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Best new phones 2021: Upcoming Apple, Google, Huawei and Samsung handsets – with release dates

From the iPhone 13 to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, here’s a selection of the phones still coming in 2021, and what you can expect from them.

Published: Friday, 30th July 2021 at 1:20 pm

There have already been a number of significant smartphone releases in 2021, but the calendar will really start to heat up during the second half of the year – as tech heavyweights such as Apple, Samsung and Google enter the fray.

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There are still a number of highly-anticipated handsets yet to hit the market, from the latest family of iPhones to the showy Galaxy Z-Fold foldable. Google is still set to unveil a new Pixel series, while launches are also predicted for Sony, Honor and Nokia. For now, the future of Huawei outside of China remains a mystery.

Despite the obvious disruption caused by the global health crisis over the past year, it seems most upcoming releases are largely on schedule to meet release windows of the pre-Covid world, with many tipped for between August and November.

So read on for the best new smartphones that are still set to come out in 2021 and when we think they will be made available for us to get our hands-on.

Our expert reviewers have tested a wide variety of handsets over the past year, and we have compiled several in-depth guides if you are currently shopping for a new phone. Don’t miss our pages for the best budget smartphone, best Android phone, best Sony phone, best Samsung phones, best iPhone and best Huawei phones.

Which new phones are upcoming in 2021?

The year may (somehow) be over half-over, but there’s still a lot of smartphones still to be released before we enter 2022. Here’s a list of upcoming handsets:

  • Apple iPhone 13 series
  • Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Z-Flip
  • Huawei P50
  • Nokia 10
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Sony Xperia 1 III
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
  • OnePlus 9T
  • Honor Magic 3

Best new phones 2021

Apple iPhone 13 series

Apple iPhone 12 mini
Apple

It may feel like only yesterday that we got the iPhone 12, but already eyes are firmly on the next line-up of smartphones from Apple, which launched on 14th September at the latest Apple event. Like the iPhone 12 series, there are again four models in the new range, with at least the Pro version having a 120 Hz display.

If you want to find out more about the existing iPhone 12 series, don’t miss our iPhone 12 review, iPhone 12 Pro review, iPhone 12 Mini review and the iPhone 12 Pro Max review.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 with screen open
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 with screen open Samsung

Samsung is tipped to reveal several new smartphones during its Galaxy Unpacked event on 11th August, including the Z Fold 3. The device is unlikely to get a major design overall, with the next iteration much more likely to refine the concept of a modern foldable phone. Renders suggest the Z-Fold 3 will have a 7.6-inch internal display, a 6.2-inch external display, a 12MP rear camera and S-Pen support.

Pricing is unknown at this stage. However, the Z Fold 2 cost a whopping £1,799 on its release last September. We expect the Z-Fold 3 to follow a similar pricing model when it releases, likely in late August, alongside a new version of the Z-Flip. We are closely following the phones – so be sure to check out our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 release date page and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 release date page for more.

Google Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 

Google Pixel 5

Google looks set to release multiple new smartphones before 2021 comes to an end – including the flagship Pixel 6 series and the more affordable Pixel 5a.

The Pixel 6 is seemingly getting a major design refresh, with renders showing a raised camera module strip that’s now placed along the back of the device and a two-tone colour scheme. There will reportedly be two versions – a base and a pro model – with at least one boasting an in-screen fingerprint scanner. The Pixel 6 is likely to emerge around September or October, priced from around £599.

The Pixel 5a, likely to follow a similar design to the Pixel 5, appears to be following the Google playbook of releasing a cheaper version of the flagship phone roughly a year after launch. It’s tipped for release around August, and while pricing is still unclear, it will likely be from between £350 and £500, based on prior models.

For more information on the new series, including price and specs, be sure to read our Google Pixel 5a release date page and Google Pixel 6 release date page.

Nokia 10

The headquarters of Finnish telecommunication network company Nokia are pictured in Espoo, Finland on April 27, 2017. Finland's telecoms giant Nokia reported that it remained deep in the red at the start of the year, with sales in its main business, networks, on the decline. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva / Vesa Moilanen / Finland OUT (Photo credit should read VESA MOILANEN/AFP via Getty Images)
VESA MOILANEN/AFP via Getty Images

Could 2021 finally be the year that we get our hands on the elusive Nokia 10? We have been waiting for this new phone for some time now and have been tracking it throughout its development, where it ended up going by a variety of names before seemingly settling on the Nokia 10 – a phone that looks to be a new flagship.

Whenever the new phone comes out and whatever it ends up being called, we do know two versions seem to be on the cards, and it appears to have the high-end Snapdragon 865 chip, which should give it a boost over the prior models.

And the biggest question, of course, is whether it will have Snake on it – something we think should be the main selling point of any phone that Nokia comes up with. The latest online speculation suggests that whatever the specs may end up being, it could possibly see the light of day in November – at least for a launch in China. If you’re interested in the Finnish tech brand, you can read our Nokia 3.4 review.

Huawei P50 series

Huawei P50 Poster

Despite years of solid phone releases, Huawei is now a complete wildcard in terms of releases due to its ongoing spat with the U.S. government, which saw it slapped onto a trade blacklist that disrupted its access to Google-owned mobile apps. Now, it is releasing the newest iteration of its photo-focused P50 range in China, but it’s still unclear if the smartphone will ever be available to buy in the UK or Europe.

It’s a bit of a shame. As we detailed in our best Huawei phones guide, some of the firm’s hardware is highly impressive – but the lack of easy access to Google app software remains a big issue. The p50 China launched in China on July 29.

Sony Xperia 1 III

Sony phone
Sony

You would be forgiven for thinking this Sony smartphone already came and went. But no, despite being unveiled in mid-April, the flagship Xperia 1 III is currently scheduled to be released on 19th August this year, priced from £1,199.00.

It boasts a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display, 120Hz refresh rate and a triple-lens camera setup while following Sony’s unique decision to stick with a 21:9 aspect ratio – leaving it a little more long and narrow than other phones on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12 and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

While Sony may be known more for its TVs or gaming consoles these days, we are looking forward to trying the handset hands-on, and based on its photo-taking specs alone, it could end up being the company's most exciting phone in years.

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For the latest news reviews and deals, check out the RadioTimes.com Technology section. Want a new handset and not sure what to buy? Read our guide to the best smartphone of the year so far, and check out our best smartphone for older people guide.

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