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The year 2019 is almost over, but we are already preparing for phone launches for 2020.
The industry is working on near-surgical accuracy, so we already know which launches to expect in the next 12 months, as each company has a well-established plan.
Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and many others will be launching new smartphones with new technologies, high performance and probably new designs starting in January.
Samsung Galaxy S11
Samsung will be one of the first companies to expect a major phone launch in 2020. The company is already preparing the Galaxy S11, which will again be a series of three phones: S11e, S11 and S11+.
They will use the latest Exynos and Snapdragon processors (models 990 and 865), 108 megapixel performance cameras (rumored) and could be delivered with larger batteries, 120Hz screens, and new components such as a spectrometer for identification of the materials from which the surrounding objects are made. Galaxy S11 phones are expected to be released in February 2020.
Huawei could be next in line, with a new range of P40 devices. Usually, the Chinese manufacturer launches three main models and a special one, so we might have to deal with Huawei P40, P40 Lite, P40 Pro and a P40 Porsche Design variant.
Huawei's expectations are especially around the camera, as the company manages to produce the best performance in terms of photography and video captures in the last two years.
The rumors are talking about 60 megapixel cameras, Kirin 990 chipset with 5G and probably a very high-performance zoom. Huawei P series phones are traditionally launched in March, so we can expect a launch event around March 2020.
Xiaomi Mi 10
Xiaomi is one of the few companies in China that manages to deliver, yearly, powerful products at great prices, and in 2020, the Xiaomi Mi 10 is expected to be released.
It could be delivered with a Snapdragon 865 chipset and a high-performance camera, similar to the one on the new Mi CC9 Pro, with a 108 megapixel sensor from Samsung.
Sony Xperia 2
Finally, Sony could be one of the companies that will launch a high-end smartphone early next year. Xperia 1 has proven to be a powerful smartphone, which unfortunately did not sell too well, due to the high price and lack of advertising. The next model could be similar in design, with a 4K display in 21:9 format and could adopt a new photo sensor, the 64-megapixel IMX686 model.
In addition to classic phones, Motorola will launch a less conventional phone, the Razr model, recently announced. This will be the company's first foldable model and proposes a return to the design of the original RAZR series that debuted 15 years ago.
Unfortunately, it will be one of the most expensive devices on the market, at 1700 euros in Europe, its hardware being an average one, a foldable HD + screen, Snapdragon 710 processor, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, without the ability to add a microSD card. Motorola razr will be launched on January 9, 2020.
Finally, OnePlus will end the launch season for the first half of 2020 with OnePlus 8. The company usually launches phones in May and recently started a new tradition, to launch two variants.
We will see a standard OnePlus 8 and a OnePlus 8 Pro. These are expected with perforated 120Hz screens, no retractable front camera, more efficient cameras and the highest available hardware specifications: Snadpragon 865, 12 GB RAM or more and most likely 5G connectivity, something OnePlus had to offer in the past only on OnePlus 7 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Note11
The major phone launches from the second half of 2020 will begin with the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note11 in August and probably a new model, Galaxy Fold.
Note11 will be based on the Galaxy S11's hardware, with Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 865 chipsets (in the US), with a higher performance screen and most likely slightly different design.
Of course, the S-Pen will be present, which is a true symbol of this product range. Along with Note11 could come a new model with foldable screen, Galaxy Fold 2, which could adopt a notch-free screen design and will probably have its own S-Pen.
Apple iPhone 12
Apple will be the next company in a row, with the iPhone 12 series, in the second week of September. Although we are almost a year away from this event, we already know some pretty important details about the iPhone 12.
These will again be three in number, with a 5.4 screen model, one 6.1 and one 6.7, all with OLED screens. Also, all those three are expected with the Apple A14 chipset, a new 5nm processor, with Qualcomm's 5G modems, but also with a new four-sensor camera system. The adoption of new smaller notch screens could bring with it a new design inspired from iPhone 4, with straight edges, but also a new charging port: USB Type-C.
Google Pixel 5
Pixel 4 is an interesting smartphone in many ways, but Google has made some mistakes in the current generation. Its phones have very small batteries, not so good cameras as we would have expected, and all sorts of weird features like a radar sensor, which also dictates a rather "weird" design.
Pixel 5 could be Google's chance to finally compete with top manufacturers, providing a top hardware in a modernized design. Unfortunately, Pixel 4 is too new to be able to see the direction in which the next generation will go.
Huawei Mate 40
Huawei will definitely be a company that will be closely watched by the entire smartphone industry. Mate 40 Pro could be an extremely powerful smartphone series, with a 5nm 5G modem chipset and a Kirin 1000 proprietary model.
It could further improve performance in applications using AI and could provide new features in capture photos and videos. If Mate 30 Pro is able to shoot at over 7000 frames per second in HD resolution, the next generation is likely to be able to provide slow motion capture and higher resolution.
The main camera is not expected with very large upgrades over the P40 Pro, but should remain in the top DxOMark, if Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple will not have anything significantly better than what we currently have on the market at this point.
Of course, there will be many more phones to be launched in 2020 than I have listed here, but these are the most important devices of the most influential brands on the market.
Companies such as Vivo, Oppo, Nokia and many others will ensure a continuous flow of launches over the next year, but are unlikely to bring sales as high as those mentioned above. It is certain that 2020 will be another year with the launch of top phones, and competition between companies will ensure that we will have more and more products.
But when it comes to price, we expect many models to grow in price by 2020, especially because of the integration of 5G technology, which requires newer and more expensive modems as well as much more complex and more antennas to ensure a strong signal.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 17, 2019:
Thanks for this roundup. I think the Sony Xperia 2 is my favorite.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 10, 2019:
Good information. Thanks.