We’re expecting big things from smartphones this year, and there are plenty of new models to get excited about.
Carl Pei’s start-up Nothing is officially working on an Android phone, due to debut this July just before the mid-range Pixel 6a arrives at the end of that month. Before long we’ll be back around in time for the iPhone 14 and Pixel 7, not to mention software upgrades like Android 13 and iOS 16.
From the first few months of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S22, OnePlus 10 Pro, Oppo Find X5, and Xiaomi 12 series are all already on sale, and there’s even a new phone from Apple in the iPhone SE. That’s not even mentioning the new slate of foldables from Huawei, Honor, and Oppo, though those haven’t actually hit UK stores so far.
Read on to ensure your next smartphone purchase is not immediately followed by regret, tying you into an unnecessarily lengthy contract. (Remember that there is a chance you couldupgrade your contract early.)
Pro tip: As these new phones edge closer, the outgoing models will fall in price and you’ll be able to scoop up some great deals. If you’re not bothered about having the very latest tech, check out our take on the best phones you can buy today.
Best new phones coming out in 2022
Sony Xperia 10 IV – 30 June
Sony revealed the mid-range Xperia 10 IV alongside the flagship 1 IV, and you can pre-order it now before it hits stores on 30 June.
At £429, this is a more affordable phone with a Snapdragon 695 chipset and 1080p screen – but you still get triple cameras, a headphone jack, and IP65/68 dust and water-resistance.
Huawei unveiled its Mate Xs 2 foldable in China on 28 April, though has now confirmed a European launch in June – though since the only confirmed price is in Euros – €1,999 – we’re not sure if the launch will include the UK or not.
This is a revision, rather than revolution, of the first Mate Xs, though that means a return of exterior folding screen that makes Huawei’s devices so unique.
It is limited to 4G only though, as Huawei’s trade restrictions still make it tricky for the company to get hold of 5G chips, but the trade-off is that it’s much cheaper too, and finally competitive with rival foldables from Xiaomi and Oppo.
Samsung has already released a Galaxy A23 in India, but it’s only 4G – and leakers say it’s working on a 5G model to get a wider release, likely in June.
The phone’s design looks similar to this year’s other A-series handsets, and will apparently feature a rear quad camera and teardrop notch on the front. It’s even tipped to be powered by a MediaTek processor – so not one of Samsung’s own Exynos chips.
Oppo doesn’t always launch its Reno phones in the UK, but we’re hoping the Reno 8 series might just make it.
There are three phones so far, with Pro and Pro+ models alongside the regular edition. All three are similar though, with mostly just slight changes to the screen size and spec and bigger changes in the chipsets, including the debut of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 in the 8 Pro.
Xiaomi has unveiled the Pro variant in the Poco X4 series, with a Poco X4 NFC and GT expected to turn up at some point too.
At the phone’s unveiling, we were told that the X4 Pro 5G would be made available starting 2 March, with a release date in India slated for 28 March. However, as of 1 April, the phone wasn’t available to buy from Flipkart, as we’d been led to believe it would. This means an early Q2 release is now the most likely scenario.
The Pro packs a 120Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 695 chip, and 108Mp main camera, all with an eye-catching design upgrade from the rather chunky X3 Pro.
The next OnePlus mid-ranger is tipped to include an upgraded 150W charging spec – capable of a full charge in just 15 minutes – alongside a new Dimensity 8100 chipset and a larger, 6.7in 120Hz display.
The camera spec isn’t expected to change as much though, with the same 50Mp IMX766 main camera as the Nord 2, joined by an 8Mp ultrawide and 2Mp macro.
The X50 is the rumoured name for the next Nokia flagship, which we’re expecting to see some time this spring or summer.
Solid specs are thin on the ground, but point to a device at the lower end of the flagship range, with a Snapdragon 7-series chipset – though some think a Pro model with an 8-series chip may also be coming.
Asus doesn’t launch every ROG Phone in the UK – and sometimes they just come late, like the recent ROG Phone 5s and 5s Pro – but we have good odds of getting the ROG Phone 6 in summer 2022.
After all, we did get the ROG Phone 5 right on schedule, and this is likely to be a more meaningful follow-up to that phone.
We’re not sure exactly what to expect – though the 360Hz touch sampling rate from the 5s series seems like a safe bet. Otherwise expect tweaks to the design, the next-gen Snapdragon flagship chipset, and likely more novelties like the rear OLED display found on the 5 Pro.
Google revealed its mid-range Pixel 6a at Google I/O in May, but there’s a longer wait to buy the phone: pre-orders start on 21 July before it goes on sale officially on 28 July.
Last year’s 5a never launched outside of the US and Japan, but we’re getting a wider release this time round – including the UK.
The design follows the lead set by the Pixel 6 but in a smaller size, and it also shares that phone’s powerful Tensor chip. The camera sticks with the hardware used in the Pixel 5a however, though should still impress for the price.
The Z Flip 4 is almost certain to bring with it the larger Z Fold 4, also likely to launch in August.
We don’t know for sure what to expect, but improvements to the under-display camera are almost certain – and rumour has it that the same camera may also appear on the phone’s outer display this time around.
Tweaks to the hinge and water-proofing have also been predicted, along with the usual spec and camera boosts.
The iPhone 14 may still be a while away, but we have our first leaks of what to expect from the next Apple flagship.
Renders based on leaks sourced by Jon Prosser reveal the alleged end of the controversial notch for the Pro models at least – supposedly replaced by a punch-hole camera, with the rest of the Face ID tech hidden under the display itself.
Round volume buttons return, while the camera lenses are now flush against the body – achieved in part by making the phone itself thicker.
It’s too far off to know if this is what the iPhone 14 will look like for certain, but it’s already enough to get us excited.
We know OnePlus is working on another flagship for this year, but what we don’t know is what it will be called: OnePlus 10, 10T, or 10 Ultra.
The company has never put out an Ultra phone before, but multiple leakers have reported on one in the works, which will apparently boast the company’s first periscopic zoom lens.
Others say that the phone will instead follow typical OnePlus form and be called the OnePlus 10T, while some even think it will just be called the OnePlus 10 – after all, we never got a regular model, only the Pro.
Honor has already launched the 70 series in China, but for now an international launch is “TBD”.
There are three phones in the series, all of which use the brand-new Sony IMX800 camera sensor. The exact specs vary between them, but all three phones feature big, curved OLED screens, fast charging, and powerful triple rear cameras.
October is Pixel season, so that’s when we’re expecting Google to unveil the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro – though the company has already teased the design, which you can see here.
After last year’s design overhaul there’s nothing quite so radical this time around, but patent applications suggest this could be the year we see the company adopt an under-display selfie camera, along with the second-generation of its Tensor chip.
This is a bit of a wild card – but leaked internal documents and bits of code suggest that Google may be working on a Pixel-branded foldable device. We thought it might launch in late 2021, but it now looks more likely to appear in October 2022 along with the Pixel 7 – though be warned that some other leakers think it’s been delayed to 2023.
Beyond the device’s existence there haven’t been many leaks with details of what sort of foldable device it will be, or what specs it will have, but we know a lot of people will be curious about a Google-branded folding phone with that Pixel camera.
The Osom OV1 is the debut phone from new start-up Osom, set to debut in Q4 2022 – meaning October, November, or December.
Osom is a company founded by a few former employees of Essential, which itself only managed a phone or two before disappearing. Still, the OV1 looks encouraging, with premium stainless steel design and a focus on privacy – right down to a USB-C charging cable with a switch to shut off data transfer when using public charging ports.
We don’t know when to expect it, but Motorola is almost certainly going to release an updated Razr foldable in 2022.
The success of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 almost guarantees that Motorola will release a new take on its own iconic clamshell foldable.
This will be the third foldable Razr (the original was followed by a 5G version) and we’re hoping to see a streamlined design and upgraded specs that make it a true flagship competitor to Samsung’s offering.
Now that Huawei has released the P50 Pro worldwide, fans have started anticipating the Mate 50.
While these would normally have launched in autumn 2021, we’re now expecting to see Mate 50 phones some time in 2022. Expect a Chinese launch first, with Europe and the rest of Asia to follow a few months later – maybe.
Not much is known about the specs, but expect a 4G Snapdragon chipset, with top-tier display and camera chops to make up for slower signal speeds.
Rumour has it that OnePlus is working on its debut foldable phone, and we may see it arrive some time this year.
The phone is apparently based closely on the Oppo Find N – the two companies now share R&D, so that’s no real surprise – which means we can expect something like a 7.1in folding display, Snapdragon 888 chip, and triple rear camera including an ultrawide and telephoto.
After the Galaxy S22 series should come the S22 FE, a cheaper ‘fan edition’ follow-up with slightly remixed specs – though some rumours say it’s been cancelled.
The S20 FE launched in October, but the S21 FE slipped back to January, and we think Samsung might stick with that launch window again.
We don’t know what specs to expect, but going by previous FE models it will likely be between the S22 and S22+ in size, with similar display specs and core performance but with slightly reduced camera performance.
Samsung is almost certainly hard at work on the Galaxy S23 series, with three phones likely to launch in spring 2023.
Rumours point towards the debut of a 200Mp camera sensor – likely in the S23 Ultra – along with larger batteries across the board.
Of course the chipsets are likely to improve too, but there’s plenty of debate about whether Samsung will continue to use a mix of Snapdragon chips and its own Exynos hardware, or shift entirely to the Qualcomm silicon.
The Galaxy A53 sits at the heart of Samsung’s mid-range line-up – it’s basically the company’s core rival to the iPhone SE – so we’re confident we’ll see an A54 follow it up next year.
Specs so far are thin on the ground, but the render above is one of several imaging the improvements Samsung could be working on, borrowing spec and design elements of its flagships to trickle down to its more affordable hardware.
A folding iPhone has been rumoured ever since the first foldable display tech existed pretty much, but thanks to leaks and rumours we have pretty good reason to believe Apple is at least working on a foldable iPhone – even if it’s probably years away.
Apple is rarely the first to market with new tech, though given that Samsung has already released several iterations of its folding tech there’s a risk Apple will look backwards if it doesn’t follow suit until 2023 – though if it can perfect the tech in that time it may well be worth the wait.