2019 is expected to be a big year for smartphones with new technologies like 5G and foldable design becoming mainstream. Samsung is expected to lead the way with its foldable smartphone while other smartphone makers are expected to introduce their first smartphones with 5G mobile connectivity. In a nutshell, all the major smartphones launching in the first half of 2019 are expected to be faster not only in terms of performance but also in terms of data connectivity.
They will also be innovative with flexible displays and support for improved cooling and better image processing. With Mobile World Congress 2019 just a month away, the details regarding some of the key launches at the event have already started surfacing online. Here is a look at some of the premium smartphones to look forward to this year:
Nokia 9 Pureview with penta-camera setup
Nokia 9 is expected to be the first major smartphone launch of this year. The smartphone was rumored to go official last year, but the launched has been pushed ahead at least a couple of times for some unknown reasons. It seems that HMD Global is skipping the MWC unveil in favor of a dedicated launch for the smartphone. The Nokia 9 will be the first smartphone to jump to as many as five cameras on the back.
Evan Blass tweeted a picture of the device called Nokia 9 Pureview Beholder, which confirms five cameras on the back and dual cameras at the front. The addition of Pureview branding suggests the ZEISS imaging system will be identical to that on the Nokia Lumia lineup. It is expected to feature a 5.99-inch Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio, 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset. This could be a letdown since we will be seeing Snapdragon 855-powered phones next month.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+
Samsung Galaxy S-series turns ten this year and the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are expected to be its biggest design evolution yet. The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are expected to come in multiple screen sizes including an entry-level model with a flat-screen this year. There are also rumors of a mid model with a 6.2-inch curved display and two more models with a 6.44-inch screen and optional support for 5G.
In terms of design, the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are expected to feature metal and glass design but at the front, they are expected to feature in-screen dual camera setup. This design will allow for a higher screen-to-body ratio and there are also reports of Samsung adding reverse wireless charging this year. Other features include Snapdragon 855 SoC in the US and China and Exynos 9820 chipset in all other markets. These models are expected to come with up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage. With the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, Samsung is also expected to integrate Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro
After launching the P20 and P20 Pro at a separate event in March, Huawei is expected to return to MWC this year with the P30 and P30 Pro smartphones. The P30 series is expected to be an improvement over its predecessor by switching to a taller display design that drops the front-mounted fingerprint sensor in favor of an in-display fingerprint sensor. It is also expected to bring major changes in the camera department.
Evan Blass has confirmed that Huawei P30 will offer triple rear camera setup while the P30 Pro is expected to include four camera sensors and support 10x lossless zoom. The leaks claim that Huawei plans to use a 38-megapixel sensor but it is not clear how the four cameras will work. It is expected to feature a waterdrop notch design at the front and come with Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.
Watch: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Key Features
Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition
Samsung will start selling foldable smartphones this year but Vivo will start selling smartphone will dual displays. Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition, the latest smartphone with 10GB of RAM and dual display design and a triple rear camera setup will be launched globally this year. The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition features a 6.39-inch Ultra FullView display with 91.63 percent screen-to-body ratio.
It also features a secondary Super AMOLED display that measures 5.49-inches and is placed on the back of the device. There is 12-megapixel dual pixel main camera paired with a 2-megapixel depth sensor and time-of-flight sensor. There is under display fingerprint sensor, Funtouch OS 4.5 based on Android 9 Pie and 3,500mAh battery.
Sony Xperia XZ4
Sony could jump Samsung and others to become the first to launch the Snapdragon 855-powered smartphone. The Xperia XZ4 recently appeared on Antutu with a score of 3,95,000 and model number I8134. This indicates that the Xperia XZ4 will be the most powerful smartphone when it becomes official next month.
The leaked CAD renders show that it will feature an extra tall display design with 21:9 aspect ratio. It is expected to feature triple rear camera setup and include a headphone jack and dedicated shutter button for the camera.
OnePlus 7 and its 5G variant is another smartphone that could disrupt the market this year. The OnePlus 6T has already set a bar for mid-range premium smartphones and its next device will have to deliver on its promise of “Never Settle” attitude. The smartphone recently leaked in the form of an internal meeting attended by Pete Lau.
OnePlus 7 is confirmed to come with Snapdragon 855 but the company is set to launch another model with 5G modem support. The OnePlus 5G smartphone is expected to support T-Mobile’s network in the US and EE in the UK. There is not much known beyond this but it could be the 5G smartphone most people will find affordable.
Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi MIX 4
Xiaomi is expected to launch two new flagship smartphones – the Mi 9 and Mi MIX 4 – this year. It is not clear whether both the devices will arrive at the same time but the Mi 9 is likely to debut at MWC next month. Both the devices will be powered by Snapdragon 855 SoC and feature triple rear camera setup.
There are leaks of the Mi MIX 4 getting periscope style camera setup for improved zoom capability. Xiaomi has already begun testing the 5G version of Mi MIX 3 so one can expect that Mi MIX 4 will also support 5G at the time of launch.