With the Samsung Galaxy S22, OnePlus 10, Android 13 and much more all incoming, 2022 is already shaping up to be a bumper year for Android: we’re expecting some of the very best phones we’ve ever seen launch, alongside new processors, vastly improved cameras and even better versions of Android itself.
It looks like the competition for the best Android phones crown is going to be fiercer than ever, and that's really exciting for Android phone users, as it means world-first features and new levels of premium and performance.
Here’s what Android in 2022 is going to bring us.
Android in 2022: Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The most talked-about phone in 2022 is likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S22 and its bigger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The current Samsungs are our picks of the best Android phones in 2021 and we expect their successors to be similarly high achievers.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is expected to have the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 895, which is a 4nm chip, or the South Korean firm's own Exynos 2200 processor. The GPU gets a boost and AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, which could mean the S22 is one of the best gaming phones as well as an excellent all-rounder, and it’s expected to get faster, more energy efficient RAM too. The standard S22 is going to be slightly smaller at 6.1 or 6.0 inches; we expect the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus to be 6.5 inches and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to be 6.8 inches. The S22 Ultra’s main camera sensor is expected to be 108MP, with the other models getting 50MP.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra appears to be moving into the same territory the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 inhabits: the most recent leaks show an S Pen and space for it.
We’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra launch date to be February 2022. And we’re also expecting a price hike: repeated rumours suggest that the 2022 Samsung Galaxy range will be more expensive than last year’s phones.
Android in 2022: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, maybe
The will-they-won’t-they release saga may finally end in January with the long-awaited and long-delayed launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Originally scheduled for 2021, it was reportedly cancelled as Samsung prioritised processors for foldable such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G. But then it was un-cancelled, and is expected to launch in Europe in January.
Android in 2022: OnePlus 10 Pro
Leakers are saying that the OnePlus 10 Pro, which is expected to launch in early 2022, will have 80W wired and 50W wireless charging, a 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED, a 32MP selfie camera and a main camera assembly of a 48MP sensor, a 50MP ultra-wide camera and an 8MP zoom. We like the OnePlus 9 Pro a lot, so the OnePlus 10 Pro could well end up in our best phones guide in 2022.
Android in 2022: Xiaomi 12
Here’s another possible candidate for our best phones guide: the Xiaomi 12, which should launch just as 2021 finishes. Leaks indicate it’ll have the same Snapdragon processor as the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22, with fast charging, a curved OLED display and a 50MP main camera. Smaller and larger models should follow later in the year.
Android in 2022: Oppo Find N, Honor Magic 3 and more
The excellent Honor 50 has only just launched but the Honor 60 and Honor Magic 3 are planned for 2022 launches. The Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro will have big 120Hz curved OLEDs, Snapdragon 7 Series chipsets and cameras with a 108MP sensor. The Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro are expected to have Snapdragon 888+ chipsets, with the Magic 3 getting a three-camera assembly and the 3 Pro getting four.
We’re also hoping we’ll be able to get our hands on the Oppo Find N, the foldable phone that launched in China in December 2021. So far we don’t know whether it’s going to be released in the UK, Europe or the US but it could be an interesting competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G - not least in the camera department, where the Oppo will have a 50MP sensor on the back and 32MP on the front.
Android in 2022: Android 12L and Android 13
The best Android phones will start 2022 on Android 12, but by the end of the year they’ll be upgrading to Android 13.
We’re expecting to see not one but two versions of Android this year. Android 13 is expected to go into beta in May with a fourth beta in August and a final release in the last quarter of the year. And Android 12L, a version of Android designed for larger displays such as tablets, is expected to launch in the first quarter of the year. Android 12L isn’t dramatically different in its core, but it changes the UI to make it much more tablet-friendly and adds a multitasking bar for split-screen working. Android on tablets has lagged far behind Apple’s iPadOS so this is going to make Android tablet firms very happy. We’d expect it to be rolled into Android 13 too, which is still shrouded in secrecy but which should offer the usual annual feast of UI, accessibility and performance improvements.