Technology is constantly developing rapidly, and the smartphone market is no stranger to these changes. Even the onslaught of COVID-19 did not put a pause on smartphone innovation. In 2021 alone, new smartphones have been announced and released, starting from Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series. If you plan on investing in a new phone this year, check out our list of the best upcoming smartphones that are either leaked or rumored to be released to the market in 2021.
20 Best Upcoming Phones in 2021
1. OnePlus 9
OnePlus is well known for its affordable high-quality phones, with the OnePlus 8 being a fan favorite. The upcoming OnePlus 9 looks set to be a major step-up from the OnePlus 8, with its biggest upgrade being Qualcomm’s state-of-the-art Snapdragon 888. Combined with the Adreno 660 GPU, the OnePlus 9 is built for smoother multitasking and gaming performance.
The OnePlus 9 is powered by Android 11 and Oxygen OS 11.1. The phone will also sport a 6.5” by 6.7” screen integrated with an FHD+ AMOLED display. The OnePlus 9 is also designed for low-light photography, featuring a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor in its rear camera.
Aside from that, the OnePlus 9 will have a Triple-Rear camera system that includes a wide-angle, macro, and primary lens. For selfies, the OnePlus 9’s front camera is built with a 32-megapixel camera. Similar to the OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus 9 also has a punch-hole selfie camera.
The OnePlus 9 comes in 8GB and 12GB RAM models, with storage sizes as high as 128 GB or 256 GB. It will also come with a 4,350mAh battery capacity and support 65W of fast wired-charging performance.
2. Huawei P50
If you’re a fan of Huawei, the P50 is the phone to look forward to this year. Well known for their photography capabilities and excellent processing power, Huawei will not disappoint with the P50.
While Huawei is banned on the Google platform, it’s still worth checking out. Although full details of the P50 have yet to be released, it will most likely be developed with a high-end Kirin 9000 5G processor that is reminiscent of its predecessors. The P50 also looks set to have an excellent quad-camera system that sports a 108-megapixel sensor.
3. Apple iPhone 13 Series
Apple’s iPhones are universally well-received, and its upcoming iPhone 13 series is definitely something to look forward to. We don’t have all the details of this series yet, but it’s rumored that it’ll be outfitted with in-screen fingerprint scanners, 1TB storage, a smaller notch, and a screen with higher refresh rates. The iPhone 13 is also believed to be integrated with a periscope camera that enables increased optical zoom range.
As usual, Apple will release upcoming iPhones every September and probably offer the same tradition of handsets. Like all iPhone series to date, the iPhone 13 series will come in a few variations like Pro, Pro Max, and Mini.
4. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Foldable smartphones are all the rage today, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be one of the newest entries to this category. This phone will come with a tablet-sized screen that is perfect for multitasking or on-the-go projects. The Z Fold 3 is also believed to come with an RGB light strip lining its hinge and an integrated in-screen camera.
You can expect the Z Fold 3 to be launched in June or July 2021. Samsung is also planning to release a cheaper version of the phone, similar to the more affordable Galaxy S20 revision.
5. Google Pixel 5A
With Pixel 5, Pixel 4A (5G), and Pixel 4A released last 2020, Pixel fans, at some point, were confused especially the Pixel 4A (5G) and Pixel 5 have numerous similarities. However, Google’s upcoming phone is once again rumored to be released this year in the form of the Pixel 5A.
With the OnLeaks revelation, many people will assume it’s the Pixel 4A (5G). However, given Google’s similarities with earlier flagship devices, it’s normal. That said, no noticeable physical differences are found on the Google Pixel 5A. On the contrary, no rumors and leaks have surfaced yet to describe more about its aesthetics.
Given that the tech giant recently launched three Pixel smartphones in the last quarter of 2020, Pixel fans won’t be hearing of any upcoming phones yet. OnLeaks hasn’t described significant variations yet. That said, it’s safe to assume that the Google Pixel 5A will have upgrades in terms of processing power and other internal components.
6. Apple iPhone SE 3
The iPhone 13 may be out of your price point, so you can settle for the more budget-friendly iPhone SE series instead. And Apple is adding a further update to this series this year, taking the form of the SE 3. While not much is known of the SE 3, it’s believed that the phone will be fitted with an A14 Bionic chipset, similar to the iPhone 12 series.
7. Xiaomi Mi 11 Series
In December 2020, Xiaomi unveiled the all-new Mi 11, where it was revealed to be one of the first smartphones fitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Octa-Core processor. It will also be built with the Adreno 660 GPU.
Xiaomi’s Mi 11 series is 5G-ready and will feature a massive 108-megapixel rear camera and a 20-megapixel front camera. It also sports a maximum of 35% improvement when it comes to performance compared to its predecessor. Xiaomi Mi 11 series comes in 8GB and 12GB RAM, with an internal storage of either 128GB or 256GB.
In terms of battery performance, the Mi 11 is powered by a 4,500mAh battery. Aside from that, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 supports 55W of wired charging, as well as 50W of wireless charging.
8. Samsung Galaxy Note 21 Series
Like Apple’s iPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 21 series is among the most anticipated upcoming phones. However, with rumors abound that Samsung is planning to permanently terminate the release of the Galaxy Note 21, the series may not see a release in 2021.
Despite the rumors, it doesn’t necessarily mean Samsung has canceled the Note 21 series for 2021—there is a higher possibility that the Note 21’s launch will be delayed from late 2021 to early 2022.
9. Samsung Galaxy S21 Series
If you’re not a fan of Samsung’s Note series, another upcoming phone series from the company is the Galaxy S21 series. Similar to Galaxy’s S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra, Samsung will release three primary smartphones in the series. For specs, it’s safe to assume that the Galaxy S21 series will have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset and a minimum of 12GB RAM for storage. One of the noteworthy features that might be included in the S21 Ultra is support for the S-Pen stylus.
No accurate details are provided regarding the final camera setup. As for battery performance, the S21 Plus will include a battery upgrade from 4,500mAh to 4,800mAh. The S21 and S21 Ultra will remain at 4,000mAh and 5,000mAh respectively.
10. Nokia 9.2/9.3 PureView
In 2019, Nokia launched 9 PureView. Now, the company will once again join the roster of modern smartphones with 9.2/9.3 PureView. Not much is known about the 9.2 PureView, with people questioning if it’ll transition to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 for its chipset.
The 9.2 PureView is expected to come with a hidden selfie camera, making it the first of its kind to feature such a camera system. This system will also support a full-screen experience without the integration of a pop-up camera system.
11. Sony Xperia 1 III Compact
Although Sony Xperia is known for its powerful specs and performance, the upcoming Xperia 1 III Compact is still packed with a few significant improvements. Sony’s Android smartphones are popular for their state-of-the-art displays. Some reports describe that the upcoming Sony Xperia 1 III Compact has a 15% brighter display compared to the Sony Xperia 1 II.
Rumors about the Xperia 1 III Compact include a 5.5” screen, as well as an upper mid-range processor. Aside from that, this phone will feature an all-new selfie camera, 4K display, and 21:9 aspect ratio. In addition to the Xperia 1 III Compact, Sony is also scheduled to release the standard Xperia 1 III for 2021.
12. Nokia 10
Apart from its line of PureView smartphones, Nokia is also set to roll out Nokia 10, which will be one of the first Nokia smartphones with 5G capabilities. Like its predecessors, the Nokia 10 is likely to have an improved camera system, fitted with a 32-megapixel front camera and a ZEISS-built rear camera.
The Nokia 10 will also have a 120 Hz refresh rate, 6.7″ screen, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Octa-Core chipset. The phone will also be built with a fingerprint scanner and support 55W of fast-charging performance with a 5,000mAh battery capacity.
13. LG Rollable
Another upcoming phone in 2021 with non-traditional designs is the LG Rollable. As its name suggests, this phone will literally feature a rollable screen—definitely a completely new concept for smartphones.
LG’s short teaser of the LG Rollable depicts it as a device that extends from smartphone to tablet without folding required. While the phone’s 2021 release is not yet set in stone, it looks set to be a modern smartphone with a screen extending in one single direction. Since the base is hidden, the smartphone appears as a traditional phone when the screen isn’t extended.
According to rumors, the screen can extend from 6.8” to 7.4”. Aside from that, LG Rollable may have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset, a 4,200mAh battery, and 16GB RAM.
14. Oppo Find X3 Pro
The Oppo CPH2173 was recently found on the FCC Certification website and is believed to be the prototype name for Oppo’s upcoming Find X3 Pro. This phone’s rear camera system is expected to be similar to Apple’s iPhone 12 models with a slight variation of a bumped-up camera setup. It will also come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Octa-Core chipset.
Furthermore, the Find X3 Pro will sport a stunning 6.7” Super AMOLED with a 3,216 by 1,440 Quad HD pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. For the camera, Oppo’s Find X3 Pro has a Quad rear camera system that also features a 25x zoom macro lens.
As for the battery, the Find X3 Pro will be fitted with a 4,500mAh pack and support 25W of wireless charging and 65W of fast charging.
15. Google Pixel 6
Another upcoming phone from Google is the Pixel 6. One of the latest rumors describes Google Pixel 6’s under-display front camera. Although the Pixel 6 isn’t expected to be bigger, the upcoming phone sports a 6.2” Full HD+ OLED screen.
With Google Pixel 6, you’ll own one of the first smartphones to run on the latest Google OS i.e. the Android 12. Google Pixel 6 is also powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset. Aside from that, it supports 5G connectivity and has an all-new image processing system.
As part of its excellent camera system, the Pixel 6 will be developed with a dual-camera system. That said, the upcoming Google Pixel phone will likely have a 16MP-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 12-megapixel primary lens. Google Pixel 6 will also have 8GB, DDR4 RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. Aside from that, the Pixel 6 comes with a 4,000mAh battery with support for wireless and wired charging.
16. Asus Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro
The Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro is Asus’ upcoming phone for 2021. Similar to the 6th Gen Asus smartphones, the upcoming Asus Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro will have a 90Hz refresh rate and motorized flip camera module. Although both devices are similar, the Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro is powered by a different processor.
Asus Zenfone 7 is built with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Octa-Core chipset. Asus Zenfone 7 series run on ZenUI 7 and GPU Adreno 650. The storage variation includes 6GB and 8GB LPDDR5 RAM, as well as 128GB internal storage. With a microSD card, Zenfone 7 can be expanded to a maximum of 2TB.
For camera setup, the Zenfone 7 has a Triple flip camera system. The upcoming phone sports a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with a 113-degree view range, and a 64-megapixel primary camera. Aside from that, the Zenfone 7 includes an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor with a 3x optical lens for zooming capabilities.
Asus’ Zenfone 7 series is powered by a 5,000mAh battery with support for 30W of fast-charging capacity.
17. Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro
To contrast Xiaomi’s Redmi K series, the Redmi K40 Pro will have major improvements. This phone might come outfitted with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, combined with the 660 GPU of Adreno. This will make it one of the best phones for light multitasking and heavy-duty gaming.
The Redmi K40 Pro will also feature a 6.8” Super AMOLED display with 3,200 by 1,440 QHD+ resolution and a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus screen protection. According to rumors, the Redmi K40 Pro is built with a Quad rear camera system consisting of a 2-megapixel depth sensor, 5-megapixel macro sensor, 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 108-megapixel primary camera.
The Redmi K40 Pro comes with a 4,600mAh battery that supports 50W of fast charging capacity. Other integrations include stereo speakers, USB Type-C port, and fingerprint scanner. The upcoming phone comes with 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage or 12GB RAM with 256GB internal storage.
18. Realme V15 5G
Realme fans, good news! The company will be rolling out an all-new model: the V15 5G. This will be one of the first smartphones integrated with a MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G Octa-Core chipset. It will also be powered by Android 10 based on Realme UI, featuring 6GB and 8GB RAM variants and includes 128GB internal storage.
The V15 5G features a 6.4” Super AMOLED display, built with a left-aligned punch-hole 2,400 by 1,080 FHD+ pixel resolution. Aside from that, Realme’s upcoming phone has a 411 pixel-per-inch pixel density and a 20:9 aspect ratio.
In terms of camera hardware, the V15 5G features a triple rear camera system, comprising a 2-megapixel depth-sensing camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 64-megapixel primary lens camera.
19. OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Apart from the OnePlus 9, OnePlus is also slated to release the Nord N10 5G in 2021. Unlike the Snapdragon 765G of OnePlus Nord, the N10 5G is one of the first smartphones to use the Snapdragon 690 chipset for an all-new performance.
With a Quad rear camera system, you can have a 64-megapixel, 8-megapixel, and a 2-megapixel sensor for stunning photos straight from the Nord N10 5G. Aside from that, the Nord N10 5G’s display sports a 6.49” Full HD LCD, and a 90Hz refresh rate.
20. Xiaomi Black Shark 4
One of the upcoming gaming phones for 2021 is the Xiaomi Black Shark 4. There is a rumor that the gaming smartphone will have an aluminum unibody exterior with a glass rear cover. The phone will also have a 6.67” Super AMOLED display integrated with a 395 pixel-per-inch density, and a 1,080 by 2,400-pixel resolution. Built with a high-end Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 as well as an Adreno 660 GPU, the Black Shark 4 runs on Android’s latest operating system.
Aside from its gaming-friendly features, Xiaomi’s Black Shark 4 has an excellent triple rear camera system. It consists of a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and 108-megapixel primary lens. Black Shark 4’s front camera also features a 20-megapixel wide lens with HDR capabilities.
When it comes to charging, the Xiaomi Black Shark 4 has a 4,850mAh battery that can be charged with 65W of fast-charging capabilities, allowing you to charge the phone in less than 45 minutes.
Available colors for Xiaomi Black Shark 4 include Star Silver, Armor Gray, and Lightning Black.
Best Upcoming Phones to Look Forward to in 2021
While we’re not quite out of the woods for COVID-19 yet in 2021, our beloved smartphone manufacturers have not been resting on their laurels. With at least 20 best upcoming smartphones slated for release this year, there is definitely something to perk you up amidst the gloominess of the pandemic.