We’ve already had more phones than we can count release in the early goings of 2021. There’s no shortage of powerful smartphones to go around, from Samsung’s Galaxy S21 family to the flagship OnePlus 9 trio. Now, it’s time to look at what comes next. Here are the best upcoming Android phones for Summer 2021 and beyond.
See also: The best Android phones
Best upcoming Android phones:
- Google Pixel 5a 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3
- Huawei P50 series
- Nokia 10
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
- Cheaper folding phones
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best upcoming Android phones regularly.
1. Google Pixel 5a 5G
We flat-out loved Google’s affordable Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G last year, and now it’s time for the sequel. If there’s one thing we can count on in an “a” series Pixel phone, we know the 5a 5G will have a solid camera and come at a great price.
See also: Google Pixel 5a: All the rumors so far
The company released its Pixel 3a at a previous iteration of I/O, so it seemed fair to expect something from the May 2021 event. However, it was not to be as we’re still waiting with bated breath on some new Pixel news. As far as specs for this upcoming Android phone go, we can expect Google to stay in its “a” series lane. That means wireless charging and an IP rating are unlikely, but 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage are on the table.
We can’t say for sure which chipset will make its way onto the Pixel 5a 5G, but early signs point towards the Snapdragon 765G of the Pixel 5. We’re also expecting a dual rear camera setup, much like the Pixel 4a 5G.
Google launched its original Pixel 3a in May of 2019 before the global pandemic delayed the Pixel 4a a few months to August 2020. As a result, it’s tough to guess when the next entry-level Pixel phone will drop.
- Launch ETA: Summer 2021 for the Pixel 5a 5G
2. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3
Samsung’s folding phone game improved significantly from the first generation to the second, so why shouldn’t the third be even better? Recent leaks suggest that the next foldable pair will release sometime towards the end of Summer 2021.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 made key changes in its second generation, growing the outer display and ditching the corner cutout. Some of the leaks that we’ve seen so far suggest that the Z Fold 3 will pack three rear cameras and make a move to an under-display selfie camera. It’s also tipped to offer 25W fast charging, but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Over on the Flip side (see what we did there), we have quite a bit more information. The third-generation foldable is suggested to offer a more squared-off design with two rear-facing 12MP cameras. Samsung’s cameras also lie right next to a much larger rear display. It should be much easier to check notifications and read full messages. The phone may come in a matte finish, and we’re expecting Gorilla Glass Victus for added durability.
The leaks we’ve seen suggest that Samsung is gearing up for an end-of-summer release. This would slot in where we usually see the Galaxy Note series launch, so it may be a crowded year for the Korean OEM.
- Launch ETA: August 2021
3. Huawei P50 series
We weren’t expecting to see Huawei’s upcoming flagship Android phones until a few months into 2021, and our suspicions proved true. The pair — the P50 and P50 Pro launched at the end of July 2021, though not before a few leaks gave away the top features.
See also: Huawei P50 and P50 Pro buyer’s guide
Both the P50 and the P50 Pro offer either a Snapdragon 888 chipset or a Kirin 9000 version, though Qualcomm’s chip is locked down to 4G speeds. As far as internals go, you can grab your P50 or P50 Pro with up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which is plenty for most users.
Of course, the real star of any Huawei P-series device is the camera setup. This stays true on the P50 series, as the flagship packs a 50MP, 13MP, 12MP combination with another 13MP shooter on the front. If you opt for the more powerful P50 Pro, you’ll get a 50MP, 40MP, 64MP, and 13MP mix for maximum flexibility.
Right now, the P50 series is only available in China, so we’re keeping it as an Android phone to look forward to. We’ll be sure to let you know when and if the duo makes its way to other markets.
- Launch ETA: July 29, 2021
4. Nokia 10
Nokia is working on the successor to 2019’s 9 PureView. The phone was originally expected to launch as the Nokia 9.2 or 9.3 PureView, though we’re not quite sure at this point. It may become the Nokia 10 to clean up the naming convention.
It’s expected to be a flagship device, though we now have questions about whether or not Nokia will move for the Snapdragon 888 chipset. However, we do expect an under-display selfie camera. It may be among the first phones to sport this feature, allowing for a full-screen experience without using a pop-up camera module.
We hope to see improvements when it comes to the camera. Although the Nokia 9 PureView had five sensors at the back, it wasn’t the best for photography. Rumors have it that Nokia will go with a more traditional normal/wide/telephoto camera layout this time around and improve its software. You can check out all the latest rumors surrounding the phone at the link.
The release date of Nokia’s upcoming Android phone hasn’t been announced yet, but the mid 2021 rumors seem to have been a bit premature for the launch date.
- Launch ETA: Late 2021
5. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) blew us away as our favorite phone of the year for its blend of value and performance. Now, we have some pretty solid expectations for the sequel, and it’s become one of our favorite Android phones to look forward to.
However, the biggest challenge facing the Galaxy S21 FE is the simple existence of the Galaxy S21. It’s barely more expensive than the original S20 FE, so it’s tough to see how Samsung will raise its game. We expect the new Galaxy S21 FE to be styled after the Galaxy S21, much like last year’s model. It’s been tough to nail down any specs related to the upcoming device, but we can’t imagine that Samsung will scale anything back this year.
We have heard that the Galaxy S21 FE may not get the same battery as the Galaxy S21 Plus, instead opting for a 4,500mAh cell. This would put it right between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, but only time will tell. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE may launch in August alongside the next Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip devices.
- Launch ETA: August 2021
6. Cheaper folding phones
The last upcoming Android phones we’re looking forward to right now are cheaper folding options. It’s not necessarily one specific device, but we’re really hoping that prices come down in the future. We’ve already heard talk of a cheaper Galaxy Z Fold E, and Oppo is apparently planning to get in on the clamshell design, too.
See also: The best foldable phones you can get
One of the biggest problems is that folding phones just cost too much money. They’re unique and bound to turn heads, but your wallet will certainly feel the pain. It’s tough to pin down a release date as this is more of an upcoming category, but we’ll be sure to add devices in this section throughout the rest of 2021.