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 2020. 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:

  • OnePlus 8T
  • Nokia 7.3 5G
  • Nokia 9.3 PureView
  • Apple iPhone 12 5G
  • Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro
  • Huawei Mate X2
  • OnePlus Nord N10
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold E
  • Apple iPhone SE 2 Plus
  • Xiaomi flip phone
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OnePlus 8T

OnePlus has scheduled in an event for 14 October when it’s going to launch the OnePlus 8T. The company has already started revealing details, including 120Hz display support and 65W charging. There’s also no OnePlus 8T Pro.

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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.

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Apple iPhone 12

Apple is expected to launch a range of iPhone 12 models in October 2020, likely including two sizes of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. It’s thought that 5G will be included for the first time, along with a 120Hz display. As always with Apple, reliable leaks have been few.

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Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro

Huawei is expected to update its Mate devices in October 2020 with the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro. We’ve not seen a huge number of leaks for these phones, but design leaks suggest a big camera roundel on 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.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung’s next-gen of smartphones are already seeing numerous leaks. At the moment we don’t know if they will be called S21 or S30 – but we’re sure there will be a full family of devices just as there was in 2020. 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.

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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. We might not see this cheaper Galaxy Fold until 2021.

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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. While many say that this phone is unlikely to appear (4 year old design and priced higher than the SE makes it close to the XR) there’s some saying that it will appear in early 2021.

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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.

Writing by Chris Hall.