The best upcoming phones launching in 2022 and 2023 – Stuff

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From affordable flagships to folding smartphones, there's no shortage of exciting upcoming phones for the next few months
Like to follow every smartphone launch like a hawk? Your diary must have been busy in 2022. From affordable blowers to fresh flagships to folding phones, the year has already yielded a whole host of shiny new handsets. But don’t worry: there are still several upcoming smartphones set to arrive before you switch to a new calendar.
Keen to stay on top of what’s around the corner? We’ve rounded up the confirmed releases, probable launches and rumoured reveals down below. You’ll know exactly which of the best upcoming phones you can still expect to see in 2022.
We’ve also summarised the biggest smartphones announced so far this year, as well as listing every mobile we’ve tested so far in 2022. And, because it pays to be organised, we’re also looking at the top phones we expect to launch in 2023. So you can keep your smartphone knowledge well ahead of the curve. We’ll keep this list regularly updated, too.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
After the success of last year’s Galaxy S20 FE – or ‘Fan Edition’ – the follow-up model treads a finer line between affordable flagship and mid-range wingman to the full-fat Samsung Galaxy S21.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Series
Samsung’s latest line-up of flagship smartphones features three models. The S22 and S22 Plus follow closely in the footsteps of last year’s S21. And the top-end S22 Ultra takes up the phablet mantle from the now-defunct Note series complete with S Pen support.
RealMe GT 2 Pro
RealMe’s latest release is gunning for the big-name blowers. The first handset to land in the UK with Qualcomm’s mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon inside, it’s set to be a proper powerhouse.
Oppo Find X5 series
Oppo unveiled the Find X5 and Find X5 Pro in February. With a natty ceramic back and sizeable 6.7in AMOLED screen up front, the flagship Pro comes powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Dual Sony sensors and Hasselblad optimisation also mean it’s got no shortage of photography potential.
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Apple’s third-gen SE sticks firmly to the mould set by its predecessors: it’s an entry-level iPhone in a throwback shell, still styled like the iPhone 8. But it also adds a few key upgrades, including 5G connectivity, improved battery life and Apple’s A15 Bionic processor for rapid performance.
Xiaomi 12 series
Xiaomi’s first devices to ditch the ‘Mi’ branding, the 12 series launched globally in March. Flanked by the vanilla 12 and more affordable 12X, the 12 Pro leads the line-up. There’s sharp design, premium build quality and a gorgeous display to make it a true flagship, complete with three 50MP camera sensors.
OnePlus 10 Pro
True to specs revealed early in the year, the latest OnePlus flagship is a top-tier contender and there’s a cheaper OnePlus 10T version now too. With Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon running the show, the 10 Pro uses Hasselblad imaging tricks to complement its sensor trio. The 5000mAh cell inside is sizeable, while 80W wired charging means rapid refuelling.
Sony Xperia 1 IV
Picking up from its predecessor, Sony’s fourth-gen Xperia 1 delivers a world-first optical zoom experience for smartphone photographers: instead of fixed telephoto focal lengths, its 12MP main camera can zoom continuously between 85 and 125mm.
Huawei Mate Xs 2
Successor to last year’s Mate Xs, the Mate Xs 2 is an improvement in all the right places, with an uprated screen, slicker design and added stylus support. It’s also one of the few to adopt an outward-folding design, with an upgraded hinge promising greater durability and no visible crease.
Honor Magic 4 Pro
Although the design is a derivative of former owner Huawei, there’s a lot to love about the Magic 4 Pro: the hybrid optical/digital zoom, the fast charging and the speedy overall experience. Better camera options are available, though.
Google Pixel 6a
Continuing the mid-range lineage of Google’s Pixel ‘a’ devices, the 6a benefits from a spec sheet that’s not far off its full-fat siblings. There’s Tensor silicon inside, a 6.1in OLED display up front and a two-tone shell on the back. But there are also budget compromises when it comes to refresh rates and shooting skills.
Asus ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro
A beefcake of a blower, the Asus ROG Phone 5 (and its 5s Pro follow-up) was our favourite gaming phone of 2021. With impeccable performance, a gorgeous display and no shortage of gaming-focused features, it ticked all the boxes for playing on the go. The ROG Phone 6 takes this legacy and turns it up to 11.
Nothing Phone 1
The debut smartphone effort from Carl Pei’s new company. The man that helped kick-start OnePlus is at it again with Phone 1, a distinctive mid-ranger with unique glyph lighting on the back and a transparent design. Even without those head-turning additions, it’s still a very capable sub-£400 handset with a better screen than you’d expect for the price.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Limited to a Chinese rollout, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra ships with a mammoth 1in main camera sensor. Its ultra-wide and telephoto lenses remain unchanged, but now have Leica’s help on the processing front. There’s also a 120Hz OLED display, 120W fast-charging and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ silicon inside.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Streamlined by design, there’s nothing slender about this folding flagship’s price tag. But it does set a new bar for foldables. Performance is predictably impressive, while productivity features make it a winner for multi-tasking. Shooting specs are top-tier, too, while the whole package is as stylish as you’d expect.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Mainstream sibling to the Z Fold 4, the Z Flip 4 doubles down on the clamshell styling, pocketable proportions and more accessible pricing of its predecessor. Software optimisations maximise the multi-tasking potential of its split screen. Longer battery life and new customisation options make it friendlier to live with.
Sony Xperia 5 IV
With a helping of hardware from the premium Xperia 1 IV, the Xperia 5 IV squeezes an impressive spec list into marginally more compact dimensions. All without sacrificing Sony’s signature 21:9 aspect ratio. Sporting a trio of 12MP rear sensors, it could be just the ticket for creators and enthusiast snappers.
iPhone 14 Series
Besides a small shift in naming strategy, Apple’s latest smartphone line-up delivers few surprises. The base iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus offer incremental upgrades in familiar packaging. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max go further: they get 1-120Hz refresh rates, new A16 silicon and a notchless display. Replacing the latter is the daftly named Dynamic Island, an adaptive pill-shaped cutout which also incorporates software controls. In the US, all four models ship with satellite connectivity and no SIM.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra
Hero of the Edge 30 range, Motorola’s latest top-tier smartphone packs a whopping 200MP main sensor. But it’s no one-trick pony: the Edge 30 Ultra also ships with Qualcomm’s newest silicon, lightning-fast charging and a super-high refresh rate display. Oh, and its design is drop-dead gorgeous. Plus it undercuts the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Apple iPhone 14 by some margin.
Samsung’s next flagship range will, undoubtedly, be the Galaxy S23. Or, to be more specific, the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Current information is based on rumours, which state that while things won’t be a massive change visually, there’ll be some hardware improvements. Potentially these would include a pixel-packed 200MP main camera, and a 40MP front-facing selfie cam. Top of our wishlist is faster charging, as we’ve been spoiled by the 65W+ fast-charging tricks of other handsets from the likes of OnePlus, Xiaomi. Motorola and more.
If you wanted to place a sensible bet on the Galaxy S23 release date, a reveal and launch in February 2023 would be a good place to start, given past events.
There aren’t many solid rumours surrounding the iPhone 15. Due to launch in September 2023 as Apple’s launches and release dates are, mercifully, very consistent). We’d love to see the fancy Dynamic Island notch make its way down to the base iPhone 15 models. We’d also love to see 8K video recording (because why not), along with a periscope zoom camera to better match the lossless 10x optical zoom offered by the formidable Galaxy S22 Ultra.
On that note, we could see the launch of an iPhone 15 Ultra instead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, if the latest rumours are to be believed. Time will tell which ones prove to be true…
Given that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best folding phone Samsung has ever made, it would be a shame for them to end it there. And they more than likely won’t. That’s why we’re excited to see what the Z Fold 5 has in store. There are very few rumours around at the moment. But we’d like to see an even slimmer design, faster charging, and a built-in S-Pen to take advantage of drawing and doodling on its expansive unfolded display.
Google’s Pixel 6 saw the search giant return to making genuine flagships, after its predecessor’s mid-tier detour. And following an official teaser at Google I/O 2022, the Pixel 7 looks set to follow suit.
Official specs are still thin on the ground, but Google did give a sneak peak of the seventh-gen Pixel on stage. Promo pics revealed a device evolved from the Pixel 6. That means curved glass on the front and a metallic camera bar on the rear, complete with three lenses and edges which meld to the chassis.
We also know that the Pixel 7 will come equipped with a new, next-gen Google Tensor chip. Its performance chops are unknown at this stage, but if its predecessor is anything to go by, the Pixel 7 should offer a top-tier smartphone experience.
Google has announced the date for its late-year hardware event where we’ll see the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro launch – 6 October. Pricing remains anyone’s guess, although we’d hope to see it undercut the competition from Apple and Samsung.
Oppo’s first folding phone earned four stars in our long-term test. Part of the Find N’s appeal was that it could comfortably fit in a pocket, yet still deliver a flagship foldable experience. Taking that approach a step further, Oppo is now rumoured to be working on a clamshell device to rival the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Supposedly code-named Dragonfly, no definitive specs are out in the wild. But the word on the street suggests its design will ape other clamshells. So it should be palm-sized when shut, before flipping open to reveal a flexible main display that’s tall and narrow.
We’d expect it to feature recent Qualcomm silicon and deliver 120Hz refresh rates on the screen inside. And if the Find N is anything to go by, it should be competitively priced against Samsung’s folding models. It’s touted to arrive before the year is out, alongside the Find N2.
Launched last year, the Huawei P50 Pro was a bit of an odd one. A photography powerhouse, it benefited from a quartet of capable cameras with plenty of megapixels between them. That included a periscope lens which offered a stellar 200x digital zoom. Trouble was, ongoing trade restrictions meant the flagship took an age to make it out of China.
Will its successor fair any better? Only time will tell. The Huawei P60 Pro and Pro Plus are supposedly due late in 2022, although recent rumours are far from concrete. Based on the evolution of previous Pro mobiles, the P60 Pro will probably pack some properly powerful camera kit, plus a sizeable full-screen experience.
But little is known about firm specs for the P60 Pro, let alone when – or if – it will ever make it to Blighty (or beyond).
What about the elusive Pixel Fold? Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear a whole range of answers. Some thought the Pixel 6 would be bendable. Others predicted a separate Pixel Fold device would launch by the end of 2021. Now, the latest info indicates that Google won’t launch the Fold at all – at least, not in its current form.
Does that mean we won’t see a folding Pixel phone in 2022? Not necessarily. More likely, it means that Google has canned its first attempt at a foldable. That would certainly fit with industry intel that claims Google won’t launch a foldable in the first half of 2022.
What will the spec sheet of Google’s foldable have in store? That’s even less certain. Although if it follows the mould set by the Pixel 6, you can expect a neat, premium design with a vanilla Android interface that’s optimised for a folding setup.
Rumours of a full-fat successor to the OnePlus Nord 2 have been circulating for a while. But while OnePlus has been busy with new releases this year, none have been the Nord 3. The Nord 2T landed as a tempting halfway upgrade in May, followed by the OnePlus 10T in August.
Whether the Nord 3 is still on the cards for 2022 remains a hot topic among Twitter pontificators. There’s little in the way of concrete evidence. But certain sources remain bullish about the prospect of a new OnePlus mid-ranger arriving before the year is out. That will appear along with a handful of fresh OnePlus devices, including smartwatches and fitness bands.
If and when it does appear, we’d expect the Nord 3 to follow in the feature-packed footsteps of its mid-range forebears. We wouldn’t bank on any significant design changes, but improvements to battery life and low-light camera performance would be welcome.
Rumours about a Nokia 9 PureView replacement have been circulating pretty much since that device launched at MWC back in 2019. Despite the long wait, there’s still little certainty about if, when or how the multi-lens mobile might be succeeded.
Nokia 9.3, 10, X50, X60…various names have been suggested for the elusive device. But one thing unites the soothsayers: the hope that it will set a fresh bar for Nokia. We’d certainly expect a PureView follow-up to pack all kinds of clever camera tech.
Four cameras, massive batteries, powerful processors: rumours about the Nokia 10 PureView abound, but firm specs are nowhere to be found. Some sources suggest the silence is due to difficulties sourcing suitable silicon. Whether that’s true is anyone’s guess.
In fact, it’s not clear if the device is actually in the works, let alone how much it might cost (smartphone pricing has escalated significantly since its predecessor launched at £549 / $699). As you can tell, this isn’t one to bet on.
Xiaomi usually launches new flagship smartphones in December, but that festive scheduling could be brought forward in 2022. Some analysts predict we could see the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro land in October or November. That’s probably best taken as conjecture. As is any claim to know whether Xiaomi will launch the devices in China and Europe at the same time. But here’s hoping we have eyes on the handsets before the year is out.
Hot on the heels of the snap-happy Xiaomi 12S Ultra, industry chatter suggests the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro will continue the maker’s tie-up with Leica. So we’d expect it to ship with some seriously capable camera hardware. This will be led by a 50MP main sensor. Other intel is hard to come by, but several sources suggest both handsets will feature the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 silicon seen in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra.
As for prices, we’d take the previous generation as a good indicator: the Xiaomi 12 started at £749, while the 12 Pro hit shelves at £1049.
Also incoming from the Xiaomi stable is a mid-range Redmi Note sequel. Redmi’s line-up isn’t the easiest to decipher, with the Redmi 10 (2022) and Note 11T Pro launched this year. But we’re still waiting for a proper follow-up to the Note 11. This might be delayed due to the prolonged rollout of its forerunner, which arrived in China in October last year, but didn’t make it worldwide until 2022.
Filings circulated on Twitter indicate that at least two Note 12 devices will ship with 6.6in FHD+ displays. Each is also predicted to measure 8.8mm thick – suggesting a shift from the 8.1mm depth of the previous generation. That same intel tips the Note 12 to use a 4300mAh battery, with a larger 4980mAh cell inside the Note 12 Pro. Both of which would be smaller than those used by their respective predecessors. Other sources suggest the handsets will run MediaTek Dimensity silicon.
Some analysts believe that three variants of the Redmi Note 12 will hit shelves in China, and it’s possible that a Note 12 Pro Plus could be reserved for the region. Exactly when they’ll arrive, what they’ll cost and where they’ll be available all remains to be seen.
Looking for a smartphone you can buy right now? Here’s an overview of every phone we’ve already reviewed in 2022. Click the link to read each review in full.
Wondering how this year’s smartphones compare to what came before? Below is a round up of our biggest smartphone reviews from 2021. Click the link to read each review in full.
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