2022 is here, and we're expecting big things from the next 12 months of smartphones.
We've already seen plenty to get excited about. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is already on sale, while the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Xiaomi 12 have both already launched in China ahead of a global release later this year. That's not even mentioning the new slate of foldables from Huawei, Honor, and Oppo.
Plenty of these phones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which will also power flagship launches like the Oppo Find X4 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22.
The Snapdragon will have competition from the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 though, which for the first time has matched its rival on specs; how many big brands will make the jump away from Snapdragon for their biggest 2022 releases?
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.
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 could upgrade 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
Samsung Galaxy S22 - February 2022
Samsung releases a new flagship phone series every spring, like clockwork, and rumour has it we'll be meeting the S22 series in February.
We don't know for sure what to expect, but it seems a safe bet that we'll once again get three phones: a standard, Plus, and Ultra models - though the latter may have a name change to Note.
Camera updates seem inevitable, but the specific specs are hotly debated by leakers, with word of a 50Mp upgrade for the regular and Plus, and a 200Mp jump for the Ultra - the latter denied by other tipsters.
The Ultra is also likely to have a built-in stylus and a design more reminiscent of the classic Note phones, while the other two models will look more similar to the outgoing S21 range.
Get the latest Galaxy S22 leaks and rumours.
TCL 30 - February 2022
TCL has announced a whopping eight phones in the TCL 30 line-up, and we know that at least one - the TCL 30 5G - will launch in Europe, which usually means the UK too.
Details so far are limited, but the company has promised to reveal more at MWC 2022 - which takes place in Barcelona at the end of February.
Get the details on the TCL 30 series
OnePlus 10 Pro - Q1 2022
The next generation of OnePlus flagships has now arrived in China - though a global launch is confirmed for later this year - and for now at least we're only getting to meet the Pro model.
The top-tier 10 Pro features a novel new camera module design, along with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and improved battery and charging - though there aren't too many other improvements from last year to be found.
Read more about the OnePlus 10 Pro
Xiaomi 12 - Q1 2022
Xiaomi revealed the Xiaomi 12 series in China in December, and we're hoping to see a global release early in 2022.
The main phone is an unexpectedly compact handset with a 6.28in display, but it still packs in a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, powerful triple camera, and super-fast charging.
The larger 12 Pro has an even better camera setup and faster charging speeds, while the cheaper 12X is the same size as the 12 but drops to the older Snapdragon 870 and ditches the wireless charging option.
Read more about the Xiaomi 12.
Honor Magic V - Q1 2022
Honor is finally ready to get into the foldable arms race, with the Honor Magic V now officially launched in China.
We're not certain if - or when - the phone will reach the UK, but if it does you can expect a flagship foldable powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, using the larger book form factor - similar to the Z Fold series.
Read more about the Honor Magic V
Honor Magic 3 - Q1 2022
The Honor Magic 3 series was announced in China in August, and we know that it's getting a global release, but we just don't know when.
The three phones here - the Magic 3, 3 Pro, and 3 Pro+ - are more premium than the Honor 50, with prices set to start from €899 in Europe.
The Pro models feature the Snapdragon 888+ chipset and quad rear cameras, while the base Magic 3 isn't far behind with an 888 and triple camera.
Like the Honor 50, all three phones will also have full Google support when they eventually ship worldwide.
Find out more about the Honor Magic 3.
Oppo Find N - Q1 2022
We've known for months that Oppo was working on a foldable phone, but the company finally revealed all at a Chinese launch in December 2021.
We don't know if or when the phone will launch elsewhere, but we're holding out hope for a western release.
Built in the same form factor as the Galaxy Z Fold phones - though with a wider aspect ratio - the Find N packs a Snapdragon 888, 50Mp triple rear camera, and wireless charging.
Get the latest on the Oppo Find N
Honor 60 - Q1 2022
The Honor 50 only launched in the UK and Europe in November, but the company unveiled its latest generation of mid-range phones, the Honor 60 series, in December 2021.
This is only the Chinese launch, mind, so we don't know yet if - or when - the Honor 60 series will reach the UK. But since the 50 did, it seems likely we'll see this phone eventually too.
Both the Honor 60 and 60 Pro feature similar designs and specs, with large, curved 120Hz OLED panels, 7-series Snapdragon chipsets, and 108Mp main cameras - though the Pro packs an improved ultrawide, a slightly larger screen, and a slightly faster chip.
Read the latest on the Honor 60.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra - Q1 2022
The Motorola Edge X30 was the first phone to be revealed with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside, with a 9 December reveal in China.
We're not sure if or when it will reach the UK, but it's likely to arrive early 2022, and with a different name – as the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra.
Beyond that all-important processor, the Edge X30 doesn't skimp elsewhere either, with a 144Hz 6.7in OLED display, a 60Mp selfie snapper (which can be had as an under-display offering in one special edition variety), dual 50Mp rear cameras (along with a depth sensor) – allowing it to capture 8K video natively – and 68W wired charging.
Find out more about the Moto Edge X30
Realme GT 2 - Q1 2022
The Realme GT 2 is an impressive looking follow-up to one of our favourite mid-range phones of last year, but it's also joined by the GT 2 Pro - one of the first phones to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and Realme's first premium flagship.
Both phones get 120Hz AMOLED displays and triple camera setups, including a 40x zoom microscope lens and a 150-degree ultra-wide - the widest on any phone in the world.
Read more about the Realme GT 2 series.
Vivo V23 - Q1 2022
Vivo has confirmed that the V23 and V23 Pro - which have already launched in India - will be coming to Europe eventually.
The two phones share the same eye-catching gold design, which subtly shifts to turquoise as it moves through the light, but have very different builds: the V23 has iPhone-esque straight sides, while the curved Pro is a more traditional Android phone.
Both use MediaTek chipsets, 90Hz displays, and triple rear cameras - along with dual selfie shooters, giving you both a high-resolution 50Mp main selfie camera and an 8Mp ultrawide.
Get the full Vivo V23 specs
Huawei P50 - Q1 2022
Both phones run the new HarmonyOS operating system, and boast high refresh rate OLED displays, fast charging, and powerful camera setups.
One oddity is that both use the Snapdragon 888 (with a Kirin 9000 variant of the Pro model too) but use 4G versions of the chip - a limitation of the company's ongoing US trade restrictions. That means that fancy as these phones are, they are 4G-only and still lack Google mobile services.
Check out the full Huawei P50 specs
Huawei P50 Pocket - Q1 2022
Huawei has revealed a new foldable phone in China: a compact clamshell called the P50 Pocket.
With a form factor similar to the Galaxy Z Flip, the P50 Pocket should live up to its name. Like its big brother it is powered by the Snapdragon 888 (though a 4G version), and boasts a powerful triple camera led by a 40Mp main lens.
Like the P50, we're also not really sure when - or even if - it'll ever launch in the UK and Europe, but we live in hope.
Find out more about the Huawei P50 Pocket
Poco F4 - Q1 2022
In 2021 the Poco F3 launched in March, so we're hoping to see the F4 in turn arrive in March 2022.
Likely to be based on the Redmi K50 series, you can expect a Dimensity 7000 chipset, 100W fast-charging and IP68 water-resistance rating.
Find out more about the Poco F4.
Oppo Find X4 Pro - Q1 2022
The Oppo Find X4 Pro - and the rest of the Find X4 line for that matter - have been confirmed by the company to launch some time in Q1 2022.
We already know that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will feature in the phones, but few other details have been confirmed. Oppo has teased a retractable camera setup for flagship phones though - will this be ready to debut in the Find X4 Pro?
Elsewhere leaks point to an upgrade to 80W wired charging. Camera resolution may stay the same at 50Mp for the main lens - though this doesn't rule out upgrades to other elements of the camera spec.
Read more about the Oppo Find X4 Pro.
Xiaomi Poco X4 - Q1 2022
Rumour has it that Xiaomi spin-off Poco is planning to release the follow-up to its popular Poco X3 series in spring 2022, with Poco X4 NFC, GT, and Pro models all likely to arrive - though perhaps not all at once.
Concrete specs are still thin on the ground, but one prediction says that the X4 will take the Redmi 11 Pro as its starting point - that would mean a 120Hz AMOLED display, MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor, and 108Mp main camera.
Read the latest on the Poco X4 series
Vivo X80 - H1 2022
Sadly the UK and Europe never got the Vivo X70 series, which only launched widely in Asia, but we're hoping that the company was just holding its shot for the upcoming X80 line.
Going by the previous generations we can probably expect three main phones: an X80, X80 Pro, and X80 Pro+.
Early leaks point to the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 in at least one of them, paired with a 120Hz Full HD+ display, and a 50Mp gimbal-stabilised main camera.
Get the latest on the Vivo X80.
Google Pixel Foldable - Q2 2022
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 spring 2022 along with the public launch of Android 12L, perhaps at Google I/O.
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.
Asus ROG Phone 6 - Q2 2022
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.
Read more about the ROG Phone 6.
Oppo Reno 7 - Q2 2022
The Oppo Reno 7 series was revealed in China in December 2021, so we're hoping that it will get a wider launch soon - though the Reno models don't always make it to the UK.
The Reno 7 Pro (pictured) is the top spec model, with a Dimensity 1200-Max chipset, 90Hz AMOLED display, and 50Mp main camera. The Reno 7 and Reno 7 SE boast similar designs and some core specs, but drop to cheaper chipsets and lower spec cameras.
Read more about the full Reno 7 range
Google Pixel 6a - Summer 2022
Google is expected to repeat its usual patterns and release a cheaper 'a' branded version of its Pixel 6 flagship some time this year - most likely in the summer.
Last year's 5a never launched outside of the US and Japan, but the chip shortage was partly to blame, so we're expecting a wider release this time round.
Expect the design to follow the lead set by the Pixel 6 but in a smaller size - already revealed in the render here, based on leaks. The camera is likely to stick with the hardware used in the Pixel 5a however, though should still impress for the price.
Get the latest on the Pixel 6a
New BlackBerry Phone - 2022
You read that correctly, BlackBerry is back from the dead again. In August 2020, US company Onward Mobility licensed the BlackBerry name and announced that it would work to release a new BlackBerry device.
The company had targeted the first half of 2021, but that's now been and gone, so we're not sure exactly when to expect the new BlackBerry - a 2022 launch now looks most likely.
According to Onward Mobility, the new BlackBerry will have 5G network capabilities and a physical keyboard. These really are the only two indications of specs that we have aside from the phone running Android, as currently the announcement is only of the partnership’s existence and nothing more.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold FE - 2022
Samsung is yet to confirm anything official, but we have some reason to expect that a more affordable 'Fan Edition' of the Galaxy Z Fold is set to launch some time in 2022 - only we have no idea when.
One early leak pins the phone as costing $1,099, with a Snapdragon 865 chipset - last year's flagship - though curiously claims it will lack the 5G support that has so far been mandatory with that chip.
Others claim that the Fold FE will simply be the first-gen Fold, re-packaged at a lower price tag to reflect the older tech - that would mean the even older Snapdragon 855, but would explain how Samsung could hit a mainstream price point.
Read more Galaxy Z Fold FE rumours and news
Apple iPhone SE 2 or SE Plus - 2022
Apple's new iPhone SE went on sale back in April 2020, but rumours since have pointed towards the launch of either a follow-up or a Plus model. If you're thinking that might be imminent, though, don't hold your breath; we could be waiting until 2022.
The long-rumoured SE Plus is not simply a larger version of the iPhone SE, mind you. Prolific Apple leakster Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the iPhone SE Plus will feature either a 5.5 or 6.1in display and, crucially, it’ll sport a “full-screen design” like that of the iPhone 11 range. It may also have Touch ID built into the power button.
Huawei Mate 50 - 2022
Huawei still hasn't even released the P50 series worldwide, but it's likely working on 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.
Read more about the Huawei Mate 50.
iPhone 14 - September 2022
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 - 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.
Get the latest iPhone 14 news
Foldable iPhone - 2022/2023
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.
Check out all the foldable iPhone rumours so far.