This Week's Tech Rumors, Smartphone Edition

Illustration for article titled This Week's Tech Rumors, Smartphone Edition

As we inch closer and closer to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where we’re expecting smartphones aplenty, the rumor engines are currently cranked to eleven. New small iPhone details? MicroSD-equipped Galaxy?!!?

A brief ratings refresher:

💩= Likelihood is very high

💩💩= Probably going to happen, but there’s room for doubt

💩💩💩= Could go either way

💩💩💩💩= Most likely not, but anything is possible.

💩💩💩💩💩= Fuck no.

Let’s see what we’ve got.

“The rumored iPhone 5se will be as fast as the 6s.”

Mark Gurman, the leading leaker of all things Apple, spilled details this week about Apple’s upcoming 4-inch iPhone. The original report saddled the 5se (ugh) with the A8 processor, an almost two-year-old chip found on the iPhone 6. Gurman quickly amended that rumor, saying the phone would actually have the A9 like the 6s and come in 16GB or 64GB variants.


Considering Gurman’s history for being right about these types of thing, I’m going with a strong “most likely.”

Rating: 💩💩

“HTC’s One M10 is going to look a lot like an iPhone.”

In 2013, HTC made the M7 and damn did it look great. Since then, the company’s never been able recapture that same amount of WOW. Last year, HTC decided to go a completely different route and just make an iPhone look-alike with the A9. Rumors say that 2016's M10 will follow suit, looking like the Android cousin to Apple’s iPhone.

Evan Blass is a trusted leaker on all things mobile, but especially HTC phones. You could take this tweet further with the Like/Love comparison. Perhaps the M10 will have more features, making it a better phone, or maybe it’s even more of a iPhone rip off that the A9 that proceeded it.


Who knows, but it seems that HTC’s 2016 designs future will come out of Cupertino.

Rating: 💩💩💩

“Microsoft owns = Surface Phone confirmed.”

One enterprising Redditor discovered that redirects to Microsoft’s surface portal. That means the Surface Phone is real! But Microsoft also owns about 67,681 other domains including, and I don’t think Microsoft is announcing an autonomous car anytime soon.


Rating: 💩💩💩💩

“The next Samsung Galaxy will bring back external storage.”

Among lots of leaked info about the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the rumor that Samsung would be bringing back expandable storage is among them. Considering the rumor’s been around since November, and is stronger than ever, this looks destined to be so. However, a removable battery doesn’t seem to be following suit. But new rumors suggest, at the very least, the new Galaxy will be getting a bigger battery, hopefully lessening the pangs of smartphone nostalgia.


Rating: 💩

“Amazon wants someone else to build a Fire Phone.”

According to The Information, Amazon is speaking with phone makers “at the factory level” about loading up phones with Amazon services—basically creating a phone that looks like a Fire tablet. Sure! Why not!


In some ways, Amazon is in an enviable position. It can’t fail as hard as it did with 2014's Fire Phone. Whether true or false, things are looking up!

Rating: 💩💩💩

“The G5 is getting an all-new design.”

The one thing you can never accuse LG of is getting lazy with design—especially with its flagship smartphone, the G series. Whether it’s moving the power button to the back or applying a slight curve, LG’s always tried for a radically different design every year. So it should be no surprise that LG’s going to do the same thing this year. Luckily, we already have a pretty good idea what else the phone will be packing.


Interestingly, the G5 may keep the removable battery feature but through a redesigned tray rather than a removable back plate. As far as size goes, it’ll remain pretty much the same as the G4, only varying in tenths of a millimeter. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long for all the details since the G5 will probably be at the big smartphone party in Barcelona in less than a month.

Rating: 💩

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“HTC’s One M10 is going to look a lot like an iPhone.”

Aw, that’s a bummer. I hope they at least get BoomSound back in there, and dump that awful-looking front-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Oh, and keep the red option. Far too few manufacturers offer red phones these days—the only major disappointment I have with my new Nexus 6P is that I couldn’t get it in eye-searing red, like my old 5, and the availability of a red version’s the one thing I like about the A9.

“The G5 is getting an all-new design.”

Cool, the battery tray idea sounds like a modern take on what HTC did with the old Desire HD:

To be clear, that isn’t a knock against LG—it’s a smart idea, and I’ve always wondered why more manufacturers didn’t try it.