While many of the top smartphones of 2012 have already hit the market, the fall and winter months figure to be just as fruitful as the months previous, maybe even more so. That’s why we wanted to take a look at the five phones that consumers should have their eyes on for the rest of 2012.
This year alone we have seen a shift in the way manufacturers release phones. Specifically, they have released less of them. However, that has meant that quality is up. In 2012 alone, we have seen the launch of numerous high-end devices that have received stellar reviews.
As usual, companies have some aces up their sleeve, that are primed and ready for the holiday shopping season. And while there are sure to be plenty of devices in the pipeline for the rest of the year, we believe there are five devices that should be squarely in the sights of consumers.
The iPhone 5 is rumored to be the device that will replace Apple’s wildly popular iPhone 4S, the device is launched in October of 2011.
iPhone 5 Rumored Features:
While still unofficial, the iPhone 5 has seen many of its supposed features surface ahead of its eventual release. Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to feature 4G LTE data speeds, following in the footsteps of the new iPad which debuted with 4G LTE in March, the first Apple device to do so.
Along with that fast data connectivity, the iPhone 5 is also rumored to feature a larger 4-inch display, a new faster processor, an upgraded FaceTime camera to work along with FaceTime Over Cellular, a metal back, a new dock connector, and a slimmer design.
The iPhone 5 will also likely have iOS 6, Apple’s new operating system which launches this fall with over 200 new features.
iPhone 5 Release Date:
Right now, the iPhone 5 release date is pegged as September 21st with a launch date coming earlier in the month on September 12th.
Apple has not yet sent out invites to the event so the exact date is still up in the air, however, many publications have said that September 12th is the date and at this point, no other plausible date has leaked out.
iPhone 5 Carriers:
The iPhone 5 is almost certainly going to be coming to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. All three have 4G LTE networks and all three carried the iPhone 4S.
In addition, we expect the iPhone 5 to land on an assortment of other U.S. carriers down the road with U.S. Cellular and C-Spire being distinct possibilities as both will have 4G LTE in place.
Motorola Droid RAZR HD
The Motorola Droid RAZR HD figures to be the follow-up to the original Motorola Droid RAZR which launched on Verizon’s 4G TE network back in November of 2011. Motorola will likely announce the device at an event on September 5th in New York City.
Droid RAZR HD Rumored Features:
Motorola and Verizon have yet to officially announce the Motorola Droid RAZR HD. However, that hasn’t stopped numerous credible leaks from coming to the surface, revealing a phone that should be on the radar of just about everyone looking for a new smartphone in the months ahead.
The Droid RAZR is said to have a 4.6-inch HD display with 720p resolution, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8MP camera, a design similar to the original Droid RAZR with a Kevlar backing, and 4G LTE data speeds.
It’s also rumored to have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board and not Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest mobile operating system from Google.
Droid RAZR HD Release Date:
Thus far, no specific dates have emerged as the Droid RAZR HD release date. We’ve heard that the phone is slated for a release in either October or November, a launch that would mirror the launch of last year’s original Droid RAZR.
We should find out more on September 5th when Motorola will likely make the Droid RAZR HD official.
Droid RAZR HD Carriers:
No doubt about it, this phone is headed to Verizon’s 4G LTE network where it will have access to more than 370 4G LTE markets around the U.S. and be able to pull down data speeds that can reach up to 10 times faster than those found on a typical 3G network.
If Google does decide to launch another Nexus smartphone, and we have little doubt that it will, it will replace the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the current-generation Nexus smartphone from Google. The Nexus moniker, of course, denotes the phone as a developer phone which means that it’s easily customizable.
The Nexus is also generally thought of as an Android flagship handset.
Nexus 4 Rumored Features:
As of yet, the Nexus 4 has not seen any of its features leak out. We have made some educated guesses but it’s certainly possible that Google and whatever manufacturer makes the Nexus 4 might have something different up their sleeve.
We expect the device to, at least, feature 4G LTE data speeds, a high-definition display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Other possibilities include a quad-core processor and high-end cameras though nothing has been confirmed or leaked yet.
Nexus 4 Release Date:
Thus far, the only rumored release date that’s emerged is November 5th, the fifth anniversary of Android. Rumor has it, Google might be releasing five Nexus smartphones to commemorate the occasion.
Last year, the Galaxy Nexus came out in December and that’s a possible release month as well.
Nexus 4 Carriers:
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the current Nexus smartphone, is available in three different flavors here in the United States. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, and the unlocked Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ that can be bought directly through Google.
No word yet on the carriers of the Nexus 4 though we suspect Google might be reconsidering its launch this time around after the issues Verizon had with the Galaxy Nexus.
Nokia Lumia Phi
The Nokia Lumia Phi is currently rumored to be the replacement for the Nokia Lumia 800 which was one of Nokia’s original Windows Phones. Nokia and Microsoft are hosting an event on September 5th and we may see our first official glimpse of the Nokia Phi then.
Lumia Phi Rumored Features:
The Nokia Lumia Phi is shaping up to the be the Finnish company’s high-end Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphone. At least that’s what leaks suggest.
It is said to have a 4-inch display or bigger, previous leaks have said it’s possible that it has a 4.65-inch display. The phone will likely have three capacitive buttons below the screen and four buttons on the right side.
Other rumored features include an external SD card slot for expanded storage, NFC for use with mobile payment solutions and 4G LTE data speeds which can reach up to 10 times faster than normal 3G speeds.
Lumia Phi Release Date:
Rumor has it, the Nokia Lumia Phi might be shipping out as early as October. We have heard that Windows Phone 8 will be launching in November so it’s possible that this device could launch during that month as well.
Nothing is set in stone yet though we should find out more next month in New York City.
Lumia Phi Carriers:
Carriers of the Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia Phi remain unknown though it will likely come to one of the American carriers that have confirmed Windows Phone 8 devices.
Those include AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.
There is also a chance that it could follow the route of the Nokia Lumia 800 and not appear on any American carrier and instead come to the U.S. unlocked.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will replace the original 5.3-inch Galaxy Note phablet when Samsung announces it at an event in Germany on August 29th.
Galaxy Note 2 Rumored Features:
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 looks like it will improve on the original Galaxy Note phablet in just about every possible way. So far, we haven’t seen Samsung reveal any features but that hasn’t stopped several possibilities from leaking to the surface.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 is rumored to have a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 720p resolution. It’s also rumored to be flexible in nature which would allow Samsung to add space for a larger battery, something that would benefit immensely.
One of the knocks on the original Galaxy Note was its battery life.
The device is also rumored to have an 8MP rear camera, a quad-core Exynos processor, 4G LTE data speeds and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich though Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is still possible.
We’ve also heard it may have a design similar to the Galaxy S III but because the device hasn’t leaked out yet, we don’t know for sure yet what it will look like.
Galaxy Note 2 Release Date:
Samsung has yet to launch the phone and therefore, there is no official release date for the Galaxy Note 2. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t guess.
The company may take a page from the Galaxy S III launch and release the Galaxy Note 2 a few weeks after its August 29th launch.
If true, that could mean a wait of a month or more for those in the United States.
Galaxy Note 2 Carriers:
Like the release date, carriers of the Galaxy Note 2 remain unknown. However, we have taken some educated guesses about which carriers might get the Galaxy Note 2 when it arrives.
The front-runner of course is AT&T which has a 4G LTE network and carried the original, exclusively until August. Sprint is another possible carrier as it just launched 4G LTE and was rumored to be getting the original.
Verizon is said to have a couple of larger phones coming, not made by Samsung, which could mean that it’s taking a pass on the Galaxy Note.
And as for T-Mobile, it just launched the original Galaxy Note and won’t have a 4G LTE network in place until next year which means it might not see the device until 2013 at the earliest.