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(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 2021 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 2021:

  • Oppo Peacock
  • Xiaomi 12
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
  • Nokia X50
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 family
  • Huawei Mate 50 Pro
  • OnePlus 10 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6a
  • Apple iPhone SE 2 Plus
  • Google Pixel Fold
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Oppo Peacock

Oppo has shown off folding phone prototypes before, including an out-folding device. It's thought Oppo might be preparing to launch a device called the Oppo Peacock, a folding phone. A date of December has been suggested, but that's unlikely to be a full consumer release.

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Xiaomi 12

Xiaomi has dropped the Mi from its phone naming, so the next flagship device will be the Xiaomi 12. Some camera rumours have circulated, but apart from that, we suspect this phone will appear alongside the latest Snapdragon launch in December 2021.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE didn't launch as expected in 2021 - with some suggesting it will launch early in 2022 - prior to the launch of the Galaxy S22. You can expect it to offer value for money and prove to be a popular model, with a 6.4-inch display and a camera system the same as the Galaxy S21+.

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Nokia X50

Although there have been many rumours surrounding a Nokia 9 PureView replacement, the trail seems to have gone cold, instead suggesting that Nokia might launch a Nokia 8.3 replacement with five cameras - and possibly called the Nokia X50. This could have a 6.5-inch display, run Snapdragon 700 series hardware and have a 108-megapixel main camera. We're now looking at a 2022 launch.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 family

The Samsung Galaxy S22 family of devices - the S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra are expected to launch in January 2022, running from a 6-inch device up to 6.81-inches. The Ultra will have a 108MP main camera and 12x optical zoom; the smaller phones will have a 50MP main camera. We might also see the Exynos 2200 with AMD GPU available for these devices.

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Huawei Mate 50 Pro

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is said to be huge, with a 7000mAh battery and a 6.8-inch display. It's said to be powered by the Kirin 9000, but we have doubts about Huawei's chip stock. Rumours are now suggesting a March 2022 launch.

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OnePlus 10 Pro

The next-gen OnePlus phone has shown us what it might look like but we've heard little else. But we'd predict Snapdragon 898, a 120Hz LTPO display and more attempts to improve that camera. We'd expect a launch around May 2022.

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Google Pixel 6a

The Google Pixel 6a has seen its first leaks, using a similar design to the Pixel 6 models. It looks as though this model could offer a dual camera, but the main aim would be to offer a cheaper model. There's no telling what might power it, or how much it will cost - and we doubt we'd see it launch until Google I/O at the earliest - so May 2022. 

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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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Google Pixel Fold

News of a folding Pixel first appeared in 2019, with a second leak in 2020 suggesting that the codename was Passport, and that it would be launched in Q4 2021. Plenty of rumours surfaced, but no actual leaks of a production model, raising the question of whether we'll actually see it launch at all.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 3 May 2013.