Like to follow every new smartphone launch like a hawk? Your diary will be busy in 2022: from affordable blowers to fresh flagships to folding phones, there’s no shortage of upcoming phones on the horizon.
While the silicon shortage isn’t totally solved, mobile makers do at least seem to have a handle on the chip sitch. Which is welcome news for smartphone fans: with production plans looking a little less wobbly, 2022 is shaping up as a bumper year for new handsets.
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, so you’ll know exactly which smartphones you can expect to see in 2022. And we’ll keep this list regularly updated with news of upcoming phones.
The biggest smartphones released so far in 2022
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.
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.
The best upcoming 2022 phones
Nothing Phone 1
There’s been much ado about Nothing over the last 12 months. Project of OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, Nothing’s already made a splash with its Ear 1 wireless earbuds. Now, the tech upstart has officially announced that it will produce a long-rumoured smartphone.
Set to arrive this summer, we know that the handset will be powered by unidentified Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware. We also know that its OS will be based on Android, but overlayed with an interface called Nothing OS. Pei has made clear that he wants to produce an alternative to Apple’s integrated software/hardware ecosystem, and the Nothing phone looks likely to be the first time we see that attempt in action.
A preview of the phone’s launcher will be reportedly be released to certain Android phones in April. Beyond that, we have some very basic interface shots and a confirmed name: phone. Otherwise, concrete info about the Nothing smartphone is in pretty short supply.
Huawei P60 Pro
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 – including 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 expected to arrive in the middle of 2022. 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.
Google Pixel Fold
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, in order to focus on a fresh handset for release later in the year. 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.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 & Z Flip 4
An early and eager advocate for foldable phones, Samsung shows no sign of staying flat in 2022. Having launched the hugely expensive Z Fold 3 and funkier, marginally more affordable Z Flip 3 in 2021, there’s every chance we’ll see successors to both devices arrive this year.
There’s little concrete intel circulating about the specs or design of either smartphone, but we’d hope to see Samsung focus its efforts on reducing the visible crease that currently plagues the centre of its foldable devices. Improved cameras would also be nice, as would somewhere to stash the S Pen on the Z Fold 4. What we’d like most? A lower price tag, at least for the Flip.