Chris Price looks at five new smartphones for 2018, including the Google Pixel 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S9
There are plenty of things that smartphone owners use their devices for on a daily basis. However, one of the biggest uses is for gaming.
Looking at US data, research firm Flurry found that smartphone users spend an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes a day on their devices, with 32 percent of that time playing games. Around 20 percent of the remaining time is spent using web browsers, and only 2 percent of the time in productivity apps!
Certainly, mobile gaming has come a long way since the days of Snake. Today our phones are more like fully blown gaming consoles with specs good enough to handle games like Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft.
What’s more there’s no shortage of games that smartphone owners can check out via the Android or Apple app store, ranging from puzzle titles like Candy Crush to high-end first person shooters. You can also now play games at mobile casinos and pay using your phone bill.
However, even the coolest looking games can look poor on a low resolution screen. Furthermore, processing power also needs to be good in order to render graphics effectively. You will also need a smartphone model with decent battery life for playing games.
Here we look at five phones for 2018 that we expect to be good for everyone, especially for mobile gamers.
Apple iPhone X
There can’t be many products that are as widely anticipated as the iPhone X. Marking Apple’s 10th anniversary, the iPhone X – first announced in September – will be available to pre-order from the end of October and will begin shipping November. The model marks something of a departure for the mobile phone giant.
Featuring an “edge-to-edge” 5.8 inch OLED screen for a much bigger display, the new model also sees Apple pushing the biometric envelope – dropping the home button and its ‘old’ Touch ID system in favour of facial recognition, known as FaceID.
The iPhone X will be made available in 64GB and 256GB configurations and will cost, £999 and £1,149 in the UK, respectively. Pricing in the US starts at $999.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Unveiled in October, the Pixel 2 and its big brother the Pixel 2 XL are set to begin shipping late October. Promising plenty of power, the two models feature Qualcomm’s flagship processor, the Snapdragon 835.
What’s more, they are IP67 waterproof, meaning they can go underwater up to 1m or 3.3ft down for up to an hour. They also retain a stylish glass-and-metal design on the back.
Whereas the Pixel 2 features a regular 5inch screen, the larger Pixel 2 XL boasts a higher resolution 6inch display in an 18:9 shaped screen. For a limited time, you can get a free Google Home Mini digital assistant with your purchase of the new Pixel 2 if you’re in the US, UK, Australia, Canada or Germany.
The Pixel 2 costs $649 or £629 for the 64GB version, and $749 or £729 for the 128GB configuration. The price of the Pixel 2 XL starts at £799 or £829.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
It’s not that long since the Galaxy S9 and S9+ launched but already we’re starting to hear rumours of two new models from Samsung, the S9 and S9+.
Due to launch March/April 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is expected to be available in two sizes once again and, like its predecessor, will also feature an Infinity Display.
In addition to two 10 Megapixel cameras with 10x optical zoom, both the S9 and S9+ are expected to incorporate either facial recognition technology similar to the iPhone X or possibly a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor similar to the S8.
Pricing is expected to be very competitive too, certainly under the $1000 price point of Apple’s iPhone X.
Recently revived by HMD Global after it took over Microsoft Mobile, the new Nokia company has so far launched a handful of entry-level and mid-range phones, including the Nokia 5.
However, the Nokia 9, which could possibly launch by the end of 2017, has been designed as a high end model to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8.
Although not that much is known about it right now, it is rumoured to include a 5.5inch screen with curved edges and an 18:9 ratio display. In addition to a metal body, it is also widely anticipated to incorporate two cameras including a high quality 22 Megapixel camera complete with Carl Zeiss lens.
Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro
Unless you live in China you’re probably not that familiar with Huawei (confusingly pronounced waah-wey). However, it is the third largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world with a reputation for manufacturing fantastic smartphones.
The Mate 10 and the Mate 10 Pro promise to be no exception. Featuring 18:9 shaped screens with a 6 inch OLED display they offer waterproofing, HDR support, a huge 4000mAh battery and lots of power. They also come with twin Leica cameras on the rear and built-in AI functionality thanks to Huawei’s own Kirin 970 chipset.
What’s more, they boast the Android Oreo operating system, the first phones outside of Google’s own Pixel to feature this new OS.