Year after year, smartphone companies come up with exciting models to keep up the momentum. Although 2020 was a dull year due to the pandemic, in 2021 manufacturers accelerated and we witnessed the launch of some exciting smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 (Review) and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Review), and many promising ones have it. not made it to India like Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
2022 is expected to keep the smartphone launch momentum going, and Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoCs will play a big role. We expect fresh new designs from OnePlus, rumors of an iPhone model with a punch camera from Apple, and an interesting foldable from Oppo, to name a few. While there are already a lot of rumors going around, here are some of the upcoming phones that we’re particularly excited about.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra (Review) and Galaxy Z Fold 3 epitomized the spirit of a Galaxy Note device this year as they both supported the S Pen and will most likely continue to do so with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung’s upcoming flagship has received most of the attention in the rumor mill and could be the evolution of the Galaxy Note series as we haven’t seen a successor to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra yet.
The ‘Ultra’ is the most premium model available in the Samsung Galaxy S21 series and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to pack in the latest Snapdragon and Exynos hardware, some cool accessories and a new camera setup. There is also a leaked video showing dummy units of the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus and the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also seems to have a slot for an S Pen. Perhaps the most interesting rumor that has landed recently is that India would finally get the Qualcomm Snapdragon variants of the Galaxy S22 models.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE was a great smartphone that offered features such as an IP68 rating, a high-quality AMOLED display and good camera performance at the lower end of the premium segment. Samsung followed this up with a 5G model called the Galaxy S20 FE 5G and included a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, which proved to be a very good all-rounder in our review. And now there is news about its successor, tagged as the Galaxy S21 FE.
The phone in leaked renders is similar in design to the Galaxy S21 series, but also takes some inspiration from the (Review) camera module of the Galaxy A52s 5G, with a finish that matches the back panel. Previous leaks have also revealed the expected US price tag and even a launch date. According to previous rumors, we can expect the S21 FE to be announced in India in January 2022, in addition to the expected global launch.
Apple iPhone 14 Max
The iPhone 12 (Review) was a big leap over the iPhone 11 (Review) in terms of hardware and design, but was also priced much higher for the base version of 64 GB storage. Apple also introduced the iPhone 12 mini last year, which had some issues, but it quickly resolved most of those issues this year with the iPhone 13 mini (Review), with better cameras and longer battery life. However, those looking for a ‘Plus’ version of the standard iPhone will have no choice but to pay a lot more for the Pro Max model, but that could well change next year.
According to previous reports, it appears that Apple could kill the iPhone 14 mini in favor of a larger iPhone 14 Max. As you may have guessed, the iPhone 14 Max aims to cater to customers who want a large-screen iPhone without having to pay the premium for the Pro model. The rest of the features like the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini can stay the same, with the three-camera setup being reserved for the Pro models. Another rumor also suggests that all iPhone 14 models could have 120Hz LTPO displays. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are also rumored to have punch-hole screens and in-display fingerprint readers. Another rumor also claims that the Pro models could have 48MP primary cameras and 8GB of RAM.
Apple iPhone SE 5G
While it’s hard to recommend the Apple iPhone SE (2020) (Review) in 2021, considering the price and the hardware it offers, it’s still the most affordable iPhone you can buy in India. The first iPhone SE was launched four years earlier than the current model, and now the rumor mill is hinting at another one on the way. Labeled as the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE 5G, previous rumors pointed to a much larger 6.1-inch display compared to the current model’s 4.7-inch display. While previous reports have claimed it could have an Apple A14 Bionic SoC, newer rumors suggest it could be the A15 Bionic instead. What has remained constant in all the rumors is that it is expected to launch in mid-2022 and it will have a single rear camera. Another interesting report also indicates that the iPhone SE 3 could be the first SE model to use Face ID instead of Touch ID. The iPhone SE 3 is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022.
OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus has been making subtle improvements lately with each generation update of its phones. The OnePlus 9 Pro saw a refreshed design and some camera upgrades that made it well worth its higher price tag, as noted in our review. But even better things seem to be heading our way.
A recently leaked render of the upcoming OnePlus 10 Pro has suggested a redesigned camera module, which will keep the three rear cameras as the 9 Pro, but in a new layout, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. While the camera setup may look different, the hardware-level telephoto camera is expected to remain the same as the 9 Pro. As for the specs, the OnePlus 10 Pro is tipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and is said to have a 6.7-inch (1,440 x 3,216 pixels) LTPO Fluid 2 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone is expected to hit the market early next year.
The Xiaomi 12 will be the company’s next premium smartphone to skip the ‘Mi’ branding. Rumors about the Xiaomi 12 have only surfaced recently and were confirmed recently after the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor announcement. The phone is expected to launch on December 28.
A leaked image has also teased the rear camera setup, which includes a 50-megapixel primary camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera. The phone is tipped to arrive in three models: the Xiaomi 12X, Xiaomi 12 and the Xiaomi 12 Pro. According to a recent report, it is also expected to charge 67W fast. New artist-created 3D renderings of the Xiaomi 12 Pro have also appeared online, along with a leaked photo of the case, which matches the rendering surprisingly well, revealing a completely redesigned rear camera module.
Google Pixel 6a
With the Google Pixel 5a 5G only reaching select markets around the world, the Pixel stalwarts in India have now pinned their hopes on the next model, tagged as the Pixel 6a. Little is known about this upcoming smartphone, but a recent report has claimed that it will be powered by the Google Tensor GS101 SoC, which is found in Google’s recently launched Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. An alleged dummy unit of the Pixel 6a also leaked, revealing a design similar to the Pixel 6 series with a similar layout to the rear cameras.
Oppo Find N
The Oppo Find N is Oppo’s first attempt at a production-ready foldable smartphone. The phone will compete with offers from Motorola, Huawei and Samsung, the only major manufacturers to have launched foldable phones at the moment. What makes the Find N so special is Oppo’s claim that its Serene Display has a minimal fold that is up to 80 percent less noticeable compared to current players in this space.
Oppo’s foldable has a metal frame and a side-mounted fingerprint reader. It has a more useful 5.49-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio outdoor display and a 7.9-inch indoor display. The phone has a total of five cameras, including a selfie camera on each screen and three on the back. Oppo has confirmed that the Find N will not go on sale in China until December 23, but we hope the company will launch it in other markets as well.