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Hold your breath: The hottest phones you can't buy yet

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A look at the Microsoft Windows Phone 8. (Image courtesy of Digital Trends) A look at the Microsoft Windows Phone 8. (Image courtesy of Digital Trends)

By Jeffrey Van Camp
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We don't report every leaked shot of every rumored handset -- there are blogs for that -- but we try to keep you informed about what's out there and what's coming up. Lately, we've been hearing a number of new rumors and leaks. Below is a list of the major smartphones we're expecting to see companies like Apple, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, HTC, and Motorola unveil this fall.

Sony Xperia SL

This phone has been confirmed by Sony via a new page on Sonymobile.com. The Sony Xperia SL is essentially an Xperia S with a couple choice enhancements. The SL will have a 1.7GHz dual-core processor instead of the 1.5GHz dual-core chip in the S and will run the "latest version" of Android -- though we're not sure if that means Android 4.0 (ICS) or 4.1 (Jelly Bean). We've asked Sony, but have not yet heard back. No pricing or availability info is yet known. Keep an eye out for this one.

HTC One XXL

HTC hasn't made a splash this year with its One X, S, or U line of smartphones, though we think they're pretty great. It hopes to change this with a big "phablet"-sized phone that may compete with the Galaxy Note and come with a 1080p screen resolution, 2GB of RAM, and powerful quad-core Snapdragon processor. While we're sure HTC is working on something for release this fall, take this rumor with a grain of salt. We haven't heard much about it since June, though we do think it's likely that HTC will release the phone on Verizon. Late last year, it released the Rezound and has a good relationship with the big red carrier.

Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

Samsung has posted some new images of the upcoming Galaxy S Relay 4G, its latest QWERTY phone. The Relay borrows the Home button layout that Samsung has been pushing on its other Galaxy phones in this upcoming T-Mobile entry, which appears to be aimed at the always-persistent Sidekick fanbase the little pinkish-purple carrier has acquired throughout the years. We don't have any hard specs on this phone yet, and Samsung has pulled the page containing the info -- but TmoNews scraped the page before it was taken down. Supposedly, it will have a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor (same processor as the Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, very nice), a 4-inch, 1280 x 720 pixel screen, 1GB of RAM, and run on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). If true, these are impressive specs and we'd expect the phone to retail for around $200-$300. QWERTY keyboard fans, you may not get a raw deal this year.

Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices

No company needs Windows Phone to succeed like Nokia does -- Microsoft included. Nokia has bet the farm on WP and will likely unveil its first Windows Phone 8 devices at a newly scheduled NYC press conference on Sept. 5. We're not sure how many devices it will show off, but more than one could be in the pipeline. Some rumors point toward a 4.3-inch display, which could have a resolution as high as 1280 x 720 pixels (via WPCentral). A tablet Windows RT tablet announcement is highly likely as well. Unfortunately, we don't know any more than that. It will likely follow the design style introduced with the Lumia 900.

Motorola Razr HD

Motorola is now owned by Google, but that hasn't stopped leaked images and specs from hitting the Web at rapid fire pace. As we previously reported, Motorola is going to hold a New York City press conference with Verizon on September 5, and all indicators point toward the unveiling of a "Razr HD" phone. The new device looks like an update to the successful Droid Razr and Razr Maxx phones that have been a Verizon staple since Nov. 2011. Rumors point to a higher resolution screen, and possibly slightly larger screen, as well as Android 4.0. Hopefully it will retain the long battery life of the Razr Maxx too, which remains best in class.

Samsung Windows Phone 8 "Marco" & "Odyssey"

Much like it did with the Focus S and Focus Flash last year, Samsung may release two new Windows Phone devices toward the end of the year. Nicknamed the Omnia "Marco" and the Omnia "Odyssey," the two phones will run Windows Phone 8 and hit different price points, according to SamMobile. The Odyssey looks to be on the higher end of the spectrum, with a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen, 16-32GB internal storage, 8-megapixel rear camera, NFC, and 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Krait processor. It aims to compete with the likes of the forthcoming Apple iPhone and top Android phones like the Galaxy S3. The Omnia "Marco" will have the same Krait processor, but a smaller, 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, and a 5-megapixel camera. They'll likely hit U.S. shelves for $100 and $200, if they follow last year's models. Both phones will have microSD slots and 1.9-megapixel front-facing webcams, as well.

The new iPhone

With each new year comes a new iPhone. There have been a ton of iPhone 5 rumors for the past few months. But unlike last year, these rumors might be true. Andrew has written up a good iPhone 5 rumor roundup, which details what we think we know about the next (sixth) iPhone, which will likely be called "the new iPhone" and may not have a number after it. The new handset will likely have a larger, 4-inch screen, quad-core processor, a thinner body, NFC, and 4G LTE. Oh, and a smaller dock connector, which may end up being the most controversial thing about it. Apple is expected to announce the so-called iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, and it should be released somewhere between late September and mid October.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung's super-sized "phablet" phone on AT&T has been a hit, and it's sequel is upon us. The Galaxy Note 2 (if that is its real name) is rumored to have an even-larger, 5.5-inch screen (original was 5.3 inches). With the first Note now available on T-Mobile, we may see a broader launch for the sequel. We expect the Note 2 will integrate as many new features from the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 as humanly possible. Samsung isn't pulling any punches: it will unveil the Note 2 (or what we think is the Note 2) at a special event in Berlin on August 29th. The device will likely go on sale within a month or so of the announcement.

 

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