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The best phones launched at CES 2022

Some of these are the first major launches of the year.
By
January 5, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE camera closeup from right
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

CES is the world’s largest technology event. Although we don’t see too many smartphones at CES, there are still a handful of launches. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best phones at CES 2022.

Without further delay, here are the best phones at CES 2022.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE rear in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

With such a small slate to choose from, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a shoo-in for the best phone at CES 2022. It has the best specs-to-value ratio of any that launched during the event. It also has a very reasonable price: $699, the same price as 2020’s Galaxy S20 FE.

See also: Hands-on with the Galaxy S21 FE

As expected, the Galaxy S21 FE — which stands for “Fan Edition” — is a lot like the vanilla Galaxy S21. It borrows the design aesthetic and most of the specs, including the Snapdragon 888 processor. It shaves down a few of those specs, though, in order to keep the price down. For example, the base model has just 6GB of RAM, the camera array is a bit weaker, and the fingerprint sensor is optical instead of ultrasonic.

However, the phone does have a few things over even the Galaxy S21. It has a bigger battery (4,500mAh), a bigger display, and ships with Android 12 out-of-the-box. That last bit means it will receive one extra Android version throughout its lifespan when compared to the original Galaxy S21 lineup. You read that right: the Galaxy S21 FE will get a later version of Android than even the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

You’ll be able to buy the best phone at CES 2022 starting on January 11, 2022, for $699.

Galaxy S21 FE Green Back RGB
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Samsung's 2021 flagship finally gets a "fan edition"
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is very similar to the vanilla Galaxy S21. However, it pares things down a bit in order to slash $100 from the MSRP.

OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10 Pro Green Official Hero
OnePlus

Although the OnePlus 10 Pro “launched” at CES 2022, it really only half launched. OnePlus didn’t divulge all the information about the device. Instead, it simply showed off what the phone looks like and a bare-bones specs sheet.

Still, OnePlus did reveal a phone during the show, so the OnePlus 10 Pro qualifies as one of the best phones at CES 2022.

See also: Everything we know about the OnePlus 10 series

So far, here’s what we know about the 10 Pro. We know it has a unique new rear camera module, as seen in the photo above. We know it has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 under the hood. It will also come with slightly faster wired charging at 80W instead of 65W.

Most of the other features related to the phone are unknown or just vaguely understood. We don’t know too much about the camera system yet, and we don’t know when it will launch or how much it will cost. Considering the drip-feed approach to reveals so far, we’ve got our fingers crossed that OnePlus will reveal more about the phone over the next few days.

TCL 30V

TCL 30V
TCL

TCL launched two budget smartphones at CES 2022. The TCL 30V is the best of the pair, with the TCL 30XE being so under-powered it should only appeal to the most budget-restricted of buyers.

The TCL 30V has a Snapdragon 480 under the hood and the chipset helps the phone offer both sub-6Hz and mmWave support. This might not matter much right now since mmWave is still difficult to find, especially outside the US. In the future, though, that could be quite a boon.

See also: The best budget phones you can currently buy

The rest of the specs of the TCL V30 are somewhat typical for a phone in this class: 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, a triple-camera system with an ultrawide and macro lens, etc. The real feature of the phone, though, is that it offers both 5G standards without breaking the bank.

The TCL 30V is a Verizon-exclusive here in the United States. Unfortunately, TCL didn’t announce a release date or price for the phone. Judging from its specs, though, we assume it will be quite inexpensive.

Nokia G400

The Nokia 2760 Flip, Nokia C100, Nokia C200, Nokia G100, and Nokia G400.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

As with the TCL 30V, the Nokia G400 exists primarily as an inexpensive way to access 5G networks. At just $239, budget-conscious shoppers don’t need to be left out of the 5G experience.

Unlike the TCL 30V, though, the Nokia G400 doesn’t support mmWave connections (it’s sub-6GHz only). Instead, HMD Global threw in a few nice specs, such as a huge 5,000mAh battery and a 6.6-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Required reading: What does 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz mean?

At $239, getting a battery that big, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 5G connections is certainly a good deal. This might end up being one of the best budget-minded devices of 2022, assuming HMD can keep up with its promises.

Although we know how much it will cost, HMD Global didn’t let us know when we’ll be able to buy the Nokia G400. It did confirm that it will be available on “all four wireless providers,” which we assume means Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and an unknown fourth carrier.


Other content to check out

That finishes off our roundup of the best smartphones of CES 2022. Be sure to check out our CES 2022 roundup for more on all the latest announcements.