The most-anticipated 2020 technology launches

These are the new tech launches to look forward to in 2020. (Getty Images)

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2020 isn't just the year of perfect hindsight and weird weather – it's also another exciting step forward for tech. However, uniquely, 2020 tech launches are also beset by a problem no one saw coming – coronavirus.

We don't yet know what effect COVID-19 will have on the release dates of upcoming tech for 2020, but it's more than likely we'll see some delays at the very least. 

Here's what you've got to look forward to on the '20 tech calendar. 

1. Disney+ | available to purchase now

Another thing that took an age – Disney's answer to Netflix, NOW TV and Amazon Prime Video is finally coming to the UK on the 24th of March, after launching in other parts of the world last November. It'll include all Disney's films, including those from Marvel, Pixar and the Star Wars universe, plus content from 20th Century Fox (particularly notable because it means The Simpsons will be on there). 

And then there's the new stuff, like the smash hit The Mandalorian that brought precious Baby Yoda to the world's attention. 

The new streaming service will costs £59.99 a year, or £49.99 if you sign up before the 24th of March at the Disney Plus website

Buy it: Disney+ subscription | £49.99 for a limited time only

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip | available to buy now

Bendy phones and tablets, collectively known as 'foldables,' are going to be huge this year. 2019 saw a few contenders in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Royole Flexpai, but 2020 is when they'll turn a corner (pun very much intended).

One of the most exciting handsets so far is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, an attractive handset with a 6.7-inch display that folds in half like a compact mirror. Samsung is also expected to release a successor to the Galaxy Fold sometime this year, but we don't have many details on that yet.

Buy it: The Galaxy Z Flip | £1,300 from Samsung

3. LG Styler | available to buy now

Yep, even wardrobes are smart now. Already a bestseller in the US and South Korea, this app-controlled closet (sorry, "clothing care system") steams your clothes to reduce creases. 

The Styler claims to eliminate 99.9% of germs and allergens, as well as 99% of fine dust. It also cuts down on dry-cleaning, refreshes and dries fabrics and delicates that can't be washed or tumble dried, and if you leave the door open, you can use it as a room dehumidifier. Bonkers. 

Buy now: LG Styler S3BF Steam Clothing Care System | £1,899 from John Lewis & Partners

4. DOOM Eternal | available to pre-order now

The immortal DOOM gaming franchise takes its next step with DOOM Eternal, a first-person shooter that once again puts you in the shoes of the Doom Slayer and takes you right to the heart of hell. There'll be new demons, new enemies, and new glories to conquer on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia. 

Buy it: DOOM Eternal PS4 with Steel Poster | £49.99 from Amazon 

5. PlayStation 5

It feels like the PS4 has been around forever, and in tech terms it really has. Which is why we're all very ready for the next generation, imaginatively titled PlayStation 5.

So far, we don't have huge amounts of information, but we know it'll be coming for the "holiday season" (ie October-December 2020). We know there'll be a new controller, and we're also hearing rumours of a new version of Sony's virtual reality tech, PSVR. As for games, Sony has a lot lined up from its existing franchises and new ones – its announcement specifically mentioned Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima. 

Price is unsurprisingly unconfirmed, but we'd expect under £400. Keep an eye on the PlayStation Store

6. Google Pixel 4a

We don't officially know much about this unreleased phone yet, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited nonetheless. The Pixel 3a offered a lot of the features of the Pixel 3 at a more affordable price, and we're expecting the same again for the fourth generation of the phone. If the rumours are to be believed, the price hasn't even gone up. 

The Pixel 4a was likely to be launched at Google I/O, but that's been cancelled because of coronavirus, so we're expecting it sometime around May. There should be a Pixel 5 later in the year, too, but we know even less about that.

The phone is thought to cost around £399 (when launched). Keep an eye on the Google Store.

7. WhatsApp dark mode

It took a long, long time, but finally those of us who like to chat and use our phones late at night (no lectures, please) can do so without frying our retinas with blinding white backgrounds in WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Dark Mode rolled out for both iOS and Android this month, so if you don't have it in your Settings menu yet, head to the App Store or Google Play Store and update your app. 

8. Mainstream 5G

Not everyone's convinced by the promise of widespread 5G coverage in the UK, but those of us who've tried it out are pretty excited about the possibilities. The 5G rollout started in late 2019 but as ever, it's taking a long time to get the various bits of the country connected up, and most cities that do have it, only have it in a small area.

By the end of the year, it should be much more widespread, and more people will have a 5G handset – like Samsung's Galaxy S20 5G – that can make the most of the new speeds.

All four big networks – O2, EE, Vodafone and Three – are offering 5G services this year.

9. Apple iPhone 12

No surprises here – the next iPhone is always the subject of much excited speculation. The iPhone 11 wasn't considered a huge change from its predecessor, so naturally we're hoping for something more exciting from the iPhone 12 range.

Apple, as ever, are keeping all the details very close to their chests, so we don't know much for sure – but our educated guess would be a 120Hz display, a vastly improved multi-camera setup on the back, a punch-hole selfie camera in place of the existing notch, and perhaps even 5G. 

Apple usually releases new iPhones in September, so that's likely when the iPhone 12 will appear on the Apple Store

10. Nintendo Switch Lite – Coral | 24 April

We've had the Switch Lite – Nintendo's inexpensive, one-piece alternative to the main Switch console – for a little while now in the UK. But just like Malibu Stacy needs a new hat, Nintendo fans need a new colour, and the gorgeous new Coral colourway is it.

It's out on the 24th of April and will cost £199.99 from Nintendo Store.

11. HTC Vive Cosmos Play

Virtual reality is getting ever more accessible, and the Vive Cosmos Play puts it in more people's eyeline – literally! – than ever before. HTC's Vive series has been incredibly popular, and the Vive Cosmos Play is its latest entry-level headset, building on the mid-range Vive Cosmos from 2019.

The resolution is the same as on the regular Cosmos, with a flip-up visor so you can easily go back to reality – but the Play does have fewer cameras than its big brother. You'll still need a high-end PC to run it, too.

It'll be £499 when it comes out "soon" – keep an eye on the HTC Vive website

12. Xbox Series X

Previously known as Project Scarlett, the Xbox Series X is the next flagship Microsoft's line of consoles. Rumoured to double the specs of its predecessor the Xbox One X, it'll be released around the same time as the PlayStation 5 – in other words, towards the end of 2020 – and no doubt competition between the two will be fierce.

We don't have a price yet, but we do know it won't have a VR set at launch – Microsoft's been very clear that they're not going after that market right now. It also sounds like there'll be at least two consoles in the Series X, er, series, one higher and one lower-end. We're probably going to want the higher one for the upcoming Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga, though. 

Keep an eye on the Xbox store for updates