It's become an annual tradition that we await tech companies to debut the latest smartphone hardware. Smartphone rumors fly every year as experts and consumers speculate about the features they think -- and hope -- will be included in their favorite devices.
And if it's time for an upgrade, there are plenty of new exciting smartphone features that your old device probably doesn't offer. Whether you want more screen real estate, a waterproof smartphone or a fresh new design, you'll want to keep an eye on these five smartphones.
Once released, the iPhone 8 will mark the 10th anniversary of the popular Apple smartphone and industry experts anticipate a completely redesigned iPhone. MacWorld reports a possible return to stainless steel, an all-glass design, a curved OLED display, new color options, wireless charging, a foldable design and a third, smaller model of the iPhone 8.
Of course, these are rumors and many of the same ones pop up every year when speculating about the next iPhone. However, according to MacWord, the most reliable rumors are the promise of a third, smaller model, a new design and an OLED, all-glass display. Apple, which has suffered a slip in market share, typically announces new smartphones in the fall.
Galaxy S8 and S8 edge
Samsung's flagship Galaxy smartphones -- the S7 and S7 edge -- featured sleek designs that compete with Apple's high-end smartphones. And current rumors surrounding the S8 and S8 edge point to even more innovations. Most notably, Forbes reports that the device will feature an "infinity screen," following the popular trend of thin, nearly bezel-free displays.
Sources aren't sure if the "infinity display" will replace the S8 edge, or if Samsung will decide to release one version of the handset. Either way, rumors imply the S8 and S8 edge will ditch the physical home button to accommodate for the larger displays, relying instead on touch-based buttons and "biometric sensors for security," according to Forbes. No official word yet on a release date, but Samsung is expected to announce the new device or devices in Spring of this year.
[ Related story: The essential Android business apps ]
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Confirmed this month, Samsung plans to introduce the new Galaxy Note 8 this year to replace Note 7 -- a device that caused a PR nightmare after multiple reports of the popular phablet catching fire. According to Android Authority, Samsung defended its choice to continue the line after the PR nightmare -- Samsung CEO D.J. Koh has reassured the public that the Note 8 will be "better and safer" than last year's model.
And it's probably a good move to stick with the Note 8 -- after all consumers seemed willing to risk catching on fire just to continue using their Note 7 smartphones. In fact, the Note 7 had to be banned by the Transportation Department on all airline flights after a replacement Note 7 started smoking on a Southwest Airlines flight. No word yet on what the Note 8 will look like or what we can expect under the hood -- especially in terms of battery -- but sources suggest the announcement will come in the fall.
[ Related story: Samsung details 8-point battery safety check for all new devices ]
Pixel and Pixel XL
While some devices on this list are still only rumors, the Pixel and Pixel XL are already on the market, and were announced at the end of 2016. What's most exciting about the Pixel smartphones is that they're the first Google-made smartphones. Prior to the new Pixel lineup of smartphones, Google typically relied on other manufacturers to build and sell its line of Nexus smartphones and tablet, which all ran a stock version of Android.
According to Android Authority, Google still had some help from a third-party manufacturer; HTC is the official the ODM for the Pixel and Pixel XL, but its Google's name on the device. Google promises all-day battery life, unlimited storage and one of the best smartphone cameras available. And, to make the transition easier for iOS users, the Pixel smartphones included Google Duo, which lets you video chat with both Android and iOS users.
[ Related story: Galaxy Note7's battery fiasco won't soon be forgotten ]
Slated to arrive in the end of February, the LG G6 is the next anticipated flagship smartphone from LG. After a lukewarm reception for the modular G5 -- which let you swap out components and parts to create a customized smartphone -- LG decided to go back to a more traditional design.
Leaked images of the LG G6 show a metal and glass body with a 5.7-inch display and -- following the latest hardware trend -- a barely-there bezel. But with a unibody design comes some concessions: Most notably, the G6 will not feature a removable battery for the first time. However, BGR reports that the device will feature a standard headphone jack and the device will -- finally -- be waterproof. If LG follows its typical pattern, the new smartphone will be announced around the MWC show in late February, with availability in the spring.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.