As we approach the last quarter of 2021, we are entering that time of the year when it is common to see a flurry of new smartphone launches. In fact, this is why it would actually be a good idea to stall buying a smartphone right now and wait for a couple of months. But don’t you want to know what exciting new smartphone launches await you in the next few months? Let’s find out!
In case you really can’t wait and need to buy a smartphone immediately, we recommend checking our bests lists right away!
- The best flagship phones you can buy today
- The best budget smartphones for under $300
- The best smartphones you can buy today for under $200
Samsung has had a busy 2021 and the company has launched a plethora of devices across its Galaxy S, Galaxy M, and Galaxy F (in India) series in the past several months. As I draft this article, Samsung has just launched its next generation foldable smartphones at its September 2021 Galaxy Unpacked event. The handsets that were announced at this event include:
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The third iteration of Samsung’s foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with several upgrades over its predecessor. Apart from being thinner than the older model, this device gets IPX8 rating, a newer, faster SOC and loses out slightly on the battery capacity. Read our first impressions of the Galaxy Z Fold here.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
This is the successor to last year’s Galaxy Z Flip and this iteration of the product gets a much better flip design and features an an improved camera setup. Let us call it a faster, better designed and less expensive variant of its predecessor. In or first impressions, the device still feels like a concept that caters to a very small group of tech enthusiasts who also want to use their smartphone to be a fashion and style accessory. Read our first impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 here.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Samsung’s experiment with Fan Edition (FE) variants of its flagship devices has been a roaring success. The company came up with the Galaxy S20 FE in 2020 and is aiming to replicate its success this year with the Galaxy S21 FE. From what we know thus far, the Galaxy S21 FE will be a lot similar to the Galaxy S21 and will feature a 6.4-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display, a 4500 mAh battery and support for 25W fast charging.
What’s not happening: Samsung Galaxy Note 21
It is almost certain that we are not going to see Samsung launch a Note series handset this year. That being said, we still do not know if this is the end of the road for the Galaxy Note lineup after the Note 20 launched last year. Or do you think Samsung could spring a surprise?
As the case is every year, we expect Apple to launch its refreshed lineup of iPhones in September 2021. Going by last year’s lineup we can expect the company to come up with successors to each one of them. Note that there is also talk about Apple skipping the number 13 (since it is considered unlikely by many) and could actually group the new models under the iPhone 12S moniker. Or they could entirely skip this confusion and jump directly to iPhone 14.
Anyway, these are the devices you could possibly expect from Apple this year
There has also been talk about the likelihood of Apple skipping a successor to the iPhone 12 Mini this year - but we would only know this in the next few months.
At the time this article was written, Xiaomi had managed to usurp the title of the world’s top smartphone brand from Samsung. While it may not hold on to that title for long, it is remarkable to see the company manage to do this in such a short time span. One of the reasons for this growth is Xiaomi’s focus on emerging markets where it launched several new handsets across multiple sub brands like Redmi, Mi and Poco.
Interestingly, Xiaomi seems to have already launched most of its important handsets for 2021. One handset that the company has just announced is the Mi Mix 4 about which you can read in detail here.
There is also talk about Xiaomi coming up with the Redmi 10 series in the next few weeks.
Google has more or less confirmed its entire lineup of 2021 smartphones. The company showed off the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro handsets as part of an event announcing the launch of its own SoC - Tensor - that both the new 2021 Pixel handsets will use. Here’s what we know so far about these two handsets.
Google Pixel 6 Pro: The more expensive and feature packed of the two Pixel 6s, the Pixel 6 Pro gets a large 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED panel that supports 120Hz refresh rate. While we do not know the details yet, the device also looks like it has a formidable camera hardware.
Google Pixel 6: This is a compact version of the Pixel 6 Pro and gets a smaller 6.4-inch display with support for 90Hz refresh rate.
As mentioned earlier, both these phones will come powered by the new Tensor chipset which is largely believed to be a modified version of the Samsung Exynos 9855.
Motorola Edge 20 series
Earlier in August 2021, Motorola officially launched a new handset called the Motorola Edge 20 Pro in China. It has since then made its way into Europe as well. It is yet to arrive in the US, though.
We do expect the company to bring his new phone to US and other markets in the coming months. This is an upper mid-range device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC. It features a 6.7-inch, 144Hz, OLED display with support or HDR10+. The handset will also run stock Android 11 at launch.
Is the OnePlus 9T happening?
OnePlus usually launches a “T” version of its flagship devices in the last quarter of every year. This time, however, there have been several reports which indicate that the company could skip this tradition. This is because the existing OnePlus 9 lineup is fairly new and has inched towards becoming a proper flagship handset and is quite feature-packed for a 2021 device. If that wasn’t all, the company now has a well-rounded smartphone line up that includes the likes of the OnePlus Nord 2, Nord CE 5G, Nord N10 and the Nord N100.
2021 continues to be a bad year for Huawei. While the company did announce the new Huawei P50 series late last month in China, both the phones are not likely to be sold outside of China. This is because this time around, apart from not supporting Google apps, both phones also lack support for 5G. So, if you were really looking forward to these devices, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Huawei’s ex-sub brand Honor is trying hard to make a comeback and the next few months could see the company launch a bunch of new mid range and flagship grade handsets in Asia and Europe. As always, some of these devices are already available for purchase in China. The handsets that are set to be announced internationally in the near future include the Honor 50 and the Honor Magic 3 - the latter is likely to become the first smartphone to come powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ chipset.
Well, that pretty much sums up our list of interesting smartphones you can expect to launch in what is left of 2021. Do you think we missed out on including any cool smartphones that should have been on this list?