2016 tech preview: new Apple products and smartphones
A new iPhone heads the charge in a year where Apple could drop three big releases – as rivals battle to keep pace
Another year, another collection of must-have gadgets: from Apple's iPad Air 3 to Sony's Xperia Z6, here are the devices to watch in 2016.
The biggest launch of the year will surely be the next generation iPhone. Rumours regarding Apple's next flagship handset have been brewing for some months now, and include whispers that the next iPhone will drop the home button and have a full edge-to-edge screen which makes use of fingerprint scanners, lose its headphone jack to get even thinner and may even be waterproof when we see it in September.
It may not be the only telephone Apple releases in 2016 too, a four-inch iPhone 6C is looking increasingly likely, and could be released earlier in the year.
Apple Watch 2
Second in the order of precedence for Apple in 2016 could be a new smartwatch. The Apple Watch 2 is rumoured to be in line for a March 2016 reveal, possibly alongside the iPhone 6C. Early rumours suggest that the next Apple Watch could have an increased battery life, a thinner design, a FaceTime camera, more choice in the range, and more functions when unpaired from an iPhone.
Some critics felt that the first Apple Watch didn't quite reach its potential as a device, and that there's definite room for improvement in the next model.
iPad Air 3
Rounding up the likely Apple trio for 2016 is a new iPad. Not much is known about the Air 3, but early rumours suggest it could be revealed early on in 2016 and go on sale not long afterwards, making use of the March launch Apple is reportedly hosting for the launch of the iPhone 6C and Apple Watch 2.
Apple is not expected to bring 3D touch capabilities to the iPad Air 3, but Valuewalk suggests that a 4K screen and increased battery life could be on the cards. It's also possible that the Air 3 will take some design cues from the iPhone, using the same 7000 series aluminium case and coming in a range of colours, mimicking the choice currently available on the iPhone.
Google Nexus 6 2016
The policy of a new smartphone every year from Google looks set to continue with the anticipated launch of the Nexus 6 in 2016.
The phone will serve as the launchpad for the latest version of the Android operating system, Android N. PC Advisor lists the various rumours surrounding the handset. It could scale up to a six-inch screen, becoming a 'phablet'. It may also be USB-C compatible and will launch at the same price as the current handset when released in its rumoured October window.
HTC one M10
The next flagship HTC handset could be with us in March or April according to Expert Reviews. It's likely that the new phone will launch just in time to make use of the "promising looking" Snapdragon 820 chipset, and could stick with using an AMOLED display like the one used on the HTC one A9.
LG recently introduced the LG G4, but PC Advisor reckons that the LG G5 will be on hand to replace it come spring 2016.
Not much is known about the next LG flagship phone, but early rumours suggest that an iris scanner could be incorporated into the design, as well as a larger battery capacity.
Microsoft Surface phone
Described by PC Advisor as something some people believe to be a myth, a Microsoft Surface phone could be revealed in 2016.
Current rumours suggest a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560x1440 resolution, a 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, 21-megapixel camera, a USB-Type C port and a surface pen for interacting with the screen, says Digitaltrends.
Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge
The next generation of Samsung Galaxy phones should be with us early in the year according to most rumours. Recent leaks suggest that the phone will come with a 3D touch display like the one on the iPhone 6S, as well as high speed charging courtesy of a USB Type-C port.
Techradar reports that two sizes will be available. A 5.2-inch phone will be joined by a 5.8-inch model, one of them available with a 4K display. Most of its design is likely to remain unchanged though.
Sony Xperia Z6
PC Advisor says Sony has had a "rough ride" of late with its smartphones, and that the company will be hoping the current Z5 and upcoming Z6 handsets are a success.
They claim the Z6 will arrive in September, but N4BB touts a July release. They also expect the handset to use the Snapdragon 820, as well as a 4K screen.