The best phones in 2022 are worth getting excited about. We'll see the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max; the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra; and there will be tons of new models from firms including OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei and more. So what can we expect?
Phones in 2022: faster processors, faster charging, cleverer cameras and better battery life
If there's a key theme in the 2022 phones we know about so far, it's "more". More megapixels, with 50MP becoming the new entry level and flagships offering sensors with more than 100MP. It's more performance, with new processor generations delivering faster speeds without killing the battery. And it's more convenience, with considerably faster wired and wireless charging as well as faster Wi-Fi and 5G.
Phones in 2022: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max and 2022 iPhone SE
The iPhones 13 are the best iPhones yet, and they're among the best phones period. We're expecting the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to drop the notch in favour of a hole-punch design and to move up to 48 megapixel camera sensors, and of course there will be a new version of Apple silicon inside with faster performance and better graphics. We're also expecting to see better 5G data speeds thanks to new iPhone 5G modems.
Multiple rumours say there will be a radical redesign of the iPhone 14, although that might just mean getting rid of the notch. But it's been suggested that in the Pro and Pro Max models at least, Apple may use titanium cases for improved strength and lighter weight.
Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, and we'd expect the iPhone 14 to follow that pattern. We also expect the iPhone SE 5G to be launched early in 2022.
Phones in 2022: the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
For every iPhone there's a Samsung, and 2022 will shortly deliver the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The current Samsungs are among the best Android phones and we expect their successors to be even better.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will have the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 895 or Samsung's own Exynos 2200 processor. The GPU gets a boost and AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, which could make the Samsung Galaxy S22 one of the best gaming phones around, and it’s expected to come with faster, more energy efficient RAM too.
The standard S22 is apparently going to shrink down to 6.1 or 6.0 inches; the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is expected to be 6.5 inches and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra should be 6.8 inches. The S22 Ultra’s main camera sensor is rumoured 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.
Phones in 2022: the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
January 2022 marks the long-awaited and long-delayed launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Originally planned for 2021, the more affordable Galaxy S21 was canned as Samsung prioritised processors for foldable phones such as its Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G.
Phones in 2022: the OnePlus 10 Pro
The OnePlus 10 Pro, which is expected to launch in early 2022, is rumoured to have 80W wired and 50W wireless charging, a 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED, a 32MP selfie camera and a main camera assembly featuring a 48MP sensor, a 50MP ultra-wide camera and an 8MP zoom. We like the OnePlus 9 Pro very much, so you may well see the OnePlus 10 Pro in our best phones guide in 2022.
Phones in 2022: the Xiaomi 12, OPPO Find N, Honor Magic 3 and more
The Xiaomi 12 should launch just as 2021 finishes. Leaks say that it’ll have the same Snapdragon processor as the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22, and it will come with features including fast charging, a curved OLED display and a 50MP main camera. A mini and a pro version are expected to launch later in the year.
The Honor 50 has only just launched but the Honor 60 and Honor Magic 3 are gearing up for 2022 launches. The Honor 60 / Honor 60 Pro will have 120Hz curved OLEDs, Snapdragon 7 Series chipsets and impressive cameras with a 108MP sensor. The Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro are predicted to have Snapdragon 888+ chipsets, with the Magic 3 boasting a three-camera assembly and the 3 Pro adding a fourth.
We may also get our hands on the Oppo Find N, the foldable phone that launched in China in December 2021. We don’t know whether it’s going to be released in the UK, Europe or the US but if it is it could be an interesting competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G.
Phones in 2022: affordable Androids, cheap iPhones and budget bargains
The best phones in 2022 won't just be the flagships from the big names. We'd expect stacks of budget bargains from the likes of Motorola and Nokia, who have had very busy 2021s, and whose 2022 line-ups are already looking interesting: expect new arrivals in the Moto G Power range and more cheap phones from Nokia, OnePlus, Samsung and Honor.
The speed and intense competition of the smartphone market means 2022 is going to be a great year for budget phone buyers: the cameras, batteries, screens and processors of previous years' flagship phones will make it into much more affordable phones this year. We can't wait to test them all.