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The biggest smartphones released so far in 2022
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
After the success of last year’s Galaxy S20 FE – or ‘Fan Edition’ – the follow-up model treads a finer line between affordable flagship and mid-range wingman to the full-fat Samsung Galaxy S21. It packs the same 5nm processor tech, the same 120Hz refresh rates and the same 12MP main camera as the headline handset but, at £699 ($699), costs £70 ($100) less for the 128GB version.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Series
Samsung’s latest line-up of flagship smartphones features three models: the standard Galaxy S22, the larger S22 Plus and the flagship S22 Ultra, which standards apart in terms of specs, styling and price. The S22 and Plus follow closely in the footsteps of last year’s S21, while the top-end S22 Ultra takes up the phablet mantle from the now-defunct Note series – complete with S Pen support.
The best upcoming 2022 phones
Snapdragon’s new 8 Gen 1 processor has arrived, ready to power the next generation of Android flagships. And the Xiaomi 12 could be one of the first blowers out of the box with the new chip.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 paired a flagship spec sheet with premium looks at a sensible price, even if its software wasn’t the most refined. If the Xiaomi 12 goes the same way, it could be one of 2022’s best-value handsets.
With no more ‘Mi’ in the name, the Xiaomi 12 is predicted to launch in the first few months of 2022. Rumours about the new device abound, with talk of everything from 200MP main cameras to under-display selfie snappers.
Probably the more realistic expectation is that the Xiaomi 12 will improve on its predecessor by boosting performance, tweaking camera quality and sticking with broadly the same design. All of which should make it a stellar smartphone – provided the incoming MIUI 13 interface isn’t too clunky.
Realme GT 2 Pro
Touted as Realme’s “first and most premium flagship”, the GT 2 Pro is also set to ship equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Previous Realme devices have delivered top-notch performance at more affordable prices than the big-name blower brands, but they’ve always cut a couple of corners to get there.
Last year’s Realme GT, for example, featured a fantastic CPU, punchy 120Hz display and glass back – but also had average battery life and cameras.
That approach looks set to change in 2022, with Realme lining up to launch an “ultra-premium flagship”. Early reports suggest the GT 2 Pro will support lightning-fast 125W charging, run Realme’s UI 3.0 (based on Android 12) and pack a 50MP primary camera – all in addition to that cutting-edge Snapdragon processor.
Pricing is far from confirmed, but we’d expect the Realme GT 2 Pro to hit shelves somewhere around the £475 / $650 mark when it arrives (which should be in the first quarter).
OnePlus 10 / Pro
We already knew that OnePlus would be skipping the 9T and moving straight to the OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro flagships in 2022.
Rather than keep its new smartphones under wraps, OnePlus has already revealed the full design and specs for the Pro model. True to leaked renders, the powerhouse packs a wraparound camera housing which harbours triple 48MP, 50MP and 8MP sensors with Hasselblad optics.
Beneath its natty matte shell lives Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicone, a huge 5000mAh battery (with support for rapid 80W wired charging) plus top-end LDDR5 RAM. Up front, buyers will find a 6.7in 120Hz AMOLED display.
Details about the OnePlus 10 are less concrete – and there’s still no firm word on when exactly either will hit shelves in the UK or US. But with the OnePlus 10 Pro already available in China, we hopefully shouldn’t have too long to wait. Watch this space.