The future smartphones of 2020

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:

  • Google Pixel 4a
  • OnePlus 8 Lite/OnePlus Nord
  • Asus ROG Phone 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
  • Xiaomi flip phone
  • Apple iPhone 12 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold E
  • Nokia 9.3 PureView
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Pixel 5 
  • Nokia 7.3 5G
  • Apple iPhone SE 2 Plus

Google Pixel 4a

Google’s affordable handset offers access to that great Google camera, but in a phone that’s more affordable. It looks like there’s going to be a Pixel 4a to appeal to those on a tighter budget, along with a punch hole front camera, 3.5mm headphone socket and a single camera on the back. Rumours suggested a May launch, then a June launch – now it’s not expected until 13 July, although even that’s in doubt, with some saying that the Pixel 4a might be launched as the entry-level Pixel 5 instead.


OnePlus 8 Lite/Z/Nord

OnePlus looks like it’s going to offer an affordable phone of its own, which might be called the OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus Z. This phone might sit on MediaTek hardware or Snapdragon 765 and make a few compromises, but may well offer a more affordable entry point to OnePlus’ devices. It didn’t launch with the OnePlus 8 models, so might appear in the middle of 2020, with 10 July a rumoured date.


Asus ROG Phone 3

Asus has another gaming phone coming down the line in the form of the ROG Phone 3. It’s confirmed to be powered by the Snapdragon 865 and we’re expecting a triple camera system on the rear. A 6.59-inch display is expected on the front of the phone.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Rumours have appeared about an update to the Galaxy Z Flip. Firstly, we’re expecting a 5G version, but we’ve more recently hear that this 5G version might be launching with upgraded hardware, sitting on Snapdragon 865, meaning it will be a more powerful phone.


Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 / Galaxy Z Fold 2

Rumours have suggested that Samsung will be updating the current Fold with a new generation of phone. It’s expected that this will be a flagship grade phone with Snapdragon 865 with 5G and the cameras from the Galaxy S20+. We suspect it will also have the ultra thin glass of the Galaxy Z Flip. That’s likely to see it as a premium device, although reports say Samsung wants to keep the price under control, so it might be cheaper than the original.

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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.


Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 5G

With the iPhone 11 series launched and out of the way, the big question over 5G remains. Apple had said it wouldn’t launch a 5G phone in 2019 and it didn’t – but long before the iPhone 11 surfaced there were rumours about the 2020 iPhone – the iPhone 12. There’s talk of a new squarer design, no notch, 5G and OLED displays for all four models. But is this just a fan wishlist?


Samsung Galaxy Fold E

There have been several threads of a rumour that suggest Samsung is looking at most affordable folding phones – and the Galaxy Fold E is what we might get. Firstly we’ve heard that Samsung is looking at a price drop on a special edition in mid-2020 that will clear out old stock and make room for the Galaxy Fold 2. But there’s also talk of a Fold model with a small external display like the Z Flip, designed to sell much cheaper – with $1100 suggested. 


Nokia 9.3 PureView

The word on the street is that Nokia wants to update the Nokia 9, but to get it on Snapdragon 865 it’s delaying until later in 2020 – most likely IFA in August or September. That’s probably because of the work needed to get the camera system working on the new hardware. Where was the Nokia 9.1 and 9.2? A rumoured Snapdragon 855 version never appeared, which might account for the 9.1 number being skipped – and other other models for 2020 moving to x.3, we suspect the Nokia 9 would too.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is expected to take the 120Hz display of the S20 series, the camera of the S20+ and present a new phone with S Pen powers. We’re expecting two sizes, like the Note 10, and a launch some time in August 2020. Some are saying that there will be a Note 20 Ultra – rather than a Note 20+ although the two names are being used interchangeably. 


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 September 2020.


Apple iPhone SE 2 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.


Google Pixel 5

Google’s next phone has already seen some interesting leaks. There’s the suggestion that it will use the Snapdragon 765 to make it more affordable and it might ditch the Soli radar tech which had limited functionality. We’re still expecting two sizes of phone, but we wouldn’t expect to see them until October 2020.