Upcoming phones: The future smartphones of 2020 and 2021

(Pocket-lint) – With the pace of smartphone evolution moving so fast, there’s always something waiting in the wings. No sooner have you spied the latest handset, that there’s anticipation for the next big thing.

Here we look at those phones that haven’t yet launched, the upcoming phones for 2021. We’ll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours we think are credible and exciting.

As for already-launched handsets, we’ve rounded up the best smartphones for 2020 elsewhere – those we consider to be the best across all platforms. If your budget is a little smaller, there is also our budget smartphones for under £200 feature – and there’s a mid-range roundup up to £400 as well.

The upcoming generation of phones

Before we dive into the detail, here are some of the anticipated handsets for 2020 and 2021:

  • Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro
  • Nokia 7.3 5G
  • Nokia 9.3 PureView
  • Huawei Mate X2
  • OnePlus Nord N10
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • OnePlus 9
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold E
  • Apple iPhone SE 2 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 13
  • Xiaomi flip phone
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Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro

Huawei is going to update its Mate devices on 22 October 2020 with the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro. We’ve seen plenty of leaks for these phones, with a big camera roundel suggested for the rear, the Mate 40 Pro getting a periscope lens on top of the Mate 40’s offering. Dual front cameras sit in a punch hole in the curved display.

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Huawei Mate X2

Huawei’s next-gen folding phone reportedly has the codename Teton and will shift from the design of the original Mate X with the display on the exterior to one with the display on the interior. Not a lot else has been said about this phone, but we might see it showcased in October 2020.

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OnePlus Nord N10

Clover, Billie, Kebab, Lemonade and Bengal. There’s been a range of codenames leak for future OnePlus devices, all said to be more affordable. We don’t know if all these devices will come to pass, but it looks like OnePlus is about to dive into budget devices in a big way. The first could be the N10, a Nord device for North America, codenamed Kebab followed by the N100, codenamed Clover. Rumours suggest an October 2020 launch could be possible.

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Nokia 7.3 5G

Nokia is looking to add another affordable 5G phone to its selection and it’s rumoured that this phone will use with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G hardware or MediaTek Dimensity. Nokia has confirmed it’s working on more affordable 5G device and that there will be devices on this new Qualcomm hardware in the future. We’re expecting Nokia updates in November 2020.

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Nokia 9.3 PureView

Rumours of a new flagship have been circulating for well over a year, with no sign of the elusive handset. There’s the suggestion that Nokia might be holding an event in November to launch new devices however, and the Nokia 9.3 PureView might be on the list, but it’s been some time since we’ve seen any leaks.

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Samsung Galaxy S21

The Samsung Galaxy S21 could take Samsung in a slightly cheaper direction with an interested inegrated camera housing in the top corner of the rear. A 6.2-inch flat display could adorn the S21 and we’re assuming there will be a larger S21+ launched alongside. Rumours are suggesting a January of February 2021 launch.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung’s next-gen of smartphones are already seeing numerous leaks. We’re expecting a February 2021 launch, we’re expecting the Ultra to keep the big battery and big megapixel cameras and we’re expecting next-gen 5nm processors from Exynos. A design with huge rear camera housing as recently leaked, showing off a fresh new design.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold E

There have been several threads of a rumour that suggest Samsung is looking at more affordable folding phones – and the Galaxy Z Fold E is what we might get. There’s talk of a Fold model with a smaller external display like the Z Flip, designed to sell much cheaper – with $1100 suggested. Could this be a cheaper Fold model for 2021?

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OnePlus 9

OnePlus has been fairly regular in launching its devices and spring 2021 would be when we’d expect to see the OnePlus 9. Nothing has leaked, so far, apart from a potential March 2021 launch window. We’d imagine it will take the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875, expected to be announced in December 2020.

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Apple iPhone SE Plus

As soon as the 2020 iPhone SE was announced, rumours started circulating about a larger model. With the iPhone SE essentially taking the iPhone 8 body, there’s those wondering if a Plus model will be launched to slot into the iPhone 8 Plus space. With the new iPhone 12 mini costing much more than the SE, will Apple fill this cheap-but-big gap?

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Apple iPhone 13

The iPhone 12 has only just launched, but we’re already hearing that Apple might be looking at an under-display Touch ID system. Knowing Apple, the design of the new iPhone would take the same design as the 12, but will it reduce the notch on that display?

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Xiaomi flip phone

Xiaomi has shown off a number of folding prototypes in the past, but now there’s talk that the company is looking to source components from Samsung Display. It’s believed that Xiaomi is interested in producing a folding phone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. That would potentially provide a cheaper entry-point to folding phones and add variety to this growing market.