The top smartphones to expect in 2021

Regardless of every part else that occurred in 2020, we had been handled to a variety of nice smartphones from the entire traditional suspects, together with the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Observe 20, the Google Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, and the iPhone 12 household.

For 2021 we are able to anticipate to see replacements to virtually all telephones that launched in 2020. In addition to these talked about above, we’ll see upgrades from OnePlus, Nokia, Huawei and others, plus a possible new rolling display form-factor from LG.

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There is also one thing of a reshuffle from Samsung, which is rumored to be giving its upcoming Galaxy S21 Extremely assist for the S Pen stylus, doubtlessly ringing a loss of life knell for the long-serving Galaxy Observe.

First printed in December 2020, this text might be up to date because the 12 months progresses

Samsung Galaxy S21 household

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has leaked already, and its digicam is larger than ever


Anticipated to reach sooner than regular, we might see the brand new Galaxy S21 smartphone household from Samsung as early as January. Extra particularly, Samsung’s first Unpacked product launch occasion of 2021 is tipped for January 14, which is three days after the digital doorways open to the 12 months’s online-only CES know-how present.

Lots has already been seen of the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Extremely. If leaked photos show to be correct, then all three telephones may have new rear digicam modules and coloration choices. The flagship S21 Extremely is rumored to have a 108-megapixel major sensor, plus a pair of 10-megapixel picture sensors, one in every of which may have 10x optical zoom capabilities.

The most recent piece of S21 gossip is how the Extremely mannequin might be appropriate with Samsung’s S Pen stylus, previously an unique to the Observe cellphone and pill sequence. It is thought this might sign the retirement of the Observe vary in 2021.

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Nokia offices
2020 was a quiet 12 months for Nokia

A brand new flagship cellphone from Nokia has been rumored for over a 12 months now, however has but to reach. We hope to see a brand new mannequin, doubtlessly known as the 9.3 PureView or Nokia 10, sooner or later in 2021. Nokia tends to announce new telephones early within the 12 months, so hopefully we’ll have extra to say on this quickly.

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OnePlus 9

OnePlus smartphones
The brand new OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional are attributable to arrive in March 2021


Anticipated to land round April or Could, the most recent Android cellphone from OnePlus will seemingly characteristic top-notch specs at a worth beneath a few of its flagship competitors. It is going to be powered by the most recent, best Snapdragon chipset, have a 120hz show of round 6.8 inches, and a powerful digicam system.

OnePlus has elevated its costs lately, and launched the cut-price Nord cellphone to supply one thing extra reasonably priced. It is going to be fascinating to see if that march upmarket continues in 2021, or if the corporate has discovered a cushty spot beneath the pricier flagships of Apple and Samsung.

LG rollable cellphone


LG is rumoured to be engaged on a rolling smartphoneiStock

Because the weird rotating Wing cellphone proved in 2020, LG is not afraid of making uncommon handsets. For 2021 the corporate is rumored to be engaged on a handset with a rollable show. That approach, the cellphone might enhance in measurement as its display expands like a scroll on two rollers. This may give LG a compelling various to the folding telephones of Samsung and Huawei, however with out utilizing hinges whereas nonetheless using the advantages of versatile show panels.

A rolling cellphone can also be unlikely to endure from the creases seen throughout the screens of folding telephones. LG’s as-yet unnamed rolling cellphone is predicted as early as March 2021.

Huawei P50 household

Photo of Huawei sign on a building
Huawei telephones nonetheless miss out on Google apps and companies


Nonetheless an unfamiliar sight in Western markets and missing entry to Google companies, Huawei is predicted to soldier on in 2021 with a brand new P50 household of telephones within the first quarter of the 12 months. Little or no is thought for now, however given the corporate’s previous technique we are able to anticipate to see an everyday P50 alongside a extra highly effective P50 Professional and bigger P50 Professional Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
The brand new Galaxy Flip is predicted sooner or later in 2021


There was no Z Flip 2, however given we now have had the Z Flip and Z Flip 5G, it stands to purpose that the subsequent mannequin would be the 3 – and that approach it will possibly sit neatly alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3, additionally due in 2021.

This might be Samsung’s newest clamshell-style folding flip cellphone. It’s rumored to have a 120hz show and a design that’s narrower than the present mannequin. Most folding telephones want slimming right down to match the aesthetics of normal telephones, so we expect this can be a development Samsung and others will observe in 2021 and 2022, because the design and folding mechanisms of those handsets are step by step improved and made smaller.

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Google Pixel 5a

Google Pixel 4a in Barely Blue
A alternative for the Google Pixel 4a is due in 2021


Google is predicted to take care of its traditional replace cycle for 2021, which can start with a brand new cellphone seemingly known as the Pixel 5a. This might be a less expensive model of the $699 Pixel 5, seemingly swapping in a much less premium design and doubtlessly a bigger display, as with the Pixel 4a, in return for a lower cost.

We anticipate to see the identical digicam know-how as Google has used for the previous couple generations of Pixel, forward of an overdue pictures refresh for the Pixel 6 later in 2021.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
A 3rd-generation Galaxy Z Fold might arrive in Q3 of 2021


As talked about earlier, Samsung is predicted to disclose a third-generation of its flagship folding cellphone, the Galaxy Z Fold, in 2021. Due within the second half of the 12 months, the cellphone will seemingly be slimmer and somewhat extra compact than the cumbersome Z Fold 2.

There’s the potential that Samsung will begin including all-new options to every iteration of Z Fold, given the potential demise of the Observe vary. This might imply the corporate’s first in-display selfie digicam, the place the lens is hidden beneath the show panel. Nonetheless this stays to be seen, and we seemingly will not know for certain till the third quarter of 2021.

At the very least Samsung’s continued push to refine the folding cellphone idea ought to encourage different producers to affix in, broadening the vary of handsets out there and driving their excessive costs down.

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Samsung Galaxy Observe 21

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Is the Galaxy Observe no extra? Samsung tipped to retire iconic handset


It’s wanting more and more like Samsung won’t replace its Galaxy Observe smartphone for 2021. With its stylus assist and enormous display, the handset has morphed lately from a distinct segment product with a slice of the market all to itself, to a cellphone that’s far too just like the most recent from Samsung’s Galaxy S vary.

We hope to be proved mistaken, however with rumors of the S21 Extremely gaining S Pen stylus assist, we concern the writing is on the wall.

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Apple iPhone 13 household

Apple iPhone 12
Would possibly the iPhone 12 to be the primary to haven’t any ports in any respect?

Though the iPhone 12 was a number of weeks late this 12 months, we absolutely anticipate Apple to return to its traditional mid-September launch schedule for the subsequent mannequin. This may very well be known as the iPhone 12 S or iPhone 13, and we anticipate to see three fashions, as per the iPhone 12.

A smaller Face ID notch can be welcome, or maybe even a Contact ID fingerprint reader hidden behind the show, as we now have seen on different smartphones for a few years now. Efficiency enhancements are a given (a truism proper throughout the smartphone business), and digicam enhancements too.

One rumor we now have seen for some time now could be how the subsequent iPhone – or at the least one variant of the subsequent iPhone household – may need no ports in any respect. We are able to see Apple leaning in on its MagSafe wi-fi charging know-how and providing a cellphone with no Lightning port, however initially restrict this omission to at least one mannequin of the iPhone 13 household.

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Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 5

Google’s Pixel 5 substitute is predicted in the direction of the top of 2021GearBrain

Lastly, we anticipate Google to additionally follow its traditional schedule for 2021. This may imply a brand new cellphone, seemingly known as the Pixel 6, arriving in the direction of the top of the 12 months. Given Google has used the identical digicam know-how for a number of years now, we hope a giant improve is on the way in which for 2021 to assist the corporate win again the smartphone pictures crown it as soon as held.