Best upcoming phones: top new smartphones in 2022-2023

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.

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 optimization also mean it’s got no shortage of photography potential.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple’s third-gen SE sticks firmly to the mold 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 earlier 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 refueling.

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 upgraded 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 favorite 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 optimizations maximize the multi-tasking potential of its split screen. Longer battery life and new customization 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 cleverly 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.

Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro

The new Google phone duo landed at the same price as last year’s efforts, but raised the game with superior styling and improved camera smarts. The Pro remains the pick for spec snobs, with a dedicated zoom lens and an ultrawide snapper that doubles up for macro shooting. It’s also got a bigger battery and higher-res, higher-refresh rate screen. Both phones are packing a Tensor G2 processor, though, so are equally nippy when it comes to the algorithm crunching needed to get the best out of Google Assistant and Android 13 in general.

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