason enough to pick it over the original Mi Mix 3. While the baseline storage has been downgraded to 64GB from 128GB, Xiaomi is clearly trying to find every possible corner to cut to keep this phone as affordable as possible.

We loved the slider mechanism and fullscreen display of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and we’re sure the 5G model will be every bit as exciting. Until 5G networks are actually live, you’ll still get 4G speeds, but this an investment into the future of wireless tech. You’re definitely future-proofing with this device.

A number of other interesting and innovative devices were announced at MWC 2019, but these are our top picks this year. Have a different opinion? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments! Let’s get that discourse going!

Sony in 2019: Playing catch-up

Sony Xperia logo - Sony review 2019

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Sony unleashed a metric ton of phones onto the market last year, as it isn’t exactly known for its restraint when expanding its mobile portfolio.

Unfortunately for Sony, those same phones also once again failed to capture a wide audience, with the Xperia brand still languishing among the doldrums of the global market share charts.

With a new year comes new opportunities, however. Let’s take a look at Sony’s 2018 in review and see how the Japanese giant can get itself back on track in 2019.

A year to forget

Sony logo - Sony review 2019

In our Sony in 2018 article we called for change, and 2018 certainly started with a huge adjustment for the storied firm. In February, former PlayStation boss and Ridge Racer fan Kazuo Hirai stepped down as CEO, replaced by the then finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida.

Yoshida, known internally as someone always keen on “imposing discipline and getting the job done,” quietly stuck to Hirai’s promise made just a month earlier that Sony would not be leaving the smartphone business.

The new CEO also delivered on his reputation as a numbers guy, slashing hardware targets across all divisions, citing a move towards digital services as a more reliable revenue stream. Sales of Sony’s TVs, cameras, games consoles, and, of course, smartphones were all predicted to slow down, and slow down they did — and then some.

After losing almost $100 million in Q1 2018, Sony’s mobile division then dropped over $480 million in Q2. In terms of actual handsets, Sony managed to sell just 2 million smartphones in Q2, down 1.4 million year-on-year. A further loss of just over $140 million followed in Q3 2018.

Sony Xperia XZ2 - Sony review 2019

The Sony Xperia XZ2

The results prompted Sony to further revise its overall smartphone sales target for the year from 10 million to 9 million.

Reflecting on Sony’s eye-watering decline in the mobile sector, Android Authority’s own Jimmy Westenberg contextualized the company’s new yearly target in a way that perfectly showcased the division’s relative struggles:

“For comparison’s sake, leaked sales numbers point to Samsung “only” selling around 9 million Galaxy S9 units in Q2 2018. That’s just for one quarter, not the whole year, and that’s just one phone.”

Like so many OEMs staring into the sales abyss in the face of growing consumer fatigue towards the smartphone industry as a whole, Sony blamed its slump on a lack of innovation. This was evident in the phones being released too, with Sony failing to jump on the elongated display bandwagon until the launch of the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact at Mobile World Congress 2018 — a full year after 18:9-style displays hit primetime.

Read more: Sony’s failing smartphone business should come as no surprise

The same company report that cited slow innovation also highlighted its regional issues, with sales in Europe reportedly well behind rival firms. Sony also failed once again to make any headway in emergent markets where Chinese OEMs reign supreme, the U.S. (where the lack of carrier partnerships is still a key concern), or in MEA regions where Sony has hinted it is considering downsizing its operations.

Yet, while the numbers clearly were not on Sony’s side, there were still some bright spots from a product and technological standpoint that could serve the company well in 2019 and beyond.

Glimmers of promise

While it wasn’t exactly the most original or inspiring redesign Sony’s designers are surely capable of producing, the Xperia XZ2 finally saw the brand take steps to at least evolve its tired OmniBalance smartphone template.

Gone were the dumb side-mounted fingerprint sensors and sharp square edges, replaced by a more modern, ergonomic look with a circular rear fingerprint reader, curved corners, and an 18:9 display.

The Xperia XZ3, launched in August, rectified even more long-lasting issues by finally switching display panels from LCD to OLED and stripping back the XZ2’s obscenely chunky top and bottom bezels (though still not enough for my liking).

After a years of outdated designs and crucial feature omissions, Sony has a blueprint to build on for its 2019 phones.

It even added a splash of AI by virtue of being the first phone from any company to hit the market running Android Pie out-of-the-box. It also got bonus points for not adopting any kind of notch, but immediately had them taken away again for not featuring a headphone jack.

The XZ2 Premium even jumped on the multi-camera trend, sporting a dual-lens rear shooter — a first for a Sony flagship.

It was all too little too late for any meaningful success in 2018, though, as consumers had seen it all before. But, after a year or so’s worth of flagships with outdated designs and crucial omissions, Sony at least has a blueprint to build on for its 2019 phones.

Editor’s Pick

At a more granular level, Sony also has wider technology innovations to fall back on that will continue to find their way into phones that don’t just bear the Xperia name.

This is true none more so than on the camera front. Sony’s 48 megapixel IMX586 sensor is expected to make its way to a bunch of phones throughout 2019, while the company’s recently revealed DepthSense 3D Time of Flight sensor seems to have arrived just in time to jump on a growing trend that will bring improved augmented reality and faster facial recognition to mobile devices.

As noted by Bloomberg, the cooling demand for smartphones across the board will inevitably have a knock-on effect on the sales of mobile-camera chips. Nevertheless, Sony’s components remain a strong backbone for many popular Android phones and, unlike other struggling OEMs like HTC, will continue to keep the company relevant in the sector even if/when its handsets fall flat.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Android Pie - Sony review 2019

Speaking of Android, Sony has also managed to claw back a fair amount of goodwill with its handling of Android Pie updates. As previously mentioned, the XZ3 was the first phone to launch running Pie and its predecessor, the Xperia XZ2, was among the select group of phones involved in the Android P developer preview. Sony has also been refreshingly upfront about its update roadmap.

Sony is also one of few remaining champions of the Android TV platform, pushing through new features to its Android TV-powered Bravia sets in 2018 and promising further updates in 2019. With Sony-made Google Assistant smart speakers also on store shelves, it’s clear Sony has a strong relationship with the search giant. Perhaps that’s a relationship we could see manifest in a more overt way in Sony’s phones in 2019? We could certainly do with more Android One phones that aren’t just Nokias.

Shifting the paradigm

Sony Xperia XZ3 in hand (front)

The Sony Xperia XZ3.

Despite all of the changes, Sony’s Xperia line is still lagging far behind the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and even LG in terms of sales, brand recognition, and product innovation.

The “why” behind those issues is manifold, but there are obvious problems that Sony needs to address immediately to stem the bleeding.

Pricing is a clear concern, with the head honchos at Sony HQ making some downright baffling decisions when picking out a price point for its phones. Not only did we get the XZ2 Premium launching with a totally unjustified $999 asking price, Sony also saddled the latest in its Compact family — the XZ2 Compact — with a $599 price that, when compared to similarly priced, but far more premium offerings from OnePlus and Honor, looked laughable.

Related: OnePlus in 2019: A force to be reckoned with

Criticism and bewilderment also summarized Sony’s absolutely astonishing choice to slap an outrageous 72,990 rupees. (~$1,062) price tag on the Xperia XZ2 in India — a lucrative region dominated by modestly-priced phones, mostly from Chinese brands.

It’s those same Chinese brands that are outmuscling traditional Android OEMs like Sony in an increasing number of global markets. Put simply, Sony’s choice to sit back and rely on its company’s historically strong brand name to carry it through just can’t compete against China’s ambitious, cash-flush firms.

It doesn’t help that Sony’s mobile brand — Xperia — has been rendered almost meaningless as a result of Sony’s own scattershot product family succession and naming conventions. Can you remember the difference between the Xperia XA2 Ultra and the Xperia XA2 Plus, two phones released in a single calendar year, without looking it up? I couldn’t.

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra - Sony review 2019

The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra. Not the Xperia XA2 Plus.

This “alphabet spaghetti” approach to naming phones pales in comparison to the fact that Sony managed to cannibalize interest in its XZ2 Premium flagship by announcing the Xperia XZ3 just a month after the former finally went on sale.

These naming and pricing faux pas, alongside Sony’s general refusal to do marketing for its phones and its tendency to lag behind in design and feature innovation, are all deep seated issues that Sony needs to address to remain relevant in 2019 and beyond.

While some (read: me) would much rather see Sony go for a full-blown rebrand with moonshot concepts like a PlayStation Phone, the more plausible options for Sony are gradual changes to its line-up, including potentially axing its Xperia Compact line.

Sony needs to show intent this year to avoid drifting further into market obscurity.

We’ll get our first taste of Sony’s strategy for 2019 at MWC 2019, where the Xperia XZ4 and Xperia XA3 series’ are expected to debut. The good news is that latter range looks like it’s getting a rebrand to the far simpler, more catchy Xperia 10 moniker, which would be a massive step in the right direction even if the phone(s) so far sounds a little underwhelming.

The real question, however, is if Sony can use these and any other strategy changes to springboard itself back into relevancy.

Sony’s execs have been justifying the firm’s continued presence in the smartphone market on the premise that it’s waiting for the industry’s next “paradigm shift.” The closest we’ve got to that admittedly nebulous scenario are foldable phones and 5G.

Editor’s Pick

Yet, despite big promises in business review strategy, Sony has so far remained relatively quiet on 5G in public (aside from a social media snafu) and completely silent on the prospect of a foldable Xperia phone.

Sony expects its previously discussed attack on Europe, 5G ambitions, and wider technology investments all to pan out by 2020. Unfortunately for Sony, its rivals won’t stand still while it plays catch-up, and with so many other OEMs all pushing hard on 5G and foldable phones with consumer-ready products just around the corner, Sony needs to show intent this year to avoid drifting further into market obscurity.

Do you think Sony has what it takes to make a comeback in 2019? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our 2019 preview posts for other manufacturers via the links below.

Renders of very tall Sony Xperia XA3 show tiny chin, but huge forehead (Update: Hands-on video!)

A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3. WinFuture

Update, February 11, 2019 (5:37PM EST): Twitter user Bang Gogo allegedly went hands-on with what looks to be the Xperia XA3.

Consistent with what the renders show, the Xperia XA3 in the video is extremely tall due to its supposed 21:9 aspect ratio. Because the person in the video has an app seemingly unoptimized for tall displays open, we don’t get a sense for how tall the screen really is.

We’ll learn much more about the Xperia XA3 later this month, when Sony will likely unveil the phone during MWC 2019.

Original article, February 6, 2019 (12:02PM EST): We expect Sony to launch several phones at the end of this month during Mobile World Congress 2019. We just got our first look at one of those expected devices — the Sony Xperia XA3 — via new renders leaked by WinFuture.

When we first saw the renders, we remarked how small the chin is on the device, which is very welcome. However, we then noticed that the forehead of the phone is enormous, which means Sony probably moved all the hardware usually stored in the chin to the forehead.

Whether or not you find this aesthetically pleasing is down to personal taste, but at least it doesn’t look quite like any other phone on the market right now.

Check out the renders below:

A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3.
A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3.
A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3.
A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3.
A leaked render of the Sony Xperia XA3.

Editor’s Pick

The device sports an enormous 21:9 aspect ratio, making this phone a tall drink of water.

If you look closely, you can see a side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone as well as a headphone jack at the top. There are two cameras on the rear and a hard-to-see single selfie cam on the front in the top right corner.

The Xperia XA series of devices are usually priced in the mid-range, so we expect this phone to have cheaper build materials (likely plastic). The internals will also likely be less robust than the flagship offering from Sony — the Sony Xperia XZ4 — which we also expect to debut at MWC.

What do you think? Are you happy to trade a tiny chin for a big forehead, or does this design seem like a step backward? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

NEXT: Sony smartphone sales are tanking and not even Japan wants them

Sony Mobile exec confirms new “products” will be revealed at MWC 2019

Sony logo

Sony Mobile has not had much luck convincing smartphone consumers to buy their handsets over the competition. However, the Japan-based company isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. In a chat conducted during CES 2019, Digital Trends chatted with Don Mesa, Sony Mobile’s vice president of Marketing, who confirmed that the company is “going to be announcing products” at the Mobile World Congress trade show in late February.

Mesa didn’t get into specifics, but it’s likely that Sony Mobile will announce the rumored Xperia XZ4 at MWC. Recent unconfirmed reports and unofficial renders claim the phone will have, among other things, a triple rear camera and no rear fingerprint reader.

Mesa did state that it wants to “deliver a much better camera experience” and added that what they show at MWC “will be a first step showing the direction we are going.”

Editor’s Pick

It appears as that Sony Mobile has also decided not to release smaller smartphones under the Xperia Compact brand anymore. Mesa stated that “people want a lot more surface area for their content now,” which makes it sound like we can only expect phones with larger screen sizes from the company.

Mesa also didn’t offer any information on when Sony Mobile might release a 5G phone, saying that they don’t want to rush into things and that they want a 5G phone experience to be a good one.

Best upcoming Android phones of 2019

Honor View20 screen

After a sluggish few years in the Android world, 2019 is set to be a smash-hit for smartphone fans. Folding phones are on the horizon, display hole (punch hole) cameras are coming to make displays even bigger, and goodness knows how many cameras we’re going to see.

If you want to know more about the kinds of phones you can look forward to, check out our list of the top upcoming handsets arriving in the first half of the year below.

Samsung Galaxy S10 and folding phone

Samsung’s folding phone is probably the most exciting phone we’re going to see in early 2019 — if not the whole year. We know it’s well into development, we’ve already seen how it works, but we’re yet to learn what the final product will look like and how exactly it will operate.

But it’s an exciting prospect. It’s set to include an outward-facing display as well as an inner display that can fold out into something like a small tablet. It will be unlike anything we’ve ever encountered on Android, though all that cool will come at a cost. It’s going to be expensive, so for those who want something slightly cheaper, Samsung has another potentially super handset in the works: the Galaxy S10.

Editor’s Pick

Samsung’s new S-series flagship is tipped to arrive with an Infinity-O display, as many as three rear cameras, and possibly a vibrating display for audio. There’s likely be a few variations of it too, including a Plus model and a 5G model.

Both the S10 and Samsung’s foldable phone are going to be big talking points in 2019 and the best news is we may only have a couple of months to wait before they arrive: current speculation suggests they may arrive at MWC 2019 in February.

Launch ETA: February

Samsung Foldable Phone

A render of Samsung’s folding phone prototype.

Huawei P30 and folding phone

Samsung isn’t the only manufacturer developing folding phones and phones with punch hole displays. Huawei just launched the display-hole wielding Nova 4 in mid-December, and it’s also tipped to have a folding phone out in 2019.

We don’t know exactly when — in fact, we know even less about Huawei’s folding phone than we do about Samsung’s. However, current speculation suggests it will land at MWC 2019 around the same time as Samsung’s folding phone. What a matchup that will be!

Editor’s Pick

Meanwhile, Huawei will likely release new flagship sequels to the P20 and P20 Pro, potentially called the P30 and P30 Pro. Given Huawei was among the first manufacturers to take on dual and later triple camera setups, there’s potential for the P30 Pro to adopt four rear cameras in 2019. Further, the handsets will probably use the Mate 20’s Kirin 980 chipset, just as the Huawei P20 series used the earlier Mate 10’s chipset, the Kirin 970.

Launch ETA: March

Honor View 20 and Honor 8A

The Honor View 20 (seen at the top of the page and below) will launch globally in January 21. We’ve already gotten a good look at this phone and it’s going to be one of the first to feature a punch hole display, which we expect to trend in 2019. That’s not its only interesting feature though: it’s packing a supposedly super fast charging 4,000 mAh battery and a unique design.

Honor may also launch a new phone in its budget A-series early next year, the Honor 8A. This passed through the FCC recently looking something like an iPhone 6 with a notch. It could be another budget wonder from the Huawei sub-brand.

The standard Honor View 20 launches in Chinese markets for 2,999 yuan (~$435) and you can read some of our early thoughts on it in our hands-on coverage here.

Launch ETA: Already launched (View 20), April (Honor 8A)

Honor View20 back

The Honor View 20.

OnePlus 7

From the outside, it looks like OnePlus had a very successful 2018. The Chinese firm had its best smartphone launch yet with the OnePlus 6T and secured a potentially lucrative sales partnership with T-Mobile to sell it.

Since we’re betting on more display hole cameras on 2019 flagships, we wouldn’t be surprised if OnePlus had one too.

The OnePlus 7 is surely in the works, and should arrive before the end of June 2019 (the OnePlus 3, 5, and 6 launched in May, June, and April respectively). Based on OnePlus’ history, there are a couple of guesses we can make about the direction the OnePlus 7 might take.

OnePlus has recently followed industry trends on display notches, headphone ports, and in-screen fingerprint sensors. Since we’re betting on more display hole cameras on 2019 flagships, we wouldn’t be surprised if OnePlus had one too.

Additionally, the flagship will probably have 10GB RAM or more (the OnePlus 6T McClaren has 10GB), the latest Qualcomm platform (Snapdragon 855), and cost more than the $550 OnePlus 6T. Don’t expect a OnePlus folding phone next year, though — it’s still early days for a small company like OnePlus to enter this race.

Launch ETA: May

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

Google Pixel 3 Lite

Google’s Pixel phones are the darlings of Android but they’re not exactly easy on the wallet. The latest model, the Pixel 3, begins at $799, while the larger Pixel 3 XL costs $899. The good news for budget-minded folks is there’s a strong chance Google has a solution for you coming in the first half of 2019.

A couple of sources, including the typically reliable @OnLeaks, have hinted that Google is working on ‘Lite’ versions of the Google Pixel 3 and the Google Pixel 3 XL. We don’t have much to go on, but supposed render images of these suggest they’re well into development — we wouldn’t see rumors that we have for a Google Pixel phone launching next October (the usual Pixel timeframe).

The standard Pixel 3 Lite is rumored to carry a Snapdragon 670 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 12MP main camera, and an 8MP selfie camera. The Pixel 3 Lite XL will likely offer similar specs with a larger display and battery.

Possibly most exciting of all, both of these Pixel 3s may come with a headphone port. Jackpot.

Launch ETA: Spring

A comparison between the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

The supposed Google Pixel 3 XL Lite (left) and Google Pixel 3 Lite.


Sony Xperia XZ4, Xperia XZ4 Compact, XA3, XA3 Ultra

Sony hasn’t announced its upcoming XZ and XA phones yet, but they’re expected early in the new year and we’ve seen a couple of recent leaks regarding them.

As interesting as the XZ and XA series look, they’re probably going to struggle without a more aggressive price strategy from Sony.

We have potential Xperia XZ4 and Xperia XZ4 Compact renders from the reliable @OnLeaks. These flagships would possibly arrive at MWC in February, seeing as the Xperia XZ2 appeared there in 2018, ahead of the XZ3 later that year. The XZ4 series phones are among the many Android’s tipped to feature triple rear cameras and Snapdragon 855 chips in 2019; the leaked renders suggest they’re going to be pretty slick.

Sony may also launch new phones in its midrange XA series this January: we’ve seen leaks concerning both the standard XA3 and the XA3 Ultra.

Sony’s smartphones are often well-regarded yet fail to capture the hearts of consumers due to several factors (steep pricing among them). As interesting as the XZ and XA series look, they’re probably going to struggle commercially without a more aggressive price strategy from Sony.

Launch ETA: February (XZ4, XZ4 Compact), January (XA3, XA3 Ultra)

An unofficial render of the Sony Xperia XZ4.

A render allegedly depicting the Sony Xperia XZ4.


Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi Mix 3S

The Xiaomi Mi 8 was one of the most impressive phones we saw in 2018. It wasn’t necessarily the most inventive smartphone, but it was hard to argue with the specs and usability quality it offered at its price. Now, all eyes on Xiaomi to deliver again with the Mi 9.

This would no doubt be another comparatively low-cost Xiaomi phone. And probably its best yet.

The Mi 9 is said to arrive with a 6.4-inch display, Snapdragon 855 chipset, a triple rear camera, and as much as 10GB of RAM. Despite the premium spec sheet, this would no doubt be another comparatively low-cost Xiaomi phone. And probably its best yet.

Meanwhile, rumors are already circulating about Xiaomi’s next major Mi Mix device. The Mi Mix 4 would also apparently feature a Snapdragon 855 and triple camera setup; however, it’s possible the speculation regarding this phone actually relates to the Mi Mix 3S.

The Mi Mix 2S arrived last April as an upgraded version of the Mix 2, featuring an upgraded chipset and an extra camera on the back. As the Mix 3 arrived with a Snapdragon 845 and dual rear cameras, one might expect the Mix 3S to feature the aforementioned upgrades. As for whether the next major Mi Mix phone will fold — as has been hinted at — we doubt it, though the series is known for its progressive display efforts.

ETA: June (Mi 9). Spring (Mi Mix 3S).

A supposed render of the Xiaomi Mi 9.

A supposed render of the Xiaomi Mi 9.


HMD Global Nokia 9 PureView

HMD Global has done brilliant things with the Nokia brand since it acquired it a couple of years ago now and the Nokia 9 PureView might be its most anticipated device yet. We’ve encountered numerous leaks about the phone (though HMD hasn’t announced it), the latest of which included a leaked video offering some potential specs.

Editor’s Pick

The Nokia 9 is set to come with a 6-inch, 2K, HDR 10 display, Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage space, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

It’s a compelling specs sheet, but it’s the rear of the handset that’s causing the biggest stir, as it’s set to come with five cameras. While these may not necessarily lead to best-ever smartphone photo quality, they should offer some neat tricks, as well as superior low-light performance.

Launch ETA: January

A leaked render of the Nokia 9 PureView.


LG G8 ThinQ and LG folding phone

LG is another OEM which tends to release an H1 flagship and it’s possible we’ll see the LG G8 ThinQ before July next year (if indeed it will be called that).

Twitter leaker Ice Universe (@UniverseIce) tips it for a 4K LCD display and, as a major TV manufacturer, LG is likely to put an impressive screen on its flagship phone. Whether or not that truly means 4K resolution we’ll have to wait and see.

Editor’s Pick

We haven’t heard much else about this phone yet; however, LG has confirmed it’s working on another major handset you may be interested in.

LG says it has a folding phone already in development but also that it won’t be first to market with such a product. If Samsung or Huawei produce a foldy by February, that would put the phone’s release more than a couple of months away. With that in mind, ever-reliable leaker Evan Blass suggests it might be unveiled in January.

Launch ETA: June (LG G8 ThinQ), January (Folding phone)

LG V40 vs LG V30 close up of camera lenses

The LG V30 (left) and LG V40 (right).

Lenovo Z5 Pro GT, Moto Z4, and Moto G7 series

Lenovo has already announced the Z5 Pro GT and it looks like an incredible handset from the off. The sliding phone packs up to 12GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 855 chip, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and four cameras.

Best of all, it has a near bezel-less, notch-free, 6.4-inch display.

The Z5 Pro is also relatively well-priced in China, the 12GB of RAM + 512GB ROM model costs 4,398 Chinese yuan (~$635). This one may not see a wider release though.

Best of all, it has a near bezel-less, notch-free, 6.4-inch display.

Other notable upcoming phones under Lenovo’s watch include the rumored Moto Z4 (codenamed Odin), which may launch with a 5G Moto mod and Snapdragon 855, and the Moto G7 range of low-cost handsets. The standard G7 variant is said to come with a 6-inch, Full HD+ display, 64GB of internal storage, and dual 16MP + 5MP rear cameras.

Launch ETA: Already launched (Z5 Pro GT), H1, (Moto Z4), April (Moto G7 series)

An official promotional image of the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT.

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT.

An upgraded HTC U12 Plus?

HTC’s Taiwan president recently spoke about the direction of its next phones, and it looks like we may not get a true HTC U12 Plus successor in the first half of next year.

Apparently, HTC’s current plan is to “extend” the U12 Plus range. Though HTC didn’t give us any further details on that when we reached out to it, it could mean a slightly upgraded U12 Plus is set for H1 next year.

Launch ETA: H1 2019

This isn’t a comprehensive list of upcoming Android phones, just a taste of what’s to come in 2019. Let us know if we’ve missed any big ones and tell us the handset you’re most excited for in the comments.

Deal: Xperia XZ2 Premium and Ear Duo headphones for $699 (save $500)

Amazon Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium deal Amazon

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is on sale on Amazon bundled with the true-wireless Xperia Ear Duo earphones. The list price for the bundle is $1229.98 but it can be yours for the next twenty hours for just $699. 

The XZ2 Premium started at $999 on Amazon while the Ear Duo list price is set at $279.99. Additionally, if you buy the smartphone alone right now it will cost you $899. With this deal you’re making a saving and getting the headset free — it’s a great offer no matter which way you slice it. 

Editor’s Pick

The XZ2 Premium features a 4K, HDR display, dual 19MP + 12MP monochrome rear camera, and a Snapdragon 845 chip. It’s also now upgradable to Android Pie

The Xperia Ear Duo, meanwhile, is a unique in-ear wireless product with an open design. This allows for listening to music and calls without blocking out environmental noises; it’s kind of the opposite approach to active noise canceling. The Ear Duo comes with support for digital assistants like Siri and Google Assistant too — you can read more about it here.

The bundle is one of Amazon’s daily specials so it will be over by tomorrow. If you’re interested, you can get the phone in white or black via the links below. 

Buy Now: Xperia XZ2 Premium (black) Ear Duo bundle

Buy Now: Xperia XZ2 Premium (white) Ear Duo bundle