Despite the current situation the world is dealing with, phone companies still plan to release new phones this starting this month and well into the summer. While some of us might be tightening the belt right about now, manufacturers like Apple and Samsung are at this very moment still building phones and they still want you to buy them.
I guess we’ll see how well that works out. Phones shipments were down 38% in February compared to the same month in 2019, amid coronavirus concerns. I can’t imagine March was any better, but we’ll see. No one really knows how the next few months will play out, but as far as phone releases go, what follow is the current plan.
Watch this: Top 5 Apple iPhone SE 2 rumors 5:02
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
Samsung is one company betting that foldables are the future of mobile devices. It worked on foldable displays for years before unveiling its Galaxy Fold in February 2019. Samsung’s device, which expands from a phone into a tablet, captured the world’s attention, but it quickly ran into troubles.
The company delayed the launch of the $1,980 Fold by five months from April to September after some reporters found screen defects in their review units. This year, it’s expected to launch round two of the Fold, building on what it learned from last year’s disaster and February’s Galaxy Z Flip. There aren’t any firm details about when the Fold could launch, but some leakers suggest we’ll see the phone as early as the second quarter.
Notable updates to the Fold could include a glass display instead of plastic and a bigger internal screen. Some rumors even suggest it will come with an S Pen stylus. Still, the coronavirus pandemic could push back the launch, and Samsung’s still having trouble making enough Galaxy Z Flips for potential buyers.
Expected release date: September 2020
Huawei P40 Pro series
Huawei’s P40 series consists of three phones — including the standard P40 and the P40 Pro — but it’s the hero, the P40 Pro Plus, that has us most excited. It’s the first phone to have a 10x optical zoom lens, it promises to be killer in low-light photography and it’s got a practically bezel-free design. This phone is due to go on sale in June, but due to ongoing political difficulties, the phone won’t come to the US.
Expected release date: No US release date, but on sale now in many European countries.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20
The fate of Samsung’s annual stylus-bearing flagship phone for power users is up in the air. Typically, we’d expect the new Note to arrive in August, guns blazing, to much fanfare and a splashy launch event. This year, who knows. An early rumor suggested that the Note 20 — following Samsung’s new naming convention for the Galaxy S20 phones — would appear as early as July.
That seems wholly unlikely as the world hunkers down to weather this coronavirus pandemic. It’s possible that Samsung could host an online event like rivals instead of the usual stadium or music hall venue. The company didn’t reply to a request for comment on the topic.
What is likely is that the Note 20 will build off the Galaxy S20’s key features, from 5G data speeds and a fast 120Hz screen refresh rate to those high-resolution cameras — whenever and however it’s eventually unveiled.
Expected release date: August 2020
Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi took the wraps off its latest flagship phones the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro in an online event on Feb. 13 for the Chinese market, which it followed up with an international launch on March 27. Both phones sport a massive 108-megapixel camera sensor, which appeared first on the Mi 10 Note and was co-developed by Samsung.
The phones will also come packed with other top-shelf specs, including the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset, 90Hz displays, a 4,500-mAh battery and a 30-watt wireless charging option. Xiaomi says it’ll release the phones in European countries including Spain, Italy and France in April, but stopped short of announcing any details of a possible US launch or release. In Europe, the Mi 10 will start at 799 euros, with the 10 Pro starting at 999 euros. Under these prices, converting to US dollars would have the Mi 10 costing around $880 and the 10 Pro at $1,100.
Expected release date: Xiaomi did not announce plans to launch in the US
Samsung Galaxy A Series
Samsung is going all on on budget phones with its new Galaxy A Series lineup. And when we say “budget,” we mean downright cheap in some cases. We have yet to actually use these phones though so hopefully that’s cheap in the best possible way.
The 4G LTE lineup, which includes four phones, consists of the $110 Galaxy A10, the $180 Galaxy A11, the $250 Galaxy A21 and the $400 Galaxy A51, which is the followup to 2019’s Galaxy A50. Then we have the two 5G phones: The 5G version of the Galaxy A51 will cost $500, while the new Galaxy A71 5G comes in at $600.
Again, that’s some real aggressive pricing from Samsung and over the coming months we’ll know if they’re worth it even at the lowest prices.
Expected release date: Available now through the end of the summer, depending on model
Google Pixel 4A and 4A XL
Last year, Google debuted budget versions of its Pixel phones, the Pixel 3A and 3A XL. The devices turned out to be a success for the company, so we expect follow ups this spring. Rumors for the Pixel 4A and 4A XL include the same $399 starting price for the Pixel 4A and headphone jacks, as well as a new front-facing hole-punch camera. And in case there was any doubt, Verizon debunked a previous claim that it is dumping Pixel phones — it won’t, and said it will “continue to work with Google.”
Expected release date: April or May 2020
Redmi Note 9S
In late March, Xiaomi sub-brand Redmi unveiled the Note 9S as its next-generation budget phone. It’s the sequel to the Note 8 series which emerged as the best-selling Android phone at the end of 2019. The biggest talking point of the Note 9S is its 5,020-mAh battery crammed under the hood, which is larger than the 5,000-mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Other notable features: the Redmi Note’s first-ever in-display selfie camera and the quad-camera system on its rear, led by a 48-megapixel main sensor. The Redmi Note 9S will be available globally, the company said, arriving first in Singapore and Malaysia with other release dates and pricing for the US to be announced later. We’re expecting the base model that comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage to start at around $215 after converting to US dollars from its price in Singapore.
Expected release date: Redmi did not announce plans to launch in the US
OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
OnePlus announced that it will launch its latest line of flagship phones on April 14 through a digital event. Likely to be called the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, the phones are confirmed to have 5G and 120Hz displays. Because of this, we expect the phones to be pricier compared to last year’s. Other rumors include a hole-punch screen for the front-facing camera and a possible budget-minded variant called the OnePlus 8 Lite.
Expected release date: April or May 2020
TCL 10 Pro
Long known for its TVs and releasing devices through brands like Alcatel and BlackBerry, TCL is getting into self-branded phones with its new 10 Series which look to follow the blueprint laid out by its TV line and offer value at low prices. Its first phone is the 10 Pro which is priced at $449 and features a 6.47-inch curved AMOLED display with a fingerprint sensor underneath, runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 6GB and 128GB of storage and has four rear cameras.
Expected release date: April 2020