Over the years, smartphones have gone from being just a style statement to a major part of our lives. Throughout 2015, we witnessed some incredible smartphones from a lot of companies ranging from Apple to Samsung and OnePlus to Xiaomi, and more. Every phone surprised in its own special way.

As we step into a new year, there are going to be some even bigger and better releases lined up. The list of all the new smartphones coming in 2016 is quite lengthy, but we wish start off with some of the most hyped and anticipated releases. Here are some of the most-talked-about flagship smartphones expected in 2016 that have garnered a lot of attention via rumours and speculations.

Apple iPhone 7

Apple will continue its annual iPhone upgrade system next year as well. Going by Apple's trend, iPhone 7 will be a major overhaul in terms of design and specs. There have been several rumours suggesting a lot of changes and upgrades in the iPhone 6s successor.

According to a recent report, Apple might use Liquid metal and glass combination for its new iPhone. Some reports also suggested Apple might remove the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and the popular Home button to make the iPhone 7 slimmer. There hasn't been any concrete evidence to support the claims, but rumours have it that iPhone 7 will be the first iPhone to feature a waterproof body.

Apple will launch iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September, still a long way away for new rumours.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 rumours are on the rise, considering the launch is just around the corner. Expected in February, Galaxy S7 will come with major developments and with an Edge variant.

A fresh report from Samsung's home turf revealed that the company will have 5 million Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge units ready for launch. This will certainly overcome the major supply issues Samsung suffered with Galaxy S6 Edge.

As for the specs, Galaxy S7 will sport Quad HD resolution display, Exynos 8890 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, USB Type-C port, pressure sensitive display, iris scanner and fast-charging technology. We'll know more for sure when Samsung officially unveils the new flagship.

Xiaomi Mi 5

Since we are considering the most-talked-about and rumoured flagships expected in 2016, Xiaomi Mi 5 easily makes it to the list. Xiaomi's flagship upgrade stopped at Mi 4 in 2014, which was not succeeded throughout 2015 as everyone expected. Ever since, Xiaomi Mi 5 has managed to stay in the news with a series of leaks and rumours.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said about the Mi 5 smartphone and the reason behind its delay that the Mi 5 was going to be "very, very good" and "worth the wait", adding that the company does not want to rush towards an early release.

Rumours have pointed out that the Mi 5 smartphone will feature a 5.2-inch Quad HD display, Gorilla Glass 4, 20MP primary camera with dual LED flash, PDAF, OIS and an accompanying 8MP front-snapper. The handset will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 3,000mAh battery and Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 7 ROM.

Xiaomi will get in line with other flagships with advanced features such as biometric scanner, USB Type-C port and quick-charging technology.

Google Nexus 6 2016

Google Nexus 6P was praised for its design and features, and its upcoming successor is going to be more advanced. Little is known about the Nexus 6 2016, but from what we know so far, the new handset will run Android N software.

It is quite obvious for the next Nexus flagship to run Google's latest software, but rumours indicate other features such as Snapdragon 820 chipset. There's a lot to learn about the unannounced Nexus 6 2016, which we expect in 2016.

OnePlus 3

OnePlus was quite active throughout 2015, launching two new smartphones, new earphones and a wide range of accessories. In 2016, OnePlus' biggest release will be the next flagship, which may be called OnePlus 3. We haven't learnt much about the unannounced phone, but it is quite clear that OnePlus will make thoughtful upgrades compared to OnePlus 2.

Rumours have it that OnePlus 3 will feature the same Full-HD display but use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset to go with other improved specs. Considering that OnePlus 2 was released in August, the 2016 flagship will be launched around the same time, with more details coming soon.