Upcoming smartphones of 2022 - we're looking forward to these in India

An unofficial render showing the OnePlus 10 Pro from the front and back
(Image credit: OnLeaks / Zouton)

As 2021 winds down, we are left with images of the global chipset shortage, reduced smartphone shipments and missed flagship announcements. However, there is also the silver lining in the form of leaks and rumors of upcoming handsets that point to a much more exciting 2022, and more specifically the first quarter of the year. 

Most of the top brands have flagship devices in the works and leaks and renders till date suggest some design changes and improved performances. We have heard of a totally revamped rear camera set-up to under-the-screen selfie cams and  rounded and / or flat edges as part of these innovations. 

Of course, there are a few crazy ones  such as Samsung's foldable and stretchable device or a few rollable smartphones for which companies have sought patents. We also heard that Oppo wants to do away with the camera bump on the rear. 

Additionally, the rumors around the specifications suggest that top brands are vying to offer smoother performance across multiple use cases, be it watching movies or playing mobile games. The 120Hz screen refresh rates are now passe as are 108MP shooters and fast-charging options. As we eagerly await the flagships of 2022, listed here are some handsets that we would love to get our hands on... and pronto! 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Series

The Samsung Galaxy S21 face down on a table.

(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Series

- Announcement in January or February
- Similar designs for the S22 and S22 Plus
- A plastic back for all models except the Ultra
- An S-Pen slot for the Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Slightly different screen sizes to the S21 range
- Big camera changes planned
- Smaller batteries for all except the Ultra
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chipset

The Samsung Galaxy S22 series could land soon, with a January or February 2022 launch date looking highly likely, and the leaks and rumors have been coming in thick and fast for all three devices in the line.

These are to be the successors to 2021's Samsung Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra, but have also got the big boots of the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 to fill, with 2021's late-year flagship actually canceled, much to the chagrin of Samsung fans.

The Galaxy S22 is therefore the next big flagship from Samsung, and since the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 was cancelled, it will be the first big traditional phone from the company to come out in a year.

OnePlus 10 Series

An unofficial render showing the OnePlus 10 Pro from the front and back

(Image credit: OnLeaks / Zouton)
OnePlus 10 Series

- Announcement in January or February
- A major design change with the rear-camera island
- Overall design may look similar to OnePlus 9 series
- Camera set-up could get an upgrade
- Slight upgrade on batter power possible
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chipset

The OnePlus 10 is the next big smartphone we're expecting to see from the Chinese tech company now that the OnePlus 9T has been confirmed not to exist.

This upcoming premium smartphone will likely launch with a Pro sibling in the first half of 2022 as part of the early-year wave of top-end smartphones, with the Samsung Galaxy S22Xiaomi 12 and Oppo Find X4 expected to be close contemporaries and rivals.

The OnePlus 9 launched in March 2021 and was available to buy in most regions including the US and UK by April. As OnePlus operates in an annual cycle, it stands to reason we could see the OnePlus 10 launch in the same window in 2022.

Xiaomi 12 Series

Pictures showing Xiaomi 12 Ultra 3D concept renders

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)
Xiaomi 12 Series

- The brand is ditching the Mi moniker
- Announcement in January or February
- Could have a China-only launch in December
- May get a design overhaul of the camera setup
- Device may be smaller than its predecessor
- Leak suggests a 200MP main camera
- Talk of a curved screen also emerged
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chipset

Despite radio silence until November, the Xiaomi 12 has started leaking regularly, so we're starting to get a clearer picture as to how this upcoming Xiaomi phone could look.

The Xiaomi 12 is expected to be the next major smartphone from the Chinese tech giant - it could get announced before the end of 2021, though a global launch will likely fall in early 2022.

We've heard about quite a few different Xiaomi 12 phones in the family including two Lite models, the standard edition, a Pro and an Ultra model. We've heard about quite a few different Xiaomi 12 phones in the family including two Lite models, the standard edition, a Pro and an Ultra model.

iPhone 14 Series

An unofficial render showing the possible design of the iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendersByIan)
iPhone 14 Series

- Announcement in September
- Design and costs could be similar to iPhone 13
- Could get a punch-hole front camera
- Could have titanium sides instead of glass
- Possible under-display face ID
- Could get 120Hz screens on some models
- May have a 48MP camera
- A16 or A16 Bionic chipsets could arrive

The iPhone 14 is coming in 2022, or at least that's what we expect Apple to reveal as a follow up to the iPhone 13. Leakers have begun revealing possible specs, and there are even unofficial renders of the phone online.

As such, we have a surprisingly clear picture of the form the iPhone 14 range might take – though this far from launch we’d be extra skeptical, as there’s plenty of time for things to change.

But, make no mistake, Apple usually catches us by surprise one way or another. They either exceed our expectations or leave a lot of it unfulfilled. There is talk of a 48MP main shooter, 120Hz screens, an under-display facial recognition and much more. What we can say for sure is the rumor mills will keep on going till the week before Apple sends out the invites for its annual event. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

A render showing the Galaxy S21 FE in four colors

(Image credit: WinFuture / Roland Quandt)
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

- Announcement likely in January 2022
- A cheaper and lower-end alternative to the S21
- Could still end up as a fairly high-end device
- 120Hz refresh rate and in-screen fingerprint scanner
- Slightly taller and slightly wider than S21
- Higher battery capacity than its predecessor

For starters, why would you launch a fan edition smartphone of a flagship that came a year back? That's precisely what the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE appears to be. Just so we get this right, the original Galaxy S21 range arrived in early 2021 and was rather well received. 

Though the company had accidentally mentioned the phone by name and it actually didn't show up at the Samsung Unpacked October 2021 event, we believe the said handset would now be making its appearance at some point in the January of 2022. 

Of course, if the smartphone is so yesterday, you could ask why we are eager to get our hands on it upon release? Quite simply to check what prompted the company to consider such a device and how would they be justifying it to even loyal customers without actually effecting a considerably reduced price for it. 

Vivo X80 Series

Vivo X50 series

(Image credit: Vivo)
Vivo X80 Series

- Announcement in February or March
- Design language may remain unchanged
- May carry a 50MP 1/1.3″ primary sensor
- It could offer a 5-axis Gimbal stabilization
- A 4nm MediaTek Dimensity 2000 chipset

There was a time when Vivo wasn’t keen on launching its flagship phones to India. The company was busily churning out similar-looking devices catering to offline consumers with phones focused on features like camera and music. 

But, not anymore. The Chinese smartphone maker has now decided to go full throttle in the country and could be arriving with the Vivo X80 series as the first of several flagships. 

To recall, the Vivo X50 series came to India in July 2020 succeeded by the X60 lineup in March 2021. The X60 series was promptly replaced by the X70 series in September and now we’re hearing that the Vivo X80 series might launch in the country early next year.

iPhone SE 3

iPhone SE review

(Image credit: TechRadar)
iPhone SE 3

- Announcement possibly in March
- Similar designs as the iPhone SE 2020
- Will have the 4.7-inch LCD screen
- Could get face ID as well
- Powered by the A15 Bionic chipset

Given the success of the iPhone SE 2020 model, we are quite certain that a successor is in the works. What we have no idea about is when this is likely to launch. Rumors are that it could well arrive in the first quarter of 2022, given that Apple has started to organise two major events each year. 

However, what we do not know is how Apple would manage to overcome the stated chipset shortage, one that made them divert processors from their latest iPads on to the iPhone 13 series during the past few months. 

When it eventually comes out, the iPhone SE 3 probably won't be called that, and it'll likely follow the iPhone SE (2020)'s naming convention with the year of release in the title.

Google Pixel 6a

The back of a Google Pixel 6 in pink

(Image credit: Google)
Google Pixel 6a

- Sometime in 2022
- Expect a mid-price handset from Google
- Design language similar to the Pixel 6
- The device could come with a glass back
- Might have a smaller 6.2-inch OLED screen
- Same 12.2MP main camera as the Pixel 5a
- In-screen fingerprint scanner
- Smaller batteries in line with the size
- Tensor chipset powering advanced features

Having just gone official with the Google Pixel 6, one would think Google may lay off for some time before thinking of another handset. But, no that's not the case. There are already leaks around a Google Pixel 6a, which is good news for us in India, given that Google's last device launched here some time ago. 

Of course, we do not have too much information available on the Google Pixel 6a as yet, but from the looks of it the handset could carry the design language of the Pixel 6 in their entirety. 

So far there’s no news on when the Google Pixel 6a might be announced or released, but the Google Pixel 5a was unveiled in August 2021, so there might be a while to wait, especially as the Pixel 4a similarly was launched in August 2020.

Want to know about the latest happenings in tech? Follow TechRadar India on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.