2017 was a great year for technology fans. It saw the arrival of two new consoles – the Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch – and a wealth of excellent games such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Cuphead.
Apple introduced its new vision for smartphones with the iPhone X, Samsung returned to the top with its fabulous Galaxy Note 8, and Google continued to impress with its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.Plus, there was the usual release of cool new PCs, smartwatches, and tablets.
So, what can we look forward to in 2018? We polish our crystal ball, ask that you cross our palms with silver, and peer into the cloudy future to find out.
Samsung Galaxy Note X
When Samsung had to withdraw the Note 7 from sale after concerns over its safety, many thought that could spell the end for the product line that invented phablets. Not so. The Galaxy Note 8 was one of the very best phones released in 2017.
If rumours are correct, then 2018 could see the Note range innovate once more, as Samsung is thought to be considering a model with a foldable display. This would use a version of the technology that Samsung has shown previously shown off at industry events, and provide a 5in screen that can fold out into a 7in tablet.
It’s early days, and information is very much whispers and speculation about patent applications, but if Samsung does bring this to the table in the next twelve months it could be one of the most exciting products we’ve seen in some time.
See our Samsung Galaxy Note X release date, price, and features guide for more details.
iPhone SE 2
Yes, many would expect the iPhone XI (or 11 if Apple dispenses with its roman numerals) would be the highlight of many people’s year, and that could well be the case. But, with Apple’s usual schedule meaning that the iPhone X’s successor will be a refinement rather than reworking, our eyes drift towards one of the hidden stars in the California fruit’s firmament.
Those who prefer a smaller smartphone will already be aware of the pocket rocket that is the iPhone SE. Since its launch in 2016, the diminutive handset has won itself many fans, and with Apple failing to upgrade anything other than the storage options in 2017, we’re hoping that the smaller, cheaper, iPhone sees a significant makeover in the months ahead.
To keep up with release dates and rumours see our iPhone SE 2 news feature
One of the first big smartphone releases we expect to see in 2018 is that of the LG G7. Rumoured to arrive with the brand-new Snapdragon 845 chip, it would put the G7 ahead of the pack in terms of speed and performance.
LG has had a few missteps here and there, with the G5 being the most significant, but when the Korean giant gets things right it can deliver some truly excellent hardware. Here’s hoping that the G7 is exactly that.
See our LG G7 release date, UK price, specs & new rumours roundup for more details.
A Cheaper iPad
Ok, this is something of a perennial favourite on most new year predictions. But, with Amazon cleaning up in the entry level tablet market thanks to its Fire HD devices, there is much speculation that Apple could finally be readying either a new 9.7in model that could start at around the £260 mark.
Tablet sales appear to have slowed, so injecting a product into one of the areas that still sees movement could make practical business sense. We’ve been burned in the past with thinking Apple would give customers a good deal though, so we’ll hold on to this one lightly.
Another rumour that has a lot of traction is that 2018 will be the year of tablets with foldable displays. Multiple examples are thought to be arriving from manufacturers such as Samsung, Lenovo, LG, Oppo, and maybe even Microsoft.
Whether this will spark interest into the rather pedestrian tablets sales of late, will be fascinating to watch. We’re definitely intrigued by the idea.
Apple Watch 4
The introduction of LTE to the Apple Watch 3 was a big step towards making a truly useful smartwatch. In 2018 we anticipate that Apple will work hard to improve performance, and most importantly battery life, so that the Series 4 version steals even more ground on its competitors.
Microsoft Surface Watch
Microsoft may well have conceded the smartphone space to iOS and Android, but rumours persist that we’ll see a Surface smartwatch this year. Whether it’s an iteration on the heavily featured, but rather bulky Band 2, or a new design entirely remains to be seen.
But, with the cool ideas found in the current Surface line-up, we wouldn’t rule out something very interesting indeed from Redmond’s finest.
Google Pixel Watch
Not to be left out, Google is also thought to be preparing its own Pixel smartwatch for 2018. Now, this could be the worst kind of vapour-ware, but we still hold out hope for an official Pixel device.
With the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both impressing this year, Google seems to be getting the hand of its hardware production. Align this with the fact that the company authors the Android Wear software, and surely a smartwatch would make a lot of sense?
Probably wishful thinking. Still, sometimes wishes come true.
There’s no doubt that the biggest story for laptops in 2018 will be Windows running on ARM technology. At the December 2017 Qualcomm and Microsoft event, the two tech giants unveiled new ARM-chip powered laptops and convertibles that could run full versions of Windows 10.
The advantages of this technology are much longer battery life, fanless machines, and possibly lower prices. Getting Windows 10 flowing smoothly on what are essentially mobile phone chips is a challenge that Microsoft now seems confident it overcome. So, 2018 could be a defining moment in the future of laptops.
Read our Windows 10 on Snapdragon 835 feature for more details of when these exciting new devices will be making their debut.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Whenever Rockstar announces an upcoming release, the whole gaming world holds its breath in anticipation. Red Dead Redemption 2 is the latest title to risk mass asphyxiation, as players eagerly await the chance to once again ride horses through the prairies, take down the bad guys, and generally star in their own spaghetti western.
The previous Red Dead Redemption game was a masterpiece for the PS3 and Xbox 360, unfurling the story of loner John Marston who is forced by the US government to hunt down three of his former gang members.
The second instalment follows the fortunes of outlaw Arthur Morgan and his gang of desperadoes on the run from three relentless US Marshals. We expect very big things when the sequel rides into town in Spring 2018 for Xbox One and PS4.
See Red Dead Redemption 2 news for more details.
Sea of Thieves
If the thought of taking to the seas with your friends and wreaking havoc as pirates appeals, then Seas of Thieves will be high on your wishlist in March. This Xbox and PC exclusive from legendary creators Rare, looks to be ridiculous multiplayer fun, with a colourful comic book style.
Form a five person crew, head out into the open world, explore, find treasure, fight manic sea battles, and make it back to the mainland for a pint of grog and a song. What more could you want?
Check out our Seas of Thieves feature to keep up to date with the latest news.
Last of Us 2
The Last of Us is widely viewed as having one of the best storylines in modern gaming. This was aided in no small measure by unforgettable characters and beautifully crafted moments – giraffes anyone?
When the trailer for Last of Us 2 was first aired, accompanied by the now older heroine, Ellie, singing and playing guitar in an abandoned house room filled with bodies, it sent chills down many spines.
While the first episode was a desperate flight towards safety, this time it seems that the characters are out for revenge. Can developers Naughty Dog do it again? We certainly hope so
Coming in the latter half of 2018 exclusively on PS4.
For more information read our Last of Us 2 release date, price, and gamplay rumours guide.
So, there it is. Our highlights for the year ahead. Did we miss out anything you’re particularly excited about? Let us know in the comments below. It’s set to be a great twelve months.