Apple and Samsung both ran into big problems last year with their smartphone businesses. Long story short, iPhone and Galaxy phone sales plummeted in the holiday quarter. They can blame troubles in China all they want, but the bottom line is that both of these industry leaders phoned it in last year, no pun intended. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones couldn’t have been anymore boring in 2018, and the same can be said of Apple’s iPhone lineup. Both companies chose to reuse old designs and release next-gen smartphones that looked exactly like their predecessors. That strategy is less of in issue when the new models offer novel marquee features to get shoppers excited, but that was the problem in 2018. Whether you bought an iPhone XS, Galaxy S9, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy S9+, iPhone XR, or Galaxy Note 9, there were no exciting new features to be found anywhere if you were upgrading from a 2017 flagship smartphone model. That means a huge portion of loyal fans who typically upgrade every year decided to skip their upgrades in 2018.

Of course, 2019 is where things will get interesting. Samsung has a number of exciting new smartphones set to debut this year, including the completely redesigned Galaxy S10 series phones and a new foldable smartphone that may launch as the Galaxy Fold. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly using the same smartphone design for a third consecutive year, which could be a disastrous move. Only time will tell. 2019 is shaping up to be a wild ride for smartphone fans, but it turns out that one of the most exciting new phones of the year might not be an iPhone or a Galaxy phone. It’s a mysterious new phone from a vendor most people in the US have never even heard of, and now it has a launch date that’s much sooner than we expected.

This time last week, no one had ever heard of a smartphone codenamed “The Waterdrop.” Then the world’s most prolific smartphone leaker dropped a bomb that set the internet abuzz. Ice Universe revealed that China-based smartphone maker Vivo is working behind closed doors on an innovative new phone design like nothing we’ve ever seen before. He also leaked a few teaser images, like the one below.

It’s tough to tell exactly what’s going on in that image, but the phone appears to feature a design that looks like a single, seamless piece of glass or chrome. It’s stunning, and we were quite intrigued. Tech enthusiasts around the world were intrigued as well, because our coverage of Ice Universe’s leak was one of the most trafficked posts we published last week.

Ice didn’t have many details about the phone, and we had no idea if or when to expect new details. As it turns out, we won’t have to wait long at all. Ice Universe is back on Tuesday with a new tweet about The Waterdrop, and this time it’s not a leak at all. Instead, he shared an image of an invitation sent by Vivo to bloggers and members of the press. The invite clearly teases the launch of the sleek new smartphone Ice had leaked last week, and the event in question is scheduled to take place next week on January 24th.

There are no new details about the phone itself at this time, but expectations for The Waterdrop couldn’t be higher. Ice Universe knows better than most that there are a ton of innovative new smartphones set to be released in 2019, and yet he has spoken about how revolutionary Vivo’s new phone will be on multiple occasions now. Sadly, The Waterdrop almost certainly won’t be made available in the US, but we still can’t wait to see what’s in store when Vivo unveils this exciting new smartphone next week.

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