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 summer, and Sony's Xperia 1 IV is now confirmed to hit UK stores in June before the mid-range Pixel 6a arrives in July. 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.
Plenty of these phones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, though this has 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?
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
Oppo Reno 8 - 23 May
Oppo doesn't always launch its Reno phones in the UK, but based on leaks we think the Reno 8 might just make it.
That's because from what leakers say, this appears to be based on the long-lost OnePlus 10, which never launched. Its leaked design is similar to the recent OnePlus 10 Pro - especially in the distinctive camera module - and spec rumours point to a phone right in line with what OnePlus flagships usually offer.
Since OnePlus phones normally get that UK release, maybe the Oppo Reno 8 will too.
Read more about the Oppo Reno 8
OnePlus Nord 2T - 24 May
Honor Magic 4 Pro - 27 May
Honor unveiled the Magic 4 and Magic 4 Pro at MWC 2022, and the Pro model is coming to the UK on 27 May - though you can pre-order the phone now.
The two phones are big and powerful, with 6.81in displays, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips, and high-resolution triple camera setups. The 4 Pro is even more exciting thanks to 100W wireless charging - the fastest you'll find in any phone.
Read more about the Honor Magic 4
Poco F4 GT - Late May
Xiaomi revealed the Poco F4 GT on 26 April - though we'll have to wait until late May before the phone goes on sale in the UK.
It's worth waiting for though, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 120Hz AMOLED display, and 120W charging for the 4700mAh battery. Even better, you get all that from €599 in Europe, and we're expecting an equally competitive price for the UK market.
Read more about the Poco F4 series.
Sony Xperia 1 IV - 16 June
Sony revealed its latest flagship in May, but it won't hit UK stores until 16 June.
The 1 IV will be the company's main flagship, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and upgraded camera system - especially the selfie and telephoto lenses.
It's also expensive though, starting from a whopping £1,299.
Read more of the latest on the Sony Xperia 1 IV.
Sony Xperia 10 IV - mid-June
Sony revealed the mid-range Xperia 10 IV alongside the flagship 1 IV, but hasn't given it as firm a release date - it's only promised for "mid-June".
Set to cost "approximately £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 Mate Xs 2 - June
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.
Read more about the Huawei Mate Xs 2
Vivo X80 Pro - Q2 2022
Vivo has revealed both the X80 and X80 Pro, and confirmed that the more powerful model is getting a launch in Europe - though we don't yet know if that includes the UK or not.
Both X80 Pro packs a 120Hz, QHD+, LTPO 2 AMOLED display and gimbal-stabilised quad camera, along with top specs, fast charging, and IP68 water-resistance.
Get the latest on the Vivo X80.
Xiaomi Black Shark 5 - Q2 2022
Xiaomi has unveiled the Black Shark 5 series in China, and we're hoping the high-end gaming phones will debut in the UK and elsewhere in the next few months.
There are three phones this year: the Black Shark 5, 5 RS, and 5 Pro. All three phones pack 6.67in AMOLED displays with 144Hz refresh rates, along with 5G and triple rear cameras.
Those specific camera specs do vary between the phones, though the bigger changes are to the chipsets, which range from a Snapdragon 870 in the 5 up to a flagship 8 Gen 1 in the 5 Pro.
Read more about the Black Shark 5 series
Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro - Q2 2022
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.
OnePlus Nord 3 - Q2 2022
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.
Read more about the Nord 3
Nokia X50 - Q2 2022
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.
Read more about the Nokia X50
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.
Realme GT Neo 3 - Q2 2022
Realme has already revealed the GT Neo 3 in China, but we're hoping it will reach the UK some time in Q2 2022.
The phone is powered by the Dimensity 8100 chip and there are actually two versions: one will feature Realme's new 150W wired charging, which is fast enough to top the phone up to 50% in a mere five minutes, while the other includes mere 80W charging but with a slightly larger battery to make up for it.
You can grab it in a regular black finish, but we much prefer the two racing stripe designs inspired by Le Mans '66.
Read more about the GT Neo 3.
Google Pixel 6a - 28 July
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.
Get the latest on the Pixel 6a.
Nothing Phone (1) - Summer 2022
We know that it will be called the Nothing Phone (1), and that it will run new software called Nothing OS - though this will just be a software layer on top of Android.
We don't know what specs to expect, but teasers suggest wireless charging, and the company has hinted that while affordable, the Phone (1) is intended to rival flagships.
Read more about the Nothing Phone (1)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 - August 2022
Samsung hasn't confirmed that it's working on another Z Flip, but it seems a safe bet that one is in the works and will launch around August this year.
Rumours point to a similar size device, though Samsung is apparently working on making it lighter, while improving the hinge and upgrading the IPX8 water-resistance even further.
Get the latest updates on what to expect from the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 - August 2022
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 much about 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.
Find out more about the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
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
OnePlus 10 Ultra - Q3 2022
We don't know for sure that OnePlus is making a 10 Ultra, but it's beginning to look likely.
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.
Read more about the OnePlus 10 Ultra
Pixel 7 - October 2022
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.
Check out all the Pixel 7 rumours so far.
Google Pixel Foldable - October 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 October 2022 along with the Pixel 7.
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.
OnePlus 10 - H2 2022
We thought there wasn't going to be a OnePlus 10, but apparently we were wrong, with rumours now pointing to a launch in the second half of 2022.
It's expected to pack a 120Hz LTPO 2.0 AMOLED screen, super-fast 150W wired charging, and either the latest MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip or Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+.
Read the latest rumours about the OnePlus 10
Osom OV1 - Q4 2022
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.
Read more about the Osom OV1.
Motorola Razr - 2022
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.
Read more about the 2022 Moto Razr.
Huawei Mate 50 - 2022
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.
Read more about the Huawei Mate 50.
OnePlus foldable - 2022
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.
None of this is certain yet, but read our round-up of the OnePlus foldable rumours for the latest gossip.
Samsung Galaxy S22 FE - Q1 2023
After the Galaxy S22 series should come the S22 FE, a cheaper 'fan edition' follow-up with slightly remixed specs.
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.
Read the latest Galaxy S22 FE rumours
Foldable iPhone - 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.