Fewer Buttons, More Functionality Found in 2017 Smartphone Designs

With 2016 nearly over, leaving us to mourn the humble headphone jack and countless charred Note 7s, many may be hoping for a brighter 2017. The iPhone 7 gave us a glimmer of innovation, which Apple will certainly improve upon in the coming year, but there are a multitude of other impressive devices slated for a 2017 release as well.

If you're looking forward to the newest models from Samsung, Google, and Apple, you're not alone. Microsoft, LG, and Huawei have releases planned, too. Dual camera designs, larger battery capacity, Bluetooth 5, and 3D mapping and gesture commands are just some of the futuristic features coming factory installed with 2017, but some are more specialized or enhanced than others.

Group Vertical will stock replacement LCD screens and digitizers, as well as small parts, adhesive, and other items for these new devices as soon as our suppliers make them available.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Arguably one of the most anticipated devices of 2017, Samsung's S8 will not feature a dual camera as previously planned. Improvements to the Galaxy's digital assistant, and features a few brave souls caught sight of with the ill-fated Note 7, are enough to make the S8 an easy sell, though.

"The control keys below the display will become virtual, perhaps using Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint reader, which can hide below the glass (Xiaomi has used this tech in the Mi 5s and Mi Mix)," according to GSM Arena. "The screen itself will remain a Super AMOLED, but reportedly upgraded from PenTile to a full RGB matrix. We should see only curved “edge” displays in this generation, in 5.1” and 5.5” sizes (perhaps bigger?)."

Like many other devices this year, the Galaxy S8 and S8 edge will also forgo the headphone jack for a USB-C connector, which Group Vertical stocks in two different formats (USB Type-C to USB Type-C, and USB Type-C to USB-3.0).

Nokia D1C and P1

It's been a while since Nokia has held a significant stake in the smartphone market, but with the mid-range D1C and flagship P1, the manufacturer is hoping to impress Android users in 2017.

The P1 will be available in 5.2" and 5.5" models, featuring a QHD AMOLED display, and IP68 water and dust resistance certification. According to TechWorm, the Nokia D1C will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chip with 3GB of RAM, offering 16GB internal storage and a microSD expansion slot.


The latest smartphone from LG is expected to hit the market in April 2017. The waterproof, high-end device will come equipped wtih two rear cameras and an innovative accessory slot for integrating hardware. Techradar anticipates seeing wireless charging accessories paired with the phone, as the technology was announced shortly after the release of the G5, and has since become publicly available.

Reports from Trusted Reviews indicate that LG will use a new reflective metallic material on the back of the device, leaving behind a removable battery and the headphone jack for a sealed cell design.

HTC Ocean

Conceptual designs for HTC's new Ocean series show the upcoming Ocean Master, Ocean Smart and Ocean Note models. The most exciting feature in this line is undoubtedly the Contexual Touch Sensitive Frame Technology expected to come installed with each smartphone.

Basically, the HTC Ocean lineup will be the first-ever smartphones to tout the technology, which will negate the need of any physical buttons," reports Tech Times. "A user will be able to simply activate the smartphone with the command "OK Google." Clicking photos or altering the volume on the handset would merely need a touch on the side panel instead of pressing the volume rocker as done on traditional smartphones."

Along with a buttonless design, the contextual frame will support USB Type-C connectivity as well as a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Huawei P10

While this smartphone is expected to be released as early as spring 2017, there is still a lot of speculation as to what it will look like. Among the highlights pieced together from different leaked prototype images, we can expect to see a 5.5-inch curved screen with QHD reolution.

The all-metal P10 may very well come equipped a fingerprint scanner on the front of the device and a redesigned antenna band, along with a single rear-facing 12MP camera, a 8MP front-facing camera, and fast charging capability if rumors prove true.

"We’d be surprised if the camera doesn’t get an upgrade of some kind though, so despite what the benchmark says it’s possible that it will fall in line with the Huawei Mate 9, which has a 20MP and 12MP camera pair on the back," Techradar reports. "Whatever the megapixel count, it’s likely that the camera will work much the same here as on the P9, with one lens taking monochrome shots and the other used for RGB (color)."

Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft has successfully run Windows 10 on its Azure Resource Manager, the efficient architecture used in modern smartphones with smaller batteries and reduced thermal loads than desktop PCs. And while no Surface phone has been announced, this development paves the way for its release.

Windows Central says it will take some time before price points for the Surface phone land withion a reasonable range, including the cost of the device's SSD and Windows 10 licensing.

"Full Windows 10 also ideally needs at least 8GB of RAM, compared to 2GB for Mobile. Most modern flagship smartphones have 4GB of RAM, with a few select Android phones sporting 6GB," Windows Central reports. " While Windows 10 on ARM supports LTE data, it still lacks proper telephony abilities like phone calls, visual voicemail, SMS, and the like. Presumably, those features from the Mobile system will be incorporated into Windows 10 for ARM, but that still needs to happen."

The UI, as seen on current Surface incarnations, will also have to be scaled down and redesigned to accommodate mobile use. But make no mistake, when this device is eventually released, it's going to set high standards.

Apple iPhone 8

It's been 10 years since the release of the first iPhone, and Apple is celebrating with a gamechanging new smartphone design. Expect the next iPhone to feature a glass body and an edge-to-edge OLED display with an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

"With an edge-to-edge design, the display would take up the entire front of the iPhone, but it isn't clear if the display will grow to fit the iPhone or the iPhone will be shrunken down to fit the display (rumors suggest Apple will use a 5.5-inch or larger display)," according to MacRumors. "The display itself is said to be flexible OLED rather than an LCD, allowing Apple to introduce a thinner device that consumes less power and offers a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors. It may also feature edges that are somewhat curved on both sides."

Have you recently come across a new device you'd like to see us cover? We'd love to hear your suggestions. As always, you can find all of our available parts and accessories for new and classic smartphones at GroupVertical.com. In the meantime, take our quick customer satisfaction survey and get an extra 250 Reward Points good toward anything in our store.