It’s a new year and that means new phablets are on the way! It’s time to put 2016 behind us and look toward the horizon. If you are thinking about buying a new smartphone this year, don’t even consider an upgrade until you take a look at these upcoming phablets for 2017.
1. LG Stylo 3
LG recently announced that they will debut its third generation of the mid-range Stylo smartphone at CES 2017 later this week. The Stylo 3 (Stylus 3 outside of the United States) will offer some moderate upgrades over the previous version like an improved writing experience and fingerprint scanner.
The new stylus will sport a 1.8mm diameter fiber-tip stylus to provide the feel and feedback of an actual pen when writing on the screen, according to LG. The Stylus 3 also features a enhanced user interface with Pen Pop 2.0, Pen Keeper and Screen-off Memo.
With Pen Pop 2.0, your memos can be set to display on the screen whenever the stylus is removed. Pen Keeper displays a warning when the stylus is too far away from the phablet, and Screen-off Memo lets you take notes directly on the screen even when the display is off.
LG didn’t announcing pricing or availability for the Stylo 3, but they did give us a peek at the kind of specs the note taking phablet will feature when it debuts at CES. If you are looking for a lower priced alternative to the Galaxy Note, the Stylo 3 isn’t far off.
Here is what we know about the LG Stylo 3 so far
Chipset: MT6750 1.5GHz Octa-Core
Display: 5.7-inch HD In-cell Touch (1280 x 720 / 258ppi)
Memory: 3GB LPDDR3 RAM / 16GB eMMC ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
Camera: Front 8MP / Rear 13MP
Battery: 3,200mAh (removable)
Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
Size: 155.6 x 79.8 x 7.4mm
Network: LTE / 3G / 2G
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b, g, n) / Bluetooth 4.2 / USB 2.0
Color: Metallic Titan / Pink Gold
Other: Stylus Pen / FM Radio / Fingerprint Scanner
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
There’s no question that Samsung made their three best smartphones ever by a large margin in 2016, and even though one of them had to be pulled of the market, the Galaxy Note 7 was still an awesome phone. Now looking toward the future, the Korean giant is planning to bounce back in 2017 with their Note 8 release.
Some are rumors flying that Samsung could be ditching the “Note” branding in fears of a negative image toward the name, perhaps reshuffling its products with a “Plus” version of the Galaxy S8 that is compatible with the S Pen stylus. That said, this is just a rumor for the time being, we are calling it the Note 8 for now.
Some current rumors surrounding the Note 8 include:
- Snapdragon 830. Samsung recently announced that it has started mass production on a new mobile processor built with 10-nanometer FinFET technology, suggesting that it would launch in “digital devices” early next year and throughout 2017.
- Dual camera setup. In the past, Samsung has followed where Apple has led. So with dual-cameras on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Samsung could follow suit.
- Artificial Intelligence. The Note 8 will most likely feature a virtual assistant app is similar to Apple’s Siri. However, it is expected to be better as it not only integrates with the smartphone but also with home appliances and wearable gear.
In addition to what’s going around the rumor mill, there are some things we here at Phablist are hoping to see in the next generation Note:
- Bigger Screen. We haven’t seen an increase in screen size since the Note 3 back in 2013. The physical size of the now defunct Note 7 was smaller than previous generations thanks to a dual edge screen – its time for more screen real estate, 6-inches would be a good start.
- Removable battery. This would have saved the Note 7, and Samsung’s reputation. Enough said.
- Front facing stereo speakers. Lets face it, Samsung phablets aren’t exactly known for having the best sound quality. The Note 5 was a step in the right direction but maybe Samsung should follow Apple’s lead on this one, or maybe step it up with something along the lines of the Alcatel IDOL 4S.
Of course this is all speculation and dreams, as official until big Sam makes a formal announcement. While we sit around and ponder, the Galaxy S8 release is slated in February 2017 near Mobile World Congress, maybe we will get some hints there.
3. Pixel XL 2017
We saw Google ditch the Nexus and create a new line of phones in 2016 and it looks like the success will put them in competition with Apple and Samsung. Given the success of the Pixel XL, despite being rushed into production, it’s plain to see that Google will probably have something stellar in store for the next generation Pixel XL in 2017.
Here are some things to look for in the upcoming 2017 pixel smartphones:
- Stereo speakers
- Premium build and water proof design
- Wireless charging