Well, it's happened – we've hit September and finally found a bit of sun (right when it should be autumn) which means it's time to take a look at what's coming up for the rest of the year.

Like it or not, there are only four months left of 2023. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty packed in to keep us mobile nerds going.

As much as we love a good rumour round-up, we've decided to keep it a bit more straightforward this time – no one likes disappointment when the craziest rumours don't turn out to be true, after all.

But we're also rather good at making some (reasonably) accurate guestimates by now, so we've pulled together a little guide to what we think is still in the works for the rest of the year. And there's something for everyone in here (even those of you who aren't willing to wait.) So, let's get stuck in, shall we?


The Dates

Okay, so it's true that Apple might surprise us all with a big rename, but it seems more than likely that the big event on Tuesday 12thSeptember will be to announce a new handset family (amongst other bits of awesome tech) and it'll probably be called iPhone 15.

We already know that Apple like to stick to their schedule, with set times between the announcement of their new tech, the pre-order dates, and the actual release dates. In 2022, everything was brought up a bit with the Apple Event on the 7th of September, a week earlier than usual.

However, at the time of writing, Apple have already announced this year's big event – so going by the norm, we think it's fair to say that the pre-order window for the new iPhone 15 is likely to begin on Friday the 15th of September. And the actual release will probably be a week later on the 22nd of September.

What we know (and what we don't.)

Last year, Apple did away with the mini versions of their devices, and we were treated to the joys of iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. All in all, some pretty hefty devices that Apple lovers have gone wild for.

This year we're expecting to see the same again, with some nice little additions on top. In 2022, one of the stand-out features of the new range was Dynamic Island, which was exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’re now expecting this to be rolled out to all four models of iPhone 15 and co, alongside a change from the well-known Lightning port to a USB-C port – reported here, but also confirmed as happening at some point by Greg Joswiak back in 2022, after changes in EU legislation.

We also think it's fair to say Apple might throw in a new bit of silicone while they're at it, and it's likely to be called an A17 Bionic chip if their current naming conventions are anything to go by.

Beyond that (and plenty of speculation about upgraded camera setups), who knows what could happen? Apple have the market, and our attention, so we'll be watching closely to see what's announced with the rest of the world.


The Dates

Next up in October, we're fairly confident in our prediction of the Pixel 8 and probably a Pixel 8 Pro, too – at least, that’s what we’re assuming the new devices will be called, based on previous releases. Google have already announced their annual Made by Google Event will take place on Wednesday the 4th of October, which is in line with last year.

At the 2022 event, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro were announced and available for pre-order, with the official launch a week later on the 13th of October. So, we think it's fair to guess that the same will happen this year, with pre-orders from the 4th of October, and the official launch likely to be around the 11th.

What we know (and what we don't.)

Google are consistent in the way they release their handsets, so we reckon the launch will be for only the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro – the Pixel 8a is more likely to follow earlyish in 2024, as the Pixel 7a did.

Since Google are known by now for "accidentally" posting an image or two of their upcoming handsets before they're officially announced or launched, we've already seen a couple of images of the Pixel 8 Pro floating about, as pointed out here – in a selection of new colours, no less. Of course, Google could call these colours anything at all, but what we've seen includes a lovely green shade that Pixel fans won't want to miss.

Looking at recent history, we also think it's possible that the new handsets will feature Google's latest chipset – likely to be called Google Tensor G3. Since Google swapped over to using their own silicon a few years back, they've been consistent about launching new versions that topple the previous iteration – and with a new chipset, there are almost always new camera capabilities. Exactly what remains to be seen, but we're crossing our fingers and toes for Video Unblur.


The Dates

So far so simple when it comes to Apple and Google devices – but what do Samsung have up their sleeve for autumn and winter? Well, that's a bit more complicated.

Back in 2020, Samsung brought out the first Fan Edition (FE) of the Galaxy S20, and it went down a treat. A year later, we got the delightful Galaxy S21 FE, and it felt like a pattern had begun to emerge, but the S22 FE never appeared. This makes predicting the arrival of a Galaxy S23 FE about as accurate as a fortune cookie, and yet… the signs point to a big fat yes.

Rumours abound, as they often do, and though we can't say anything for certain, what we can say is that there are two positive signs. One: If it happens, it could be around September 2023, as this is the precedent that's been set with previous FE devices. Two: It was rumoured that to make way for the Galaxy S23 FE, Samsung would scrap their A74 device in order to reduce competition between the two models – and so far, it seems that this is true. There's been no sign of it.

What we know (and what we don't.)

Since there's been a bit of a gap since Samsung last launched a Fan Edition device, speculating becomes a little bit more difficult. But we can make some educated guesses on what the main differences could be between the Galaxy S23 and a potential Galaxy S23 FE.

If you think way back to the S20 FE and the S21 FE, you might remember that each device had a larger screen size than its flagship counterpart. In the case of the S20 FE, it was a 6.5-inch display rather than the S20's 6.2-inch one, and with the S21 FE, it was a 6.4-inch display rather than a 6.2-inch. That's a difference of 0.2 to 0.3 inches, so we think it's fair to say the S23 FE might have a slightly bigger design than the Galaxy S23, with a 6.3 or 6.4-inch screen if the device sticks to the trend.

Other Fan Editions from Samsung haven't changed things up much beyond screen size, with the S21 FE casing style, chipsets and even the camera setup sitting at almost the same specs as the flagship. However, back with the S20 FE, there was no glass back like that on the original Galaxy S20, and this was replaced with a plastic backing – which is part of the reason the Fan Edition ranges are usually considered slightly lower spec, more affordable versions of basically the same device.

The thing is, with only two previous Fan Editions to base our speculations on, there's not much more to say! We don't want to go too heavy on the predictions, because there were key differences between the last two versions we've seen, and we don't want to leave you hanging, waiting for a fancy new phone that might never appear.

But not to worry, if you're a tad too impatient to see what happens, there are plenty of other brilliant new releases from the last few months to keep you going…

Here are a few just-launched alternatives.

Motorola Razr 40

If you ever loved a flip phone back when the first Razr devices were around, then we reckon you'll love this smart bit of tech, released a few months back in July 2023.

The Motorola Razr 40 features a sleek, slim folding design, is crafted with hard-wearing materials and packs a one-two whammy punch when it comes to performance and camera specs thanks to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 and its 64MP + 13MP setup.

It sits nicely in the middle range when it comes to cost, too – not quite as pricey as the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, but not so much the budget device that the Motorola Edge 40 is. All-in-all, if you don't want to wait for the latest from brands like Samsung, Google and Apple, then Motorola is a brand you can rely on to go the distance.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 & Galaxy Z Fold5

Still on the foldables train, next up are the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, released just last month in August 2023. We already know that Samsung have made a great impression on the mobile market with their foldables in the last few years, and these two devices are no exception.

Though similar, the two devices still have enough differences that making the decision could be a tough one – that is, if you didn't read our handy article on the topic. But long story short, the Galaxy Z Flip5 is a smaller, a little lighter on the specs, and packs a whole lot of fun into a tiny, pocket-sized piece of tech.

The Galaxy Z Fold5 on the other hand, is more of a powerhouse for those who like to go hard on the mobile games or need something a bit more dramatic for multi-tasking at work. It's hard not to feel a little bit of joy (and nostalgia) when pulling out one of these devices and flipping it open.

Pixel 7a

If a folding device isn't your thing, then we've got a great recommendation for you that's both budget-friendly and crammed full of smart tech.

We're talking about the Google Pixel 7a, of course. Although this one is a little bit older than the above (released back in May 2023), it has the excellent advantage of specs that are (in some cases) actually better than the flagship Pixel 7 and the slightly fancier Pixel 7 Pro. Not in every area of course but given that Google's devices are known for their brilliant cameras, to one-up themselves with their lower-cost devices was an interesting move, and one to take advantage of!

We've sung the praises of the Pixel 7 Pro before (like in our hands-on review), but it's at the pricier end of the Google family, and with the Pixel 8 coming soon, it might seem a bit pointless to go that route. Which is why we so heartily recommend the Pixel 7a, with its Google Tensor G2 chipset, 64MP + 13MP camera setup and eco-conscious design. What's not to like?