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The best phones to look forward to in 2023
2023 looks like it could be an even better year, and there have already been plenty of rumors and leaks regarding next year’s crop of phones. But which upcoming devices are we looking forward to? Here are our picks.
Google Pixel 8 series
The Pixel 7 Pro won our Reader’s Choice award for best smartphone of the year as well as our Editor’s Choice award. Needless to say, we’re already really curious to see how the Pixel 8 series stacks up.
We’re expecting the usual upgrades like a Tensor G3 processor and improved camera quality, but we’re also intrigued about new camera modes and AI-powered features. Either way, we’re hoping Google finally brings much faster wired charging times to the Pixel 8 family, as this was the biggest issue we had with the Pixel 7 phones.
Samsung Galaxy S23 range
The Galaxy S23 line will likely be the most readily accessible flagship series for consumers around the world, owing to Samsung’s huge geographic footprint and expansive network presence. So it definitely makes the list as one of 2023’s most anticipated phones to watch out for.
The S22 Ultra was an iterative model for the most part, while the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus made significant battery capacity cutbacks. So we’re hoping Samsung ups the ante next year, with rumors indeed pointing to bigger batteries for the base S23 and S23 Plus models already. We’re also expecting the S23 Ultra to gain a 200MP camera, but we’ll just have to wait to see what the company is capable of with this shooter.
Google Pixel Fold
We’ve been hearing about a Google foldable for a couple of years now, with murmurings of two foldable devices and a cancelation. But it seems like we’re closer than ever to seeing a Pixel foldable in 2023, as a trusted leaker dropped renders earlier this month.
The Pixel Fold is tipped to be much wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 while sliding in between the Samsung device and Oppo Find N in terms of height. Otherwise, renders also point to a triple rear camera with that familiar Pixel rear camera bar in tow. We’re also expecting the usual Google goodness on board, such as AI-powered calling features, great picture quality, and smart camera capabilities.
Sony Xperia 1 V
The Xperia 1 IV was arguably Sony’s most impressive flagship phone in years, in large part due to the use of an innovative variable telephoto rear camera. This allowed for continuous optical zoom between ~3.5x and ~5.2x.
In saying so, we thought shots with this camera weren’t as great as they could’ve been and that the zoom range was pretty small. So we’re very intrigued to see how Sony addresses this with the Xperia 1 V. We’re also interested to see what else the Japanese brand will bring to the table, as it’s previously offered features like 4K/120Hz screens, Pro camera software, and more.
Oppo Find X6 Pro
The Find X5 Pro cracked the top five in our 2022 Editor’s Choice Awards, and for good reason. Oppo’s flagship combined a slick design, excellent display, and fast wired/wireless charging to great effect. So is it any wonder why we’re looking forward to the Find X6 Pro?
There’s still plenty of room for improvement though, so we hope the new phone brings improved zoom capabilities, reduced bloatware, and a more reasonable price tag. One rumor also points to the Find X6 Pro gaining that crazy IMX989 one-inch main camera, so we definitely can’t wait to see results from this shooter.
Google Pixel 7a
Yet another Pixel on the list? It’s tough to argue otherwise, especially as rumors point to the Pixel 7a bringing several major upgrades. Leaks suggest additions like a 90Hz refresh rate, wireless charging, and an upgraded main camera.
These would all be welcome upgrades as the Pixel 6a only offered a 60Hz screen, 18W wired charging with no wireless charging, and a 12MP main camera. Otherwise, we hope Google’s cheaper Pixel still comes with a reasonable price tag and flagship levels of power.
Samsung Galaxy Z5 foldables
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 were undoubtedly the most polished foldable phones of 2022, while also being the most widely available foldables of the year. But those wishing for dramatic upgrades over 2021’s models were sorely disappointed. These were very much evolutionary products.
So all eyes are on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 to see whether they bring massive improvements over the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4. Display insider Ross Young has already claimed that 2023’s Flip phone will bring a much larger cover screen and a reduced crease. But could we see dust resistance, significantly upgraded cameras, and higher-quality foldable screens? We’ll just have to wait and see.
The OnePlus 10 Pro was a bit of a disappointment this year, bringing the usual expected upgrades like a bigger battery, more horsepower, and faster wired charging. But the phone let us down with a downgraded ultrawide camera, poor low-light image capture, and an IP68 rating that was exclusive to T-Mobile.
We’ve already seen apparent OnePlus 11 specs and renders, and it looks like we could be in for a bare minimum refresh again. Prominent rumored specs include a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a triple rear camera system (50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, and 32MP 2x tele), and a 5,000mAh battery with 100W charging. But, hopefully, there’s more to the new flagship than the specs would suggest.
- Xiaomi 13 series: The Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro already launched in China earlier in December, and they look like the first mainline Xiaomi flagships that can actually take it to the Galaxy S series. Both phones pack premium extras like telephoto cameras, IP68 ratings, and wireless charging. Otherwise, the Pro model also brings a 50MP one-inch main camera, 120W wired charging, and a QHD+ 120Hz screen. There’s no word on global availability just yet, but Xiaomi tends to launch its mainline flagships a few weeks to a few months after the domestic release.
- Vivo X90 series: Vivo has made major strides in the past few years when it comes to high-end smartphones. So we’re really keen to get our hands on the Vivo X90 series following the Chinese launch in November 2022. The Pro Plus is clearly the top dog here, bringing a 50MP one-inch main camera, two telephoto cameras (50MP 2x and 64MP 3.5x), and probably the best in-display fingerprint sensor in the game.