2016 was certainly an interesting year in smartphones; we saw multiple attempts at modular phones, exploding phablets, and the death of the headphone jack. So what can we expect in 2017? Here's what's next.
10th Anniversary iPhone
2017 is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and big things are said to be on the cards. Rumoured changes include a new design with an edge-to-edge display, an all glass body, and replacing the home button with a fingerprint reader embedded under the screen. These have also led to speculation that Apple will call the new device iPhone 8, right than iPhone 7s. We also wouldn't be surprised if Apple called it the iPhone X, or something. After all, Apple has jumped from 7 to 10 before.
Samsung Galaxy S8
All eyes will be on Samsung when it unveils the Galaxy S8, its first major post-Note 7 smartphone; we're certainly curious to see how the South Korean giant plans to win back customers. Rumours suggest a bezel-less "all-screen" front, a fingerprint reader embedded under the screen, and a 4K display.
And of course, it will also be very interesting to see what Samsung does with the Galaxy Note 8 later in the year.
Alcatel Pop 5
Alcatel's Pop 5 is set to bring modular accessories to the realm of budget smartphones. The phone will have interchangeable back covers - similar to the Moto Z - that can add new functionality. While Alcatel has yet to confirm the full range of modules, we know there'll be a back cover that doubles as an extra battery, and a LED back cover that can display different patterns or colours depending on notifications you receive.
Google Pixel 2
There's very little concrete information about the Pixel 2 yet, but we'd be very surprised if the "Android iPhone" doesn't get a successor this year. While a faster processor, better cameras, and all that jazz are certain inclusions, we'd like to see Google make the Pixel 2 water-resistant.
HTC U Ultra
HTC's U Ultra has a few nifty features including a beautiful glass body and a secondary display for notifications and shortcuts, but our favourite feature is that it comes in blue. More phones should come in blue.
Huawei Mate 9
The Mate 9 is Huawei's latest flagship phablet, and it's a big phone in more ways than one. There's a massive 5.9-inch display, two rear-facing cameras 64GB of expandable storage, and a hefty 4,000mAh battery. With standard usage, Huawei says you over two days of life per charge. It's always nice when battery life is measured in days, rather than hours.
LG's G6 will abandon the modular design introduced with last year's G5, but for all intents and purposes, it should still be a pretty unique phone. The G6 is said to tout an extra tall 5.7-inch display with a 2:1 aspect ratio - essentially, a super-wide screen - and negligible bezel. If you're a fan of bigger phones, this will be one to keep your eyes on.
Asus ZenFone AR
Asus's ZenFone AR is one of the very first phones to use Google's Tango tech. Tango is Google's new augmented reality platform which sees devices kitted out with a combination of sensors of cameras in order to track motion, sense depth, and recognise the world around them. This allows the ZenFone AR to run applications that let it measure physical space, display indoor maps without the need for GPS, or place virtual objects into the "real world".
We don't actually know if a Surface Phone exists yet, but rumours suggest Microsoft could announce one this year. There's speculation that rather than running Windows Mobile 10, a Surface Phone could actually run a full version of Windows 10. A recent announcement - where Qualcomm confirmed that Windows 10 will be able to run on its smartphone processors - definitely lends some credence to this.