Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's 'best phone' status is about to get three major challenges

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra startup screen
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra tops TechRadar's list of the best phones on the market right now, and it's easy to see why.

Whether you're a photography fan who needs a DSLR-rivaling smartphone, a constant note-taker who likes the look of the S Pen stylus, or someone who spends loads of time gaming or streaming video, there's lots to love.

However the phone's high price can put some people off, and that's why it's great that there are rivals to sway your attention. And in the next few days, three new ones are launching that could steal you away from the Galaxy.

We'll run you through these three phones, in the order they're set to launch, so you know what to expect.

The ZTE Axon 30 and 30 Ultra

The ZTE Axon 30 and 30 Ultra (Image credit: Future)

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

ZTE's Axon 40 line is set to debut on Monday, May 9, and there's said to be an Ultra member of the family coming along for the ride.

This sounds like a giant phone which bears more than a passing resemblance to the S22 Ultra according to one leak, though with an in-display selfie camera so the screen looks unbroken.

It's said to have three 64MP rear cameras, 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, and a 2K 6.8-inch screen - so it sounds impressive in a range of ways.

We'll have to see if this one becomes widely available because lots of ZTE Axon phones get launched outside the company's home region of China, but not all of them.

Sony Xperia 1 III

The Sony Xperia 1 III (Image credit: TechRadar)

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony's flagship phones are often super-powerful - and super-expensive, and the company has confirmed that something is launching on May 11 - Sony Xperia 1 IV, perhaps?

Xperia phones are designed for creative professionals, with camera lenses and sensors built by the same minds that create Sony's Alpha cameras, and with extra tools lie the ability to use it as an extra viewfinder for photography.

Plus, they're often just as powerful as Samsung's phones, and the displays have a 4K resolution which gives them the trophy when it comes to high-res displays.

We don't know what Sony is planning to do new in the Xperia IV, but if we see some impressive improvements, the new handset could have the Galaxy beat.

Honor Magic 3 Pro

(Image credit: Honor)

Honor Magic 4 Pro

May 12 brings the final big launch of the week, and it's from Honor. It's actually the global launch of the Honor Magic 4 series, which we've already seen one member of.

This is the Honor Magic 4 Pro, and due to it already part-launching earlier in the year, we already know lots about it. It's set to have a 6.81-inch 120Hz screen, a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and an eye-catching design.

Perhaps the highlights, on paper, are its cameras: there's a 50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide and 64MP telephoto trio on the back, and a 12MP camera and 3D Time-of-Flight sensor for selfies.

We'll have to see just how well it performs in action, but if it's priced right, this could be a top contender for our 'best phones' title.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.