With Mobile World Congress 2015 over, the tech industry is once again overtaken by news of the freshest, flashiest smartphones available. Though Apple's iPhone 6 is widely considered the gold standard, it's definitely not the only great phone out there. And we don't just mean the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9 — both amazing Android flagship smartphones that were unveiled earlier this month.
Last year, we featured eight of the most hotly anticipated smartphones to come, three of which – the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and the One M9 – have already been unveiled by their manufacturers.
We continue to look forward in our search for the best smartphones money can buy. If you're looking to upgrade your device in the not-so-distant future, you may want to hold out for one of these:
HTC One M9 Plus
As implied by the name, the HTC One M9 Plus is a bigger version of the HTC One M9, which is already receiving praise from early reviewers for its sleek design and robust performance.
While the flagship touts a five-inch Quad HD display, the One M9 Plus will reportedly go into phablet territory at a bezel-free 5.5 inches. It will also come with the depth-sensing Duo Camera introduced in the One M8, and will be powered by a MediaTek MT6795 chip to keep it affordable.
Sony Xperia Z4 Compact and Ultra
Both the Sony Xperia Z4 Compact and Ultra will be powered by the latest Snapdragon 810 chipset from Qualcomm and 3 GB of RAM, which is good news for performance — but could mean delays in production due to Qualcomm's reported shortages. Last year, Android Origins leaked that the Z4 Compact will have a 4.7-inch screen – which is perfect for those not into the phablet trend – a 3,000 mAh battery, 20-megapixel camera, wireless charging, and dust and waterproofing.
Meanwhile, those who have done phablet all the way can go extreme with the 6.44-inch Ultra, which has a smaller but still good 16-megapixel camera, a bigger 4,000 mAh battery and a stylus.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung typically debuts the next device in its Note line of phablets – undoubtedly the product series that started the craze for big-screen phones – during the third quarter. Word has it that the Korean smartphone maker is getting ready to unveil the first 4K display smartphone, called the Galaxy Note 5.
To power all those 743 pixels in every inch of the 5.9-inch smartphone, you'll need a 4,000 mAh battery life and an octa-core Snapdragon 810 chipset or Samsung's own Exynos 7420. The camera life is also expected to be impressive, with rumors pegging pixel size at 18 to 21 megapixels. Not that we need 4K smartphones — but still.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Mini
While the Galaxy S6 is designed to compete with the iPhone 6 Plus, the Galaxy S6 Mini was made to rival the iPhone 6. Rumor on the street is the Galaxy S6 Mini will be unveiled in late July or early August with a 4.7-inch Quad-HD display and the 16-megapixel 4K shooter found on the Galaxy S5.
The processor will be the same Snapdragon 810 on the Galaxy S6 but with a lower clock speed and RAM pegged at 2 GB, which should still allow for buttery-smooth, lag-free usage. The battery is expected to be smaller, but everything else found on the Galaxy S6 – including the fingerprint reader, heart rate monitor and IR blaster – will also exist on this device.
OnePlus CEO Carl Pei confirmed that the OnePlus Two will be released sometime in June, although analysts think Snapdragon 810 shortages will delay the launch to third quarter. If you haven't heard of OnePlus, that's because the company doesn't make it easy for people to buy its phones due to its restrictive invitation-only strategy. But if you happen to get your hands on the OnePlus One, you just might change your mind.
Little is yet known about the OnePlus Two, with Pei only saying you'll be surprised. Rumors, however, say this will be the first low-priced smartphone to have the high-end Qualcomm chipset, 3 GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery. It will also run with OxygenOS, OnePlus' own platform, which it says will be open, customizable, and unlike non-stock Android, bloat-free.
Microsoft has been keen on releasing mid-range smartphones for a while, but a tip sent by a Nokia factory worker to PhoneArena shows Redmond is working on a new flagship smartphone that will also be the first mobile to run on Microsoft's highly anticipated Windows 10.
Unfortunately, that means the Lumia 940 will not likely be around for a while, but Windows 10 could be worth the wait. The specs list includes a 2.7 GHz Snapdragon processor, 3 GB of RAM, up to 128 GB of storage, 5-inch full-HD display and 24-megapixel PureView camera with 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
ASUS ZenFone 2
The ASUS ZenFone 2 is one of the hottest new handsets unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year and looks to be a rock-solid piece of technology. The 5.5-inch ZenFone 2 runs on an Intel Atom quad-core processor with up to 4 GB of RAM. It features a 13-megapixel camera, a 3,000 mAh battery and up to 64 GB of storage with 5 GB of ASUS cloud storage and a microSD slot.
ASUS has not yet revealed pricing for the ZenFone 2, but costa in other countries could indicate that it will be available in the U.S. for somewhere around $300. If you would like to be one of the first 30 people to get an ASUS ZenFone 2, join Android Central's contest here.